Use Original Images
5 Reasons to Use Original Images On Your Residential Cleaning Business Website

Visual content continues to be the rage in the digital era. Consider these statistics, for instance.

Content with images tends to receive 130% more engagement than content without them.

Tweets with images register up to 150% more retweets than text-only tweets.

Although consumers retain only 10% of the information they hear, they recall 65% of the information when content is paired with an image.

Clearly, images play a crucial role in not only attracting and engaging the consumers but also in helping them recall the information. Businesses know and understand this. That is why business websites, blogs, and media content are all augmented with carefully chosen images. Everyone from bloggers to SMEs to large corporates uses stock images for a variety of purposes.

There are numerous stock image websites that offer high definition, read-to-use images of virtually every type and context to cater to this demand for high-quality images. There are an estimated 350 million+ stock images available for purchase on the internet.

Despite the overwhelming relevance and usage of stock images, they could be hurting your business in more ways than one. In fact, stock images can be a silent killer, chipping away at your business, one customer at a time, unbeknownst to you. Here’s why you should use original images and not stock images.

1. “Real” Images Feel More Authentic

Several studies and experiments indicate that internet users can easily distinguish between an original image and a stock image. And, most of them ignore the stock images.

Come to think of it. Five to six people staring at the same computer in the office, an individual’s hand projecting important-looking holograms, house cleaning staff that is pretending to clean an already clean house, and the other such images never inspire brand-consumer connections.

Residential cleaning business websites, in particular, must use original images of real customers, real projects, and real staff to give website visitors a sneak peek into the human side of the company. This is what builds trust between the consumers and the business.

2. You Never Know Who Else is Using Stock Images

Imagine that you’ve used a stock image on your website. Suppose that the same image is used by another business or person that has scammed their customers, or has dished out a negative experience to them. If those consumers come across your website, the negative emotions they have about that business or person will be redirected towards your business. This is true for even the most rational beings among us.

Nonverbal cues play a significant role in our perception of a brand. Using stock images exposes you to the risk of attracting negative sentiments from your target audience, for someone else’s mistake. Or perhaps, your competitors could be using the same stock image, which can confuse your website visitors. You don’t want to build a brand on something that can be used by just about anyone.

3. Original Images are More Effective

Real images are found to drive up to 35% higher conversions compared to stock images. They register higher engagement, drive more purchases, and generally compel website visitors to act more the way you want them to.

For residential cleaning businesses, it’s recommended that they have a dedicated Gallery page, where they can feature some of their best work. The unedited images display your confidence in your work, which gains the trust of your potential customers and turn them into your customers. 

4. Potential Legal Issues

All stock images sites do not have a consistent image usage policy. The usage rights they offer could be a one-time usage right, multiple usage rights, or complete transfer of copyrights on the image. In recent years, stock image sites have litigated several businesses for using their images without “proper” usage rights. Whether these cases are a legitimate pursuit of business interests or just copyright trolling is debatable. When so much could go wrong, it is better to avoid it altogether. 

5. Consistent Branding

Whether you take the photos yourself or hire a professional photographer to do it, the images you create will be consistent with your brand image and marketing goals. Your webpages will not look like a poorly put-together mishmash of random stock images. Instead, every image would be a reflection of your company and brand’s unique aspects – your work, staff, equipment, office, and so on. 

Your original images tell a story that is unique to your business and brand. Stock images tend to have a similar appeal. As a house cleaning business, if you want to showcase the outcome of your work in a specific set of conditions such as lighting, customers, staff, and so on, you can do it. With stock images, you will only be able to tell a generic brand story.

Conclusion

Stock images are a simple solution to a complex problem that every business faces – finding high-quality visual content that augments their text content. Stock images are inexpensive (often costing less than $1), easily available, and readily usable. However, if you want to build a unique brand that connects with your target audience at a deeper level, you must use original images. Real images help you differentiate yourself from the competition and build trust among your audiences. 

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Google Ads for your Residential Cleaning Business
Google Ads – Everything You Need To Know for Your Residential Cleaning Business

Can your customers find you when they need a cleaning service?

