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Thinking of binning the website


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For the last year or two now, the quality of new business queries from the website has dropped significantly. Much to a point where I have categorically not followed up Google, Facebook and other social media leads as they almost always want the cheapest price, done at the drop of a hat, with no commitment for regular cleans.

On the other hand, telephone, email and text enquiries are almost always excellent leads, probbably because they are recommendations from other customers.

So I am seriously thinking about ditching my website all together, and just keeping my instagram page as an online presence.

Has anyone else done this? And how did you find it.

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It depends on how much you are paying for your site.

.co.uk Domain about £8 a year and basic hosting should only be about £30 a year. So for less than £40 a year you have a site that is an advert for your business and your email address ( I assume you use your domain as email?).

OK so don't promote on FB, Google ads etc as it may not work for you but for me if I ever want a 'trades person' I always check out their website to see if they look professional. If someone doesn't have a website I think they can't really be serious about their business or they are fly by nights?

 

  • Agree 2
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I've never had a website and never really looked at getting one, I'm always at around full capacity (for me and I've been at donkeys years).

The only advertising I've done is professionally sign written my van and it's paid for itself many times over.

It's that plus recommendations and also with all the new startups these days I have to knock on the doors of customers who have moved house rather than wait for the new owners approach me.

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Markyboy 50
5 minutes ago, dmw said:

I've never had a website and never really looked at getting one, I'm always at around full capacity (for me and I've been at donkeys years).

The only advertising I've done is professionally sign written my van and it's paid for itself many times over.

It's that plus recommendations and also with all the new startups these days I have to knock on the doors of customers who have moved house rather than wait for the new owners approach me.

I’m the same as dmw but without the sign written van. I like it Unsign written. 

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I have a web site purely aimed at large commercial, but find people with houses still phone up , we get a lot of enquires from it , but also get a lot of work from referrals and walk ups , I have also been thinking about getting rid of the web site as we don’t need any more work but I do  need to have it for the commercial  , we don’t use any other form of advertising but are very well known in the area so word of mouth brings in most work .

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scottish cleaning service

I get all my new work through Checkatrade and could ditch the website but it only costs a ton a year. You need a website for the van and image so I would never do away with it. Was thinking of binning Checkatrade but I'm staying with them and we are looking at setting up a bird proofing solar panel bit on their site. I did one today then PW the panels and the customer was very happy to get some uninterrupted  sleep from now on. 😉

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5 hours ago, cleaniac said:

For the last year or two now, the quality of new business queries from the website has dropped significantly. Much to a point where I have categorically not followed up Google, Facebook and other social media leads as they almost always want the cheapest price, done at the drop of a hat, with no commitment for regular cleans.

On the other hand, telephone, email and text enquiries are almost always excellent leads, probbably because they are recommendations from other customers.

So I am seriously thinking about ditching my website all together, and just keeping my instagram page as an online presence.

Has anyone else done this? And how did you find it.

You need to move to a better class area mate, too many peasants where you are. 😆

  • Haha 2
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1 hour ago, Pjj said:

I have a web site purely aimed at large commercial, but find people with houses still phone up , we get a lot of enquires from it , but also get a lot of work from referrals and walk ups , I have also been thinking about getting rid of the web site as we don’t need any more work but I do  need to have it for the commercial  , we don’t use any other form of advertising but are very well known in the area so word of mouth brings in most work .

I would also think the type of clientele that look at commercial window cleaners to clean their domestic houses aren't cheap skates do could be worth keeping the website.

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Having a website just for the sake of having it is not really much use.

Unless you're actively working on it doing some kind of SEO or paid promotions, and generally working on improving it to rank better in search results for targeted keywords, then your website on its own won't help much.

It's like if you have a business card, but you never give out to customers, so what's the point?

As for the type of leads that you're getting, I think that's pretty normal for online customers. Internet is a competitive space and customers generally want a service that is quick, reasonable on price and professional, so nothing to be surprised about.

If your website looks good and has all the info about the services you offer, as well as your contact information, I would keep it regardless.

Like others have mentioned, domain and hosting is cheap as chips nowadays, so even if your website just sits there, it doesn't cost much to keep it live.

