It’s a visual business for Landscape Designers, images like the one below stimulate the senses and encourages home owners to enquire about your services.
Unfortunately you’re not the only Landscaper in town, I hope you find some value here and how to implement digital marketing for you landscaping design business.
Repeat business and referrals are great, but how are new customers finding your visuals and more importantly are you giving them enough information to pick up the phone, or fill out a form?
Digital Marketing For Landscape Designers
In this ultimate guide to helping Landscapers get better at online marketing, I’ll show you how I was able to increase NEW business leads for a Landscaper in Auckland. This industry isn’t short of competition. Houzz tells us there are 37 ‘Best’ Landscapers Contractors & Gardeners. No Cowboys says there are 59! These are at the elite end of the scale, where Gold Leaf Landscapes plays. These businesses have good (expensive) websites, are able to pay for Houzz and No Cowboys, among other online subscriptions.
If we move down a level to gardening, lawn mowing and other home improvement businesses ie. grass cutting, tree trimming, decking etc some of these businesses may be able to quote cheaper and thus become competitive. So the landscape is full of options for customers, so how do you stand out?
Start with recording your base line
How are (new) customers finding your Landscaping Design Business?
I’m talking completely new..
Not referrals from a client..
Out of the blue, 100% Fresh !
Like: Ring ring.. Hello?.. Hi I’m Susan.. Just found you on online…
Could you come over and look at our backyard?
We’ve got some ideas and we’ve been looking around your site and like what you did with that job in Kohimarama!
You can answer this yourself by asking Google, don’t type in your business name, of course you’ll pop up first.
Put yourself in the customers shoes and think about what kind of search queries will they use to find SERVICES like yours?
How about ‘Landscaper + City Name’ ?
Let’s try Landscaper Auckland and we get the following
What we have top before a list of search results is the Google 3 Pack. This use to be 7, but Google thinks that 3 is a better number. As I’m based in Panmure I’m shown 3 of the TOP Landscaping companies close to me. Top meaning that Google based on factors we will touch on, has decided these 3 are the best for me to see based on the search ‘Landscaper Auckland’
Next we have Organic Search
Let’s put ourselves in the buyers shoes
- We have a problem that needs solving
- Ask’s Google for Help
- Is presented with
- 3 Local Companies that show’s me exact location, phone number and Reviews
- 10 Landscaper below that I can choose from
- Above the 3 Local companies is usually 3 Google Adwords Campaigns, which I’ve left out
That’s a total of 3 + 10 + 3 = 16 !
16 Landscaping Design businesses to choose from on the first page of Google. Needless to say and for obvious reasons it’s a fight to get onto page 1. Try a few other variations of queries like ‘how much to pay a Landscaper’ ‘Landscape Designer + City’ ‘Best Landscaper in City’ and see where you are
Also check these queries on your mobile, you’ll notice the results differ. Gold Leaf Landscapes jumps above Second Nature
Check Incoming Traffic To Your Site
Either yourself but definitely your developer has access to either Google Search Console of Google Analytics installed. I’m assuming, because you take your online lead generation seriously
You need to know how many visitors are coming in on a monthly basis, find out now !
A paid tool that gives us a plethora of information for Digital Marketers
Disclaimer: Traffic is an estimate, Organic Key Words are not 100 % accurate and this particular case it has a glitch. Second Nature has backlinks but SEM Rush tells is they don’t ! More about Backlinks soon
In January traffic is low, which is understandable as January is a dead month in New Zealand. Then all of a sudden a massive rush of visitors to the site and it stay steady through our winter before increasing again in September, again this is an estimate and not 100%
How Many New Customers Are You Generating A Month At The Moment?
Without implementing any online or offline marketing, how many new customers have you acquired in this year? How many more could you realistically handle before you’re at capacity..
