In most parts of the country landscaping is at least kind of seasonal. Here in Portland we work year-round, but winter is slower due to shorter days and rain. Maybe you are one of the people that switches to snow removal in winter.
Whatever the case, winter seems to be the best time for getting some work done on our websites. It's also a good time for other online marketing tasks. Maybe you already have a mental to-do list.
If so, what are you going to accomplish on your website this winter?
Here are 3 things I will be doing. I know from experience that this winter marketing work will pay off in spring, not just for me, but for you if you do the same.
My Winter Marketing To Do List:
1- Do a cleanup on my website.
First, I will visit the 15-20 most important pages on my website and make sure they are looking good. I check grammar, layout, and view them on mobile. I look to improve them by changing pictures, updating information, or removing fluff.
Second, I check my website's analytics and see what pages have been visited the least in the last year. Apparently Google and/or potential clients don't like these pages. I go to the worst 10-15 and see what I can do.
Should I remove the page completely? Or perhaps I can take the page and add the information to one that does get visitors? (And then delete the page, of course.) Or perhaps I can update it, add some links to it from other relevant pages on my site, and see if it does better the next year.
If I can make my best pages even better, and make some useless pages valuable, my website will be even more powerful.
2- Tidy up my business listings.
My landscape company is listed on Google, Bing, Yelp, Houzz, YP, etc. Some of the listings were created by me, others were generated by the sites themselves. Either way there are bound to be mistakes. Perhaps my business has changed (we no longer do lawn care) or a site used some bad data for my listing.
I go through 30-40 of these listings and make sure the company name, address, phone number (NAP), website, and categories are correct. If it is pretty easy I may submit some new pictures. If the description doesn't reflect our current focus on modern and Japanese gardens I will update that as well.
This work is tedious, but it ensures that my business listings echo the information and tone found on my website. I may also be cleaning up some data inconsistencies that affect ranking. (More on these listings, known as "citations", in this post).
3- Check in on the competition.
During the busy season I barely have time to check on my own website, much less my competitor's. I like to visit the sites of 7-10 other companies in my market. What am I looking for?
I like to see if they changed their website and, if so, discern what improvements they may have made. Looking at their blog posts for the last year may give me some good ideas.
Along with their website, I will Google their company name and look for opportunities. For example, I recently found Dwell's landscape company listings this way. I also like to scan recent reviews and to see what potential clients (a competitor's clients are also your potential clients) think about them. If I notice certain complaints coming up again and again, I might highlight that pain point in my marketing ("once we start your project we will never pull off to work elsewhere").
What are you doing this winter?
Spending some time on your website and online presence should be near the top of your list. What use are your skills, equipment, or employees if you don't have clients. Invest the time now and the phone will be ringing in the spring!
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