Maid Website Basics.

There are between 1.6 and 1.9 billion websites active across the globe, and a few thousand more will be added by the time you finish reading this page. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of cyberspace for more. So come on in!

Creating a website can become overwhelming quickly, especially if the technology is not your forte. But we’re here to tell you it can be fairly straight forward when you use rule number one: Have a version 1.0 mindset.

You’ll be hearing more about this “version 1.0” approach in the coming weeks, but for now, just consider the fact that you are in launch & learn mode. You don’t have the time or bandwidth to build a pristine website, but you can build a great first version.

We suggest WordPress because it integrates easily with maid service software like ours. You don’t need coding experience. iIt’s full of tools to optimize your site and help you get found.

We’re going to focus on the home page, but the process is similar for each page of your website. There are two components to every website: words and design.

Words sell stuff. The design reinforces the purpose of those words. Design accounts for everything from images to analytics and SEO. For now, we’re going to focus on the words.

Let’s start by rephrasing the questions from last week’s post and adding a third:

1). Who will you serve? Write exclusively to the person with that problem.
2). What will you serve them? State your promise to solve it.

And…

3). How will you serve them? Describe your process in a way that proves you can solve the problem.

As you write the copy (content) for your website, keep cycling through these three pillars of the problem – promise – proof.

If you haven’t yet answered these three questions as they apply to your business, now is the time. They will be addressed to some extent in every webpage.

Last week, we suggested you look at three maid service websites. If you haven’t done so yet, just do a google search of “maid service + your service area, county or city’”

Which of the sites are most appealing to you? Are there elements you can incorporate (not copy) into your site?

Your maid website homepage – make it welcoming!

Let’s start with the headline. First, make it short and punchy, but make it clear that they’re in the right place. Start with your customer’s problem. You want to include that and the promise to solve it in your headline.

Take a look at www.quickbooks.com, an online accounting platform for businesses. The headline is simple and direct: “Save time, track money, and get important insights.”*

You don’t have to have spent much time in the online world to know that keeping the books is critical. When you read this headline, there’s no doubt that you’re in the right place.

Notice how well the three words, time, money, and insights suggest the likely problems in the mind of the customer. And the way the headline offers promise.

Problem Promise
Time A busy business owner can’t afford to
get bogged down with accounting.
Quickbooks saves you time. It’s in their business name.
Money When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall. Keep current by tracking expenses and income.
Insights   What you don’t know can hurt you. Having visibility of important insights allows you to get on top of problems before they get on top of you.

 
What are three words you can use to describe your maid service business? Let’s take a stab at it. How about dependable, efficient, and thorough?

These three words address specific problems in the customer’s mind, like having to wait too long for the maid(s) to arrive (dependable), then having to wait too long for them to finish (efficient). Finally, there’s the problem of paying for a clean house and not getting one (thorough).

Are you getting the hang of this?

The reason we’re spending so much time on the headline is that you have about 3 seconds to get the attention of the reader. Otherwise they are gone with a click. Give their attention a target that’s easy to hit.

Back to the QuickBooks page: There are two more important things to notice “above the fold.” A prominent, “Buy now and save 50% button,” followed by proof of the promise. On each section of the page, this button is always close by for the clicking.

“Proof” is the answer to the customer’s question, “How do I know you’ll do what you say you’ll do?”

Here, QuickBooks draws on 28 years of experience, their Capterra ratings, and 7 million customers globally.

You’re probably thinking this is nice for QuickBooks, but you’re just getting started. This is where you’re going to have to get creative. During your launch, you’re going to have lots of opportunities to develop your creative muscles!

Could you get one testimonial and place it front and center?
Could you get one Google rating to share?
Is there a unique element of your cleaning service you can highlight?

Remember rule #1? This is version 1.0, and your website will undergo many changes as your business grows. As you get more testimonials, ratings, or other creative forms of proof you’ll make updates. The nice thing about software like Launch27 is that you can automatically solicit those reviews.

What about the rest of the homepage?

There are a number of things you can do with the rest of the page, but it’s important to keep hitting on the pillars of problem – solution – proof.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • We recommend a subheading that reinforces how you solve the problem and why they can trust you.
  • Make sure the “click to buy” button is close by. While you’re at it, try to come up with something more creative than click to buy!
  • Use bullets creatively to expound on the three pillars. This in itself is an art form. Try imagining all of the objections the reader has to buying, and create bullets to address them.
  • Consider embedding a video to break up the text and humanize the message.
  • Always write in “you” language, not “we” language. Example: Your “About” page is not so much about you as it is about how you help the customer. 
  • Keep testing and trying different layouts and copy. Don’t let your website become a static cyber billboard.

There are plenty of great resources available to educate yourself. Take a look at Donald Miller’s book, Marketing Made Simple, especially the chapter: “A Wireframed Website That Works.”

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes is a wonderful resource for developing your writing chops. It’s comprehensive and fun to read. You can become a better writer just by reading the table of contents!

Homework

Grab a pen and a blank piece of paper, then start brainstorming some headlines for your maid website. Practice describing your maid service business to others when they ask, by incorporating your headline. 

Start sketching out the skeleton of the rest of the page. Look at successful brands’ websites for ideas. Set a goal to get a rough first draft (version 1.0) of your homepage complete within the next week.

Experiment. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first. Don’t get discouraged by the difficulty. See the discomfort of learning new skills (like writing) as proof you are on the right track. 

Keep going! 

Hoveringly,

– Elbie

* Interestingly, QuickBooks changed their homepage the day after we wrote this post. This reinforces the importance of the version 1.0 mindset. Thanks, QuickBooks!