Whether you’ve just started your very own junk removal business or are planning on it, one of the biggest considerations you’ll need to make is how people find you among a sea of competitors.
In the modern digital age, one of the best ways to bring in leads is through digital marketing, but what is it exactly and how does it work for junk haulers? This article will give you a brief overview of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and how to bring in quality leads for your junk removal business.
What is digital marketing and how does it affect junk haulers?
If you’re wondering how to start a junk removal business off on the right foot or if you’ve already set up your business and want to bring in more leads, you’ll need to tap into digital marketing at some point. But what is it, exactly?
There are lots of definitions floating around, but take it from industry leader Neil Patel who has built up his career in entrepreneurship and business marketing – especially digital marketing. His content is simple and easy to read, straight to the point without any technical jargon. He defines it as: “the act of promoting products and services through digital channels, such as social media, SEO, email, and mobile apps.”
As a junk hauler, this means promoting your junk removal services online. This can include any of the following:
- Social media: building profiles and being active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok.
- SEO: short for Search Engine Optimization, which requires certain technical skills in order to rank higher in Google Search and other search engines.
- Email: marketing campaigns through Mailchimp or other email lists for your customers.
- Web development: building a webpage or just a simple landing page to encourage customers to reach out and call you for junk hauling services.
In brief, your junk hauling business might not need all of the above digital marketing channels to bring in leads, but having some combination of multiple channels is much better than relying on just one – or none at all!
What is SEO?
SEO is a process or a set of strategies used to ‘boost’ a website or a specific piece of content (i.e. blog post, video, or photo) online so that it ranks higher in search results. Normally, this means ranking higher in Google Search in the context of websites and blog posts.
Most of the above digital marketing channels should be fairly straightforward (although it can be a LOT of work keeping up with them), except SEO. One of the reasons is that it’s fairly easy to set up a Facebook or Instagram profile, snap some before & after shots of your junk removal for customers to see, add a phone number and call it a day.
With SEO, you’ll need to put in a lot of work with no visible reward straight away. Nevertheless, mastering SEO is critical if you’ve got your own website and if you want to reach a wider audience through search engine results.
How to rank your junk hauling website higher on Google Search
Nowadays, having an online presence is essential for all sorts of businesses, including junk haulers in the United States. Just about everyone searches online for goods and services, so if you don’t have a website or some other presence online, you’re potentially losing out on a lot of potential revenue.
Just to give an impression of how popular online searches are, nearly 5 billion (with a B!) people around the world use search engines to find things online. With around 8 billion people on the planet, that’s about 63% of the world population using online searches.
When it comes to search engines, Google takes the lion’s share. As of 2022, Google Search has about a 92.49% market share, with the only competitor being Bing at around 3.07%. In other words, if your website isn’t showing up on Google Search, your business may as well not exist to millions of Americans looking for local junk haulers in your city.
It gets even more complex, however. The below figure shows some interesting behaviors of people using Google Search and how they interact with the search results.
Source: Zero Limit Web Digital Marketing: Part 1: Organic vs PPC in 2021: The CTR Results
What this means is that a total of 71.33% of people using Google will likely click on results found on the first page, with a tiny fraction ever bothering to check out the second or third pages (or beyond). In other words, if you aren’t showing up on the first page of Google Search results, your junk removal website will not get a lot of traffic, which means fewer leads.
Google’s algorithm is top secret, but they always make public statements whenever they make changes to the algorithm along with guidelines for content that is likely to be promoted and content that is likely to be penalized.
In late August 2022, Google just released a new update to the Google Search algorithm, perhaps the biggest update in a decade. More information can be found at the Search Engine Roundtable, who have written in detail about what Google is now looking to promote. In brief, this latest update is designed to reward content that is created by humans, for humans. Spam and low-value content will be penalized on Google Search results.
Digital marketing strategies for junk removal businesses in the United States
How can you boost the visibility of your junk removal business online effectively? Below are a few tips to help you get noticed and bring in quality leads.
1. Yelp & Angi (Angie’s List)
Business registries such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can help boost your business visibility, but a lot of small businesses these days get excellent reach with platforms like Yelp and Angi (formerly Angie’s List). Each of these well-known platforms get millions of visitors looking for all sorts of services from local experts, so it’s a good idea to register your business with Angi and create a business profile on Yelp.
