Your website for your company should be where you funnel all your sales to. It is your 24/7 salesman so should appear that way. You should make sure your website is up to date and easy to use. It should also be visually appealing.
How do you get people to visit your website?
There are several ways to get prospective clients to visit your website:
1) Offline Marketing
Offline marketing consists of word of mouth and printed advertising. By putting your website on all of your printed material, your clients and target market will be made aware of your website.
2) Search Engine Marketing
Most of the time, when people find your website online, it is through a search engine, such as Google or Bing. Given that Google gets 90% of all of the internet’s search traffic, lets assume we are referring to people finding your website on Google.
First, a little background information. When you search on Google for say, “landscaping company,” there are both paid and organic results, as illustrated below:
Organic search results get about 90% of all traffic from Google searches. If you are lucky or have done some SEO work, your website may appear at the top of the organic listings, just below all the ads. If not, Google Adwords is how you cheat and capture that 10% of traffic! It is better than 0% if you are not showing up on Google at all. Search engine optimization is covered more in depth on the SEO page.
Paid search results are Google Adwords, which you have to pay for each click to your website and get about 10% of the searches on Google. Paid advertising is covered more on the Google Adwords page.
Ideally, one would use SEO to optimize the most popular search terms, such as “landscaping company RI” and Google Adwords to target the smaller search terms such as “where do I find a gardener in Southern RI”.
3) Email Marketing
Email marketing can be used to direct traffic to your website. If you get all your customer’s email addresses and import them into a program like Mailchimp, you can easily mass market all of them. Also, whenever you can, get email addresses of any leads that may call in even if you don’t win the job. Through Mailchimp or similar programs, you are able to mass email these leads or customers with special offers or just staying in touch. All the information in the email can easily direct traffic to your website.
Google Adwords PPC marketing has been my #1 best marketing secret. What exactly is google Adword PPC? It stands for Pay Per Click. Google’s advertising, which you pay for, on a per click basis.
In this section, we will be focusing on how to get your landscaping web page to show up on those areas highlighted above on the right and top side of the page. The paid search results sections.
Google Adwords is how Google makes most of it’s money. There are two main types of Adwords ads:
1) Search Network (shown above)
2) Display Network
The Display Network are those little ads that seem to “follow” you around the internet (in fact, there are some right on this webpage you are viewing):
To get started, you will have to visit adwords.google.com to set up an account. You can use the same login credentials as you do for your Gmail account. If you search around, there are usually $100 or $50 for free adwords credit available for you to get started. In fact, doing a quick search, here is a $75 credit for you. You’re welcome.
So, once you get set up, you will want to create some campaigns. Adwords Campaigns are the way you break up your advertising into little sections. Trust me, you’ll want to do this off the bat as you will only end up doing it eventually anyway. By breaking your Adwords into separate campaigns, you have greater control on pausing each piece of marketing (ie only run the Fall Cleanups marketing campaign in the fall), you can set separate budgets, and separate ads.
Could you just run one ad that says “Best landscaping company in all of RI call 888-Best-Lawn” for every search related to landscaping and have them all land on your homepage? Sure, you could. And you would get traffic. But it would be expensive traffic to your site, and less targeted traffic.
It is much better to separate you campaigns, so that when someone searches for “fall cleanup service” an ad shows up that advertises specifically that- fall cleanups- and when they click on it sends them directly to the page on your website that talks about your fall cleanup service.
This way, not only will you be paying less per each time your ad is clicked (since Google charges you less for more relevant ads), but you will be paying only for the exact traffic you want to that page. When your prospective clients land on this page, they will also be provided with exactly what they were looking for. Fall cleanups. So many more people will contact you.
Our current campaigns are below:
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a term used for manipulating your website to be at the top of the organic search results on search engines. The benefit to using Search Engine Optimization to be at the top of the organic listings instead of Google Adwords is that you don’t have to pay for any of the traffic!
There are many different interpretations of SEO, so it is best to do your research. People will call anything SEO- so before you hire a company it is best to do a little research.
Typically, depending on the competition in your area, and number of keywords you target, it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 to $1000+ a month to have real , effective, SEO work done for your site.
Types of SEO
There are two types of SEO:
A) On-site and
On-site SEO Refers to your website itself. If you want to get traffic for landscaping, I would hope that you are mentioning the words “landscaping” and other landscaping related words like dirt and lawn and mower. If you are talking about peaches or Dodge Caravans, Google is not going to rate that page high for someone searching for landscaping. Also, You want titles and major topics in a bigger font or heading. It also means keeping your site up to date, doing things such as keeping a blog going on your site regularly. Google likes new information.
Off-site SEO is more important and a lot of work. It refers to things done off your website such as getting links to your site posting about your site on Facebook.
How does Google Work?
Google’s job is to provide the most relevant search results for any given phrase to the user. So how does it determine what is the most relevant result? The far biggest way is through links to your site.
For example, if this website has a lot of links directing to your site about landscaping in Colorado, Google will think, “oh, a lot of reputable websites are saying this site is about landscaping in Colorado, so it must be the most relevant, I will direct my users to this website.”
That’s it in a nutshell. Links from reputable sites such as your Chamber of Commerce or Better business Bureau work wonders.
Cost of SEO
Basic SEO you can do yourself, for free! This means getting links to your website from other reputable sites. And it is much better having a link that says “landscaping” in the link itself as the anchor text than simply saying “click here!”. Saying “click here” does not give Google any information on what your site is about.
However, if you have the budget, you are going to have much better luck paying <a good> company to do the work for you. They are much better at it and will be much more effective with their time.
When I was quoted on my website, I was quoted $900 a month by one company, $500 a month for another, then two other companies which were similarly priced around $400 for the first 2-4 months then $100 indefinitely thereafter.
The reason being, that there is substantial work in the beginning. In the beginning you have to build links to your site and start getting a reputation. The reason for the continued charge is that Google is a constantly evolving company and they are always changing their search algorithms to better serve their customers. People are always trying to trick Google into thinking their site is the most important so Google is always fighting back. If you don’t pay for an SEO service, chances are you may not rank as high for some search terms over time, it takes maintenance.