LANDSCAPING 12 MINUTE READ

Landscaping SEO: The Definitive Guide For Local Businesses [2021]

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Tradie Digital

If you offer landscaping, lawn care or any garden construction service, you need a consistent supply of leads to fuel your business from season to season.

With 93% of online experiences starting at a blank search engine, the ticket to growth is to put YOUR company on Google when people go searching. And SEO is how you do it.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, can seem complicated and overwhelming. But, like turning an overgrown backyard into a relaxing outdoor oasis, it just takes a little planning and the right strategy.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about landscaping SEO in 2021, and how to get your business found on Google.

Looking for more leads?

Landscaping SEO is how you make it happen.

97% of customers go online to look for landscapers, and by optimizing your website and online presence (this is marketing code for ‘making your site easier to find and use’) you can rank on the first page of Google when people go looking for landscaping help.

This is how you generate qualified traffic to your website and free leads.

But there’s a catch…

Every landscaper wants that qualified traffic and those free leads. Word of mouth will always be valuable, but as more customers turn to Google to find landscaping help, you need to make sure it’s YOUR company they find.

Thankfully, SEO is about making your website easy to find and use.

So it doesn’t matter if you work as a residential landscaper or a commercial landscaper; if you’ve got a fleet of 10 trucks or it’s just you and a set of equipment, the following SEO landscaping strategies will work for you.

Ready to become the #1 landscaper in your local area? Read on to discover how.

What is landscaping SEO?

As a landscaper you’ve probably heard of SEO before.

Put simply, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how you improve your website to increase the likelihood of ranking on Google. Google wants to promote the best landscaping businesses, and they use a variety of ranking factors to determine who’s the best.

This is important because Google’s definition of “best” will be different from yours.

You may offer the lowest prices, a premium service that’s beloved in your community, and have more knowledge of horticulture than anyone within 500 miles.

Still, Google’s version of “best”doesn’t come down to your products and services. Google’s definition comes down to:

  • The keywords you use
  • The quality of your content
  • The technical standard of your website
  • The number and quality of backlinks pointing to your content

SEO that works for a plumber or a locksmith won’t work for you because you’ll need a landscaping-specific approach to each of the points above.

For example, if you wanted to appear when people searched for ‘backyard patio construction’ you’d need to find the right patio-related keywords, create quality content about patio building, ensure your site was fast and worked on mobile devices, and secure backlinks from websites related to construction.

A landscaping customer has a unique goal in mind, and landscaping SEO promotes your business as the solution to their problem.

“Do I need SEO for my landscaping company if I already have work?”

It’s common for landscapers to skip SEO because they think it’s expensive or unnecessary, when really it can be free and is crucial to business growth.

Passing on a source of constant website traffic and leads because you have bookings in the calendar today is like looking at a freshly mowed lawn and thinking you’ll never need to touch a blade of grass again.

Just as yards grow and change, the landscaping industry grows and changes.

With the global landscaping industry worth an estimated $105.1 billion, you’ll always face competition for customers. If a hot shot new landscaper moves into town, your best clients pack up and move interstate, and a slow winter season hits, will you have a plan to keep work coming in?

SEO provides a reliable, measurable stream of traffic and leads.

Having customers today is great. Knowing you’ll always have website traffic and leads is even better.

Here’s an example of how landscaping SEO provides a safety net to either catch you when business slows down, or help scale your business up.

John doesn’t use SEO David has started an SEO campaign
John doesn’t think SEO is worth the time or money because he has steady work.

When the off-season rolls round, John’s leads dry up.

A new landscaper in town takes John’s best clients, forcing him to chase up low-quality leads and time-wasters.

With new competition, John is forced to discount his prices to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, because John is forced to chase up work, his leads are more interested in price than quality, and he’s stuck in a race to the bottom.

David has leads but wants to create a pipeline of regular work.

David starts applying SEO to his website and gets steady work through the off-season.

When a new landscaper comes to town, David’s SEO has been slowly improving for months.

Even with new competition, David gets consistent leads through Google.

Even better, because David’s leads went looking for his services on Google, they’re willing to pay top dollar for his landscaping business.

