Landscaping companies face some real challenges in finding new clients. Though word of mouth remains vital, more and more new prospects now simply run a Google search and call the first couple of companies on the results page. To build a solid client list, then, you need to make your way to the top of Google rankings.

SEO for Landscaping Companies

We will take you through our proven, step by step process to propel your company to the top of Google results. First, though, let’s examine why local SEO is vital for landscaping companies.

3 Reasons for Landscaping Companies to Invest in Local SEO

  1. The Yellow Pages Are Gone, and Google Is King: Not long ago, a landscaper could place a Yellow Pages ad, sit back, and wait for the phone to ring. Today, a whopping 97% of people search for local services online, and Google is the undisputed leader of the pack. 
  2. Free Traffic: Although things are slowing evolving, advertising is still one of the biggest expenses for small businesses. Raising your Google ranking gives you an ongoing flow of free traffic that you need only convert to paying clients. 
  3. Zippy Results: Although national and multinational companies do not see results from a new SEO campaign for roughly 6 to 12 months, you have a huge advantage. You are competing only with other landscaping companies in your immediate area, not those halfway around the world. And many of your competitors are not using local SEO. This means that with a targeted campaign, you can jump to the first page of local Google results in as little as 30 days!

Step 1: Pick Your Keywords

The first step is easy. Quickly create a list of keywords that match your services. For example, you might choose “landscaping”, “landscape design”, or “landscape architecture”. When you have a reasonably comprehensive list, sign up for a free Google AdWords account.

You don’t need to build or fund an ad campaign. You just want access to the free Google Keyword Planner. This helpful tool lets you see how much traffic each keyword generates and suggests similar keywords that you may not have thought about.

Now you can finalize your keyword list. All keywords fall loosely into 2 basic categories:

  • Buying Intent: Buying intent keywords mean that a prospect is currently ready for your services. For example, “landscape architect in San Diego” likely means that the client is ready to start working on his yard.

Buying intent keywords drive the fastest conversions, so they should be your top priority. Utilize them on your homepage and create a separate service page for each one.

  • Research Intent: Research intent keywords signal that the prospect is “just looking.” He might want landscaping services at some point, but not today. For example, someone asking about “landscaping ideas for a small yard” might be wondering whether a landscaper is the right choice.

These keywords are of lower priority, as they do not drive rapid conversions. Don’t get rid of them them, though. You can use them for blog posts and FAQs, which introduce you to prospects who might remember you when they need a landscaping company.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

With your finalized keyword list, you are ready to optimize in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here’s what to do:

Google My Business

Think of Google My Business as a mini-website for the “Maps” section of Google. It increases your online presence and provides a snapshot of your services. It can also boost your rankings fast, as it is easier to highly rank a Google My Business page than a website.

To optimize, fill out all elements accurately and completely:

  • Verification: First, claim your page and submit it for Google verification. You will know this is done when you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your business name.
  • NAP: Your NAP, or business name, address, and phone number, must be accurate and identical throughout the internet. Let Google know that your business is local by choosing a local phone number instead of an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google categories are service-oriented, not results-oriented. Landscaper is a valid Google category, as are Irrigation Equipment Supplier and Lawn Care Service, if those apply to your business. Try to list 3 to 5 categories, if you can.
  • Description: This is simply a 100 to 200-word introduction to your business that ends with a call to action. Try this format: {Business Name} is a {landscaper} in {Your City}. {Give some information about your top services and/or why clients love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free estimate.
  • Hours: Make sure that your business hours are updated, and that they are listed correctly everywhere they appear online.
  • Images: Images enhance client engagement and help new prospects understand what to expect. Add some photos of your equipment, team members, and finished projects (with homeowner permission). Make sure your images are sharply focused, sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. Also consider replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Your top priority should be your homepage and service pages, known as your “core” pages. Optimize them for your buying intent keywords. Later, you will optimize your “content” pages, such as blog posts and FAQs, for your research intent keywords. Here’s how:

  • Homepage: The most import element on your page is the title tag. Think of it as a chapter title in a book, describing your business in just 50 to 65 characters. Try this format: Landscaping Company in {Your City} | {Business Name}.

The meta description uses 100 to 150 characters to explain your core services, ending with a call to action. Format it something like this: {Business Name} offers professional {landscaping services, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for a free estimate!    

The visible headline, or H1, focuses on your primary category. Format it similarly to: {Landscaper} in {City, State}.

Write your 500 to 1000-word page copy last. It must be strongly written and tightly edited, explain your core services, and end with a strong call to action. Sprinkle in your primary keyword as it naturally fits, but avoid “keyword stuffing,” or forcing it into the copy.

  • Service Pages: Each core service must have a unique service page. Optimize it the same way as the homepage, targeting the appropriate keyword.

Step 3: Create Citations and Links

With the framework of your local SEO campaign in place, you are ready to create citations and links. Both improve your Google rankings by boosting your online reach.

  • Citations: A citation is simply an online directory listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number). Possibilities include general national directories such as Facebook and yellowpages.com, general local directories such as your Chamber of Commerce website, and directories that are specific to the landscaping industry. Make sure your NAP is exactly the same across all citations.

There are numerous free directories, but some charge a listing fee. Before you pay, check out Google Analytics. It is not worth paying for listing that will not drive traffic and conversions.

  • Links: To reach the top of Google rankings, you need inbound links from credible and authoritative websites. Develop relationships with those whose services complement yours, such as general contractors and homeowners’ associations, and then ask to trade links. You can see where your competitors are getting their links with a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer.

Step 4: Ask for Reviews

Customer reviews are extremely important in your local SEO campaign for two reasons. First, they help convince prospects to try your services. Second, they reassure Google that your business is legitimate. All reviews are useful, but those posted on Google My Business provide the quickest rankings boost. Send your satisfied clients an email link to your Google My Business page, and ask them to write a review. If you do this consistently, you will soon have an ongoing flow of recent reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

The only way to know which parts of your campaign are working and which need refining is to track your results. You can analyze your data in innumerable ways, but these metrics are the most important:

  • Rankings: Google displays customized rankings based on previous browsing activity. Therefore, you need a tool to see your actual rankings. Have your webmaster install the free Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools), and then take a look at your rankings at least once per month.

You can dig further into your rankings with a paid tool such as RankRanger.com. This highly useful tool tracks your Google My Business page as well as your individual webpages, and it automatically updates ranking data from all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: One of the best ways to track your traffic, or website visitors, is with Google Analytics. You can not view not only your overall traffic, but also the traffic for each separate webpage, and even what portion of traffic came from Google search. Check your report at least once every 30 days, and keep any eye out for long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is a specific behavior you want prospects to perform, such as contacting you for a free estimate. Google Analytics lets you track phone as well as web conversions, learn which of your webpages have the highest and lowest conversion rates, and discover which services drive the most conversions.

Ready to Get Started?

Now you know why a targeted local SEO campaign is key for landscaping companies. Make your way through the 5 steps in order. Fully complete each step before moving on to the next. Here is a recap of the 5 steps:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Keyword optimization
  3. Citations and Links
  4. Reviews
  5. Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping landscaping companies attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

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