Most effective types of marketing for a local landscaper

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Joseph Russ, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. PKLIP

    PKLIP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    That is very concerning to see a national platform company on the local search results. For something like Lawn Love, it really baffles me as to why someone would signup for it. I just filled out there contact form out of curiosity and the automatically generated quote it spit out was about as bland and generic as it gets. I have a hard time imagining a client having a good experience with something like this- what happens when an issue arises? Who says these companies are knowledgeable and licensed in turf care? What happens if you have a special request that is not met?

    I have thought about signing up for something like Home Advisor in the past (partly due to their misleading and extremely aggressive phone calls), but then decided I didn't want to contribute to the problem. If no reputable service providers get on board, they go out of business!

    What is the future of this type of business model though? Are they destined to go out of business as sort of a temporary fad? IMHO consumers want to make up their own minds- not go to a website, fill out their personal information to get a login, and then be spoon fed these questionable service providers.
     
  2. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 148

    Well you can know roughly what someone's Ads budget is by using tools like SEMrush and SpyFu. Although not entirely accurate, it does provide some good info.

    But I pulled that number from the BirghtLocal source I cited.

    It's definitely effective, it just isn't time effective. It takes a long time to rank organically as well as commitment to a great content and on/off-site SEO strategy. Saturated markets can take a year or even longer to really see huge benefts in a robust SEO strategy.

    But if you don't do anything or stick to a plan, it will never get better and you'll only fall behind.

    I definitely wasn't suggesting you could be shoehorned onto the first page. Especially for a market he's in.

    But I absolutely agree. My main point is not to simply forego SEO simply because the market is saturated.

    I also don't know what market PKLIP is in, well prior to his comment in referencing Northern Virginia.
     
    PKLIP likes this.
  3. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 148

    I don't see them going out of business anytime soon. People still use them, and a lot. In fact a new one will be popping up soon, YardHopp (already available in Denver, CO).

    I personally wouldn't like them, but some people just want their yard mowed. People looking for quality and dependable work tend to stay away from these platforms. So the people actually signing up for this are looking for convenience versus quality., which isn't the best market to target anyways.

    I actually just finished an article for Green Industry Pros magazine appropriately titled, "How to Find Quality Lawn Care Clients" and it speaks to this point as well.

    Apps and sites like these are okay to fill schedules and keep your guys busy, but I definitely wouldn't use them to 'grow'. That's when your own marketing should come into play.
     
    PKLIP likes this.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,083

    I think it's here to stay, however the players may come and go. Those that are funded by VC have a certain level of accountability that others don't and they likely have a burn rate that is fairly brutal. I haven't seen any repeat funding rounds for the "old guard", so they must be doing something right. Volume is everything.

    But, as long as they have a firm grasp on the customer acquisition cost, it's no different than any other arbitrage play. Make sure more comes in than goes out and do it at scale until you saturate and them move on to the next territory or service offering. Like a lawn mowing version of the board game "Risk".

    I would loooove to know their customer lifetime value and churn rate. I'd guess their churn falls somewhere just north of a Groupon or Living Social campaign and well south of any decent, locally owned lawn company. Similarly, the CLV has to be minimal by comparison.
     
    PKLIP and EverGrow Marketing like this.
  5. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Very true and it keeps getting harder every day. Especially now these "uber" companies are outranking real local lawn care guys.

    I started about 5.5 years ago and it was 80% luck that I succeeded. But for any amateur guys trying to start new these days... ouch! I was lucky with the timing, few LCOs in the area that could not support the population boom (I think) n the top 10 growing city in the Nation at the time. Plus given the fact the #1 ranked LCO company just pulled the plug and went away -- didn't sell, just stopped showing up and disconnected his phone, I hit the perfect storm to say the least. He had 60% of the market and just cut bait. Weird! That's not something that happens from my experience. I now own their Website for SEO reasons!!