We all know that Google is the first place people go to look for what they need. A search for a residential cleaning service is no different. But, almost every business has a content strategy, an SEO strategy, an optimized website, and everything else in place.

So, how will you compete with your rivals in such a market? You need a push that can take you directly to the first page of the search engine. Not in a year or 6 months, but today. That “push” is using Google Adwords for Residential Cleaning Business. So, if you own a residential cleaning business, drop everything because you are going to want to know this.

What is Google Adwords?

For the uninitiated, Google Adwords is the advertising service offered by Google that lets businesses display their text ads on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs). They can appear on the top or on the bottom of the SERPs.

Why Use Google Adwords?

Residential cleaning is a local business. With Google Adwords for Residential Cleaning Business, you can scoop up clients as quickly as they start looking for such a service. According to the official estimate, Google Adwords return $2 for every $1 spent for businesses. That is just the economic impact; here is what else Google Adwords can do for your cleaning business.

Sharpens the Target

Google Ads are presented to customers who are looking for your service. Not just that, businesses can choose the locations they want to serve, demographics that interest them, devices they want to target, and even the time of the day they pick. For instance, you can run the Google Adwords for Residential Cleaning Business in New York City for people of ages 30 to 50 on smartphones, every weekday from 5 PM to 10 PM. That is how finely you can target your audience.

Charges For Results

Arguably the best part about Google Adwords is their payment model. They do not ask you to pay just for appearing on a SERP. You only pay when your target customer clicks on your ad. This is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Cleaning businesses are usually small to medium in size with limited marketing budgets. Thus, Google Adwords for Cleaning Businesses makes perfect sense.

Tracks Performance

You can always find out how your ad is doing. If the ad is performing well, then all you need to do is wait for the leads. If not, you can find out what you are missing out on, course-correct, and again post an ad for your business.

Where to Begin With Your Google Ads?

  1. Create An Account

To get anywhere, you first need to have an Adwords Account. Visit http://www.adwords.com and click on “Get Started”. You may choose an existing Gmail account or create a new one dedicated to Adwords. You will have to enter your geography, time zone, and currency of your preference.

  1. Create a Campaign

From the Adwords dashboards, find the “Campaigns” tab. Follow the steps in this short video to create your first ad using the platform. You can also select your target audience with factors like location, demographics, or other custom criteria.

  1. Set a Budget

You can choose between Standard and Accelerated. While Standard budgets will be spread out throughout the day, Accelerated budgets are spent as soon as a relevant search is made.

  1. Bid Wisely

Every cleaning business is targeting the same customers, usually during the same hours. So, some SERPs will show your ad while others will show your competitors’. Only ads that win the bid are published. You can automate your bids or do it manually. So, if you choose your timing, device choice, and demographic well, you are more likely to win.

Running Successful Google Adwords for Residential Cleaning Companies

The technical part of setting up a campaign for Google Adwords is rather easy. You can follow a tutorial to accomplish that. The real challenge that people face in creating Google Adwords for House Cleaning Companies is creating successful campaigns. Here are the tips to make your Google Adwords for Residential Cleaning Business a smash hit.

  1. Create a Goal for your Google Ads

Goals are essential before setting up Google Adwords for Cleaning Businesses. It can be receiving phone inquiries, creating email lists from landing pages, direct sales, or something else. You need to know what you want the customer to do when they click on your ad. Google Adwords gives you an option to set up your goal while creating a campaign.

  1. Keyword Research

This is the most crucial part of the Google Adwords universe. You need to find the text string that potential customers are typing in to get to services like yours. You can get those keywords from Google’s Keyword Planner (Check under “Tools” in your Adwords account), SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and other such platforms.

  1. Ad Copy Content

Your ad copy is the crux of the entire exercise. Use a catchy headline, keep it short and include a call to action to ensure maximum returns.

  1. Optimize Landing Pages

If the customer clicks on the ad, Google Adwords has done its part. Now, it’s up to you. Optimize your landing page to make sure it shows the customer what the ad promised them. Give them a visible and quick way to contact your cleaning business.