Short on time but keen for more work? Click here to find out the cost of landscaping SEO in 2011 [FULL PRICE BREAKDOWN]

planning of landscaping seo strategies

5 simple and effective landscaping SEO strategies

If you’re late to the SEO party and you’ve seen your competition publishing blogs and ranking for lawn care keywords, it’s nice to know the train hasn’t left the station.

Great SEO makes your website more usable for potential customers, in the same way you make outdoor spaces more usable for customers.

Here are 5 proven landscaping SEO strategies you can use to boost your visibility on Google and grow your business.

#1 – Find and apply landscaping keywords

SEO works by connecting a customer’s keywords with keywords on your website.

If someone searches for ‘Garden Irrigation Systems’, Google will look for websites that use the same keywords, and similar keywords. This helps Google see that your site would make a great match, and that showing your business would satisfy that customer.

But if that sounds like vague advice…well, it is.

Most ‘Landscape SEO’ articles will tell you to “use landscaping keywords” then move on to the next topic. But that’s like suggesting someone “maintain their yard” when what they really want to know is how to keep weeds from killing their favorite rose bushes.

Specialist tactics are always better than general advice, so here’s how you can identify valuable landscaping keywords with no experience and at no cost.

Keyword Research Option #1 – Answer The Public

Keyword research isn’t every landscaper’s idea of a good time. Between needling to learn how to use complicated keyword tools and forking out subscription fees, it’s all a bit of a headache.

For a toe in the water, spend a little time using Answer The Public.

This keyword research tool is designed to display the actual terms people use on Google in an easy-to-understand visual way. You’ll only have access to 3 free searches per day, but if you’re looking to DIY your landscaping SEO, this keyword research tool is an ideal place to start.

Just enter the keyword you’d like to research, set your location, and hit ‘enter’.

answer the public keyword research example

This search shows all the keywords related to ‘backyard maintenance’.

  • How much does it cost for yard maintenance
  • What is the average cost for yard maintenance
  • Low maintenance backyard for dogs

If you had a service page for backyard maintenance, adding these keywords would help give Google more context, and increase your odds of ranking. Keep in mind, you can’t throw these in randomly. You’ll need to add useful, 100% original content that explains these topics.

Keyword Research Option #2 – Paid Keyword Research Tools

OK, we’ve thrown a bunch of keyword research tools into this second option, but only because there are a range of tools available that all do pretty much the same thing.

Paid keyword research tools come from frompanies like:

Each of these keyword research tools offers a short free trial, usually with a limited number of monthly searches, or unlimited searches with limited analytics. If you opt for the paid versions you have tools that let you search for landscaping keywords, track monthly volume, check out likely competition, etc.

The best way to find a fit for your landscaping needs is to play around with their free trials and see which software is easiest for you to use.

Keyword Research Option Option #3 – Google Keyword Planner (FREE)

Google’s Keyword Planner is the gold standard for keyword research, and it’s 100% free.

You will need a Google Ads account, but you can create one of those for free and set up a test ad campaign without spending any money. Once your account is live, click on the wrench icon at the top of the page.

google ads tools

Next, click on ‘Keyword Planner’.

google ads keyword planner

From here you’ll have the choice of ‘Discover New Keywords’ and ‘Get Search Volumes and Forecast’.

The first option will help you find keywords related to your landscaping services, and the second option will show you how many monthly searches those keywords have. This is crucial because you don’t want to create content around keywords no one is looking for.

You can research any garden design or construction keyword under the sun, but it’s best to look for the following three qualities:

  • Search Volume: The higher the search volume, the more traffic you can get. But higher search volume comes with more competition, so look for a mix of low, medium and high volume keywords.
  • Commercial Intent: You want to rank for keywords that people use before hiring a landscaper. Converting traffic to customers is the goal, so a keyword like ‘DIY lawn care tips to try at home’ probably isn’t right for you.
  • SEO competition: Every landscaper wants the same traffic and customers as you. Choose a mix of keywords that you can realistically rank for.

“What do I do with these keywords now that I have them?”

