Website Optimization for Your Landscaping Business

SEO Optimizing A Website Page for Beginners

Written by Jake Hundley
Published on February 1, 2022

Optimizing a page on your landscaping website is only a small part of your SEO, however, every page needs to be optimized. If you’re looking to do your own SEO or you just want to take a peek into what goes on when the pros say, “We optimized your page”, then this post is specifically for you.

You don’t have to be an expert at SEO to see great results for your landscaping business. You just have to follow this guide.

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Understand Proper Page Header Structure

The first thing to understand when optimizing a page is understanding the proper header structure.

A website is a lot like a textbook and the chapters in that textbook are like the pages. You’ll also notice that each chapter has sections with their own headers, these would be what we refer to as Header 2s (H2s).

A page is structured like this:

Page Title

Page titles are what you would see for the heading of a page when you’re looking at Google search results.

Optimize Landscaping Website Page Title

They are also what you would see in the tab of your browser.

Landscaping Website Page Title in Browser Tab

These are important ranking factors that tell Google and other search engines who you are and who the content on this page is for.

You’ll want to include your service keyword as well as your location keyword.

Landscaping Company Keywords in Page Title

You can typically edit the page titles on the backend of the page when you’re in the website editor. Some platforms like Wix and Squarespace have this easily built-in – others like WordPress might require a plugin like Yoast or Rank Math to easily insert these page titles.

Header 1 (H1)

An H1 is the header text at the top of each page.

Optimizing Landscaping Page H1 Header

Like a chapter to a textbook, there should only be one H1. One chapter in a textbook does not have multiple chapter titles. I find this mistake on websites all the time.

When you go to change the font of some text in a website building platform, you might see a few preformatted options like Paragraph, Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, and so on.

These aren’t just preformatted styles to make things look fancy. They actually have HTML meaning and it’s important to use them with intention.

The H1 is designed to tell both the user and Google what the contents of this page are about on a topical level.

A good way to distinguish page titles with H1s is by understanding where your user is when looking at these.

If they’re looking at your page title, they’re likely in Google looking at you and your competitors. They presumably know nothing about you or your message. These are where you want to tell the user who you are, what the page is about, where you’re located, and why they should click.

If someone is looking at your H1, they have already clicked or landed on that page somehow. They know who you are, now they’re looking for specific information. Tell them exactly what they can expect to find on this page.

There is no need for a call to action or value statement here.

**Note**
That doesn’t mean don’t have a call to action near your H1! It just means it isn’t necessary for the H1.

Header 2s (H2s)

H2s are the sections of your textbook chapter. They break out the main H1 into sub-categories.

For example, if you had an H1 of “Professional Landscaping Services in Minnetonka, MN”, you might have four H2s:

  • Retaining Walls
  • Sod Installation
  • Seasonal Cleanup
  • Flower Bed Design

Each of those H2s not only tells the user what professional landscaping services you offer in Minnetonka, MN, but they also give Google a good map of how your page is structured and help its algorithm digest your content.

You can have as many H2s as you need as long as you also have standard content under each one of them that is helpful in telling the user what it is exactly that you offer when you say something like, “Retaining Walls”.

Header 3s (H3s)… and so on

After H2s, we get even more granular with headers. In the landscaping industry, we really don’t go much deeper than H3s. Sometimes we don’t even get to H3s. What’s really important are H1s and H2s.

However, if you do have to get this granular with your content, follow the same rules as H2s.

By the way, the header to this section is an H3.

Utilize Your Keywords

The entire premise of Google is built on people typing words into the search bar to find what they’re looking for. The words you want to target are called your keywords.

There are different flavors of keywords such as:

  • Keyword
  • Long-tail keywords
  • Keyword phrases
  • Etc

For the most part, SEOs (that’s what we call ourselves), just refer to the keywords we’re targeting as “keywords”. It’s a catch-all and about as far deep into that as we’ll go in this post.

Having said that, you want to use the keywords you’re targeting on the page in various ways. That includes using them in your page title, H1, H2s, image attributes, and content.

Keyword Pro Tips:

Don’t use your keywords too often. Repeating keywords to the point they sound unnatural can actually hurt your SEO. You want to stick to around a 1-2% keyword density. That means only 1-2% of all the words on your page include that keyword.

The second tip is you can use different variations of keywords you’re targeting to make things sound more natural. In other words, if your target keyword is “spring cleanups”, you can say things like, “seasonal cleanups”, “seasonal landscape maintenance”, etc.

