Looking for tips and best practices to get your landscape or lawn care business on the first page of Google? Landscaping SEO can mean the difference between languishing in obscurity or building up a client base that ensures years of continued success. So, what is SEO? And how can you make it work for you?
We’ll dig into the truth behind SEO for landscapers, dispel the biggest SEO myths, and show you how you can make Google’s algorithms work for you.
What Is Search Engine Optimization – And Why Does It Matter?
Search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is a strategy used to improve site visibility so businesses can rank higher in Google’s search results. When you search for a certain term like “best landscapers near me” or “lawn care company in Houston,” you get page after page of results. The order in which those results pop up isn’t accidental.
Search engines like Google use carefully crafted algorithms to analyze website content and organize options according to relevancy quickly but thoroughly. The more relevant Google believes a search result is, the higher it will rank on the search results page. Optimizing your site helps Google see you as more relevant to whatever search terms you want to rank for.
Imagine a homeowner needs help installing a water feature. They head to Google and type in “water feature design.” The companies that show up as results will likely have the same keyword (water feature design) as well as related keywords (water features, water landscaping, fish pond, lotus pool, garden pond, etc.). Those pages are optimized for search engines.
Of course, it takes more than a list of keywords to create effective SEO for landscape and lawn care companies. It takes strategy, balance, and a lot of tweaking — more on that in a bit.
Local SEO for Your Landscaping Company
For some websites — like an e-commerce company that ships all over the world — location doesn’t matter. Overall reach is more important than geography because those sites can sell to anyone, anywhere. For locally-based landscaping companies, limiting marketing efforts by geography is how you maximize your budget and improve your relevance.
Local SEO focuses on optimizing your site for local searches. That’s important because nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are initiated by people looking for local information. Add to that the fact that a whopping 97% of people learn more about a local company thanks to an internet search than they do via any other method and there’s a clear need to put your website front and center on the ‘net.
Local searchers are also major precursors to real-world visits. Some 72% of consumers who conducted a local search went on to visit a physical location within five miles of their home. In other words, using geographically themed keywords that signal to Google your industry, services, or product offerings is how you get your business found on the internet.
Examples of keywords for local landscape and lawn care SEO include:
- CITY landscaper
- landscaper in CITY
- landscaper POSTAL CODE
- top landscaper in CITY
- best landscaping in CITY
- CITY landscaping companies
- landscapers near me
- lawn care company near me
- lawn care in CITY
Of course, landscape SEO isn’t just about keywords on a webpage. Google also takes into account other assets like the details on your Google My Business (GMB) account, social media profiles, event pages, and so on. As you incorporate keywords into your content, make sure you’re also setting up profiles on your GMB page, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and launching a blog.
SEO Myths: What to Know and What Mistakes to Avoid
Landscaping SEO is a fairly simple concept but a complicated process. Because of that, there are tons of misconceptions floating around. Listening to them can derail your strategy faster than weeds will grow in an unkempt lawn (we promise that’s the only lawn care analogy we’ll treat you to today).
Myth #1: The more keywords the better.
The Truth: Keywords are important, but they’re not everything. In fact, recent changes to Google’s algorithms mean their AI is smarter than ever. Google now looks for websites that are not only relevant but that deliver ideal user experiences.
Stuffing your web page with keywords may seem like a good way to rank, but it isn’t. That kind of gobbledygook is difficult to read and typically provides little if any value. “Landscapers in Houston lawn care near me landscaping services best landscaping company” sure packs a punch, but Google sees through that lame attempt at SEO in an instant.
Myth #2: Google purposely prevents new sites from ranking right away, so SEO takes a long time to work.
The Truth: The concept of the “Google Sandbox,” an imaginary place Google shoves new websites until they prove themselves, is a definite myth confirmed by Google’s social media team. It’s true that it can take time for an SEO campaign to gain traction, but that’s just because SEO is a cumulative process. Trust doesn’t happen overnight and neither does obtaining a top-tier search ranking.
Myth #3: Locally targeted PPC campaigns will help SEO for lawn care companies too
The Truth: Using local keywords in PPC campaigns can help focus and trim the fat from your campaigns, but it won’t directly affect your search ranking. Still, it will bring more traffic to your site, and that’s a good thing.
Myth #4: Long content is king.
The Truth: Once upon a time, people believed longer content was more rank-worthy. and many people pointed to studies that showed a correlation between longer content and better rankings. But some experts believe that the sites with longer content ranked not because of their weekly blog versions of War and Peace but likely because the content was value-packed and offered more substance to searchers. Google likes that.
Most marketers today agree that content marketing should incorporate both short- and long-form content. Alternate bite-sized blurbs with longer, more detailed articles and you’ll have something for everyone.
5 Quick Tips for Getting on the First Page of Google
According to one study, nabbing the top spot on Google’s search results pages translates into a 36.4% clickthrough rate. That CTR drops to 12.5% for second place and the third-position result has a CTR of 9.5%. Clearly, ranking matters, and these five quick tips can help you improve your positioning.
1. Have a strategy
Your keywords have power and you want to use them wisely.That means paying for keyword research or using a reliable free keyword tool like Semrush. Incorporate those keywords into your web pages, blogs, and all your meta data so that Google picks up on you for relevant searches.
2. Launch a blog
It’s no coincidence that some of the top ranking landscaping websites have a blog. Blogging about your areas of expertise generates more leads, strengthens your reputation, and provides value to your audience. It can also lead to your website scoring a featured snippet which exponentially increases your landscaping company’s visibility.
3. Blog often
It should also come as little surprise that the landscaping websites at the top of Google produce a lot of content. The more content you write, the better your chances of ranking on the first page of Google. That’s because every page you write gets indexed. But don’t forget quality — Google can smell a scam from a mile away.
4. Earn backlinks
When blogging, link to other authoritative landscaping websites and partners and ask if they can feature yours in return. The idea is to create a network of “backlinks” from multiple sources that link back to your site. Backlinks are important for SEO because they signal to Google that another resource finds your content valuable. As your website earns additional backlinks, search engines will infer that your website possesses valuable content that is worth ranking.
Just like maintaining a property in tip-top shape, landscaping SEO demands ongoing maintenance. If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed by SEO — finding the right keywords, writing blogs, updating your website, etc. — know that you’re not alone. Add to the overall complexity of SEO the fact that Google is constantly changing their rules and you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to run for the hills.
Doing so won’t get you ahead of the competition, though. In fact, it’ll only make you fall further behind. At Intrigue, we specialize in getting your landscape or lawn care business found by the right people. Contact the team at Intrigue today to get the conversation started.