Once you have your landscaping keywords, start by sprinkling them throughout your service pages.

Make sure you separate keywords and add them to the relevant page to help Google understand what each page is about. For example, if you offer a ‘lawn maintenance’ service you could add keywords like:

  • ‘Lawn care’
  • ‘Lawn maintenance help’
  • ‘Local lawn maintenance service’
  • ‘Lawn mowing help’
  • ‘Hedge trimming services’
  • ‘Year round garden care’

If you discovered keywords relating to ‘tree lopping’ and you offer a tree removal service, those keywords are best applied on that page.

TRADIE DIGITAL TIP: It’s best to use a range of keywords per page rather than jamming the same keyword 5 times as this is called ‘keyword stuffing’ and can lead to SEO penalties.

You’ll also want to use your newly discovered keywords to create helpful guides and articles (which we’ll cover below), in your Title Tags (which we’ll cover below) and on location pages (yep, you guessed it…we’ll be covering that below).

#2 – Create a landscaping blog

OK, you’ve sprinkled keywords across your site to help your service pages have a better chance of ranking, for example, your ‘landscape design’ service page.

But there’s one BIG problem…

Most people won’t jump on Google and search for ‘landscape design’.

Instead, they’ll describe their problem in 4 or more words – these are known as long-tail keywords. Over 70% of ALL searches on Google are long-tail, reinforcing the need to create helpful content on a range of lawn care topics.

Your customer might search for ‘how do I hire a landscape designer on a budget’ or ‘landscape design trends for 2021’. These are related to your ‘landscape design’ page, but your service pages are unlikely to rank for searches like these as they are niche questions.

It’s not enough to optimize your service pages and think “job done”. By adding a landscaping blog you can create content that specifically matches your customer’s problems and target a range of long-tail keywords.

For example, in your keyword research phase you might have identified the keyword ‘backyard landscaping on a budget’.

By creating a blog on this subject you give yourself a great chance of ranking. An article titled ‘10 Stunning Backyard Landscaping On A Budget Tips’ can bring in site traffic through that long-tail keyword.

Businesses who blog generate 67% more leads than businesses who only optimize their service pages.

Even better, long-tail keywords typically have less competition. The big boys of the landscaping world rarely bother to spend their energy targeting a keyword that only generates 10 searches a month.

But for a local landscaper that’s 10 people landing on your site and finding EXACTLY what they went looking for. When it’s time for them to hire a landscaper to transform their yard, you’ll be top of mind.

long tail keywords

Keep in mind, you can target as many long-tail keywords as you like.

While one long-tail keyword may only generate 10 searches a month, you could have 10, 20 or 100 long-tail keywords bringing you traffic, generating hundreds of clicks month after month.

Curious how long it takes to rank on Google? Click here for your exact ranking timeline

#3 – Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions

You’ve used your keywords in your service pages and in your landscaping blog, now it’s time to use them in your page titles and meta descriptions.

The page title is the clickable link your customers see on Google. And the meta description is the short blurb that appears underneath. For example, here’s a page title and meta description for a Sydney landscaping company.

serp example for landscaping business

Your page title and meta description – known collectively as your ‘title tags’ – are crucial for two reasons.

Firstly, Google will check the keywords in your title tags to determine your rankings, as title tags are an SEO ranking signal. If your title tags mention ‘patio design and construction’, that’s a clue to Google that your web page is also about patio design and construction.

Secondly, your customers will decide whether to click on your web page based on your title tags. If your title tags aren’t compelling and exciting, you could lose that customer to another landscaper on Google.

Here’s our Tradie Digital tips to nail your title tags so that you impress Google AND impress your customers.

How to Optimize Your Page Titles How to Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
Keep your page title within 60 characters or Google will cut it off

Use your keyword towards the start of your page title

Be creative in your language and message to stand out from the crowd

Use power words to make your page title compelling, like ‘exclusive’, ‘free’, ‘discount’

Keep your meta description within 160 characters or Google will cut it off

Provide a short preview of what a customer should expect on your page

Use short, sharp sentences and emotive language to drive clicks

Include a call-to-action to tell people what to do next, like ‘call now’ or ‘sign up today’

#4 – Earn backlinks from relevant websites

No landscaping SEO guide would be complete without mentioning backlinks. Unfortunately, backlinks can be tough to build on your own.

