Here are 8 tips that will help your landscaping business build brand awareness, get more referrals and reviews, and generate leads from your marketing and advertising campaigns, with a video introduction for landscaper marketing pros at Marketing 360®.
Tip #1. Get a Killer Landscaping Website Design
Today, you simply can’t skimp on your business website. It is your main business front.
Almost all consumers comparison shop for local services by checking websites. And they don’t just want a list of services you provide. They want to feel you out to see if you’re credible, experienced and recommended. Their first impression of your business comes from your website.
You want a clean, modern design that’s easy to navigate, has concise info and leads visitors towards your call to action. It must be mobile friendly as more than half of visits will be on phones. You’ll also want a gallery with high-quality images of your work and testimonials from your best clients. For example:
Today’s website templates offer enterprise level designs that are very affordable. There is no excuse for not having a professional, mobile responsive landscaping website.
Tip #2. Manage Your Online Reputation
Every landscaper knows that referrals are the best new leads. It doesn’t get any better than when someone comes to you already convinced you’re fair, honest, and capable.
But today, word of mouth is not enough. People get referrals and learn about past customer experience from online reviews. A great review profile is a huge boon to your lead generation. A poor one can sink it.
The best way to ensure you get positive reviews is to provide great service. Remember that every time you go above and beyond, you’re helping your lead-generation. Every time you cut corners, it’s likely to cost you later.
It’s also worth it to make efforts to get reviews from your best clients. We use email follow-ups with templates that link to the review platform we want to add to.
Important Idea: Use Top Rated Local
Top Rated Local is a review platform that is a cross between testimonials and reviews. It is a widget that links from your website, so like testimonials, you can offer reviews directly from your content, but at the same time, it links to a credible third party review site.
Top Rated Local also gives businesses more control over review content. You can elect not to display rants or fake reviews that damage your reputation. The website widget looks like this:
It’s a free service that helps you display more positive comments about your business.
Important Idea: Get On Google My Business
Google My Business (aka Places) is your maps listing (important for local search, discussed below) and is also a review platform. As you can see, when someone clicks on places results, reviews display prominently:
You must claim and optimize all info on your Google Business listing. Again, you can display a gallery, list contact info, and of course link to maps to show your service area. Clients with Google accounts can leave reviews with star ratings and comments.
Important Idea: Encourage Great Reviews and Respond to Poor Ones
Many business owners have a love/hate relationship with online reviews. The problem is that the happy middle most of your clients fall into isn’t well represented. You get some glowing 5-star reviews, some 1-star bombs, and little in between.
Encourage your happy clients to leave you reviews on one or more of these sites. You can entice them with some type of deal, but the best tactic is to just do great work then send an email reminder a week or so after the job is complete.
Respond to poor reviews with a professional, calm tone. Offer to rectify legitimate complaints. Many people will be impressed by how you value their opinion and will give you a second chance.
Tip #3. Run Call Focused Campaigns
With your website and review pages working to get you online estimate forms, try focusing your paid search advertising on phone call leads.
Phone calls tend to come from leads that are most ready to hire, so they can provide high ROI on paid search advertising.
Create call extensions on your paid text ads, like this:
This ad still has the option to click through to your landing page. You can also run call-only campaigns (on mobile devices only), that only give the option for a click to call:
You can set-up these campaigns so they only display to people in your service area and only show when you are available to take phone calls. If your budget for paid advertising is limited, this is a good bang for your buck.
#4. Develop a Business Video
Video remains one of the most underused pieces of marketing material for local businesses like landscape designers, even though it’s one of the most effective.
In about a minute, a commercial can say – and show – virtually everything necessary to convince a lead you’re right for them. You can convey your main value offering, slip in a customer testimonial, and show a moving gallery of your best work. Finish it off with a strong call to action, and the phone will be ringing.
Very few landscaping businesses do a good job with video, which is surprising because the work lends itself so well to visual mediums. Create a video, embed it on your landing pages, and optimize it for search on YouTube. With a modest investment, you can effectively separate yourself from the competition.
Beyond this type of commercial, you can also do short videos of completed jobs and feature them on your YouTube channel, share them on social media, as well as embed them on your website. Use your phone and free video editing apps. Amature videos can still be effective, and the personal touch is a great way to introduce yourself to new leads.
#5. Facebook Marketing and Advertising
Today, Facebook offers some of the most targeted advertising options in digital marketing. Like video, few landscapers take advantage of it, so it’s another place to separate yourself from the competition.
First, create a Facebook business page. Be sure to set up messaging, complete all contact info, and enable reviews. Keep you timeline fresh with updates about your business and new jobs. Also, curate and share useful landscaping and lawn care tips.
With Facebook Lead Ads, you can even get the lead to convert without having to leave Facebook.
The advantage here is that you can get quote requests or call leads with users making minimal effort. Facebook auto fills most of the info, so in just a few touchscreen taps the lead can reach out to you.
Beyond ads, get clients to share images of their new landscaping on their pages. Extend these efforts to Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube.
#6. Master Your Search Marketing
There are different tactics with local search on Google or Bing. If you do it right, you can be in three places on page one, like this plumbing contractor:
At the top is a local paid-per-click advertisement. You use the auction platform and optimization techniques to outrank your competition here (the top 4 spots). These are usually direct response advertisements that go to a conversion-focused landing page. You pay for each click through to your website.
Next is the Google Business listing we mention above. You get better ranking here by optimizing the content on your business listing and getting more reviews. Once you rank, you don’t pay for clicks.
The third is your organic website listing, affected by SEO. When you add content to your blog, update pages, use your targeted keywords in a natural way, gain links into your website, and get more social media traffic, you’ll rank here. It takes time to gain and hold this ranking, but like Places, the traffic is free once you’re there.
These are all complimentary tactics, targeting similar audiences and using similar keyword phrases. Each drives traffic, but having all three in place is optimal.
Important Tip: Create a Landscaping Infographic
Visual material like infographics engage your audience and can be good link bait to improve your SEO. Organize landscaping tips visually with these designs:
#7. Get Active Locally and Build In Some Facetime
Articles like this talk a lot about search marketing, social media, analytics, websites, etc. But here is some additional advice for marketing your landscaping business.
Get out and meet people.
Make connections that aren’t online.
Give back to your community.
Network – in person – with other businesses.
Say hello to the rest of the world.
I recently spoke about marketing with a successful landscaper in my area. He had a website and did some SEO, but other than that did no online marketing.
I wondered how he could make it in today’s digitally driven world.
But this guy was outgoing, charming, and giving. He was active at his kids’ schools, Chamber of Commerce, and church. He volunteered at several local charities.
He was such an active networker and such a talented landscape designer that just by meeting people and getting referrals, he kept very busy.
We’re not saying ignore all this digital marketing – far from it. Most of us are not as outgoing and good at personal networking as this fellow. But remember that not everything is digital. Shake some hands and do some networking the old fashion way. Hustle is always an advantage.
#8. Get Some Marketing Help
If you think that running your business and keeping up with digital marketing trends and tactics sounds like a lot, you’re right.
Today, it’s just about impossible to stay on top of everything happening with search and social media marketing. You just won’t have the time.
So talk to our landscaping marketing consultants and get some assistance. We’ll help you structure your marketing plan as an investment that’s designed to pay for itself over time.
Our all-in-one digital software and consulting service is powerful yet affordable. If you want to stay a step ahead of marketing trends – as well as your competition – Marketing 360® is for you.