Landscape Contractors: Turn Your Website into Your Greatest Sales Tool
Author: Elliott Tepperman
Digital Marketing Manager
When it comes to operating your business, chances are good that you recognize the benefits of a great first impression. Before meeting with a client, you likely make yourself presentable by removing the extra mud on your boots and dusting off the particles left on your shirt from the demo saw. Today, that tried and true process of preparing yourself for the first impression – has been flipped on its head. Your prospects have actually ‘met’ you long before the first appointment. The first impression almost always happens online with your website. Ensuring your site showcases the quality of work you deliver is no less important than kicking the mud off your boots.
Finding Your Website
Your potential customers will occasionally arrive on your website by entering in your exact website address. Perhaps these prospects found your website on an offline ad or maybe they were referred by a neighbor. The reality, however, is that prospects are more likely to find you (or your competitors) using a search engine such as Google. Searching for keywords like “retaining wall contractor near me” hopefully brought your business to their attention.
So now that this prospect has your website on their phone or computer screen, what happens if they find your website to be out of date, disorganized, and challenging to navigate? In today’s world, your potential customers value every minute more than they did yesterday. They have access to your competitors like never before. In other words, if these website visitors don’t feel like you’re valuing their time with an easy to use website, they’re going to find a company with a website that does.
How to Make Your Website Cutting-Edge
If you have not updated your website within the last two years, it’s time for an upgrade. Trends change fast and you need to show potential customers that your business can keep up. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. Some minor design changes, such as new project photography or a crisper font choice, can make a world of difference to potential customers.
Showcase Your Work
Remember that your company’s first impression is often made with your website. Within the first few seconds, your prospect will make a decision about whether or not to continue learning about your company. Help these prospects decide in your favor by communicating the quality and value of the services that you offer. In our highly visual industry, there is really only one way to effectively communicate this. Your website should feature high quality photography showcasing the best work that you’ve previously completed. Provide pictures from projects of various sizes and price ranges; you won’t turn away any homeowners working within a smaller budget, but you’ll please those with a more flexible budget.
While homeowners place value on photos, search engines place more value on text, so you can’t neglect it. Thirty-three percent of search engine clicks go the very first result. Google prefers websites that are frequently updated with content that contains the keywords and locations that your desired audience is searching for. Homepages, services pages, testimonials, and blog articles are perfect places to include information about your services and your service locations.
Pro Tip: Houzz receives over 25 million unique monthly visitors; many of which are searching for landscaping and hardscaping companies in your service areas. This doesn’t necessarily mean paying for Houzz advertisements (although this can be helpful, too). Taking advantage of free benefits that include creating a profile, publishing photos, and optimizing your projects can provide adequate impact. You’ll find this online community to be an effective way to showcase your material to homeowners with posts, photos, reviews, and other activities –and eventually guide them back to your website.
According to the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Homeowners look for these testimonials to make sure you are a genuine, authentic, and credible business. Not all testimonials communicate these goals well – the source is as important as the review itself. Use Facebook, Houzz, Yelp, Google My Business, and other credible sites to ask for reviews. This helps your prospects confirm the review reflects a true experience and eventually helps them feel a connection with your company (and then contact you).
Pro Tip: If you have an adequate number of written testimonials, take your reviews to the next level by including video testimonials on your website. Consumers who view videos on a website are almost twice as likely to convert to paying customers (Source: Animato, 2015). Combine the influence of videos and testimonials for a powerful impact.
Call to action
If you have succeeded in making a positive first impression, the next logical step for your prospect will be to take some kind of action. However, keep in mind that your prospects may not be ready to contact you. They may still want to learn more about your company. Provide call-to-actions to meet the various stages these prospects may be in. Display a blog subscription option for prospects that are looking for more details and contact info for others that are ready to contact your company. Your website’s header, footer, and contact page are effective places to include calls-to-action. Additionally, consider including call-to-actions strategically on your homepage, on blog posts, and in sidebars. Remember, the objective is to encourage homeowners to eventually contact you – hand them the tools do so, without overwhelming the user experience.
Interest in outdoor living spaces has exploded over the last few years. With this, more and more homeowners are turning to the web, searching for a company to build the landscape of their dreams. By presenting a beautifully designed, informative, and authentic website, you will be increasing the chances that the company they hire is yours. Get started and begin utilizing the greatest sales tool your business has today: your website.