    Every-single spring there's gobbs of new guys. Landing new clients in the Spring is a bit more difficult than say late June/early July, and by August I am in the need to add another truck as I can't keep up with the work load, lol. I would say 70% of the calls is "my lawn guy stopped showing up and his number is disconnected". The next problem is their new guy originally lowballed them into thinking that's the price, and now they think $25 bucks is the cost to get their lawn serviced. Now you have to sell them on the 'real' price. Which is a bigger job than just mowing them -- but in the end, customer service often prevails (not always -- some would rather save $5 and hire the no insurance lawn guy who'll probably run into their A/C unit).

    Bottom line is when you work in arguably the lowest skilled job in the nation, you're going to have these low skilled players ruining the market for the legit lco's. The only skill this job requires is being able to run a business, knowing basic finances, understanding marketing, mechanical skills, and have the ability to chase money like a private investigator, lol. Most of these low skilled guys can't/don't want to put in that kind of effort especially considering how cut throat it is out here. It's much easier to get beer money from doing day labor.

    Also, it looks like us LCOs need to band together and try to shut down these "uber" companies ranking in local listings. They are doing something tricky to get there. For sure doing shady stuff that's against Google/Bing/Yahoo terms of service.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    EverGrow Marketing likes this.
  6. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 148

    I haven't seen an Uber style company rank in the local listing.

    Are you referring to like a TaskEasy? They definitely rank organically, but they're not going to be showing up in the local listings simply because of what their business is listed in Google as.

    Which means your local listings and ads are going to be a sure fire way to beat these type of companies out, or at least prevent them from taking market share on search engines.
     
  7. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    lawn love, yourgreenpal just to name a few are in local listings for Nashville -- you'll find this with the @PKLIP posting about Northern Virginia and @tonygreek touch on it happening in Ohio. Taking lawn love for example, their address comes back at a tech company; "service data recover". Something shady going on.


    nashville.PNG
     
  8. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 148

    Oh Lawn Love. Yeah that makes sense.

    I have a couple clients 'competing' with them. One specifically in the Denver area. Their company website and locations are set up like franchises from what I've seen. At least that's how it appears to Google and that's how they can do that.

    What they're doing isn't shady.

    Because their page that's ranking in each area is a location specific page that's simply optimized to rank locally. Just that page though.

    When they only have that location specific page to use, then it's difficult for them to rank for multiple keywords where competition is capitalizing on.

    Which means if they're optimizing for a couple keywords on their one local landing page, they're missing on the opportunity to rank on other service based keywords, and that's your door in.

    For instance, Lawn Love near Denver is ranking decently for Lawn Care Services near Denver, but they aren't ranking well for Feritilization Services near Denver..
     
  9. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I get that, but my issue is they don't have a local office. The office(s) they claim for location is likely paid to "Service Data Recovery" business that, according to their website, was their same location since 2013. I cannot find any other affiliation between the two. Google should see this as no different than buying "dofollow" links to trick rankings, which they will certainly de-index a culpable website for.

    They are faking their location to out-rank locals. To me, these kind of 'services' are below Uber. they are the shady/intrusive affiliate marking side of the spectrum. Only local companies should be in those listings. And I don't have a dog in this fight, I don't even serve that area. I rank #1 for my keywords in both organic and local. I've had an SEO/SEM business from 2003-ish to 2015-ish til I decided to dedicate all my time to LC. I got sick of being out of shape and fat and needed to get into a physical line of work. Lol

    Hopefully we make enough noise so search engines will purge these methods. #operation-panda
     
    Doc8406 and EverGrow Marketing like this.
  10. EverGrow Marketing

    EverGrow Marketing Sponsor
    Messages: 148

    Haha I hear ya. I run 4 miles everyday just to keep myself from getting there since I spend most of my days sitting at my desk.

    You're right though. I agree with you that it isn't right what they're doing. Google needs to find away to create a rule in their algorithm that prevents them from doing this. But it can't be a rule that's just "You can't do that."

    That right there is shady, for sure. But it's one of those loopholes where you have to find a logical way to exclude companies like Lawn Love out of local listings by defining the criteria further into what is and isn't allowed in the local listings that seems reasonable.

    I write for SearchEngineWatch.com and this would definitely be an awesome topic for me to cover with some more research. Maybe I can help light the fire under the local SAB SEO community :)
     
    Doc8406 likes this.

Share This Page