If you’ve ever been scrolling on a website and seen an underlined sentence that can be clicked to take you to a completely different site, that’s a backlink.

Google uses backlinks to determine your SEO results, and they are a POWERFUL ranking factor.

This is because backlinks are tough to manipulate. After all, any old landscaper can stuff 50 keywords on their site. But it’s hard to convince 50 external websites to create a link to your content.

Keep in mind, not all backlinks are created equal.

The best backlinks come from websites that are:

  • High quality
  • Relevant

Put simply, it’s better to have one backlink from the National Association of Landscape Professionals website over 10 backlinks from websites that sell jam.

“How can I start building backlinks?

In order to build backlinks you’ll need an outreach strategy.

This should include a spreadsheet of potential contact names, websites and phone numbers. The websites on this list can be made up of bloggers, businesses in complementary industries (think construction, real estate, or home improvement), or local newspapers.

Whether you’re creating an entire blog post to give to your target website in exchange for a backlink, or you’re asking for a link to be added to their existing content, it takes a lot of sweat equity to contact each source.

Looking for link-building success without the hard work? Scroll to the bottom to find out how we can generate quality links for your landscaping business.

#5 – Nail your technical SEO

Did you know 83% of people expect your landscaping site to load within 3 seconds?

This is an example of the technical standard your site needs to be at. Even with the right keywords and awesome content, if your technical SEO is sub-par, Google won’t reward you with rankings.

As a quick definition, technical SEO is the process of optimizing your site to make it easier for Google to find and index, as well as easier for people to use. This covers:

  • Your site speed
  • Your site’s mobile optimization
  • Your site’s URLs
  • Your site’s security

Don’t stress if you feel a headache coming on at the thought of needing to become a technical SEO whiz overnight. The major areas you should be focusing on to get your SEO up and running are your site’s speed and your mobile optimization.

Start by using free tools, like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, to test your website’s load speed. Your results will include a list of recommended changes to speed things up, so there’s no need to enrol in night school to bump up your technical SEO knowledge.

pagespeed insights example

Your customers will also look for you on their smartphones, so your site needs to be fully optimized for mobile browsing.

Whether a customer is in their yard and feels inspired to jump on Google, or saw a stunning garden on the way home from work and wanted to look up landscaping options, mobile browsing takes up over 70% of internet time.

Google has your back again with their free Mobile-Friendly Test to determine whether you meet Google’s standards for a mobile-optimized site.

mobile friendly test example

If your results aren’t up to par, you’ll have free tips from Google on what to improve, so you’re not left in the dark.

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What is landscaping local SEO?

Local SEO is a subcategory of SEO.

Instead of trying to boost your visibility to everyone, Local SEO is targeting customers in your zip code and surrounding suburbs. This can be more valuable to a landscaping business as these local customers represent real opportunities to make money.

As 46% of ALL searches on Google have local intent, 1 out of every 2 possible customers will be comparing local results – making Local SEO and SEO a powerful multi-ranking approach.

As an example, SEO can help your ‘deluxe landscaping’ page appear to someone 100 miles away. Local SEO can help your ‘deluxe landscaping’ page appear to someone 10 miles away. With local searches resulting in a sale 28% of the time, there’s money on the table if you can nail your Local SEO.

After all, if you’re in New York, you don’t want to be found by people in Los Angeles and Local SEO for landscapers is how you appear in front of the right local customers.

How to optimize local SEO for a landscaping company

The days of advertising in the Yellow Pages and waiting for the phone to ring are over.

Remember, 97% of people search for local businesses on Google, so that’s where your website needs to be.

The best leads for your landscaping company will be local customers living in your zip code, or within a short drive, and to connect with these people you’ll need to optimize for Local SEO.

Here’s how you do it.

Claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing

Your GMB is a business profile that appears when someone conducts a ‘local search’.

