5 Free (ish) Online Marketing Ideas for Growing Your Landscaping Business
Updated January 3, 2019
We get it. As the owner of a landscaping company, aside from providing excellent service, your number one goal is to grow your business. You're looking for ways to drive phone calls and leads that result in estimates, bids, and jobs.
And while referrals and word of mouth got you where you are today, to compete in today's saturated landscaping industry, you'll need to include digital marketing to keep you in business tomorrow.
Contrary to popular belief, digital marketing doesn't have to cost a fortune. But there's always a trade-off... paying with your time vs paying with your money.
Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Yourself to Grow Your Business Online
1. Be Seen- Set Up and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The most important thing you can do for your landscaping business is to set up, complete, and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Why? Because you need Google and other search engines to know you exist. And you need a business listing to establish a minimum amount of credibility with potential customers.
But a GMB listing can do so much more for your business than showcase a phone number, address and hours of operation.
Your GMB listing is a window into your business and the first place most of your potential customers will interact with your brand.
Take advantage of the fact that Google is the biggest search engine and the place most of us go first to check out a business:
Add photos. The very minimum you can do to optimize your GMB listing is to upload pictures of your best work, your crew, and yourself. Make your landscaping business listing a very visual experience. People make decisions with their emotions.
Get reviews. Ask former and current customers to post a review of their experience. Customer stories are key to earning trust with both potential customers and Google. And remember to respond to all reviews. Engaging with your reviewers is important for demonstrating your responsiveness to both positive and negative feedback.
Describe your business accurately. The proper categories and accurate description will help Google index your company and display your business in the maps section as well as organic search results.
2. Leverage Social Media - Turn Voyeurs Into Leads
If your landscaping company doesn’t have social media marketing, you are missing out on a very powerful resource.
With the accessibility of the internet on mobile devices, these stats shouldn't be surprising. And, if you're like most landscaping businesses, the question isn't SHOULD we be leveraging social media, but rather, HOW do we leverage this powerful tool to reach more customers and grow our business.
First, let's talk about social media as a marketing channel. The two most popular social media platforms for landscaping businesses are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Each allows you to set up a free business page and offers various types of paid advertising you can take advantage of as part of your engagement strategy. Other free social media platforms include Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Use LinkedIn to target commercial clients, and reserve Facebook and the others to reach residential customers.
Now, let's talk about leveraging social media to reach consumers. As a landscaping company, the best way to get more customers is to showcase your work. That makes social media ideal for growing your business.
If you're not already taking photos of your work, start now. Before and After photos are awesome for telling a story. General photos are great to show pride in your work and give homeowners inspiration for turning a boring backyard into something amazing.
Social media is specifically designed to post, share, and start conversations.
Tips for Using Social Media to Grow Your Landscaping Business
The hardest part of adding social media to your marketing plan is getting started. Once you're set-up, it's just a matter of being consistent in your posting.
Here's how you do it:
Set up business pages. Many platforms offer both personal and business pages. Your landscaping business needs a business page on each platform you will be posting to. Fill in all the information and keep your personal and business posts separate. (In some cases, however, it will be appropriate to post something to your personal page and share it on your business page- like personal awards or recognition.)
Take photos and videos of your work. Today's mobile devices make everyone look like professional photographers and videographers. But the real beauty of social media is that nobody expects perfection. Be genuine in your videos and frame your photos as best you can.
Post regularly. For some landscapers, posting daily is a challenge. We believe at least one post per week is a great way to get in the habit. Add more as you develop your style. People love before and after photos, daily photo diaries of work in progress, a quick video on how to do something like prune a rose.
Tag your customers. On LinkedIn, adding a hashtag with your client's business name will notify them of your mention. This will give them the opportunity to share your post. Facebook and other platforms offer a similar feature, but it is probably best to ask permission first.
Ask for recommendations. Ask your customers to follow you on Facebook, "Like" your page, write a review, post their flowers or garden areas and tag your company. Anything they post will be shared with their own network- imagine the referrals you could get from one or two great shares!
3. Get in Front of a Camera- YouTube is the Future
Studies show that video content is an incredibly powerful modern marketing tool. Given that people would rather watch a how-to video over reading directions, it's no surprise that YouTube is considered a top search engine for consumers looking for answers. Your landscaping business needs to be taking advantage of this.
You can easily create beautiful videos on your smartphone, featuring landscaping tutorials, before and after clips and makeover projects.
This is the perfect way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Give landscaping tips, highlight recent work that you’ve done, and show behind the scenes shots of your crew and operations.
While most of us think we can watch a video and be an expert gardener, the truth is, many will try and fail or try and decide they would rather pay someone. If your tutorial was the one they trusted enough to follow, there's a good chance you'll be the company they trust to hire for the job.
If you aren’t familiar with the world of video marketing, here is a quick tutorial on how to make a YouTube video.
4. Be Relevant - Write About What You Love to Do
There’s a popular saying, ‘Content Is King,’ and we couldn’t agree more. Routinely writing blog content helps your SEO ranking, which then drives traffic to your website, establishes your landscaping company as an industry authority, and helps convert prospects into customers.
When it comes to ‘what to write about,’ think about the most frequently asked questions you receive from prospects and customers. Answer each one of them in a detailed blog post – it’s that simple!
Include visual elements like photos, videos, statistics, graphs or anything that helps keep the reader's attention.
If you don’t currently blog on your website or need help creating a strategy, we recommend you read our previous article, 6 Steps to Writing More Effective Blog Posts.
5. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
If you can only focus on one area of online marketing, we recommend it be your website’s search engine optimization (SEO.)
An optimized website is the best way to rank on the first page of Google, which will drive more traffic, leads, and sales. Considering the top 5 website results on any given search get 75% of the clicks, you can’t afford to not pay attention to this marketing tactic.
But, what is SEO? Truth is, SEO is not one thing; it's a bunch of things. Some SEO tactics you can do yourself and some are just better left to the professionals. Here are some SEO tactics that work for landscaping websites:
Use original pictures. Again, nobody is expecting perfection. If you can hire a professional photographer or own an SLR camera awesome! But the reality is, a good photo snapped on your smartphone is all it takes to show your work, introduce yourself and your team, and make a great impression on your visitors. Use photos on your pages and include a gallery page of your work.
Write original content. Nobody is expecting 1,000 words of perfection here. What the search engines, like Google, and your visitors want is relevant content. That means, fill your website's pages with information that helps them understand who you are, what you do, and why you are the best landscaper to do the job.
Do not copy words and pictures from another landscapers website- even if it's in a different state. This is plagiarism and very quickly Google will penalize you for it. Just be yourself and write the way you would speak to someone inquiring about your service.
Use internal links. When you are writing content for your website, look for opportunities to link from one page to another. For example, you can be talking about designing an outdoor kitchen and how pretty it would be to include an herb garden. The words "herb garden" could link to a page that talks about different garden types or even a gallery page with herb gardens on it.
If you don’t have the technical skills to execute proper SEO, High Level Marketing has some very affordable monthly SEO options that’ll deliver a positive ROI for your business.
For more information about growing your business using digital marketing or for a FREE SEO analysis, contact us today.