The good news for local junk haulers is that these two platforms tend to have excellent visibility and are, generally speaking, a great place for reviews. They also make it fairly straightforward to build a stellar profile with all of the relevant information, your services, some photos, and so on.
The bad news is that Angi Leads, the lead generation side of Angi for business owners, can be pretty expensive as a long-term strategy. You might pay anywhere from around $15 to $85 per lead, depending on many factors, which can quickly eat into your profit margin.
On the other hand, Yelp often sends sales agents calling business owners and offering advertising through Yelp. Their tiered system of advertising can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $2,000 per month, but the amount of leads you’ll likely generate is anyone’s guess. Spending a few thousand every month for a handful of leads is simply a bad investment.
2. Claim a Google My Business
One of the best ways to boost your online visibility for free is to claim your business listing with Google through Google My Business (GMB). If someone’s searching online for a junk hauler through Google Maps, your business location will pop up, along with any relevant information you want to fill in, such as phone number, operating hours, your logo and some photos, and Google Reviews.
Sometimes, your business will pop up in an ordinary Google Search if you’ve got a business listed on GMB, so it’s really a great way to get your junk hauling brand out there on the internet and to generate leads.
The upside is that it’s completely free to claim a GMB, but the downside is that you’ll need to verify your business by receiving a postcard. That doesn’t sound like it should be a problem, but for junk haulers operating their business from their home address, Google might not like that. What they’ll do is they’ll send you a postcard to your business address in order to verify that your business is legitimate. The problem is that Google tends to be really spotty in their selection of what makes a valid “storefront,” so you might have some problems verifying your business address if you operate your junk removal business from a residential address.
3. Instagram & social media
These days, just about everyone (and especially the younger generations) are active on social media. That’s where the eyeballs are – perhaps too much at times – which means that’s where advertising your business can really attract a lot of potential leads. The big social media platforms that a lot of junk haulers use is Instagram, and for great reasons.
Instagram’s focus is on photo content, which allows junk haulers to showcase their work with great before & after shots of cluttered up garages and yards being cleaned up professionally. You can also add in text, such as your business phone number or business name, as well as hashtags so that people in your area can come across your business.
Facebook is another popular choice for junk removal businesses that is similar in some ways to Instagram, but you’ll be able to add a more thorough description of your business including operating hours, services, and more.
Whichever social media platform(s) you end up using for your junk removal business, a great tip to bring in more leads is to keep posting content and interact directly with customers. If you’ve only got one or two social media profiles, you could do this yourself and give customers genuine service; otherwise, you might want to consider hiring a social media manager that can routinely post content and interact with customers on your behalf.
4. Start a business website
Having your very own business website is one of the best ways to get noticed on Google Search and to lay out your content and business details exactly how you want. It also helps promote your brand and allows you to have helpful content, contact forms, and snazzy photos of your work, your truck/trailer, and your genuine smile.
Creating a website in 2022 is a lot easier than it was in 2002 thanks to “freemium” website builders like Squarespace and Wix. No need to learn HTML or coding, no fussing around with templates or WordPress. The big problem, however, is that the free versions are limited and you’ll have to pay quite a bit for more functionality and your own domain name.
If you want to create your own website from scratch, you’ll find plenty of tutorials online that can help you set up a simple landing page rather quickly.
Either way, the biggest problem you may face with building your own website is to gain traction on Google Search. Keeping up with SEO strategies, posting frequent content like blogs, and following Google’s guidelines for good content are all important, but they’re also time-consuming. All of that time can add up, and it’s time spent not hauling junk!
Junk haulers across the United States can apply to become a JunkGator member and enjoy the benefits of quality leads from genuinely interested customers near you. Our platform bridges the gap between having to constantly keep up with changes to SEO and digital marketing and spending quality time hauling junk for your customers.
We do the digital marketing for you, which can complement your existing online presence such as having a website or Instagram profile, but without charging high fees for leads or thousands of dollars per month in advertising. Instead, for only $40 a month, members can get access to a continuous stream of leads from organic search results as well as through paid advertising on Google.
What’s more is that each and every member, once vetted and approved for quality and trust, receives a detailed profile page and a location page for the geographic area you cover.
Boost your digital marketing with JunkGator
Independent junk haulers across the United States are welcome to apply to become JunkGator members today. Our platform brings members quality leads from customers in need of honest, genuine junk hauling at competitive prices. Leave the digital marketing to us, and we’ll leave the heavy lifting to you!