SEO for Cleaning Companies
Here is my comprehensive guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for cleaning companies. SEO agencies (like mine) charge thousands of dollars per month to perform the following processes.
In this article, I will explain every step of the process so that those who have the time and drive to do it can also learn it.
Written by George Leon
What is SEO for Cleaning Companies?
SEO for cleaning companies is the optimization of a cleaning company’s website to get found on Google and other search engines when people search for cleaning services.
The ads often found on the top of the search results page do not constitute SEO. These paid ads fall under “Pay Per Click” (PPC) marketing. In contrast, SEO does not require you to pay Google, or anyone else, to get your website on the first page of search results.
Map results are usually below placed below paid ads. The map results appear whenever Google determines that a particular search has local intent, meaning that the searcher is interested in local businesses.
The search results below the map pack are the focus of SEO. These are called “organic listings”.
They are called organic because businesses don’t pay to have their website there. Instead, Google uses its search algorithm to rank web pages based on their relevance to the search query and their E.A.T. (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).
A search query is the word or string of words that a user types into the search box. Another name for this is a “keyword”.
You can rank your cleaning company’s website for search queries like “cleaning businesses near me” by optimizing it to contain E.A.T. signals and making it highly relevant to the cleaning industry.
Your company will receive a steady stream of leads without paying a cent if you rank on page one of Google for these relevant search queries.
But be warned, getting Google to rank your website at the top isn’t easy. This guide will indeed show you how to do it, and if you follow these steps, you will rank at the top. However, implementing these steps requires a lot of effort.
When you consider that only ten websites appear on the organic section of the first page of Google for any search query, you can begin to see how difficult it is to rank on page one.
And to show a broader range of websites, Google reserves a few of these tenacious placements for directory-style websites like Yelp and HomeAdvisor.
In your area, there are likely countless cleaning companies vying for one of these top spots. These spots are usually won by large cleaning franchises with large SEO budgets. But with the advice on this page, you’ll be able to outcompete them and get your company on top.
Step 1: Produce Relevant Content
Relevance is the most important aspect of SEO. Google must display highly relevant pages for the search query to satisfy the searcher.
In SEO, your website’s homepage can’t do all the heavy lifting for you because one page can’t be relevant enough to satisfy all of your target keywords. Your website should have many pages, each dedicated to a different topic so that Google can choose the most relevant one for any given search.
Geo-targeted Service Pages
For cleaning businesses, topics refer to services combined with locations. For example, if someone searches for “Office Cleaning Long Beach California”, Google will show pages that are specifically about office cleaning services in Long Beach, California.
If you’re a cleaning contractor in Los Angeles and serve the Long Beach area, don’t think adding the keyword “Office Cleaning Long Beach California” to your homepage will cut it. Instead, you need a page on your website dedicated to this topic to be deemed highly relevant in Google’s eyes.
You will need a lot of pages since your target audience is searching for various services from different locations.
For example, your service area may include the 20 nearby suburbs or small cities in your city’s metro. And you might offer ten types of cleaning services. Your website will require 200 pages to cover every type of qualified search (20 cities x 10 services).
As I warned you, SEO is no easy task.
Start with the most important cities. I usually create pages for cities with a population of at least 30,000 or more for my clients.
Common Cleaning Services
For cleaning companies, the following are the most common services that I create pages for:
- House cleaning
- Move out cleaning
- Apartment cleaning
- Recurring cleaning
- Event cleaning
- Housekeeping services
- Refrigerator cleaning
- Oven cleaning
- Office and Commercial cleaning
It’s Better to Have More Services
A common objection I hear from my clients is not wanting to create pages for all of their services.
I commonly hear from cleaning contractors that they only want to focus and “market” their highest profit services and don’t want to be bothered with other types of jobs.
Creating fewer pages and thereby less topical relevance is not what Google rewards. The companies that win in the search results are those highly relevant to the cleaning industry in general.
Creating content (i.e., website pages) for as many related services as possible will increase your topical authority and give your entire website a boost.
You might want to niche down, but you’ll find it harder to compete on Google, where topically authoritative companies are rewarded.
