by John Eberhard
Landscape Websites: Getting Your Web Site Re-Designed
Right now is an excellent time for landscapers to get their web site re-designed, because every landscape designer or contractor knows that the spring is the busiest time of year. So you want to have a good looking web site so that clients can find you online.
One of the most important parts of landscape websites is to have a photo gallery showing your work. Review of site statistics on numerous home improvement sites has shown that the photo galleries are usually the most highly viewed parts of the site.
Google Maps has radically changed the online landscape (no pun intended) for searching for local businesses.
Google Maps is a feature of Google whereby when Google perceives through the nature of your search that you are searching for something local, it will bring up a map on page one. The map will have balloons on it showing the location of different vendors, and there will be listings shown to the left of the map.
So the Google Maps feature is a great way to get your business listing onto the elusive page one of Google. And with the graphic, it pulls your attention right to the map, which is partway down the page.
The tendency is to think that if your business is listed somewhere in Google, that you will automatically be put onto Google Maps. Not so. You have to go through a whole process to get your listing up there, and the link will click through to sort of a mini web page for your business on Google, with your contact info, a map, description, pictures, and customer reviews.
Part of the process of getting your business on Google Maps involves “claiming” your listing, then putting up all the information, and uploading photos. It also helps your placement of your listing (how close it is to the top) if you also have listings on Yahoo and MSN, and on other sites such as Yelp and Hotfrog.
Once you have your listing claimed for Google Maps, then the trick is to get it up to the top. There are a number of steps involved in this, but the most important is to get lots of online reviews for your business. In one of my past articles I cover a system I have created to assist with getting lots of online reviews.
Landscape Advertising: Google AdWords
You should consider using Google AdWords and putting up some campaigns, and run them at least through say July. You can run them all year long of course, but it is good to make hay while the sun shines, as they say, and the sun is shining particularly bright for landscape designers and contractors until July or so.
Google AdWords campaign have the advantage that they can be put up quickly, and since it is almost late in the spring now, it is an advantage that you can start a campaign now and have it up in a few days.
I recommend working with an experienced person who knows how to work with AdWords. I also recommend not getting involved in AdWords unless you can afford a monthly budget of at least $800. Less than that and I don’t think it will generate enough activity to make it worth it for you. But over that and you can generate a good number of leads.