Keyword research on the terms being used to find janitorial and commercial cleaners, indicate that in the United States more than a million searches were conducted in the month of March, 2012 on: janitorial services, commercial cleaning, office cleaning, and floor cleaning. If you have a business in the janitorial sector, you must have wondered at some point why you are not generating more leads from your website.
The team at Inspire and Acquire conducted a brief study of a small group of websites in the janitorial industry, whose names were chosen randomly from the MasterMind group on LinkedIn (permission was obtained from the group owner). Analyses were performed to determine the Internet Marketing Effectiveness of these websites and the results were not surprising. In this article we share the top 3 critical areas of online marketing that were shown to be problematic for business owners in the janitorial industry. We also provide solutions for dealing with these issues.
In a website analysis, a dynamic grade on a scale of 100 is given that represents Internet Marketing Effectiveness at any given point in time. For the websites we analyzed, the average grade was 43.14 with a range of 30.9 to 53.3. Considering that the average score for a typical website is 50, these scores are mediocre for an industry with a high level of online competition.
Each one of the websites we examined were plagued with a variety of structural and technical issues that prevent the websites from being found by search engines. Some of these issues include a variety of missing or incorrect codes and files that alter the search engine’s ability to locate, crawl, and index your website’s content. The most common omissions were the Robots.txt and XML Sitemap files. These files allow the search engines to access and crawl your website more intelligently. These types of problems were shockingly numerous and were present on all of the janitorial websites we analyzed.
The most relevant issue indicated for the websites we analyzed was the low amount of traffic being generated to the sites. In order to generate and direct more traffic to your janitorial website, you need to ensure all components of SEO are adequately addressed and you have to develop a social media marketing strategy (see below).
You cannot be expected to fix technical errors on your site yourself. The solution is to hire a good online marketing agency to diagnose your website, and identify the problem areas. A website developer and SEO expert will work together to fix these technical issues permanently. This will ensure that your rankings improve on the SERPS (search engine results pages) and your website is easier for visitors to navigate.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The most serious atrocities located on the janitorial websites we examined were SEO in nature. Even the most basic SEO principles were misused, omitted, or impaired. If you want your website to be found by your potential clients, you need to utilize your keywords effectively. This means firstly, that your keywords are identified correctly through research methods and the use of high-quality SEO tools. Secondly, your keywords must be placed throughout your content (text) in a specific manner (yes there are rules for this). Were you aware that Google will penalize your website if you overuse keywords by ranking you lower in the SERPs? Keywords should never be one-word search term but rather three-word “phrases” and there should be no more than 3 of these phrases per website page. Not one of the janitorial sites we examined used keywords consistently or correctly.
There were several SEO content violations evident including missing meta descriptions, and meta keywords, titles that were too long, and low-impact text/HTML ratios. Again, these types of SEO errors contribute to low rankings by the search engines. For each of the janitorial websites there were also challenges to their backlinks. A backlink is a link that points to your website from other websites. Think of it as a popularity rating for your site. Link-building is one of the key elements of a solid SEO strategy that is required to get your website ranked.
There are several ways to address the SEO challenges of your janitorial website. You can hire an SEO specialist to conduct the keyword research for your website, submit it to you, and then you can write additional and/or improved content. The other option is to have an SEO expert conduct the keyword research and create the content for your website. If you do choose to write the website content yourself, we highly recommend that you have your SEO specialist read it and recommend revisions before you publish it on your site.
B2B Social Media Marketing
There appears to be a gross underutilization of the social media lead generating tools in the janitorial industry. Not surprisingly, not one of the business websites we examined had links or icons on their websites for the main social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Although all of the owners of these janitorial companies had LinkedIn profiles, this was not evident on their website. Only one of the companies had claimed their Twitter account and username, and none were active on Facebook.
Forty-one percent of B2B companies generate leads on Facebook, and companies who use Twitter generate twice the number of leads per month than companies who do not use it. Business.com reports that 55% of B2B survey respondents search for information on social media channels. The individuals you want to target (the decision-makers) are conducting the majority (70% according to Sirius Decisions) of their information-gathering before the sales person in your company even reaches them and they are doing this online through social media platforms.
In an article I published on our website recently, I outline the benefits of B2B social media in more detail. A social media marketing strategy will improve lead generation, enhance search engine optimization (builds long-term links back to your website), and allows your buyers to find you.
Although we are unable to address ALL of the issues for improving your online marketing in one article, here are our key recommendations for improving your janitorial website and creating an online presence:
- Write more SEO-enhanced content.
- Extend the registration of your domain.
- Promote your business and website through social media.
- Be more consistent with your keywords.
- Set a name for all of the images on your website.
- Optimize your website for mobile browsing.
- Speed up your website.
If you have any questions about how to improve your online presence or achieve better results from your social media efforts, we would love to hear from you. Simply contact us!