It is still possible to rank a website all about apartment cleaning on page one for your target keywords. I do this for many of my clients, but it takes longer to achieve due to the disadvantage in topical authoritativeness.
Content that is search engine optimized must meet the following requirements:
- The content should contain original ideas instead of rephrasing what competitors say.
- The content must be well thought out and logically structured to make it easy to read.
- The content needs to be engaging to achieve a low bounce rate (the percentage of website traffic that leaves your page without taking an action such as filling out a form or clicking on your phone button).
The most important reason to hire a professional sales copywriter is to increase your page’s conversion rate. Traffic is wasted on pages that are not engaging or that don’t reflect your company well.
The key to a high conversion rate is good copy. Improved copy can double your conversion rate, resulting in doubled sales revenue.
Pro-tip #1: When hiring a copywriter, just hire a great copywriter; don’t look for an “SEO writer”. There are a lot of services that offer you so-called “SEO optimized content” but what they are doing is simply stuffing your keywords into the content unnaturally.
A copywriter’s job should be to create sales copy that is as persuasive as possible so that the highest conversion rate is achieved.
Pro-tip: #2: Keep your content short and to the point. Ranking better by writing more words is a myth.
In order to rank well on Google, you don’t have to make your page lengthy as long as it fully covers the topc. In fact, it should be as concise as possible without unnecessary fluff. The length of my service pages is usually about 1000 words.
Mega Pro-tip: You can reuse a lot (but not all) of your copy.
There is a common SEO myth that you shouldn’t have “duplicate content” on your website. While you shouldn’t copy content from other people’s websites, repeating content on your own pages is not just acceptable; it’s a common and necessary practice for large websites.
The repeated sections are called “global elements”. Global elements should be coded into your website so that updating a global element in one place will update it everywhere it appears on your website.
If you use the native WordPress block editor, global elements are called “reusable blocks”. If you use a theme, they may use another term such as “Global Sections”, “Site Part”, etc.
Copywriters can be hired at the following places:
- Groups for copywriters on Facebook
- Search for copywriting agencies on Google
You can also hire us to do the copywriting for you; we offer copywriting services. Sure, I may be a bit biased, but we have a lot of experience writing conversion-optimized sales copy for cleaning companies.
Step 2: Develop Supporting Content That Links to Your Service Pages
There should be more informational pages on your website than service pages.
Start a cleaning blog and regularly post trade-relevant information.
Be sure to choose topics that will interest your target audience (homeowners).
The articles can include DIY cleaning tips, favorite cleaning products, home maintenance guides, and general articles about your service area.
Including these informational blog articles boosts your website’s topical authority.
However, the most significant benefit they provide is interlinking. Interlinking is when you link to pages on your website from other pages on your website. When a page is interlinked, Google perceives the linked page as more valuable and gives it more authority.
Your articles should be interlinked with each other and with your service pages. You should place the links naturally within the content, not in the sidebar or footer.
Step 3: Conduct On-Page Optimization
Here’s how I optimize pages for search engine rankings:
1. Guidelines for Images
- Choose the right size. To get on Google Discover, your featured image and main images must be at least 1200 pixels wide.
- Use original images. Your photos should be original to give Google new content. Avoid using stock images or videos. You should use pictures of your own cleaning jobs.
- Use alt tags as intended. Alt tags shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords. The purpose of alt tags is to clearly describe the image’s content.
- Use Image A.I. Rather than cramming your Alt tags with keywords, incorporate some photos where the keywords are automatically picked up when scanning the photo with Google Lens.
- Include graphics or illustrations. By doing this, you increase your page’s dwell time and appear more professional. We routinely include custom illustrations to improve the ranking of a page.
2. Guidelines for Headings
Ensure that HTML Heading tags are used correctly. While the organization of a web document may not be a direct ranking factor, it can help Google understand the content better.
There should only be one H1 tag per page.
H2 tags serve as the headings for your page’s main topics, so you should have multiple per page.
An H3 tag can only follow an H2 or another H3. Accordingly, H4s can only follow H3s or other H4s.
