On Page SEO Basics for Landscapers:
Traffic from search engines, more emails and phone calls, more clients- it all starts with your website. But how?
First of all, I want to be clear: your website should be built for users (potential, current, and past clients) not for Google. It should be clear, concise, beautiful, and useful. It should make people go "Ooh, these guys are good!"
But at the same time, your great website won't be seen by too many people if search engines (SE) don't display it. The key is to make sure that you are giving the SE what it wants, in a way that also benefits users.
Here is how to get it right:
- URL. Your website address helps users and SE figure out who you are. For example, www.bobslandscaping.com indicates we are at a home page for a company named "Bob's Landscaping". If available use your company name, or some variation of it as your URL. Each new page you create will also have an address. Use this address to communicate what service is featured and where it is performed. So if Bob offers aerating in Albuquerque then he should have a page with this url: www.bobslandscaping.com/aerating-albuquerque/
- Page Title. Every page should have a title, directly related to the content on that page. In the code for your page this is designated with the Title tag. Most templates or site builders have a very obvious place for you to enter the page title. This may be the single most important on page element for SEO- so let's get it right. The title should be under 55 characters (roughly) and contain your primary keyword and secondary keyword for that page. The title for your home page should also have your business name in it. When you go to write your titles have this tutorial/tool from Moz open in another tab. Do what it says and you will be on your way. Want to see some good examples of titles? This article has those.
- H1. "H" stands for "heading". The H1 is another tag that helps SE know what your page is about. These are not nearly as important as the title. In fact I have seen sites in major markets ranking well with NO H1's on their homepage. But if you want to rank well, and know how to use this tool, why wouldn't you? Your template or builder will probably have setting allowing you to make text larger. This is often where the H1 tag is hiding. Use your primary keyword here. Bob's Landscaping's aeration page would do well with an H1 that read "Aeration Service for Albuquerque".
- Images. Most of your pages should have original pictures and maybe a logo. Potential clients will love that. To help Google love that do more than just have pictures. Give them a meaningful file name. A picture of a koi pond that I build in Portland would be called "portland-koi-pond.jpeg" or something like that. Each picture should also have the "alt" tag. This is a few words that describe the picture for people who can't see it. My "alt" tag for the same picture would be "koi pond in portland". You may need to dig into the help resources for your website builder to do this- but it is a key element so it is worth the effort!
- Text. The words on the page, copy, text- whatever you call them, they are the meat of your page. Make sure your page clearly tells people and bots who you are, what you do, and where you do it. Don't get crazy and cram "Albuqurque aerating" into every sentence (or even paragraph). Use your important terms naturally. Use similar or related words as well. Write for your potential clients, but never forget that you are communicating to SE as well!
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These are not the only things you will want to know about on-page SEO for your landscaping website. But these are the fundamentals and the items you are most likely able to work on right now.
Get these elements right and your rankings will improve. Get these elements right and then we can worry about page speed, schema, internal linking, and more. Get these elements right and be confident that your website is on it's way to being a lead generating machine.
Have questions about something I wrote? Want another pair of eyes on your Title tags? Comment below and I will be happy to help.