You’ve probably seen a GMB before when looking for a restaurant or nearby business. Here’s an example of a landscaping GMB.

landscaping GMB example

Someone searching for the best landscape designer in Florida has their pick of websites to choose from. But how appealing and easy to spot does that GMB look?

Ranking your own landscaping company GMB is crucial to getting more local work.

Giving you a helping hand, Google can differentiate between a local search and a broader search for information based on the keywords used. Keywords that trigger Local SEO results include:

  • ‘landscaping service + near me’
  • ‘landscaping service + suburb’
  • ‘landscaping service + city’

If someone searches for ‘landscaping ideas’ it’s likely they want information, so the search results include backyard images and articles comparing the top landscaping ideas of 2021.

landscaping ideas google image search example

In contrast, a search for ‘landscaping ideas near me’ triggers GMB results both on a Google Map and in the spots below – known as the ‘Local Pack’. It’s easy to see the local backyard experts, find their contact details, and reach out for a quote.

That’s where your business needs to appear, and that’s only possible once you’ve claimed and verified your GMB.

Even better, 46% of ALL Google searches have local intent, so by setting up your GMB you’ll be doing your part to tap into the heavy volume of local customers looking for help.

landscaping google listing

To get started, head here to claim your free Google My Business listing.

Once you’ve claimed your GMB you’ll need to verify your landscaping company’s contact information.

This covers your Name, Address and Phone Number – or NAP (remember this acronym because we’ll be coming back to it shortly.)

Next, start filling out your GMB to make it more appealing to potential customers. This means adding:

  • Your website URL so people can jump from your GMB to your website
  • A short blurb about your landscaping business (750 characters max.)
  • Photos to make your GMB appealing (images get x more clicks)
  • Your hours of operation to help people contact you

Think of your GMB as a “mini website” on Google Maps. Once you’ve filled it properly you’ll have a snapshot of your services that people can find easily.

Ask for reviews from your happy customers

Customer reviews are crucial in the landscaping industry. You’ve probably landed a few clients through word of mouth, which means you didn’t have to spend a dollar on advertising.

You can move this online by requesting reviews from your satisfied customers.

Earning reviews has TWO main benefits to your landscaping company.

First, potential customers use reviews to help make their decisions. In fact, online reviews are as persuasive as recommendations from friends and family for 91% of customers. With the right reviews online, you can generate more leads.

Secondly, Google takes reviews into account when determining your Local SEO results. The more reviews you earn for your GMB, the more trust you build in the eyes of Google. So not only do all those gold stars catch attention from potential customers, they help drive your rankings up and boost your visibility.

Check out the following GMB results for landscapers in Los Angeles. Are you drawn to the businesses with multiple reviews (and their eye-catching gold stars) or the landscaper without a single review?

star rating for landscaping businesses

Create location pages on your website

As a landscaper you probably service a wide area.

You’re not just working in gardens within a stone’s throw from your home, but driving out to provide quotes and work on properties in surrounding zip codes.

You can boost your chances of appearing when people search for landscaping services in these zip codes by creating specific location pages on your website.

For example, suppose your company is based in Brooklyn but you also work in Queens, the Bronx and Long Island. By creating individual pages for each location, you give yourself a better shot at ranking.

Location pages are most effective when you scatter local keywords in (which you’ll have found during your keyword research step).

  • ‘landscaping service + location’
  • ‘location + lawn care services’
  • ‘best landscaping services in + your city’

These are the types of keywords people are looking for in their areas. When you scatter these keywords across your location pages, there’s a good chance it’s your website they’ll find.

It’s tempting to write one location page and duplicate it multiple times, while changing the target city or suburb. But this will create duplicate content which Google frowns upon.

Aim to create unique, 100% original content for each page. A minimum of 500 words is enough to describe what services you offer. Be sure to add in prominent local landmarks, suburbs or streets to give Google even more clues about where you work.

Looking to do SEO for multiple locations? Click here for the step-by-step guide to ranking EVERYWHERE

Build citations on landscaping directories

Google is pretty clever in 2021.

We’ve already covered how a local search is triggered by location-based keywords, for example ‘near me’ or ‘landscaping service + city’.

