If you are a local landscape business how can potential customers find you? According to multiple sources, 93% of online experiences begin with a keyword search on a search engine. Optimizing local search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for the growth of all companies, regardless of industry, but even more crucial for landscape businesses looking to tap into the local market or neighborhood.
Most homeowners and commercial businesses look for lawn and landscapers by searching for the exact terms that a local SEO campaign can help, which will drive traffic to your website and sales.
In the United States and Canada, most people are using Google to find local businesses to fulfill their needs. In one survey, 75% of users admit to never scroll past page one on Google. Meanwhile, 62% of consumers say they will disregard a business if they cannot find enough information about the company online.
Moreover, 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. So if your business website is not one of the first businesses listed when someone searches for landscaping in your city, you are likely missing out on a good deal of potential revenue.
So how can you improve your local SEO for your landscaping business? We asked The Buyer Group’s SEO Expert and author of The SEO Diet Joe Larato for his best tips advice.
Google states that one-third of users’ clicks on page one go to its “snack pack,” which is the Google Maps boxed area that appears on page one. The area shows the top three local business listings most relevant to the search query.
Despite this, 56% of local businesses have yet to claim their Google My Business, or GMB, while 82% of local businesses have not claimed their Bing Places listing. According to Laratro, if you have not claimed either of these listings, or if they are not yet created, this is the easiest and most effective first step to take in improving your local SEO.
Claim your GMB
First, visit Google My Business. If you already have a listing on Google Maps, search for your listing, and select the ‘Own this business?’ option. If the listing is verified, an email will be sent to the listing owner to request access for your email.
If it is not verified, you will need to verify it. Sometimes email and phone verification are offered, but the most common form of verification is a postcard. When you receive your postcard, enter the verification pin into your Google listing. If you never receive a postcard, select ‘Verify Now’ and under ‘Enter Pin’ you will see the ‘Resend Postcard’ option.
If you have multiple locations, you can use this same process request or add management for each location’s listing.
Claim your Bing Places listing
After you have created, optimized, and verified your GMB, visit Bing Places and select ‘New User.’ Use the ‘Import from Google My Business Now’ option to put the information from your GMB into Bing. If you import the listing before it is verified by Google, you will have to verify it on Bing.
Measure Local SEO results
After claiming your GMB, you will have access to the ‘Insights’ section, which will provide you with search volume, or how many times your listing appeared and how; customer interactions, or how many users looked at photos, and conversions, or how many phone calls were placed and direction requests were made.
As you optimize your listing, you will see an immediate impact and increase in volume and engagement. The more optimizations you make and the more active you are on these local channels, the more signals you provide to Google and, in turn, your customers that you are a real and reliable business, which will translate to growth and increased profits.
A mobile-friendly website is absolutely essential in today’s business environment. Most searches are made on mobile, regardless of industry, and 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
The two first steps Laratro recommends are to make sure your site is easy to navigate and apply for an SSL certificate. The certificate will apply a security code to your website that will tell visitors your site is safe to navigate on. They can be purchased and installed for minimal cost through most domain service providers or website hosting companies.
After your site is secure and user friendly, the next step is to optimize your site using a combination of marketing campaigns, concentrating on local SEO.
Snap to it! Upload photos for the win
The highest customer action on GMB is photo views. In your listing, you can upload your logo, cover photo, interior and exterior photos of your business and examples of your work and services you provide. You should also monitor the images that customers upload and associate with your business. Your photos should tell a story and be consistent with your brand’s message.
Stay active! Social interactions and posts count
You should also build brand pages and engage on a variety of social media platforms. Facebook is especially important to utilize in local SEO.
GMB also offers more opportunities to interact with customers. For example, you can use Google Posts to create content directly on Google. These posts are published on the top of the page with high exposure and last for seven days. Posts should be used to share timely information, so you can use them to promote content, blogs, offers, promotions, events, or products. In your GMB “Insights,” you can easily track impressions, clicks, and more from these posts.
Posts have an additional benefit of increasing the customer perception that your business has an active online presence, which increases user trust. It can help increase your reach, increase the authenticity and reliability of your brand and improve your local SEO rankings.
Your local SEO improvement should be an ongoing effort if you want to ensure maximum profitability. You should routinely manage your GMB and other local listings. All your listings should use a common NAP, or name, address, phone number. You can research your competitors’ backlinks to ensure you’re listed everywhere relevant for your community.
Questions and Answers
Optimizing your GMB includes monitoring the Questions and Answers. The Q&As are crowdsourced questions found in a business’ knowledge panel. Any user can ask questions and respond in this feature. Therefore, you should respond to questions before someone else does, because it’s easy for any user to leave a complaint in an answer and/or inaccurate information. You can post your FAQs in this section to beat out the competition. If you do not already have FAQs, ask your sales team or receptionists what the most common questions they receive are and utilize those.
You should conduct keyword research and benchmark your positions monthly or quarterly. Use this research to choose geo-targeted, long-tail keywords to use in your listing descriptions and in an ongoing SEO content package that builds pages for your website, and a blog.
Optimizing the local SEO for your landscaping business is critical to beating out your competitors and maximizing your profits. Without any oversight and improvement to your online presence, you will miss out on many potential customers. By employing these tips, you can grow your landscape business’ reach, jobs and ultimately, success.