Making sure you have a steady stream of new clients is crucial to any business, and landscapers are no exception. You can have all the right equipment (trucks, commercial zero turn mowers, etc), a great crew, and solid management, but without new sales, growth is difficult.
In our post about starting a business we touched on some of the local SEO factors commercial and residential landscapers should focus on to start driving leads with your web presence. Let's take a deeper look at the most effective steps you can take to ensure potential customers are finding you online.
For those choosing the DIY route here are some important steps to insure your site will be well positioned in the search engine results.
The most important piece in your online marketing strategy is your own website. It should be the online face of your business allowing potential customers to see who you are, what you do, and how you differentiate yourself and your services from those of your competitors.
As with your online marketing you have a couple choices when developing your website: doing it yourself or hiring a professional.
Unless you have experience building sites you're much better off hiring someone to handle it for you. While there are platforms out there like Squarespace and WordPress that make it easier for beginners to set up a site, it's common for minor details to cause this process to drag out for months and months leaving you with site that is unfinished and will generate little to no traffic.
If you're going to go the DIY route, make sure to set up an outline of what your site should contain and then flush out the details. You can use the parameters below to get started. Focus on getting it finished, not making it absolutely perfect.
While it will be more expensive, an efficient web design company should be able to get a site up and going within a month of you delivering all the necessary information to them. Pricing for these services will vary greatly depending on who you talk to and what area you're in, but a good website can be built for well under $2,000.
While sites can certainly be larger, at a minimum it should have the following pages:
Keep in mind that your website is the face of your business online. It should be clean, professional, and updated on a regular basis.
Search engine optimization or SEO is comprised of two main parts: on-page and off-page. If you're going to be managing your own marketing efforts it's important to have a solid understanding of both.
While many web design companies advertise their sites as being optimized for search engines, this is rarely the case. If you already have a finished site you can cross-check it with the information listed below to make sure it IS properly optimized.
On-page SEO includes anything that exists on your website. This includes content, pictures, videos, and more. Every page on your site should be properly optimized so that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing know exactly what the page is about.
The first and most important on-page factor on each page is the title tag. This field is up to 70 characters and tells search engines what they should find on the page. The title is what is displayed as a link on the page of search engine results.
"Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance Services in Alpharetta GA" would be a good example of a properly formatted title tag. It clearly states what the page is about and what geographic area it's connected with.
The page description is the text that shows up beneath the title in the search engine results page. This field is used mostly to entice users to click on your page.
It should include as much relevant information regarding what the page is about as possible. It should also include a compelling reason for users to click that page. When coming up with the language for your description try to use synonyms or variations of words that you used in your title.
A well built description might look like the following:
"XYZ Landscaping offers full lawn maintenance services in the Alpharetta area. This includes mowing, edging, and weeding. Call today and get 15% off your first.."
Having "..." at the end is intentional and will increase the number of people that click through to your site.
Heading tags provide more in-depth information about how the information on your page is organized. Your H1 tag should be very similar to your Title tag. Never have more than one H1 tag per page.
H2 tags on a lawn maintenance page might include the services that are included with this particular package such as mowing, edging, and blowing.
H3 tags would be used for breaking up information within H2 tags.
You should always have an H1 tag on each page, but it's not necessary to use all the tags on each page. In fact they should only be used when needed to properly organize the content.
Images play a very important role in on-page optimization. They help improve user engagement, can show off your work, and keep your pages from appearing as walls of text.
Each image has an "alt tag" field. This should be filled out with relevant information describing the image for search engines. Avoid stuffing this with words, just use basic language to describe the image as accurately and succinctly as possible.
Finally you should have 500-800 words of content on each of your web pages detailing everything your potential clients should know about your business and your services. You want to write this with your customers in mind. The language should be succinct and natural.
Don't attempt to stuff a bunch of keywords like "Alpharetta landscaping service" into the text. Search engines don't like this and neither do readers.
There are literally hundreds of off-page optimization factors that help determine where your site ranks within the search engine results. This is one area where having a knowledgeable Local SEO expert can pay huge dividends.
Rather than diving into all of these factors we're going to talk about the one that will have the biggest impact. Links.
Having other sites in your area link to your site from theirs is THE best way to help improve the traffic to your site. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a bit of outreach. If you know other business owners in your area contact them and ask them for a link to your business from their site. Offer a link to their site from yours in return. It will help you both.
There are plenty of other ways to get links to your site, but this is the safest and most effective way to do it on your own.
One of the worst things you can do is to "over-optimize" your site. This happens when you stuff your content with keywords in an attempt to game the search engines. Search algorithms are highly sophisticated and can easily identify these attempts. They will penalize sites that try to game the system.
Your best bet is to go with language that is natural and reads easily. Focus on having your keywords in the Title and H1 tags.
While it is possible to do a certain amount of this work yourself, you will get faster and more effective results by hiring a local SEO professional. They can handle all aspects turning your website into a lead generation tool that drives a steady stream of new business through your doors.
If you're looking for someone to handle this for you reach out to us on our contact page.
Results from all of this work won't happen overnight. Once you've properly implemented all of the above you should see consistent upward movement over the next couple of months.
If you're looking to improve your traffic faster and more efficiently reach out to us for a free traffic and optimization analysis.
Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.