Although you can technically use H5s and H6s, using them often indicates that your page’s structure is difficult to read. Therefore, I rarely use them.
3. Tips to Improve Text Readability
Use these tips to increase your page’s dwell time and conversion rate:
- Avoid making your text areas too wide. The recommended line length (not to be confused with line spacing) for text is 50-75 characters, or about 700-800 pixels, depending on the size of your font.
- Use a larger font size. The optimal size will depend on your font, but we usually use 18-20px on desktop and 17-19px on mobile.
- Use appropriate line spacing. The line spacing used by most UX designers is between 130% to 180% (1.3 – 1.8).
- Ensure that the text contrasts well with the color of the background. I use WebAim’s contrast checker for this.
- The most readable text is left-aligned. I stopped using center-aligned text on my pages.
Pro-Tip: Use formatting to break up your text. Avoid using walls of text. Make your content easier to read by including lists, short paragraphs, tables, and boxes for Pro-Tips, Key-Takeaways, and other information you want to emphasize.
4. Provide FAQ Schema
Your blog posts and most important service pages should include an FAQ section. Don’t use the same questions and answers on other parts of your website.
Incorporate FAQ schema markup in your page’s HTML. Restate the question in your answer to answer the question as directly as possible. This will make it easier for Google to understand your answers and increase your chances of winning a featured snippet on the search page.
An FAQ section can be beneficial in the following ways:
- FAQs appear below the meta description of your page in search results. As a result, your page is given more space in search results, resulting in a higher click-through rate (CTR).
- You increase your chance of getting a Featured Snippet for a particular search query or a People Also Ask (PAA) placement.
- It could directly improve your page rankings.
5. Insert Your Own Youtube Video
You should create a YouTube video for each blog post and your website’s most important service pages. Upload the Youtube video to your company’s Youtube channel (see step 5 for more on social media profiles).
After it’s uploaded, add a link to the original post or service page URL in your video’s description.
The video’s content doesn’t need to be an exact match to the page’s content; it just needs to be related. It’s also possible to reuse videos on some pages, but having as many original videos as possible is better.
Finally, don’t stress about making the video fancy. You can always replace it later on if your page starts getting lots of traffic.
Step 4: Improve Your E.A.T.
After relevant content, Google uses E.A.T as the next metric to determine which websites will best satisfy the searcher.
Read on to learn how you can show Google that your cleaning business processes Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Your About Page Should Help Google Understand Who You Are
It is common for cleaning businesses to skip making an about page. And I can understand why; we know from click tracking and heatmap software that the about page doesn’t get as many views as your other main pages.
However, an about page is important for two reasons:
First, it’s one of the seven industry-standard pages that most established businesses have (the others are revealed in the next section). As a result, Google often displays a business’s about page alongside its homepage when people search the company’s name (referred to as branded search).
An absence of an about page indicates to Google that your business is not established and therefore not authoritative.
Second, Google uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to read your about page and learn about your business.
It is recommended that your about page contains concise, factual sentences that Google’s NLP can understand. Here’s an example paragraph:
ABC Cleaners is a cleaning company based out of Miami, Florida, specializing in residential and commercial cleaning. Founded in 2009 by Jane Smith, ABC Cleaners has won multiple awards, including the 2015 Miami Super Service Award and the 2017 Best of HomeAdvisor Award.
Your About page should also include:
- Links to any authoritative websites that mention your cleaning company. These websites should be relevant either by focusing on the cleaning industry, your location, or both (such as service directories like Yelp and Better Business Bureau.)
- A brief history of your company, including the date your business started.
- A brief introduction to the company’s founders and leadership team.
- Your cleaning company’s mission statement or values.
- A brief overview of your services, even if you already have a dedicated Services page.
Have the other six industry-standard website pages.
Your website should have the following pages to demonstrate that it is as credible as the top cleaning companies:
1. Contact Page
The following information should be included on the contact page:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- a map of your service area
- a map of your physical office location if you have one
- social media accounts
- a contact form.
Some cleaning companies are concerned that displaying their email addresses will lead to an increase in spam. Therefore, I recommend configuring your email settings to filter out a lot of spam.
