Solid SEO for Carpet Cleaners
Updated 10/11/19 by Mike Murphy
SEO is always changing. Literally every day.
What worked well 3 years ago doesn't necessarily work now. Why? Google changes their ranking factors daily, making some factors more important, and some less important. The other moving target is that your competition changes daily too.
This is important: There are roughly 200 criteria that Google specifically uses to rank your website against your competitors.
Depending on the industry, each of these 200 criteria can be put in order of importance.
We are interested in increasing the ranking of a local carpet cleaning business together, and our best SEO strategy will be far different from that of a bookstore, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a travel blogger, a news commentary blogger — even a national carpet cleaning franchisor. Local carpet cleaning businesses have unique SEO needs.
So, my job as an SEO for local carpet cleaners is to build a strategy around the MOST IMPORTANT SEO criteria affecting your ranking in search engines.
For the moment, forget about everything you've heard about SEO so far. Half of what you've heard in the last few years has either changed or doesn't apply to carpet cleaners anymore. For example, your exact address is not an important SEO factor for you, because nobody will be coming to your house/office. On the other hand, exact location is very important to a store or a restaurant. You are more interested in a "service area".
A service area is not important to a restaurant. They serve everyone, whether they live nearby or they're just passing through town. Their exact location is VERY important.
Another example is links. When I say "links", I'm talking about other websites linking to your website. Years ago, it used to be a good idea to get as many links to your website as possible. Get 150 links for $150! But getting hundreds and hundreds of links is not important anymore. Think about it. A terrible carpet cleaner with a terrible website can get 150 links for $150, too. But they should not rank well. They're terrible!
Well, Google has always known this, but has only recently gotten much better at finding GOOD cleaners with GOOD websites to rank high in their search results. Customer Reviews are a BIG part of that, but in terms of links -- link quality matters a lot, as it should. I'll define link quality more below.
Carpet Cleaning keywords don't change very often.
SEO will also be much different for an industry that changes all the time. For example, a bookstore must rank high for new books that come out, and new books come out daily. Restaurants need to apply SEO for changing menu specials, and maybe regular live events.
In contrast, the details of carpet cleaning services do not change very often. Thus, your "keywords" that you want to rank for rarely change. Your keywords are relatively straight-forward. For carpet cleaning, "ongoing keyword research" that SEOs love to charge you for, is so easy. Well, keyword research does go beyond "Carpet Cleaning + Your City", but your list of the most effective keywords is probably less than 50. And it doesn't change.
Now, back to quality links...
What makes a link "good quality?"
• First, it comes from a good quality website, with a good quality domain name — a website that shows "authority" and high ranking itself on a topic, in our case carpet cleaning.
• Second, the website linking to you must be related to carpet cleaning in some way. In other words, if the best website in the world on *dentistry* or *amusement parks* links to your website, it won’t be worth much — because it has no relevance to carpet cleaning.
In theory, the highest quality link you can get as a carpet cleaner would come from the website of one of the big national franchisors, because they have a LOT of relevance AND authority. But of course, they won’t link to you, because you’re not one of their franchises. You're their competition.
So where do we want to get links from?
The Mothership: My goal for the Mothership is to be the most powerful set of links you can possibly get. But they won't be single links. You'll have unique pages full of links, guest article links, featured cleaner link, etc. This will be a quality link gold mine.
Search Engine Local Listings: Get your website, business name, address, phone number, and profile listed on Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, Chamber of Commerce, Superpages, Better Business Bureau, etc. (I will evaluate and update a list of the best directories on this page). Beyond just quality links, these are the sources for traffic and trust. You don't have to LIKE them or pay advertising fees to have your business listed with these services.
Relevant Directories: You should have free listings on as many of these home improvement sites as possible: Angie's List, Home Advisor, Thumbtack, Nextdoor
Links from Associations and Suppliers: Are you a member of CRI, CFI, IICRC or other associations? If they have a pro file with a link to your website, see if you can coordinate a deal. And if you're a regular customer of suppliers and other vendors, they may be happy to make a link deal with you.
Affiliated Industry and Local Business Links: You can work a deal with non-competition local businesses that are in the home improvement business and other cleaning services (for example: windows and housekeeping). You can ask for a link exchange. Teaming up with relevant companies of high quality and integrity will add more authority to your domain.
Social Media Profile Links: Simply from a link-building perspective, you should set up a Facebook Business page, a Twitter account, LinkedIN profile, Pinterest profile, and a YouTube channel and place a link to your website on each. We can do a lot more with social media, but that's beyond the scope of this article.
Local Associations: Local charities, churches, Chamber of Commerce, and other local entities with a website - find out if they list their members on their website.
Google can actually penalize you in terms of ranking if you keep bad company. In other words, links that are bad (for many reasons) can actually hurt your site. Does this mean that someone can sabotage you by linking to your site from a site? Yes! It can! But don't worry. I know where to tell Google where to "disavow" these bad links — It's right inside the Google Search Console for your website, and it's actually called a "disavow". Fortunately, this kind of deliberate sabotage is rare, because there aren't many people who have it out for carpet cleaners, but if it happens, I know what to do.
Content is King
I think the most important SEO and customer-friendly factor for your website is to make relevant and ongoing updates to your website's content. Google loves fresh content, and that's why so many carpet cleaners have chosen to add blogs to their site — fresh ongoing content. Just because you have a beautiful website with great links, you may get discounted by Google if they're not seeing fresh information posted on a consistent basis.
But a blog? For a carpet cleaner?
Blogs are for bloggers — I mean for people who make money by blogging. Great topics include Politics. Travel. News. How-to guides. Recipes. Product Reviews. Relationship Advice. Productivity. Exciting Technology.
Yet many cleaners are doing it. I think a blog is the easiest, laziest, and most useless way to get fresh content that no one will read onto your website.
However, if you are consistently posting articles about interesting and useful topics, you'll get great fresh content on your website that your customers can use and Google will reward you with higher rankings.
If you don't like to write, or can't think of enough topics, that's my job. In a near-future article, I'll be discussing my process for getting the best articles from you, and I'll be posting a list of article topics as prompts that you can choose.
Check back monthly for updates to this article.
SEO is a huge subject, and I only touched the surface of what you might want to know. Eventually, this article may become a book!
Next topics: Reviews, Landing Pages, Google Ads, and more!
Thank you for reading!
I'm all about that no-strings-attached feeling.
No bogus claims.
If we're the right fit, then I think we'll hit the jackpot together.
Talk to you soon.