- THE MAGAZINE
Your cleaning company can pop up all over the search engines
with this strategy. But first you’ll need to learn these few tricks. Last month
I wrote about using blogs to get more clients. One option for blogging is the
use of mini-websites, or mini-sites.
Your cleaning company can pop up all over the search engines with this strategy. But first you’ll need to learn these few tricks. Last month I wrote about using blogs to get more clients. One option for blogging is the use of mini-websites, or mini-sites. Since mini-sites are a great strategy all by themselves, I decided to dedicate this entire article to showing you how to use mini-websites to totally dominate the web in the cities you serve.
So what is a mini-site? Typically, it’s a small website. But it’s a website with targeted purpose. For the cleaning and restoration industry, there are typically two kinds of mini-sites:
Type 1: The first option consists of devoting the entire mini-site to one service. For example, carpet cleaning companies that do water damage may choose to have a mini-site dedicated solely to water damage. Conversely, a water damage restoration company that does some carpet cleaning may do a mini-site devoted specifically to carpet cleaning. Another example would be a carpet cleaning company putting up a mini-site all about area rug cleaning. The mini-site targets a specific service and provides an opportunity to get ranked in the search engines. (See www.waterdamagetampa-fl.com for an example.) Additionally, prospects see your company as a specialist since you have taken the time and expense to put up a website specifically for the smaller niche service.
Type 2: The second option consists of devoting the mini-site to a particular city or area. This mini-site strategy works very well in small cities. It can work well in medium-sized cities and some large cities as long as there isn’t much competition on the Internet. I have clients who’ve created mini-sites and have taken five of the top 10 spots in Google. Would you rather rank in Google one time or five times? The more you show up in the searches, the greater the chance a prospect will visit your site and call you. An example would be a cleaning company who ranks well in Atlanta, but can’t seem to get ranked in the outlying suburb of Marietta. They may put up a mini-site called www.carpetcleaningmariettaga.info that mentions all the services (carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, water damage, etc.), but only targeting the city of Marietta. Targeting this one city does two things: First, Google is more apt to rank the site high for Marietta since the site is all about Marietta. And second, homeowners in Marietta are more interested in this site because it’s all about the community in which they live.
Most mini-sites are built in a blogging platform like Wordpress. Most Internet marketers, including myself, happen to love Wordpress. It allows the site owner to easily add text and pictures to the site. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, or have even posted a picture on Facebook, Wordpress will be easy for you. Plus, it’s naturally designed to have some search engine optimization (SEO) built in.
Mini-sites typically have only a few pages. Often, there is a section for blog posts, a page with contact information (i.e., “Contact Us”) and a page with information about the company (i.e., “About Us”). Sometimes other pages are added. And yes, adding additional pages about your service is a good idea.
Carefully select your domain name for your mini-site. As I mentioned above, you may want your new mini-site to be about your city. In this case, call it something associated with the main service you perform and the city you are targeting. An example of a good mini-site like this is www.carpetcleanerstacoma.com. Or, as in Type 1, if you are targeting a particular service, like area rug cleaning, you may use something like www.maconrugcleaning.com. As you can see, ideally, the keywords are in the domain name. But don’t let it frustrate you if all the good domain names are taken in your city, as is the case in many cities. Even a generic domain name like www.carpetcaretips.com can rank very well even though it doesn’t have the city or service in the domain name. Just pick a domain name you’re happy with.
These mini-sites are also used as feeder sites to the main website. Depending on your company strategy, you may want to brand the mini-sites for your company, or you may want to keep the site theme generic.
One of the things that can help a mini-site excel is continually posting relevant information to your site. I wrote some ideas on blog posting for you in my article last month. Go back and check it out for ideas on what kind of content to add to your mini-site. But I want to stress that a mini-site is basically no different than a regular website or blog. It’s just a smaller website with a better-targeted niche. You should write regular posts to keep the site active and fresh in the eyes of Google and your prospects.
There are a few pitfalls to avoid if you plan on setting up several mini-sites. First, don’t use the same hosting company. You want the sites to be hosted in separate areas of the Internet. Most times, the same hosting company will host them all in the same spot. If you plan on linking your mini-sites together, this is a big mistake. Get your sites hosted with different hosting companies. Don’t know what this means? Talk to your webmaster.
Mini-sites are a great start for anyone who doesn’t have a website. A small mini-website is better than nothing. And if your site is built in Wordpress, you can always add to it later down the road. So if you’re on the fence about putting up a website, start here. Chances are 40-50% of your competitors do not even have a website. So you’ll be off to a great start.
If you already have a main website, mini-sites are a great addition for niche services and cities. My best advice is to not go crazy putting up dozens of mini-sites. Yes, they can be a gold mine. But it’s best to add one or two mini-sites at a time to your Internet marketing arsenal. Two well-tuned mini-sites that bring in new cleaning clients every month are better than 12 mini-sites that are half finished. Get a couple mini-sites to work for you and then continue to add more. You’ll be getting traffic from all over the web in no time.