Owning a tree care business can be rewarding and, if done right, very lucrative. But when it comes to growing your tree care business, evaluating your options can be overwhelming. Should you put your budget into billboards or bus ads? Does SEO for tree care businesses work—or is SEO already dead? Is it worth it to get into social media or Google AdWords, or are those just a waste of time and money?
We’ve worked with enough tree care, contractor service, and home service companies over the last 10 years to safely say that SEO for tree care companies works, and it works well. Here’s how to do it.
Identify Your Target Market
Before you start growing your business, take the time to decide what kind of business you want it to be when it grows up.
Start by choosing a target market that works for you. There are lots of approaches that work:
- Take a look at the competition. Go through their online reviews and pay attention to their worst reviews. See what they fail at consistently, and ask if you can do better.
- Decide which services you love to offer, and consider which market will value them the most.
- Eliminate services you want to avoid offering, and avoid the customers who demand them.
- Use your gut. If there is an underserved group in your community, that could be an opportunity.
For example, let’s say the other big tree care companies in town consistently show up late for their appointments, or fail to show up at all. Their loss could be your opportunity. This will probably be a bigger issue for customers who find it difficult to make time for their appointment, so double-income households might appreciate your promptness more than single-income households.
Or, what if you know that your local area has a lot of older homeowners who would appreciate a hands-on business owner, but you know that most of the competition is hands-off?
Or, what if you know that it can take well over a week for local tree care companies to clean up storm damage, but you can keep a crew working overtime to get it done in half the time?
If so, you’ve just found your target market.
If not, keep going until you do.
Great Web Design Communicates Your Strengths
Once you’ve decided what sets your tree care business apart, the next step is to communicate that to your potential clients.
Start by deciding which service pages should be on your website. Each service you offer should have its own page, to help clients understand exactly what it is you do. Some popular options include:
- Tree cabling
- Tree trimming
- Stump grinding
- Stump removal
- Tree trimming
- Emergency tree trimming
- Tree planting
If you offer other services outside the normal scope of a tree care company, like irrigation, general landscape maintenance, hardscape installation, or pergola installation, be sure to develop pages for those, too. Any service that you can talk about for 10 minutes deserves its own page.
Next, figure out what your target market wants to see, and put that front and center. If they value promptness, how about a big image that reads “On Time, Every Time: we have never been late for an appointment, and we never will be.” If they want to see community involvement, sponsor a little league team and lead with that photo. If they need to make sure you’re equipped for big jobs, publish a photo that gets the idea across.
After that, make sure your policies, awards, licenses, and contact information are clear. If you offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, put that somewhere prominent. Put your license number on the page, and make sure your phone numbers are clickable on mobile devices.
There’s a lot more to good web design that that, but it’s a great start.
Use SEO to Dominate Your Home Town
Once your new site is online, it’s time to start doing some SEO.
First, make sure you’re listed on every website, app, and directory that your market actually uses. Search “tree care” on Google and add your town to the search. You might see Yelp, Houzz, Angieslist, and Facebook in search results, which means you need to list your company on those sites. You’ll also need to get a Google local listing by adding your company to the map and verifying your address with a post card.
After that, what else you need depends on the competition. You might just need a few online reviews or a link from a local sponsorship, like a little league team, to get going. An SEO professional can help you evaluate exactly what you’ll need to get into the map pack, and also into organic results (just make sure you don’t try to hire a cheap SEO company.)
If everything goes according to plan, it will be 3-6 months before you start seeing your business show up in search results.
Social Media Lets You Generate Leads Fast
If 3-6 months is too long to wait, you’ll need to pay to generate leads faster.
One of our favorite ways to do this is with promoted Facebook posts.
First, post some content to your page to get the ball rolling. Invite your friends and family to like your page, and promote the page itself to get a few likes. This will help validate your business: potential customers are more likely to trust a business if it already has a few followers.
Next, publish promotional posts that speak directly to your target market, their demographics, and their pain points. Offer free estimates, 10% off for seniors or veterans, or 24 hour emergency service.
Finally, promote the posts directly to your target market by boosting the post. Dial in your local area, and then your market’s demographics or interests, and fund it with at least $20 to get started.
This process can take a lot of trial and error, so if you can’t afford to waste a lot of time or money you should contract with a professional.
Local Content Lets You Push Into Your Service Area
Once you’re ranking well in your home town, it’s time to start pushing into other cities in your service area.
The first step is to create pages on your website for a few cities you want to target. Only create a few at first, and make sure you fill them with lots of real content that’s unique to their cities. For arborists and tree care companies, good options include:
- Noteworthy commercial clients
- Bios of employees who live in those cities
- Other businesses you support in those cities
- Reviews from customers in those cites
- Links to other local resources that may be relevant to those cities
Once those pages are live, you’ll also need to get links from local resources to help them rank. Consider an additional sponsorship, or joining the local chamber of commerce, or contacting a local blogger for a guest posting opportunity. There are tons of options that all work here.
Try to Keep Up with All The New Business
If you follow through on all of this advice, you’ll probably struggle to keep up with all the new business. Don’t forget to turn some of those new clients into online reviews, and make changes if you see issues with customer satisfaction.
If you go through all this advice and still need help, or if you need help executing all of it, don’t be afraid to call an SEO company that specializes in tree care.