Important information before doing anything because
- you might not need to increase leads/customers and thus carry on as usual
- we can calculate how many more customers you need to achieve your business goals
Enough of the Analysis, Let’s Get into the how
This industry as I’ve already mentioned have good websites and/or online reputations. What does that mean?
- Mobile Optimised: Google gives preference over non mobile
- Fast loading: another Google ranking factor
- Good content ie. high word count front page, quality pictures, blog section
- Links to social media pages
- Reviews/Testimonials on website and review sites
- Good Calls To Action ie. Contact Forms to fill out and prominent phone number
Optimising Web Pages for SEO
Check out a video I made explaining what this is here
Optimising Gold Leaf Landscapes web pages was based on having a look again the competition and testing a few things, mainly featuring one main keyword STRATEGICALLY per page. It was common practice to stuff keywords throughout a website to make your website rank higher. I saw a few competitors still practicing this, below looks exaggerated but you’ll surprised other’s still doing this
Google hates this practice and you can get a penalty, meaning you could be stuck on page 2 or lower for a long time, more infor read this
Here’s what we did
Re-writing the Title of Site and Meta Description with Keywords
We decided the Keyword for the main page should be Auckland Landscaper. This search receives a minimum of 800 searches in Google per month ! So ranking for this would be nice to generate traffic and enquiries
The original site title read:– Home Page Gold Leaf Landscapes – Personal, Creative, Tailor-Made
The Meta description was pulled directly from the site and didn’t give Google or the customer much information neither does the Title.
After a bit of testing we decided on the following:
Including the phone number in case someone is urgent and wants to dial
Adding ‘landscapes in Auckland’ and suburbs where Gold Leaf Landscapes has customers (linked to internal pages and photos) tells the customer many things without being too pushy. Let me know what you think
Other updates I completed across all pages included
- re-writing meta description
- matching URL with Keyword
- matching H1 title with Keyword
- including Keyword once in the first paragraph
- including Alt-Text for images (some are still missing, but they’re not essential
- resizing images so they load faster
- adding more images to Garden Maintenance page
Need some help with this? Fill in the form
Off Page Optimisation
Clean up of NAP (Name Address and Phone Number) across Citations/Directories
The Business Name, Address and Phone Number for all businesses online need to be EXACTLY the same, as Google likes this consistency in order to rank you in Google 3 Pack. This is important for local businesses but less so for national organisations
As Gold Leaf Landscapes had recently changed address from north shore to Mission Bay. The first month was spent finding all the directories, emailing the respective owners and getting these changed. I used a service from Bright Local for the majority of the work, but some manual work was needed too
Essential to ranking higher than your competitors is being viewed as a trusted source of information. By being linked to from other websites is Google’s way to know if you’re others trust you. Backlinks are arguably the single most important factor to get your site ranking high in Google
Not all backlinks are created equal
Getting your mates to put your link in their site somewhere is not the same as having an article in the NZ Herald with your link. Google calculates how STRONG links are based on many different factors, but you assume that if the site has lots of (relevant) content, has been going for sometime and good traffic then the link will be strong
However, if the site is overseas and is discussing a landscape project in NZ (or many other countries) and looks a bit dodgy (lots of links and pop ups) you can assume it’s trash.
Backlink quality matters and need careful consideration before reaching out to the site
Here’s a few ways we’ve got links
- Competitors: using online tools we were able to find strong links that some of our competitors
- Searching for blogs using: Keyword+Blog. Reaching out via email for guest blogging opportunities
Since implementing the above we’ve managed 43/42 Keywords, increased Backlinks (some still need to be indexed) and got the following Page 1 results
Disclaimer: Results never stay the same they flactuate. ‘Garden Care Mission Bay’ was on page 5 for 3 weeks before rocketing up to 8th place (page 1)
These results are from 60 days work since starting working with Gold Leaf Landscapes, enquiries have been good and steady. The next phase to keep increasing backlinks, content and keeping it fresh
If you need help with your Landscaping Business, get in touch