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I've never had, or wanted a website. I like the degree of anonymity from local competitors of not having one. They see us around. Are we, a one van outfit or, are we one of a fleet of vans? Some that we get to speak with know the answer. Others, may or may not. Also, I don't wish to be exposed to giving the malicious keyboard Mafia the opportunity to leave bad minded negative reviews when I don't yield to their wishes for cheap work.

Cards, on the other hand are a company favourite. We use four types and my son and I each carry them in a small folding wallet during work, along with a £5 note, five £1 coins, for the times we need to leave change, a small pen and a few small ziploc bags.

We carry business cards aimed and named for our town and surrounding areas. These are for walk ups and for new customers. We write the price and frequency on the back.

We carry business cards aimed and named for our nearest neighbouring town and surrounding areas, which is our main business hub.

We carry, slightly smaller, windows cleaned as promised cards. To leave if there's no one home.

We carry, small, windows cleaned as promised. Thank you for the payment cards. For customers that have had the courtesy to leave a thank you with the payment.

It sounds a faff but it is very quick and efficient.

 

Edited by Davy G
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Some very interesting points of view on here, 

I don't get involved with commercial work much anymore; its a pain in the backside. 

Most of my rounds are very compact and profitable, I earn very good money for the hours put in. 

The website does give you that "online" presence, but I still think its a waste of time and money when the enquires are complete nonsense. Plus, i'm just not interested in growing any more, I have more than enough work than I am willing to handle now and Im still gaining customers every month from direct recommendations, many of them have been through the more "flashy website" outfits to only find that the quality of their work is terrible and end up getting my info through the grapevine.

Plus i need to upgrade the site soon, as PHP whatever is becoming out of date, and my ISP are charging me an extra 5 quid a month for support on an obsolete script. Propblem is i have to completly un install it and redo it, and I cant be arsed. 

 

 

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Cleanaic

I only started this year and I went in hard and fast to give the impression that I'm a professional!  Paid a web developer to set up my site etc.  I'm undergoing SEO now to improve my Google ranking and so on.

Once I'm at the level I want to be - I will let the website take a backseat but I suspect I will keep it in the background with the occasional updates just so that potential customers can see it and provide assurance that I'm a legit window cleaner - and with good reviews on Google.

So my take would be to keep it ticking over...but your circumstances are different to mine.  After all, aren't you hoping to get into the Legal sector?

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Everyone is different I set my first one up more than 10 years ago so I am always top of 1st page on Google for my local area my site doesn't bring in loads of enquires and never has although since I had WhatsApp widget put on enquires are up a bit compared to previous years, GC sign up's is how it's maximised by business along with the Google ranking coupled with my Fb page it keeps me at the top

My SEO does need configuring as when I login into Wordpress dashboard all my pages are showing as amber not green with Yoast SEO totally clueless about SEO but may have to put some time in sorting things out, but very little competition in terms of online presence in my area.

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@cleaniac

we use only a website to get new business. Even if a cleaner is out cleaning and a walk up enquires, their info is submitted via the website.

bottom line is that a website must be effectively aimed at your target market in terms of technical setup, SEO (how it is found) and good copy to convert them to a sale.

It is not only vital to be a window cleaner but also be a good marketer. No disrespect to the marketers but they can commonly lack the in depth understanding of window cleaning to effectively market for us.

i have been able to make really effective websites for other trades as well as for myself where the website makes them money and works with the right kind of customer. But I can only do so when I understand all the ins and outs of their business  and how they like to work. That said, two window cleaners websites should likely be very different based on how they like to work.  

as an example, we convert around 25-30 regular clients every month from website alone. We have a very low mess about rate too. My website very much says who we are good for and who we are not. It helps sorts the people who would be better suited to another business. We perhaps still get around 6-8 quotes on average per day but our systems for quoting are so easy we can respond to them all within 15-20mins and it’s done in one sitting  

if you want; pm your domain And tell me what types of client you want and which you don’t. I will be happy to take 30mins to give you some constructive advice on how you may best Adjust things to make it work. I won’t do it for you as it’s not what I do

you can then do it yourself or have someone else do it. It’s like a language that when you get it, you get it. I’ve continually learned About this over the last 8 years so am not an expert but know a hell of a lot to be very good at it and my results cannot be argued with. 
 

