In recent years search engines like Google and Bing as well as social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter have rolled out a whole host of refinements to the way they deliver local results.
We’ve covered some of these algorithm changes on our blog. This evolution of the search results has come about in response to more and more people searching for services with a local focus. If someone makes a search for a domestic carpet cleaner, it would be useless to show results featuring business too far away to provide the service.
Unfortunately, even if your cleaning company has been in business a very long time, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to pop up at the top of the list when someone nearby searches for services you offer. There’s going to be some stiff competition for those top spots and, whilst it is the best way to make long term improvements in search performance, SEO can take a little while to kick in. For a lot of cleaning companies we’ve worked with, a short term boost to generating fast sales can be extremely useful. This is where pay per click advertising, or PPC, comes in.
PPC advertising is a fantastic means for cleaning companies to get their business in front of more local searchers. If it’s done right it can be a very cost effective way to find new customers. PPC services can be targeted very specifically, meaning cleaning businesses can ensure they’re seen by only those people who are most likely to use their services. Since budget is only used when someone makes a click, it’s very important to ensure that your ads are being show to those people most likely to convert into customers. How do you do that? You’ll need to make sure your ads are set up properly.
Having worked with hundreds of cleaning companies, we thought we would put together some of our knowledge into a few PPC tips that could help cleaning companies get started with PPC advertising.
Choosing the most effective platform for PPC conversions
There are a few different PPC platforms suitable for cleaning companies, all work slightly differently and can get a business in front of different types of people. If you’re new to PPC the easiest way to get started is to focus on one and avoid spreading yourself too thin. How do you choose a platform? Well, it depends on what marketing materials you already have, your budget, how quickly you need results and what type of people you’d like to reach. We’ll break it down a little to make it easy.
Facebook for PPC advertising
- Broadly speaking, ads on Facebook work best with really eye catching pictures, so if you’ve got some impressive before and after shots of your cleaning work this might be a good place to use them.
- If you want to grow your Facebook page you may also get a little kick back in the number of likes you have from this campaign.
- Facebook offers a wide range of advertising formats for you to use, so take some time to acquaint yourself with the options, and test, test, test once you start using specific advert formats to see if you can improve performance.
Google adwords for PPC advertising
- Google AdWords has been very effective for cleaning businesses looking to increase leads and sales, since it will show your ads to people who are actively searching for services you offer.
- You’re likely to find customers quickly with Google AdWords, but keep an eye on your campaign or the costs can mount up, if it’s not set up properly you could be paying a lot more than you need to.
Bing adcenter for PPC advertising
- Bing Ads can be both a cheap and effective alternative if your customers are typically a little older.
- Bing comes pre installed as the default search engine on all windows PCs, older searchers who are less tech savvy tend to stick with it, so although Bing is not in the same league as Google, it can still be an effective PPC platform.
Optimising keywords for more effective PPC
The wording you use in your ads is crucial to getting them in front of people most likely to become paying customers. We refer to the service related wording in your ads as your keywords. You’ll want to get your keywords exactly right if your PPC campaign is going to bring in new customers quickly and effectively. Think about exactly what people might be looking for, for example, a business might look for ‘office carpet cleaning’, or ‘commercial carpet cleaning’ rather than just ‘carpet cleaning’.
You can dig into this a lot deeper with keyword research tools like adwords keyword tool, so if you need a little help then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Using locations in your keywords is a really good way to target locations that your competition might have missed, making for a more cost effective campaign. Getting these right will mean you can save a lot of money. For example if you are a carpet cleaner then you wouldn’t want your ad showing for “DIY carpet cleaning” as people searching for this are much less likely to pay for your services (even if a small percentage would pay).
Targeting PPC ads for higher conversion rates
Cleaning company PPC also needs to be targeted properly in order to reach those most likely to book services. Different platforms offer different targeting options so wherever you’re looking to carry out your PPC you’ll want to dig into them and make sure you understand how to set them up properly. Geo-targeting is critical. This is not the same as using place names in your keywords, this is the geographic boundary of where your ads are shown. There’s no point showing an ad in Scotland if you’re based in London and only do jobs within a few hours drive.
Think about where you competition is and target areas that you think you’re in with a chance of reaching people, targeting areas 50 miles away is less likely to be effective unless you’re running a very large scale commercial cleaning company. You can also fine tune things like the time of day your ads are shown, and on Facebook even the occupation of those who will see your ads. There are a lot of options to play with here, if they’re overwhelming at first just break it down by thinking of who your customers are and how this would affect their behaviour. Retired people might be more likely to search during the day, whilst working people could be more active during evenings and weekends, for example.
Learning about your audience for PPC optimisation
Different platforms offer different ways of gathering data, but wherever your cleaning company chooses to run a PPC campaign it’s important to collect and use it. Conversion tracking can be a little tricky to set up for Google AdWords, you’ll need to ensure its linked up to your website and your Google Analytics, but once it’s up and running you’ll know exactly how your campaign is working.
By learning more about the performance of your ads you can fine tune your PPC for better results. Sometimes the ads that get your more customers aren’t necessarily the cheapest ones, you’ll need to figure out which ones are working and put more budget into them. On Facebook, the adverts manager can give you a mind boggling amount of statistics about your ads including really useful information on the types of people who respond to them. Using this data you can target even more specific groups of people. This optimisation is really important to ensure your PPC campaign brings in new customers quickly.
Using PPC with SEO to increase revenue long term
While PPC is a very useful tool for cleaning companies who need to find new customers quickly, don’t grow to depend on it. Running alongside any PPC campaign should be a longer term strategy to build up your organic, unpaid visibility across search engines and social platforms, so that these channels will be strong enough to get you in front of enough searchers to generate regular, reliable business, and you can then begin to reduce your budget spend on PPC and continue to grow the business. One way to build long term organic traffic and lead generation is with SEO which is what we’ve been doing for cleaning companies for over a decade.
We hope these tips have been helpful. If you’d like a little more hands on expertise towards your ad campaigns, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. As having worked with many cleaning companies across the country we’ve had plenty of experience working on SEO and PPC campaigns for growing businesses in this market sector, so rest assured you’re in extremely safe hands working with Alloy Marketing for your cleaning company PPC management starting from £75 per month.