Every business needs new clients, and for many businesses, online advertising is the best way to get them. For landscaping businesses, a virtual presence provides a great opportunity to showcase their work, direct prospective customers towards positive reviews, and otherwise increase awareness of why people need landscaping from them rather than the competition. Leveraging SEO and PPC is how.
The two key techniques used to encourage your audience to request a quote, ask for further information, or otherwise behave as you would wish them to, are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click). Here we take a look at what these techniques are and how they can both benefit your business.
Finally, we consider whether both options are best, or whether you should opt for one or the other.
What is SEO?
With figures showing that more than 80% of people never go onto the second page of online search results, being on the first page is a priority! Google (and other search engines) use algorithms to “search” online data, prioritizing the results in order of descending “match” to the search term.
The algorithms pick up on several variables, including:
- The structure of your website.
- Internal and external links.
- Directory Entries
- Social media activity
By altering these variables (for example by ensuring your site is regularly updated with fresh, relevant content, or your social media accounts generate a high level of engagement), it’s possible to improve your search ranking.
For landscapers, establishing a strong online connection with a specific place is often enough for Google algorithms to recognize your presence on the search return map. The map appears after the paid-for Ads but before the organic search results. Being on the map when users type in search terms such as “landscaping Local Area (such as Houston, Boston, etc) greatly increases your visibility, optimizing the chances of interested users contact your business before the competition.
Several different tools can be utilized to improve SEO search rankings. These include:
- The generation of premium content online (such as blogs, web pages, etc).
- Enhanced web design (with particular attention to HTML, titles, etc).
- Better social media management.
- Inclusion in directories.
- Generation of high-grade reviews.
- Enhancing backlinks from other, influential sites.
What is PPC?
PPC, or pay-by-click, involves paying for advertising from Google. Previously called Google Adwords, the concept of Google Ads is simple: when search terms are entered that you’ve previously identified as being relevant to your business, your ad comes up above the organic search results. This means it’s above the organic search results.
The great thing about PPC is that it immediately gives you business enhanced visibility, providing an instant boost to engagement. The downside is that this comes at a price – every time a user clicks on your ad, it costs you money.
Advertisers bid for a chance to have a Google Ad related to a specific search term. The price varies depending on the status of who’s bidding, but can be anything from a dollar or two per click, right through to forty or fifty dollars for popular searches in competitive industries. This means for landscaping businesses that the cost of Google Ads marketing needs to be weighed against the increased revenue it might bring.
SEO or PPC?
The SEO vs PPC debate is an old one, but the reality is that both techniques have their place in a successful marketing strategy. Used correctly, SEO and PPC for your landscaping business can significantly improve user engagement and, ultimately, the amount of work your business receives.
There are two main differences between the two techniques: cost and speed.
The use of SEO techniques is significantly cheaper than PPC. Options such as improving social media engagement, refreshing your content regularly, gaining fresh reviews, or creating online links to your local area can all be done cheaply, or for free. Although it may take time to keep up with the demands of updating your content and engaging with your audience, it doesn’t incur a cost in the same way as PPC.
PPC has the capacity to create a powerful online presence with a relatively small amount of effort. Google Ads allows plenty of opportunities for ads to be customized, including the chance to add pictures or other visual imagery. The Ads are placed above any organic search returns (including the map which displays the location of the most highly ranked organic search businesses), and are highly visible to your target audience.
Unfortunately, this powerful advertising tool comes at a cost. There is a balance needed between the business PPC can generate, and the cost to use it. Whilst a skilled, professional advertiser knows the tips and tricks to keep PPC costs as low as possible, it’s definitely not a cheap option.
One of the joys of PPC is that it gives fast results. Your Ad can be up and running in just a few hours, delivering the high impact you need – provided you’re happy to pay for the privilege.
In contrast, SEO is a much slower option. Typically, attempts to improve SEO won’t show much benefit for several months, sometimes even longer. Used consistently, however, SEO techniques will result in a sustained improvement in your business’s online profile.
It’s clear that why you need SEO and PPC to grow your business is that one complements the other. Whilst PPC provides the initial boost your landscaping company needs to get noticed, SEO will deliver the slow-burn, highly effective improvements in your online presence that are needed for sustained marketing success. Once the SEO techniques have worked their magic, it should be possible to reduce the amount spent on PPC, without losing ground in terms of leads for more business.
Get in touch to find out more about how SEO and PPC could dramatically increase your business’s turnover.