Congratulations! You have got yourself a new customer!

Related Links – Google Ads:

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Website Secure
Is Your Website Secure? Google Cares

Would you like to lose 82% of your traffic visiting your site?

How about Google warning users against visiting your site?

According to HubSpot Research, 82% of the respondents would leave the site if it is not secure. Google has also made it completely clear that it does take into account an SSL certificate as a ranking metric.

If your website is not secure – you are losing visitors right now.

How Can You Make Your Website Secure?

You want your clients to trust you and know that any form they fill out on your website is secure. When Google sends your visitor a bold red notification before sending them to your website, it does not generate a lot of consumer confidence. Here is how you can use SSL and other plugins to instill more trust in your visitors.

SSL Security

Before going all out, check the type of certificate you need. For hosting content on different platforms, you may need different SSL certificates.

The certificate is usually offered by the company providing hosting services for your website, but you can also install the certificate yourself depending on the server in use.

You can go for the expensive and completely customizable HTTPS implementation. Alternatively, there are services like Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt that provide free SSL certificates. Make sure that you stay up to date on Google’s stand on these certificates. For eg. it does not trust certificates issued by Symantec.

Updated Plugins

Data thieves find vulnerabilities in systems and exploit them to get inside the network. Old plugins are a rife target for hackers. So, your business website should regularly review the plugins in use. Every new update should be installed and if a plugin does not provide regular updates, it should be promptly replaced.

Employing CDN

Overwhelming a site with a DDoS attack is one of the most common modus operandi of hackers. As the servers handle the abnormal spike in traffic, they gain access to the sensitive information. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) detects such spikes and puts up a counter.

Final Thoughts

Data privacy is as important is important: if you have a website it must be secure. 

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How to Secure a Website: A Simple Guide to Website Security

Must Ask Questions When Hiring an SEO Company

Setting Up Facebook Audiences
“Setting Up Audiences” for Facebook Ads

Facebook has proven itself to be a gold mine for businesses to reach out to their customers. They key to the gold mine is choosing to promote your business to the right audience. That is much easier said than done. When you ask yourself who needs a house cleaning service? The answer can be everybody who lives in a house. Facebook has 1 billion active users daily. You will need one big marketing budget if that’s how you target. You need to sharpen your focus to market your cleaning service more effectively to your audiences.

What’s the Difference?

You have to understand that your audience is usually not coming to Facebook searching for a business. This is not like Google Ads where the intent is already there. They are on Facebook to socialize first and buy later. Keep that in mind before creating ads and choosing your audiences on Facebook.

Type of Audiences

To pick the audience you want to advertise to, go to the Ads Manager on your Business account and select “Audiences”. You can target your audiences in multitude of ways on Facebook. Here are the types of audiences Facebook offers you.

Saved Audiences

Saved audiences on Facebook can be defined using a variety of variables. These include user’s interests, age, gender, location, income bracket, type of device, and more.

The targeting at Facebook is pretty granular. To give you an example, when you choose to target using user location, you can go from as broad as a country to as narrow as an address radius. You can choose everyone on that location to even people who have recently shifted to your location of interest.

Custom Audiences

These are highly valuable customer segment that has already interacted with your cleaning service in some way. Custom Audiences can be created in many ways.

  • Uploading Customer Files
  • Based on Website Traffic Using Facebook Pixel
  • Users Based on Interaction With your App
  • Based on Users Who Interacted With You on Facebook

Lookalike Audiences

As the name suggests, this Facebook features allows you to reach the customer segment that closely resembles your existing customer base. The similar composition of these audiences increases their probability of conversion.

However, bear in mind that to use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook, you should first have set up your Custom Audiences. This is obvious as that will tell Facebook the typical customer composition of your cleaning business.

Powerful is an Understatement

The power of Facebook is apparent in our daily lives. Facebook has carefully set up a marketing platform that allows business to leverage that power to reach their customers effectively. Is you cleaning service making use of this tool?

