More Digital Marketing Strategies for the Green Industry Business Owner
As digital marketing strategies evolve, it’s important to remain ahead of the pack in order for your customers to find your lawn care or other green business online. In Part 1, The Mystery behind Search Engine Optimization, we discussed how SEO as an element of a digital marketing strategy benefits green industry business owners. We outlined the basics of SEO and how to better your online presence by following a few simple internet rules. Not only is SEO important when developing and maintaining your digital footprint, but you must not neglect other marketing strategies that are equally as important to your green industry business.
Part 2 – The Basics of Search Engine Marketing, aka “SEM”
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is a form of digital marketing that includes the promotion of your website by increasing visibility in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) through SEO and advertising. SEM is broader than SEO in the sense that it helps you target search engine users via paid advertising links with the goal of drawing more traffic to your website than just relying on organic traffic alone.
PPC stands for Pay per Click, but can also be referred to as Cost per Click (CPC). The largest PPC host site, Google AdWords, places another company’s advertisement on their site using an auction-based bidding system each time the advertisement is clicked on; hence, “pay per click”. To win a bid on a certain keyword, you must score well in each of Google’s two main categories: bid amount ($) and quality score (a value based on your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality). Placing the highest bid does not always lead to winning the bid war, which is good news for many small businesses across the country who are looking to adopt the right marketing tactics.
There are three main types of keywords when dealing with PPC campaigns: Exact, phrase and broad match. For example, if we were talking about a local mowing company campaign, an exact match keyword to bid on would be “Mowing Service” and you would be competing against all of the other big and small companies who bid on that keyword phrase.
On the other hand, if you chose a long tail keyword (long tail referring to more specific search queries), your cost would go down along with your competition, and the likelihood of an increase in lead conversions would be higher due to the more specific phrase. For example, instead of “Mowing Service,” you could bid on “Commercial Lawn Mowing Chicago Area” or “Boston Lawn Mowing Companies”.
Creating campaigns for both exact match and long tail keywords is beneficial in most cases, though trial and error may be required to get the perfect combination for you.
Writing Ad Copy
One of the best ways to write your ad copy is to simply search for your competitors’ ads. What are they saying? Whether you own a landscaping business or lawn care company, find a way to differentiate yourself from them! From a marketing perspective, the best practice is to write ad copy that is relevant, adds value, and has a clear call to action so that people will be inclined to click on your ad.
Setting up an Ad Extension, also known as a Sitelink, is also beneficial, as it helps your ad take up more space on the SERP, pushing down your competition. As you can see below, this company has added three sitelinks so their ad takes up a larger amount of valuable real estate – attracting more eyes and hopefully more clicks.
You don’t want to overpay for keyword clicks, of course, so breaking down the numbers is the only way to go. Consider the answers to the following questions:
- What is your average revenue per customer?
- What is your daily budget?
- What is the cost per click on certain competitive keywords?
- How many leads is this keyword projected to bring?
Be realistic about your marketing goals. If you have a $20 daily budget and a click on a competitive keyword in your market costs you $10 per click, that’s only two clicks per day. The likelihood of you converting a sale from two clicks is extremely low.
Targeting by Location
For PPC campaigns, you need to choose areas where you want your ads to show. Google uses “geo-targeting” which allows you to enter in the cities and/or zip codes you would like to target. This allows you to reach the right market and not waste your marketing budget on customers that are outside of your service area. If you own a small green industry business that provides lawn care or landscaping services to a small cluster of cities, this particular digital marketing tactic will be especially helpful for you.
Searching the Right Way
Rule #1 when you’ve set up your PPC campaigns: Do not click on your own ads, otherwise you’ll be paying for nothing. Google has the AdWords Preview Tool, which allows you to preview your ad without any consequence, so use that instead.
Another Google service, site re-targeting, is a cookie-based technology that uses a code to anonymously track a user all over the web as they browse. You are then able to place an ad on other pages that they are visiting without having to physically set it up. Your ad will be eligible to show on sites within the Google Display Network with the intent of reminding the consumer of your brand and leading them back to your site. That is why retargeting is an excellent marketing tactic for building awareness of your lawn care business, landscaping company, or other green industry business (or, really, any business). Higher click-through and conversion rates are often linked to site re-targeting campaigns, so this is a worthwhile service to look into.
Between Parts 1 and 2, you should have a better grasp of the many digital marketing possibilities that are available.
If you missed Part 1, please click here.