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The classic joke about an old man yelling at rambunctious neighborhood youths to get off his lawn is pretty tired at this point. Nonetheless, there is a grain of truth to it—people take their lawns and gardens pretty seriously.
In fact, tending to grass, plants, and homegrown vegetables is a major hobby for a lot of people. It’s not as high-stakes as competitive poker and Grease-style drag racing, but it’s hardcore in its own special way.
If you’re a marketer in the landscaping business—whether you’re selling seed, mulch, or super-sized lawn mowers—we’re here to help with some online advertising pointers. Onward!
Let’s begin with this obvious: you’re primarily marketing to consumers in suburban and rural areas. Sure, some city dwellers have small lawns and tomato plants in their windowsills. But, if you don’t restrict your pay-per-click (PPC) ads to show in the most relevant areas, you risk wasting a lot of impressions on urbanites who have no interest in your product. This spells disaster for your click-through rate (CTR), which in turn reduces your Quality Score, increases your cost per click (CPC) and diminishes your ad rank. Use the geo-targeting tool in Google Ads to make sure you’re only showing your ads in opportunistic areas.
Another tool you can use within Google Ads to make sure you’re advertising to the most relevant audiences possible is demographic targeting. Again, you’re primarily interested in homeowners. The thing about millennials is that they don’t really want to buy houses. So, for the same reasons you want to restrict your ads to show in certain areas, you should exclude younger consumers from seeing your ads. That’s not to say that 26-year-olds hate gardening. But, if the goal is to capture highly relevant prospects (and this should be the goal), then it makes sense to advertise exclusively to the audiences in which you see the most potential.
Even your most relevant prospects won’t convert right away. That’s why remarketing is so powerful. Here’s how it works. A gardening hobbyist searches for seed and clicks on your ad. He hangs out on your site for a while before leaving—he wants to make sure he buys the best stuff possible. By remarketing on the Google Display Network (GDN), you can target the prospect with your very best ad creative and make sure your brand stays at the top of his mind. That way, when the time comes that he’s ready to purchase, he’ll go to you first.
Although many consumers are looking for your products for purely practical purposes—keeping their lawn healthy, growing food for nourishment—aesthetics are certainly part of the equation. Homeowners work hard on their lawns and their gardens because doing so makes their properties look amazing. Landscaping marketers should use social media to capitalize on consumers’ aesthetic aspirations! If, for example, you sell seeds for various vegetables, you can build out an Instagram account full of gorgeous pictures that document the final products. By showing prospects the beautiful things your product can create, you demonstrate a whole lot of value.
Let’s talk about an increasingly popular way to bring leads to the top of the funnel—content marketing. The idea here is that you provide something of value for free—say, a blog post—to drive organic traffic to your site. Imagine a prospect reads your post about lawn care best practices and she’s blown away by awesome and informational it is. She probably won’t convert right then and there, but her first engagement with your company is super positive. As she consumes more of your content, she becomes increasingly enamored with your brand and eventually decides to buy your product. Content is king!
For more online marketing advice, read the WordStream blog.