Related Links

Brand Guidelines Document
Brand Guidelines Document What You Need to Know

Brands are stories that consumers remember and they cannot be created overnight. Brands need time, creative inputs, customer engagement, and continuous strengthening to become memorable.

The most important aspect of building a brand is pushing the same idea across different formats so that it carves a niche in the mind of the consumer. Everything has to be constant – the colors, the logo, the brand story, the feel, and everything in between. A Brand Guidelines Document will help you keep your branding consistent and will save you time in the long run.   

What is a Brand Guidelines Document?

In simple terms, a Brand Guidelines Document is a rulebook for your company’s brand.

The Document contains all the specifics that define your brand, from the shade of red that appears in the background of your brand logo to the tag lines that you use and the fonts used to write them. It tells the reader how you want the world to perceive your brand.

The Brand Guidelines Document provides a complete picture to the reader so that they understand how to create content for your brand. This includes the hex codes to be used, the images that should appear on your website, and more.

Need for a Brand Guidelines Document

Consistency keeps a brand alive and well. A Brand Guidelines Document ensures that consistency. When you are briefing website designers, meeting with content creators, or sharing your vision with social media marketers, you do not have to explain everything about your brand to them. You can just hand them over this document. It not only makes your vision clearer, keeps the instructions uniform, but also saves you a lot of time.

How to Design a Brand Guidelines Document?

Each Document should have these basic components.

  • Brand Story
    Tell the reader what your brand stands for by including the mission, vision, and the core values of the company.
  • Logo Guidelines
    Mention everything from sizes to spacing, to colors for the logo. Don’t forget to mention what the logo shouldn’t be too.
  • Color Scheme
    Every brand has colors it associates itself with. Mention the precise colors and the variations acceptable to the company.
  • Typography
    Give details of the fonts and sizes that you prefer for your brand’s content.
  • Tone of the Brand
    Every brand has a different tone which can vary from business professional to casual, from serious to humorous, and so on. Communicate what yours is.
  • Images
    Include the styles, colors, and imagery that are acceptable for your brand.

Once you have a Brand Guidelines Document in place, it will become easier for you to express your brand better to others. As the brand evolves, so will the document. And the clear format of instructions will also result in much better end product from the vendors you work with. Every single time.

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optimize for mobile
[Attention Cleaning Businesses] Optimize Your Business Website For Mobile: Here’s Why and How

51% of all internet users access the web using their phones only. Not the desktops; not the laptops; just their smartphones.

In fact, global mobile commerce sales are expected to hit a staggering $2.92 trillion this year.

Back home, the number of smartphone users in the US has touched 260 million. What’s more, these people spend an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes per day on their mobile devices, which is more than what they spend watching TV. 

Evidently, people are going mobile, and a massive number of them are using only smartphones to access the internet.

The writing on the wall is clear – either your business goes mobile or ends up being invisible to all those mobile-only potential customers. This is especially true for a company that offers physical services like residential cleaning and relies on the internet to find new customers. 

You already know this. That’s why you have a website – to reach all internet users, whether they are using desktops or smartphones.

But that’s not enough!

It’s not enough that you have a website, it must be optimized for mobile devices.

You’re probably wondering, “What does ‘optimizing for mobile’ mean? Why should I do it? How do I even do that?”

Let’s find the answers to each of those questions.

What’s Mobile Optimization of Websites?

The world of mobile is a complex, ever-changing, and intensely challenging one. There are thousands of devices, with an equally large variety of screen sizes. Your website must be accessible from every one of those devices. 

Also, the behavior of smartphone users your website is vastly different from that of desktop users. They search the website differently; navigate the website differently; and they consume your website content differently. Indeed, the landing pages for mobile devices utilize design elements that maximize conversions for mobile users. 

That’s why most consumer-centric businesses have a separate website for mobile users. Even when the budget is limited, companies take a mobile-first approach and optimize their website for mobile devices. What works spectacularly on mobile usually works great for desktop users too.

Mobile optimization is fine-tuning your website’s design, technology, content, and presentation to give a user-friendly, engaging, and action-oriented experience to your mobile users.

Why Should You Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users?

