Guest content by Ron McCabe, president of Everbearing Services
Anyone who has been in the industry for any length of time will confirm that most companies have had an unprecedented influx of business over the last few years. I think that many of us are sensing a shift in the marketplace due to the massive changes in our culture and an associated slow return to normal.
Clients are enjoying the ability to leave their homes, travel, and interact with others. They are no longer stuck at home and forced to do a “staycation.” Inflation has limited some budgets. Money is no longer cheap at the bank or raining out of the sky from government programs and incentives.
So, what to do? The good news is responding to these shifts is not that painful. It will take a little time and focus. You need to refresh and update what you have and do things to enhance your most effective lead sources. As there are many things that need to be addressed, here is a quick list of priorities.
1. Hone Your Lead Driving Activities
Refresh and update what drove leads online before 2019. As we are returning to the new normal, it makes sense that engaging in activities that worked before the market heated up might be a good place to start. Look at what you did and think of ways to improve or enhance what already worked. Doing more of what works is always a good plan. Also, review activities that were not effective and see if either these activities should be eliminated or if they need to be revamped based on previous mistakes.
2. Update Your Info
Look at your Google Business Profile, Bing Places, and Yelp, and make sure all your information is accurate and updated. Be sure to check your phone number. This is a common thing that gets corrupted. Just last night, I tried to call a national brand restaurant and got a church instead. Update and upload new pictures of your best work. Be sure to add descriptions to these photos so that people understand what kind of work you do. Make sure all the questions are answered and are correct for all your local profiles.
3. Eliminate Services
Go through your website and eliminate any services you do not want to provide to new customers. Make sure the services you do want to focus on are front and center on the home page and that these primary services have a dedicated page with a detailed description of your offerings. Update and clean up photos on your website.
4. Create a Blog Strategy
If you have a blog or intend to create one, this is the time to review it and create a plan. If you already have blogs, review and update them with any new information and adjust the focus to the services you provide today. This is also the time to come up with a plan for blogs in 2023. Decide on and stick to a schedule you can keep. Make sure your time is being used effectively by writing about topics directly related to your services and related keywords. Use these blogs throughout the year on social media and share regularly.
5. Respond to Reviews
Search for your reviews and update them on all the major review platforms. Answer all your reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Potential clients know there are people out there that have issues with services no matter what. What your potential clients are looking for is how the management of your company responds to input, whether it is negative or positive.
6. Request Additional Reviews
Reach out for new reviews. One of the other things we recommend to our clients regarding reviews is to call their customers during the off-season and see how they are doing. If they are enthusiastic about what was done, it is appropriate to see if they would be willing to write a positive review and send a link. You want to focus on getting a minimum of ten new positive reviews on each platform each year. By the way, these calls often stimulate new projects.
7. Plan Social Media Posts
Review your social media and plan your posts for the upcoming year. Be sure to have additional posts lined up for inclement weather or unexpected challenges. For example, excessive snow, hard freezes or other events where your clients might need to take immediate action.
8. Develop Newsletter Content Plan
If you have a newsletter, come up with a plan for 2023 and prepare your topics and newsletters in advance. You can adjust the order and priorities as the weather rolls out and materials and supplies become available. It is much easier to adjust the order than came up with new subjects during the peak of your season.
9. Fine-Tune Advertisting
If you are advertising, review your campaigns and make sure these are relevant to the services that you want to focus on in 2023. Many advertisers just direct ads to the home page. This decreases the chances of converting responses to a sale by 70 percent. If you do not have specific landing pages for each advertisement, do it now. This will lower your advertising costs and massively increase your effectiveness.
If you want to kick it up a notch with your online lead generation, engage with an SEO (search engine optimization) expert or digital agency that knows landscaping and your market. These providers can support you on all your other online lead generation needs.
If your team takes the time to review and update your online visibility and lead generation as outlined here, you will have made a lot of progress toward crushing it online in 2023!