I don’t pay a penny for google ads either and we rank within top searches for window cleaners over around 15 or so areas. Mostly within top 3 on google. 
holler at me

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scottish cleaning service

I get a minimum of 10 to 20 views a week on Checkatrade and it costs me £84 a month. Do I quit them and spend the money on a website and spend a fair bit on SEO? Its a no brainer staying with Checkatrade even with the price rise to £108 a month. Got a clean job from it last week which also brought in another 2 jobs from neighbours so I made over a grand on 3 jobs which means the £84 was well worth it.

So I will be sticking to a proven formula and joining Checkatrade for another year next month. 25% of working folk in Scotland work in the public sector and 25% of that workforce work for the NHS so hopefully won't be affected by a recession and get a big wage rise. Everyone seems to be spending there money on doing up their homes and gardens which will be good for us.

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20 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I get a minimum of 10 to 20 views a week on Checkatrade and it costs me £84 a month. Do I quit them and spend the money on a website and spend a fair bit on SEO? Its a no brainer staying with Checkatrade even with the price rise to £108 a month. Got a clean job from it last week which also brought in another 2 jobs from neighbours so I made over a grand on 3 jobs which means the £84 was well worth it.

So I will be sticking to a proven formula and joining Checkatrade for another year next month. 25% of working folk in Scotland work in the public sector and 25% of that workforce work for the NHS so hopefully won't be affected by a recession and get a big wage rise. Everyone seems to be spending there money on doing up their homes and gardens which will be good for us.

Thing is you didn,t make over a grand on window cleaning on checkatrade, it was from your "add on" services. So if you just offered window cleaning would you still pay £84 a Month to advertise on it?.

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scottish cleaning service
1 hour ago, mike007 said:

Thing is you didn,t make over a grand on window cleaning on checkatrade, it was from your "add on" services. So if you just offered window cleaning would you still pay £84 a Month to advertise on it?.

I offer, window cleaning, pvc cleaning, gutter clearing, power washing and softwashing. It works for me and any window cleaner can do it but would need a washer. You have got to be flexible in business just in case one side dries up. when we enter a recession then we may get flooded with start-up window cleaners wanting £80 a day which will mean prices head down. It wouldn't really effect me as I get most of my money from add-ons. fwiw

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4 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I offer, window cleaning, pvc cleaning, gutter clearing, power washing and softwashing. It works for me and any window cleaner can do it but would need a washer. You have got to be flexible in business just in case one side dries up. when we enter a recession then we may get flooded with start-up window cleaners wanting £80 a day which will mean prices head down. It wouldn't really effect me as I get most of my money from add-ons. fwiw

It didn’t really answer the question.. I know if a threw local windies who claim Window Cleaning alone isn’t worth the monthly fee.

 

However if you do add on services and you get the calls then it covers it indeed.

Maybe it would work better if they took a % or each customer who’s booked you via Checkatrade? No idea how that would work though.

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scottish cleaning service
1 hour ago, OnPoint said:

It didn’t really answer the question.. I know if a threw local windies who claim Window Cleaning alone isn’t worth the monthly fee.

 

However if you do add on services and you get the calls then it covers it indeed.

Maybe it would work better if they took a % or each customer who’s booked you via Checkatrade? No idea how that would work though.

No, I get 50 views a month and they know the more views I get the more I can make. Well worth it when starting up and I had my doubts after all the naysayers telling me its a waste of money. Infact its been the best thing I have done since starting up. Customers want trust and reliability when they want work done. I was recently on a job when the woman got dodgy roofers to re-roof her roof. Nightmare from start to finish, once they got the money they have not been seen since. I asked her why she went with them and she said they were over a grand cheaper than anyone else. They charged extra for lead and used old stuff so she paid an extra grand anyway. Turns out they never used nails and left stuff out so she had to get a roofer to fix it and its cost her a lot more and constant worry. That's the reason folk are heading to Checkatrade and Trustatrader to find tradespeople. I don't want a negative review so I'm more careful with the final result. Anyhow, my company pays the monthly subscription and I could work 7 days a week if I wanted too. 😉

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Get what your saying but because someone is on Checkatrade doesn’t make them anymore trust worthy than someone who’s found online. Checkatrade accept anyone who pays the fee 🤷‍♂️
 

Also for someone new signing up what makes them stand out to someone who’s got hundreds of reviews already? 

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