Mobile internet usage overtook desktop internet usage long ago. But, for a residential cleaning business, mobile users are a goldmine that they cannot afford to ignore. Here’s why:

It’s Where Most of Your Customers Are

Mobile internet search results are highly localized. When users search for key phrases like “house cleaning businesses near me”, “residential cleaning businesses near me”, or “cleaning businesses”, the top search results they get are likely nearby businesses. They check a few of them and pick a business based on various factors.

This experience has taught them that they can find virtually any type of business near them, including house cleaning businesses like yours. That’s why they use mobile devices and that’s why their experience on your website must be seamless. 

It’s Where Referrals Happen

Let’s say you send your existing customers coupons to share with their friends and family, and every time someone redeems the coupons, the referrer gets a $50 gift card. Where do you think those coupons and codes are shared? The answer is WhatsApp, text messages, or other messaging platforms in most cases. They share them via mobile. Therefore, when the referral lands on your website, the site must be optimized to excite, engage, and convert.

Mobile Users Decide Faster

When users are on a laptop looking to hire a business, they perform extensive research and arrive at the best choice. On the other hand, when they are using a smartphone, they make their decisions quickly. What’s more, mobile users tend to purchase more too. 

They use mobile devices to get out of boredom and are “conditioned” to avoid mentally intensive tasks like evaluating, comparing, and shopping. So, they perform those tasks as fast as they can.

Mobile Users Have Low Attention Spans

They do not stay on the same page for long. They hardly take a few seconds to decide whether a page offers any value to them, and if your page doesn’t convert them during those few seconds, you’ve lost a potential customer forever.

How do I Optimize for Mobile?

Now that you know why mobile optimization is critical to your business’s rapid growth and success, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can optimize your website. 

Make it Responsive

Responsive websites seamlessly rearrange the page layout to suit the screen size of the user’s device. This ensures that your mobile users get a fluid-smooth and clean website usage experience. 

When you Optimize for Mobile, Keep it Light

Data speeds continue to be low in several regions across the US despite high internet penetration. If your website doesn’t load on the user’s mobile device within a few seconds, they’ll just close the tab and go to another business’s website. Therefore, each of your website’s pages must be lightweight and must load on the user’s devices quickly, even on a slow connection.

Optimize Images

Several tools allow you to reduce the file size of the images without substantially compromising their resolution or quality. Use them to make the images on your website lighter.

Flash is a Big No

Don’t use flash as a principle. It’s dead, even for desktop users. In the case of mobile users, they may not even have a plugin to run Flash. So, avoid using it.

The Fat Finger Design

Design your website’s buttons for the fat fingers. This helps avoid accidental clicks and offers a smoother experience to users. 

Use Mobile Keywords

That’s right, mobile users must be targeted with a very different set of keywords. Most mobile users perform searches using voice input. That means the keywords must have a natural sound to them.

Local is the New Black

As mentioned before, most mobile users look for businesses nearby. So, optimize your website content for local searches. 

Separate URLs or Mobile-first

Google has announced that it predominantly uses the mobile version of your website for indexing your site content. That’s why you must have at least separate URLs for your mobile-friendly webpages. Or better, follow a mobile-first approach that emphasizes mobile experience over desktop experience.

Final Thoughts about how to optimize for mobile

With more than half of your potential customers being mobile users, it’s critical that your website offers a brilliant experience to them. If not, act now and create a killer mobile-friendly website.

To know more about how your residential cleaning business website can be optimized to attract, engage, and convert pre-qualified, high-converting potential customers, get in touch with us.

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A/B Testing
You Must Use A/B Testing

Are you Spending Money on the Best Version of Your Ads? You Can Test Right Now.

Advertising is the fuel that keeps pushing your business forward. Let me rephrase that – “Right advertising is the fuel that keeps pushing your business forward”. Whether you are pursuing Google Ads, investing in Facebook ads, or reaching out via emails, you have to be effective in your message. But, how do you know that your ad is doing what you intend it to?

The answer is using A/B or Split Testing. Never heard of it? Let’s change that today.

What is A/B Testing or Split Testing?