I also suggest using an email provider great at filtering spam by default, such as Google Workspace.
2. FAQ Page
Cleaning clients often ask the same questions:
- Which areas do you serve?
- What’s your turnaround time?
- What kind of products do you use?
- What are your payment options?
- What do I need to do to prepare before you start the job?
Make sure to use FAQ schema markup on your page’s HTML to make it easy for Google to understand. Also, remember to use concise and factual language to take advantage of Google’s Natural Language Processing.
3. Jobs page.
You can also call it a Careers page. Despite hiring constantly, many small cleaning companies don’t have this page. Having one is a simple way to gain trust from clients.
Include your open positions and a brief description of each. You can also include your company values to help prospective applicants learn about your company culture.
4. Services page
This is simply a list of your various services. Each service can have a link to its own dedicated page, but this is not necessary.
Include a name, photo, and description for each service. Using your own photo is better than using an icon because it proves that you’ve actually done this type of work.
5. Gallery page
This page acts as a visual portfolio of your work. It’s easy to make; just add pictures of your jobs.
If you want to create something that’s more engaging for your visitors, you can build a fully-fledged project gallery where they can click on a project and see photos for the various stages of that specific project.
You can also include filters so visitors can filter projects by service type.
Another popular gallery option is adding “Before-and-After” sliders.
I recommend Termageddon to my clients because their policies are automatically updated.
Use our contact form page if you would like a discount on Termageddon.
Complete Your Google Business Profile
Ensure that all the tabs of your Google Business Profile account are filled out.
You should get as many client reviews as you can on your profile. Reviews do not directly affect page rankings, but they do increase click-through rates and get you more customers.
It’s also helpful to have clients leave reviews on other platforms because Google often shows them in your brand’s knowledge panel. Knowledge panels are information boxes that often appear on Google when someone searches for entities (people, places, organizations, or things).
Have a Real and Consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number)
By having consistent details, such as your company name, address, and primary phone number, you can help Google connect all your online profiles. Maintaining consistent hours of operation across all your online properties and social media accounts is also important.
Having a real physical address is preferable to a PO box or a virtual office address. In many cities, renting a small office room costs under $800 a month, and it’s a great place to meet with clients and vendors.
Or consider renting a small warehouse to store all of your equipment and conduct employee training. You can rent a small warehouse for under $2000/month in many cities.
If renting an office or warehouse sounds expensive, don’t worry about it. It’s just one small factor, and you shouldn’t spend the money unless you see it providing other benefits to your company outside of SEO.
Have a Fast-Loading Website
Google has confirmed that a website’s page experience signals are a search ranking factor. These page experience signals are mainly related to loading time.
However, many SEOs have noted that it is a relatively weak ranking factor. Although it may have a low direct impact on rankings, loading times greatly affect conversion rates and user experiences.
These conversions indirectly boost rankings by reducing pogo-sticking and building your brand’s reputation, resulting in more branded searches. More branded searches result in higher brand authority.
Here are some tips for building a fast-loading website that passes Google’s PageSpeed Insights Score:
- If using WordPress, don’t use a page builder on top of it (such as Divi, Elementor, etc.)
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- Use a fast WordPress hosting provider such as Cloudways, Kinsta, and WP Engine.
- Use a caching plugin.
- Use an optimization plugin. I use Perfmatters.
- Only use well-coded and lightweight plugins. For example, I use Fluent Forms for creating forms because they have the fastest loading forms.
I do much more to give my clients a 100 mobile score on Google Pagespeed Insights. But the above tips should get you close.
Many small businesses have naively purchased backlinks or “citations” on platforms like Fiverr and then wonder why their rankings don’t budge or, even worse, drop.
So stop looking at useless metrics like “DA scores” or the hundreds of backlinks your competitors have. Just focus on the following natural backlinks that any legitimate business should have.
Social Media Profiles
New businesses acquire their first natural backlinks from their social media profiles. If you haven’t already, create a business profile on the following platforms and add your website’s URL to the profile description or website field.
- Google Business Profile
Include links to your social media profiles on your website to make it easier for Google to associate these profiles with your company.
