Chem-Dry New Zealand – Digital Marketing

Chem-Dry is primarily a carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning franchise-based company with representation across the globe. There are over 4,000 franchises operating worldwide in countries like Canada, Japan, India, UK, Kazakhstan, and Holland, to name a few. Each country operates under a Master Franchise, and our client is the Master Franchise for New Zealand with 30 different franchisees operating throughout the country.

Chem-Dry is unique in its field, with a patented cleaning process, which uses a hot-carbonated extraction process. This cleaning method is green-certified and significantly drier than traditional steam-based carpet cleaning. Their system doesn’t blast litres of water into the carpet, which can take days to properly dry, leaving the door open for mold, bacteria, and odour.

Chem-Dry New Zealand and Caorda have a strong business relationship, covering several aspects of their website and franchise operations. For this case study, we’ll be focusing on Digital Marketing initiatives.

The Challenge

Caorda was introduced to Chem-Dry New Zealand in October 2016. Several years of sporadic digital marketing strategies had left the whole New Zealand franchise network in a bit of disorder. In truth, it was complete chaos. The parent franchise used a central ‘corporate’ website to house each of the franchises. Over time, the corporate website became a bit stale and was not meeting the needs of the franchises, and many franchises began branching out with their own separate websites. At some point, sub-domains began appearing off the corporate website and then the original domain name changed! Each of these surrogate pages diluted the Search Engine effectiveness of the website they were replacing. In some cases, there were upwards of 4 different domain versions on the internet for a single franchise with each of these websites serving up their own content. Multiply that by 30 franchises and you have an unsustainable and unmanageable online digital presence.

The Chem-Dry New Zealand ownership understood that their centralized website presence no longer met the needs of the franchises. They needed to recover and consolidate all of the additional websites that were spinning out of control and competing against each other for Search Engine Optimization. The parent company was watching their franchise partners build their own websites and engage with marketing companies in order to grow their businesses.

Chem-Dry came to terms with the needs of their franchisees and committed to providing a new, modern, consolidated approach with up to date mobile appeal and easy to understand conversion tracking for their franchise owners.

The Solution

This was quite simply, a massive undertaking. There were so many separate websites out there all competing with each other that we needed to develop a complete digital marketing strategy that would encompass a total consolidation and take-down approach for every franchise website. Then we needed to build a stunning and highly functional Corporate website that would bring back the franchise owners. This new solution had to perform in the search engines, be extremely mobile-friendly, easily convert leads, and make all franchisees proud of their new websites.

We delivered the strategy in the following 3 phases: 

  • Consolidation & Transition
  • Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Optimization & Tracking
  • Launch & Post-Launch Management

Consolidation and Transition

The Caorda Digital Marketing team, with the help of a myriad of spreadsheets, began the arduous task of building a complete inventory of every single Chem-Dry website on the internet. This was an intense undertaking. At one point the most important corporate domain name was changed, for no discernible strategic reason. This had a detrimental effect on the Search Engine value of the company. Luckily, our team discovered this and was able to locate the original domain name and determined that we needed to leverage the original domain name when we launched the new Chem-Dry, consolidated website.

Chem-Dry Website Transition

Our team had to develop very specific website redirect strategies for 30 franchise websites which had virtually duplicated themselves across sub-domains, sub-directories, and alternate domain names. It was quite a thing. Many of the franchisee’s had a minimum of 3 different websites that resembled the list below, all competing against one another. Some of these extra domains would show for www and some without www, some for https: and some without. Here are a few variations that we would find (examples of the structure only),


Our task was to recover every variant from all 30 franchises, then develop a redirect strategy to point every existing webpage to a single new location; the new corporate, flagship website. You’re right to assume this was a long and onerous task. It’s nearly impossible to locate every version of a website when domain strategies snowball out of control. Sure enough, we would discover more duplicate websites out there in the ‘inter-webs’ after the launch.

SEO and Conversion Optimization

We were very clear on the strategic approach for the new consolidated corporate website.

  • We would incorporate a ‘Sub-Folder’ strategy to place the SEO weight of the entire group of websites inside the parent domain. Using sub-domains saturates the SEO value across too many separate domain names.
  • The website would be mobile-focused, as our research showed that a huge percentage of searches for their service would originate from mobile phones.
  • The website needed to be fast-loading, clean, and easy for visitors to contact their local Chem-Dry franchise.
  • We also needed a way to record and track all of the Calls to Action (CTA’s) to the franchise owners and to the master franchise. For instance, how many people clicked on the phone number on each franchise site or how many people filled out the free estimate form. These would record in Google Analytics for all the site owners to see.
  • We also developed Google Ads campaigns for several franchise owners after the website launch. These campaigns performed very well and drew a lot more work than many of the owners were expecting or had experienced before. We were quickly able to deliver a very healthy ROI to those using Caorda’s Google Ads management services.

The Design, Development and Marketing team collaborated to develop an eye-catching, carpet cleaning & commercial cleaning service website which was clean and full of great content. The content design through the website was easy to read and guided visitors to contact or call the business at logical and obvious spots in the website. The strategy of the content design was to convert visitors as easy as possible and based on visitor and owner feedback, we accomplished this goal.

Launching 30 Websites at Once

Things get a little technical here but suffice to say, this wasn’t the garden variety website launch. We were gathering up 30 franchise websites plus one corporate website, many with 1 or 2 additional domains, and redirecting them very strategically to their new homes. No longer would multiple versions of the same website be competing against each other, spreading their SEO value across multiple websites and creating an incredibly confusing mess of management making it impossible to appropriately manage and measure the success or failure of their online businesses.

Our new approach ensured that all of the internet value built up over time would point to a single domain. All traffic and business leads could be easily tracked, measured and recorded for the franchise owners. Management was dramatically simplified and Caorda’s monthly reporting ensured that each business owner knew exactly how hard their website was working for them.

Chem-Dry Surge in Organic Traffic

A dramatic surge in organic Google traffic after launching the new amalgamated solution.

In the weeks after the launch, the digital marketing team kept a close eye on Google Search Console to catch any broken pages that might have slipped past our initial URL audit. With this many extra domains, there will always be a few old pages that get through. We would then set-up redirects for any broken pages (404’s) that Google tells us about.

A measured and steady upward trend of ‘impressions’ in Google Search after launch of the new amalgamated website.

Custom Website Development and Technology

This case study focused primarily on Digital Marketing & some Web Design. There was a profound amount of custom website development and feature development that we will get into in another case study. One such feature was an interactive map of New Zealand that allowed visitors to zero in on their location and quickly determine which Chem-Dry business was responsible for their area. The appropriate contact information would appear with options to visit the location website or contact them immediately.

Working with the entire Chem-Dry ownership and franchise owners has been an absolute pleasure and we look forward to helping them build their business for years to come.

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