In the simplest terms, A/B or split testing is nothing but a statistical test to compare two or more variants of the same entity. The entity can be a digital asset like a website or an email, or a pay-per-click ad. The results of the test help determine which version delivers better performance but also allow you to understand if the difference between the two versions holds any statistical significance.

Here is an example to understand it better.

You have created an ad, and you want to see what CTA text will work better. Should you use “Contact Us” or should you use “Let Us Help”. You have defined a comparison, and you are ready to test.

Step 1: Pick the Variable

Zero-in on the variable that you want to change. In this particular example, the variable is the CTA text.

Step 2: Define a Hypothesis

You have to distill what you want the ad to do for you. Do you need to increase the clickthrough rate or a call for an inquiry or something else? This will be your criterion for the success or failure of the hypothesis.

“Changing the CTA text from “Contact Us” to “Let Us Help” will increase CTR by 5%.”

Step 3: Split Your Traffic

Now you have to decide on how you want to split the traffic between the two ads. A fair comparison can be made with a 50-50 split. But, that is not necessary. What is required is that the split generates statistically significant results.

Step 4: Analyze Results

You have to give the test ample time to give reliable results. This can range from 10 days to a couple of weeks. If you get mixed results, you may want to change the variables of the test. Many be the CTA text is not impacting the ad performance, and you need to test the font size, ad design, or something else.

Check the Performance of Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Emails

Google Ads

Google Adwords offers a feature called “Campaign Drafts & Experiments”. It allows you to create a Draft, so that you can run the test or “experiment” without effecting your original campaign. When the Draft is used for the test, it compares its performance to the original campaign while reporting results.

First Step: Select the campaign for which you want to run the test

Second Step: Choose the “Drafts” tab and click on “Create New” and name your Draft

Step 3: Pick the elements you want to change and click “Apply”. The changes are automatically saved.

Fourth Step: You can then choose to apply the changes to the original campaign or run them as an experiment

Step 5: You can then track the performance on the dashboard or use AdWords Script to generate an exhaustive report.

Facebook Ads

As you get testing, you may want to test every element from the images to the text to the headers, and more. However, that would need you to create multiple ads and also require more time to run. So choose wisely.

Step 1: Go to the main table of the Ads Manager that lists all the active campaigns on your account. Choose the desired campaign.

Step 2: Locate the toolbar above the Ads Manager and click on A/B Test

Step 3: Pick whether you want to duplicate a campaign or compare two existing campaigns. Then, choose from up to 5 variables to test. You can then schedule the period for the test

Step 4: Decide on the criterion to determine a winner. For example, it can be the cost per lead.

Step 5: Analyze the results once the test period is complete.

Emails

The procedure to run the A/B test for an email campaign of your house cleaning service depends on the service you are using to run the campaign. The most prominent names for email campaigns are Mail Chimp, Active Campaign, and Campaign Monitor. They have incredibly user-friendly A/B test solutions for their customers.

If you want, you can run a manual A/B test too. All you have to do is create two versions of the email, divide your email list in half, and send. Then, create an excel to record the response, and analyze it to find the better performer.

Why Do You Need It?

A/B testing or split testing is a litmus test that tells you whether your ad is performing as per your expectations. Here is why you need it.

Correct Your Bias

The assumptions you make while creating, let’s say an ad, are based on your understanding of consumer behavior. But, your customers may behave differently than what you expect from them. They can do it consciously or unconsciously, rationally or irrationally. So, these tests allow you to capture exactly what your customers like rather than guessing or relying on intuition.

Save on Marketing Costs

Pay-per-click ads can quickly add up to your marketing costs. So, when an individual clicks on the ad, you want them to convert. By running these tests, you significantly add to the probability of the “right” person clicking on the ad.

Beat the Competition

When you can effectively reach your customers and optimize your costs, it puts you in a better position to compete. You are infusing efficiency into your marketing efforts and constantly improving your performance to come out on top.

Use it Well

Your residential house cleaning business faces a lot of competition as is, and you need to bring on your A-game. A/B or split testing allows you to do just that.

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