Google can also tell when a customer wants to compare landscaping companies, which is often done by searching for ‘top’ or ‘best’.

In these cases, Google typically shows business directory websites where customers can compare hundreds of landscapers and lawn care experts at once – these are known as citations.

Check out the results for ‘best landscapers new york’. The top results aren’t individual businesses, but comparison and directory sites.

google search example for landscaping searches

Adding your landscaping company to these sites has TWO benefits.

Firstly, this creates a new way for you to generate site traffic. As potential customers compare landscapers on these sites, they can click on your listing and end up browsing your site.

Secondly, Google uses the number and quality of your citations to determine your Local SEO rankings. The more business directory sites you’re mentioned on, the better. BUT (there’s always a but) these sites should be relevant. It’s better to be listed on a home improvement directory than a directory for psychics.

Be careful though. Remember we told you to remember the acronym, ‘NAP’? Well Google will cross-reference the NAP you enter on each business directory site with the NAP you listed on your Google My Business profile. If they don’t match EXACTLY, your Local SEO results will suffer.

Google wants to rank trustworthy businesses. So if your NAP has the wrong spelling, or lists different addresses, or even uses the word “street” on one site and abbreviates it to “st” on another, your rankings will slide.

Here are a few of the best business directory sites for landscapers:

Looking for more landscaping directories? Access EIGHTY (yep, 80) of the best paid and free directory sites on the internet.

landscaping seo results

Is SEO still relevant in 2021?

Short answer – yes.

Slightly longer answer – 100% yes.

While SEO practices change year after year, customers continue to use Google to compare landscapers, check prices for backyard additions, read reviews for landscaping companies, etc. That’s why SEO leads convert at an average of 14.6% compared to the 1.7% of outbound leads like cold calling or letterbox drops.

It’s easy to feel frustrated by SEO, especially if it’s worked for you in the past but your traffic has stalled recently. This typically comes down to trying to please Google, instead of your customers.

Great SEO puts your customers first.

When you create helpful content based around landscaping keywords, design a fast and easy-to-use website, and guide people towards solutions for their outdoor problems, you’ll be prioritizing people, and by default, that’s going to help your landscaping SEO.

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Should you do landscaping SEO yourself?

We’re an SEO company with a range of landscaping clients across North America, the UK and Australia/New Zealand. Having generated over $200 million in leads for our trade business clients, you might think we’d tell you that going with an agency is your ONLY option.

But that wouldn’t be true.

There are a range of SEO strategies you can apply yourself – like optimizing your GMB or searching for landscaping keywords. It’s worth noting though that landscaping keywords are often highly competitive.

Partnering with an SEO agency provides you with the talent and tools to outrank your competition and start attracting leads through SEO and Local SEO.

Just as any average Joe could *in theory* rip up their lawn and lay Polypropylene Artificial Turf. But there’s a risk they’ll damage the soil, incorrectly lay their new grass, and waste money doing what a professional landscaper could have done for them.

If you’re looking to learn about SEO and you’re happy with your monthly leads, there’s no harm in doing SEO yourself. This option will cost you next to nothing, but you risk seeing no results if your competition is using SEO agencies to drive results.

But if you’re looking to improve your rankings on Google and generate more work, there’s better value in hiring an SEO agency. This option will cost you more upfront, but you’re more likely to see results and revenue the longer your campaign goes.

Congrats! You now have the tools to nail SEO for your landscaping company

You’re busy running your landscaping company. So whether you’re chasing up leads, putting together design briefs, or ordering new soil and turf supplies, setting aside time to apply landscaping SEO can feel like an afterthought.

The harsh truth is, the longer you wait, the more you’ll fall behind your competition who are creating landscaping content, are securing backlinks, and are optimizing their GMBs.

With the tips we’ve shared in this article, it’s easy to start making small SEO changes. Start right now with an actionable task and over time you’ll see an increase in website traffic, better rankings on Google, and more leads.

Keen to speed up the process and outrank every landscaper in your area? Click here to learn how our SEO strategies for landscapers have helped generate $200 million in leads

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