I figured I’d offer up some advice to lawn care business owners/landscapers as an example of easy and actionable SEO tips you small business owners could easily implement.

Why lawn care marketing? Simple. I don’t have a client or conflict in the industry and it was easy to come up with five ideas that were uncomplicated to implement.

Add these ideas to the ones found in the small business SEO guide and you’ll be well on your way to organic search engine rankings in your local geographic area.

Cross promote with complimentary businesses

When you’re a local service provider with a good reputation, you’ll often be asked by clientele if you have recommendations for other service providers offering complimentary services. For a lawn business/landscaper some complimentary business might include:

  • Sprinkler system services
  • Garden pond companies
  • Deck builders
  • Pool maintenance and supply companies
  • Aluminum siding companies that install screen porches and lanais
  • Pressure washing services
  • Tree cutting and removal services
  • Nurseries
  • Pest control companies

Just like you might go to your local nursery and leave your business cards on their counters in exchange for recommending them to your clients, you can do the same thing and cross promote your websites. But isn’t this reciprocal linking? Yes. The type that works and is not seen as “gaming” the engines.

Create a page for preferred vendors and contact your preferred vendors (you’ll essentially be endorsing them the same way you would be if you recommended them verbally to a client, so pick the ones you believe in) for all of the above services and propose some cross promotion on each others websites. Search engines love seeing relevant links to your site that are actually sending qualified traffic.

Use photos to create lawnbait

You could do a search on Flickr for outstanding lawns or hoping to find some fun and interesting lawn ornaments to create a page of content on the topic to promote within your industry.

Or search through lawn service sites in other geographic locales (search Google for “lawn service [city names]” and put together a collection of “big difference” before and after photos from lawn services outside your service area, including one of your own outstanding examples. Be sure to contact the companies whose photos you wish to use and get their permission (shouldn’t be too hard to convince them to let you include them in a “best results” list that also features a link to their website). Be sure to let them know once the list is complete (and if you create an attractive graphic that says “Lawn Makeovers 2009 Winner”, they might even display it… with a link to the results).

Show pride in the communities you serve

Be sure to list the cities and/or subdivisions you serve on your about page or your homepage. The key here is not to keyword spam and list seventy-five cities in your footer. In addition to being against search engine guidelines, it’s also unattractive to visitors. Instead, pick your top ten most important locales and let customers know that “Located in [your main city] we also proudly service the following communities: [insert your most important ones here]“.

Network with bloggers

Network with popular lawn care bloggers and find out if they’d be interested in you contributing some content. Put together a post about how to properly seed a lawn or a video that shows the proper way to space out Evergreen shrubs. You can establish yourself as an expert within the professional community which in turn will help you promote yourself and your skills to your local community.

You can also reach a bit wider and contact popular homemaking blogs and see if they’d be interested on some content that explains the best landscaping ideas for folks who hate bees. Popular parenting blogs might be interested in an article on the ones that require the lowest amount of maintenance for busy moms or a listing of plants that could be poisonous to children. Pet blogs might be interested in the same type of list, but focused on the family pet.

Make your local affiliations work for you online

If you’re affiliated with your local Chamber of Commerce or local Gardening club or [insert a nationality here]-American club, Elks Lodge or whatever the case may be, ensure that you’re taking advantage of any opportunities they may have for promoting your business on their website. In addition to helping you out in your search engine marketing efforts, you will get targeted advertising with folks who would likely prefer to give business to another club member over someone they don’t know.

Most of the geographic lawn care and landscaping SERPS (search engine result pages) we’ve come across are only mildly competitive and by utilizing the tips above, you’ll have a pretty good shot at taking top ranks for your local terms.

Is Pinterest part of your marketing plan?

Check out my recent case study that shows how I generated 234,000+ pins (and counting) to a site with only 45 posts. I give you all the details (with specifics) here.