How to Attract Quality Customers With Your Landscape Business WebsiteOutside Contributor
To attract quality landscape customers who are ready to buy, have reasonable expectations, and who pay on time, you need a website that conveys your authority, trustworthiness, and quality of work. It doesn’t have to be fancy but you want visitors to come away with the best possible impression of you and your landscape company.
To do that, you’ll need to consider the look and feel of your website, as well as the images, content, words, graphics, speed, and functionality.
Here are six things you can do to set yourself apart from the competition, convince prospects that you’re the right option for them, and attract quality customers to grow your business.
- Use the Right Technology
I’m talking about the platform you use to build your website (I recommend and work almost exclusively with WordPress), the quality of the code, site speed, analytics, and all the technology details that make a website work flawlessly. Across all browsers. And on all devices, including phones, tablets, and desktops.
If your site loads slowly, looks strange, has broken links or forms that don’t work, or isn’t responsive, guess what the reader is going to do? Leave. Quickly.
If you take a look at your competitors, you’ll probably find many “broken” sites that don’t work well from a technology standpoint. It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a huge difference in how potential customers view you.
- Build an Easy-to-Use Website
Have you ever been to a website where you couldn’t find what you were looking for? Maybe the navigation was confusing, the headlines weren’t clear, or things weren’t where you expected to find them. What did you do?
Don’t be like that website!
When someone visits your website, make sure they can quickly and easily find exactly what they need and do all the things they want to do (like request an estimate, contact you by email, or schedule service). Here’s how:
- Use a simple site structure. The fewer layers, the better.
- Minimize the number of clicks needed to find something. The most important pages should be only one click away from your home page.
- Use buttons where possible (instead of just text links).
- Keep the navigation easy to understand. Use words people will easily recognize – this isn’t the place to be creative.
- Prominently place the key information (like phone number and service area) on every page.
- Keep It Up To Date
Things change. Phone numbers, addresses, services, products, hours of operation, staff – all of these will likely change over time. So make sure that each change is immediately reflected on your website.
This is especially important if you have a blog.
Don’t even bother starting a blog if you don’t have the time and resources to keep it updated. How do you usually react when you land on a blog only to find that the last post was six months ago? You probably think that the company or person isn’t committed to doing it right. And if they can’t get a blog right, how well are they running their business?
Look and Feel Are Also Important
Your website is a reflection of you as a person, as well as your business.
How do you want to come across when you meet a prospect in person? Professional, organized, reliable, and knowledgeable? Or disorganized, slow, sloppy, and out of touch? Yeah, that’s what I thought…
There are few things that add to the professionalism of your website as much as high quality images and custom graphics.
- Use Professional Images
Because you’re in the landscape industry you have almost an unfair advantage when it comes to imagery – you can take photos of your own work to show potential customers. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t use stock images – it’s easy but people can spot those a mile away.
- If you can afford a professional photographer, it’ll be well worth the investment.
- If you don’t have budget for a pro, use a good camera that takes high-resolution images.
- Take photos in flattering lighting conditions (noon is not a good time to take outdoor photos).
- Take a LOT of photos – some will turn out to be “keepers” that will look great on your website.
- Optimize (compress) your images before uploading them to your website. Large files will slow down your website and negatively affect search results.
- Don’t Overdo Graphics & Design Elements
When it comes to graphics, don’t overdo it with all sorts of different icons, buttons, banners, lines, borders, etc.
Yes, you want to use some of these but keep them in a similar style and color, preferably one that relates to your logo (you do have a custom logo, right?).
Skip the drop shadows, gradients, rotating images, and animation.
With half or more of your customers and prospects looking at your website on a mobile device, a nice clean, uncluttered look works much better.
- Simplicity Rules
And keep the home page simple. Less is more here.
Present the key points in an easy-to-read format, provide contact information, and use a simple navigation menu.
This isn’t the place to throw in everything that you think customers could potentially want to see. By cluttering up your home page you make it overwhelming for viewers – they don’t know what to focus on and they end up leaving in frustration.
In Summary …
A simple, professional-looking website that checks all the right boxes from a technology standpoint will do more for your business than a fancy website and the latest gee-whiz widgets. If you want quality customers, just follow the points above when putting together your website. Or download this checklist of the top 10 Questions to Ask Your Website Designer to be sure you’re getting what you need.
This post first appeared on monicahemingway.com
About the author:
Monica Hemingway is the former owner of Hemingway Horticulture, a licensed arborist, digital strategist, and industrial psychologist – an unusual combination that gives her unique insight into how to grow a green industry business. You’ll find her building award-winning websites and email newsletter campaigns at ITG Multimedia. If you want practical, actionable tips on how to use the internet to build your landscape business, check out her [OneThing] email series.