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When I speak with landscaping business owners, it is clear that they have one challenge in common. They all find it hard to generate enough new leads to keep busy all year round – especially in the colder months.
When your company doesn’t have regular work coming in, your bottom line and cash flow starts to suffer. Worst case, you might have to lay off some workers just to make it to the warmer months.
Landscapers typically rely on word of mouth, or use outdated print and brochure marketing. Let me make it clear, it is incredibly important to keep your customers happy and asking them for referrals, but it is not a sustainable marketing strategy that will will grow your landscaper business.
In this landscaping digital marketing guide I will answer some of common marketing questions and share landscaping SEO tips (with some examples).
I think my grandmother is the only person in South Africa that still uses the Yellow Pages. If you still advertise with YP, you are probably here because it is not working for your company. In fact, a whole generation that has grown up with the internet now makes up a large part of your target customer base, and I am pretty sure most of them have never touched a Yellow Pages.
It is a fact that 4 out of every 5 consumers contact local searches on their smartphones, tablets and computers when searching for service providers like landscaping companies. In South Africa, an estimated 93% of searchers use Google to find information on products, information and landscaping services.
To illustrate the reach of digital marketing, there are nearly 27 million South Africans online, and those who are online, spend an astonishing 5 hours per day on the internet.
There are three ways for your landscaping business to appear on the first page of Google.
Paid listings. This section of the search results is based on a bidding system called Google AdWords. Each advertiser specifies how much they are willing to ‘pay per click’ (PPC) when the keyword is entered by a searcher. There is no fixed monthly fee for showing in the paid listings, instead you pay every time someone clicks on your website link.
PPC is a good way to market your landscaping business, but it should be used a short term solution, as there are landscaping keywords that cost as much as R41.92 per click which will add up very quickly.
Google maps. The three map listings are very important for landscapers and local businesses, as they appear anytime Google thinks local results are most relevant. Google knows someone searching for ‘Landscapers + your city’ are looking for local landscaping companies in their area, and shows the map listings accordingly.
You must submit your landscaping business information on “Google My Business” to be able to appear in Google maps. Unlike paid ads the map listings are ‘organic’ meaning websites are placed according to Google’s search algorithm.
Organic listings. The websites you see in the organic listings (and maps) are there because Google believes they are the best quality and most relevant to the search intent. The process of earning your place in Google’s organic and map listings is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
Landscaping SEO is a medium – long term investment, once you earn a place in Google’s search results there is no cost per click to stay there.
Where do people click? Paid listings attract around 30% of the clicks with the other 70% going to map and organic listings. So the next question for landscaper SEO is…
Understanding what potential landscaping clients are searching for is a key part of any landscapers SEO or digital marketing strategy. Below is a list of the most important keywords that you need to be targeting in a landscaping local SEO campaign (from highest to lowest search volume).
To rank for these keywords you need to use them naturally in all areas of digital marketing & SEO.
Where do you rank right now?
Go to Google now and search, “landscapers (your city)” or, “landscaping services (your city)”. In fact, your website browser will remember the websites you visit most frequently and show them higher in search results, so to see what other people might see use an online tool to find your real ranking. If you don’t see your website listed on the first page, you’re losing business to other companies who have realised the value of digital marketing for landscapers.
Unlike Adwords, a top spot on Google’s map and organic listings can’t be bought. It needs to be earned. Any landscaper marketing needs to have a local SEO focus, to maximise exposure in your service area. The key parts of our landscaping SEO strategy are:
Let’s look in more detail and give you some actionable landscaper marketing tips.
Optimising your website for Google can help then find, understand and better rank your website. It’s a good idea to do an SEO audit of your website, but a few simple optimisations will have an impact.
Most average landscaping websites consist of just a handful of pages, home, services, gallery, contact, and maybe an about us page. Show Google you deserve to be ranked ahead of your competition by creating pages with the information people are looking for. Here’s the three types of website copywriting that will help you do just that.
Create individual landscaping services pages for each of the types of landscaping you offer. With a targeted webpage, you are more relevant and likely to appear in search when someone is looking for these specific services. For example:
Having a visually appealing gallery to showcase your work is essential, but you need more than images to convince visitors and Google of your expertise. Regularly creating how to and landscape design articles in a blog builds your authority in the landscaping niche, and has other benefits (which I’ll get to).
If people in your area are researching “Landscaping Ideas for Courtyard Gardens” or “How to Build a Retaining Wall” they are only going to find you if you’ve written about it. And guess what? If they decide to get some professional help who are they going to call?
Build local landing pages for your most important suburbs. Don’t go overboard here, stick to the closest 3-6 suburbs. Each page should be as unique as possible, include images and testimonials from jobs in each suburb.
Links to your website an important signal Google uses to judge how to place you in search results. When another website links to yours it’s kind of like a vote for you and your business. Quality comes before quantity, so when you see those spammy emails promising hundreds or thousands of links, don’t be sucked in. That kind of low quality high scale linkbuilding will only harm your website.
If your website content is awesome enough people will naturally link to it, but it pays to be pro-active. The best place to start is with the South African local directories. Look for opportunities from other landscaping and trade websites as well, such as gardening blogs, landscape suppliers, and landscaping industry associations.
People look for and trust online reviews, so make sure you ask your clients to leave reviews on your Google map listing, and other directories. Proactively building a 5 star online reputation will mean more clicks from search results.
With 13 million South Africans on Facebook for an average 50mins every day, using a Facebook business page is a great way to stay ‘top of mind’. The most common objection I hear from landscapers is “I don’t know what to post”. Remember we talked about starting a blog? This sort of informative, entertaining or inspiring content is perfect for building your social media following! Mix it in with photos from current jobs, client testimonials, and sharing content from other landscaping and gardening websites.
The quickest way to turn people off your posts is to overdo the sales pitch. Keep your posts 90% informative and 10% sales to be well received.
Can digital marketing and SEO for landscapers grow a business? Absolutely! It’s working for your competitors right now. Following the landscaping SEO tips in this guide will set you on the path to growing business profits.
Need help marketing your landscaping business? Have landscaping SEO questions? Get in touch and outrank your competitors!
Or you can fill out the form below, and I will give you a no-obligation telephone consultation.