You can include the links on your website’s footer, about page, or contact page. It’s best not to put the links in the header of your website since then someone might actually click on them and leave your site. Taking your visitors off your site decreases your conversion rate.
I also recommend posting content to your business’s social media profiles at least once per month. You can use the same content on all your social media profiles. And create at least one Youtube video per year.
Industry Reference Sites
Almost every industry has large informational or directory-style websites. I call these Industry Reference Sites.
An industry reference site is an authoritative website in a particular industry. You can find industry reference sites by searching your target search queries and omitting direct competitors.
For example, if you search for cleaning companies in your area, you may come across Angie’s List or Expertise. These sites are not direct competitors; instead, they compile information about various cleaning companies (among other industries) and are therefore highly relevant to the cleaning industry since people use them to find cleaners.
Make a list of these websites. Be sure to include only the top-ranking websites (pages 1 through 3). You don’t want to get listed on spammy, low-traffic websites, just the top sites that Google is already rewarding.
For my cleaning clients in the U.S., these are usually the industry reference sites for their services and locations:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Beaureu
After compiling your list, create profiles on as many of these sites as you can. Most will be free, but some may charge a small fee.
Don’t forget to add your website link to your profile to get the backlink. And just like with your social media profiles, include links back to these reference sites from your website. These are best placed on your About page, as I mentioned earlier.
These are the closest industry reference websites because they are topically related to your services and location.
To take things a step further, find and get backlinks from websites related to the cleaning industry in general or to your location in general. Remember to only focus on websites that already rank well on Google. Don’t try to get listed on every little blog about your city or cleaning.
Find out what backlinks some of your top competitors have in common. If the top-ranking pages for your target search queries all share a backlink from a particular website, it’s probably a backlink you should have too.
My tool of choice for finding these shared backlinks is Ahrefs’ Link Intersect feature. This is a paid feature. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any free alternatives that work.
If you have Ahrefs, go to the Link Intersect tool and type in a few of your top competitors for one of your target search queries.
Filter the results by the highest amount of link targets available. For example, if the number is 4, that means some backlinks are shared between 4 of the websites you entered. These backlinks will be the highest priority for you to get, so make a list of them.
Then, filter by the next highest number of available link targets (3 in my example). These backlinks should be prioritized after the ones with 4 link targets.
Repeat the process until you get all the backlinks that your competitors have.
Don’t want to buy Ahrefs? Use our contact form to ask nicely for a free link intersect report.
As these backlinks are the most difficult to get, I only focus on them when my client is already on page one but just cannot pass the top cleaning franchises or directories.
The editorial backlink is a link that is naturally placed from an authoritative and relevant website. The following are examples of editorial backlinks:
- You write a guide, infographic, or other media about a particular cleaning topic, and another website uses it as a source in one of their articles.
- You get interviewed or asked for a quote for another website’s article.
- You get featured in a roundup article.
Publish cleaning-related articles regularly on your website to boost its topical authority. By doing so, you will naturally gain some editorial backlinks if your content is worth linking to.
It is more likely that other websites will cite your articles as a source if you have a great content writer for your website.
Sharing your articles with editors at other websites will speed up the process of getting links. Let them know you have a great source they can use to provide more value to their readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which backlinks should a cleaning company website get?
Cleaning business websites should get backlinks from their social media profiles, industry reference sites, and topically relevant publications.
Should cleaning company websites have a blog?
Yes, cleaning companies should have blogs to build topical authority and increase trust. Cleaning companies should blog about the cleaning trade, including DIY cleaning tips for homeowners.
What kind of pages should a cleaning company website have?
Should I hire an SEO agency for my cleaning company?
Unfortunately, most SEO agencies don’t know the current strategies to rank a cleaning business on Google. I regularly talk with business owners that paid SEO agencies for months or years with little to show for it.
If your company is just starting out, I recommend doing your own SEO by following the advice on this page. If you need help along the way, consider my hourly SEO consulting service.
If you run a large cleaning company and have the budget to hire an SEO expert to fully manage your SEO campaign, let’s get in touch.
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