Here’s number 3 in the Breakthesal #YorkshireHour website review series. For those not familiar with the concept each week a business is chosen from the Yorkshire Hour hashtag on Twitter and their website reviewed from both an SEO and a general usability/conversion perspective.
From that either myself or Scott put together a quick blog post with our thoughts on it. This week we’re looking at Wharfe Clean, a carpet, upholstery, tiling and grout cleaner based in Huby which is pretty much halfway between Harrogate and Leeds. Their website is linked above and you can follow the owner, Darren, on twitter here – @wharfeclean
As per usual we Googled the company name to see what came up. You can see the results in the image below (click to enlarge).
It’s always a great start when the 1st page is dominated by mentions of the company, you can instantly see the Wharfe Clean Facebook page, their listing in various carpet cleaning directories and the Yell profile.
There’s no way a searcher who’s searching directly can get lost, and there’s no competitors who can potentially steal clicks/ business away from them.
No real improvements needed there other than tweaking the snippet and keeping an eye on what ranks for the branded search.
It’s almost impossible to overlook SEO these days, most businesses are actively undertaking some kind of campaign to make sure their website ranks for key phrases and is found by relevant traffic.
Enquiries are precious and whilst a business should never rely on Google alone, ranking on the first page for the right keywords can often be very profitable. With that in mind, what could be done to help improve the Wharfe Clean site from an SEO perspective?
Wharfe Clean are clearly targeting local search phrases such as “carpet cleaner in Harrogate” so it’s important that the website gives off the right signals to inform Google they’re operating in that area.
One simple way of doing this is making sure the companies name, address and phone number are present in key areas of the site. Ideally this will sit on the footer of each page like we’ve done in the example above.
As discussed in one of our previous blog posts the address could and should take advantage of Schema Markup.
The existing site is only 6 pages yet all title and meta data are exactly the same for each one. These need changing so each page has a unique title and meta description otherwise they’re needlessly competing against one and other and aren’t going to rank for any relevant search phrases.
We’d also recommend removing the pipe bar from the meta description, those are precious characters and can be used to entice users to click through so they’ve got to be used wisely.
Static sites do and can rank for in the search engines but often you stand a much better chance of doing so if you have a website that is frequently updated. Even though Matt Cutts states not all websites need fresh content to rank, Google is constantly pushing more towards trusted content and authorship markup meaning it’s almost becoming a pre requisite to have a website that delivers fresh and interesting content.
It’s important to note that the addition of a news section here wouldn’t solely be for Google, it’s also important for potential customers. If they can see your company is active, working on lots of projects both commercially and domestically then instantly their perception of the business goes up and so do enquiries.
Sometimes it’s important to forget Google for a minute and just think, how can I make my website the best it can possibly be. In other words, if it only got one visit a month, how can you make sure you turn that one person into a paying customer. We have a couple of suggestions…
Wharfe Clean have a great presence on Facebook, it’s regularly updated with pictures of jobs and before & after shots. However this is wasted solely being posted on their as it has a very limited audience.
Images and updates like the ones on Facebook need to be incorporated into the overall site more as they’re such a great selling point. Something like a “Case Studies” section or just as blog posts would increase the number of pages on the site (useful for SEO) and convey trust to the end user.
Facebook is great for giving existing customers timely reminders that their carpets are due for a clean, but it’s not the greatest platform for finding new ones as the only people who see updates are the customers who already like you.
It’s fair to say that most people aren’t going to share carpet pictures with their friends so whilst it’s still worth posting them on Facebook, it make sense to also find a way to use them on the Wharfe Clean site to greater effect.
The same goes for the YouTube videos, those videos clearly show a carpet going from filthy to sparkling in no time at all. Seeing is believing for many customers yet they’re not embedded on the site for all to see. Instead Wharfe Clean are reliant on users clicking through to YouTube to watch; leaving the site and potentially getting distracted in the process.
In the cleaning industry word of mouth is bound to be king so it’s definitely worthwhile to collect testimonials from customers and display them prominently across the site. If the testimonials are accompanied with pictures then that’s even better. Images help convey trust so they’re definitely worthwhile using.
As well as putting one prominently on the homepage (or a scrolling feature), it’d be worthwhile to create a dedicated page for testimonials that can be updated periodically.
The current site doesn’t have an about page and in most cases customers expect to find one. Here it’d be great to see a bit about the owner, a picture of the Wharfe Clean Van (trust factor) and the history behind the company. This can then easily lead through to the services section.
As a potential customer you want to see who’s going to be visiting my property, what vehicle should you look out for and basically do you think your carpets are going to be cleaned properly? Obviously a customer isn’t going to know for certain but it’s up to the Wharfe Clean website to convince them that they’re better than the competition.
Another plus point about the site is that it has Google Analytics installed so it’d be very interesting to see some raw data from the last 6-12 months.
What’s the bounce rate? How many people click onto the YouTube icon? (Requires event tracking) and also how many visits are from mobile phones/tablets? Do domestic users spill something and instantly get on Google with the nearest device? It’d interesting to find out.
You don’t want to become obsessive about traffic statistics but at the same time you don’t want to ignore it either which is why we recommend setting up a monthly or bi monthly dashboard delivered via email that displays some key metrics such as number of visits, number of contact form submissions, top landing pages and a list of the none branded search keywords people used to find the site.
With something like that Wharfe Clean get to see a simple overview of the site and how it’s performing. They’d also be able to know where conversions came from, i.e. is Twitter pulling in enquiries to the website? With that information they can make sure the website is positively working towards the ultimate goal of the business – more cleaning jobs!
Hope you found this interesting and if you want us to take a look at your site then feel free to drop us a line through our contact form or leave a comment below. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to review your site in depth but if your business interests us then we’re happy to help.
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