Google understands similar phrases. It was all part of their Hummingbird algorithm update. Of course, exact matches are great – this is just a useful way to make things sound more natural while still targeting your keyword.

The final tip – try not to target the same keywords on multiple pages. You’ll run into something called “keyword cannibalization”. That’s when more than one page on your site is trying to rank for the same keyword. Instead of working together, they end up competing against each other for rank.

You want to make sure one page is hyper-focused on one topical keyword.

Localize Your Keywords

This is one that often gets forgotten but it’s the most important in the landscaping and lawn care industry.

As a service area-based business, it’s important that you’re not trying to rank for your local services 2,000 miles away. That’s why it’s so critical to make sure you’re optimized locally.

When thinking of a keyword to target, it might be, “Lawn Care”. Unfortunately for you, this keyword alone means you’re trying to rank for it globally. That’s probably not going to happen.

You want to include some context with that – so try, “lawn care in [city], [state]”. There we go, now we’re cooking with gas.

We even recommend using localized community words. I’m from Cedar Falls, Iowa. But the surrounding area is called, “The Cedar Valley”. This includes about 5 other towns and even one that’s twice the size of Cedar Falls.

It’s a local keyword that resonates with the local audience and it will also get picked up and understood by Google.

At Evergrow Marketing, we serve all of North America, the UK, and Australia, so we don’t really get to utilize localized keywords as an effective strategy – but we can still use contextual keywords like… “digital marketing for landscaping companies”.

We’re not trying to compete for “digital marketing” – plus, we don’t want to do digital marketing for just anyone. We’re trying to compete for people in our industry looking for digital marketing. Just like you’re trying to compete for people in your service area looking for landscaping or lawn care.

Use Images & Optimize Them

The more images you use on your page the better. Of course, your images need to be optimized.

Images have multiple fields you can optimize that Google considers ranking signals. These are:

  • File name
  • Image Title
  • Alt Text
  • Caption

Google even cares about the format of the image, the dimensions, and the file size. I won’t get into all of that here because I already wrote an entire post on how to optimize images for your site.

Another signal Google uses to rank pages is the use of internal links.

For example, if on your lawn care page, you reference aeration and you also have a page with an H1 about aeration, it would be a good idea to use that text and link to that page.

This is called anchor text.

An example of anchor text is how I talk about internal linking structure on my SEO Part 2: On-Site SEO blog post.

Notice how I could have linked the title, but instead, I chose to link “internal linking structure”. That is the anchor text for my link. It tells Google which keywords I want to be associated with the link.

Google will then crawl that link, analyze the anchor text, and make an informed decision on whether or not it’s relevant.

I also didn’t have to tell you that there is a whole section on that post about internal linking structure. You pretty much assumed it because I used that keyword as my anchor text.

Keep in mind, using too many internal links can be bad for your SEO. John Mueller from Google explains that here.

Bold Important Keywords

Just like anchor text, bolding is just as important. This tells Google that it should pay attention to certain keywords as they’re important to the context of the page.

Again John Mueller explains how the search algorithm understands bolded text.

A good rule of thumb for bolding words is only bold enough so that a skimmer can understand what the content is about without reading each word.

For Your Information:

The HTML language is what most websites are built off of and how Google understands and reads the content. This language gets updated every now and then.

When HTML5 was introduced, it changed certain tags to have more meaning. One of these tags was the tag to bold certain words. The old way was <b>bold</b>. These bolded the words but it doesn’t carry any meaning.

The new tag is <strong>bold</strong>. This does the exact same thing, only it actually carries meaning with it – telling search engines and browsers that this text is not only visibly bolder, it’s also important.

Matt Cutts from Google did a video on this in 2013 that John Mueller actually references in the video above.

Both tags still work and Google says it treats them the same, but just in case… let’s use each of them with intention.

Add an Optimized Meta Description

Meta descriptions are what you see in search results under the title of a page.

Optimized Landscaping Meta Description

These don’t actually hold any ranking signals anymore, but they do influence clicks in search engines, and the more clicks your results get, the better improvement on rank you’ll see.

They’re relatively short. You’ll want to keep them around 155 characters or else you’ll see the ellipses (…). Of course, Google changes these all of the time. They had a brief stint when they increased the meta description text limit to more than 300 characters back in 2018 but have since reverted to a smaller character count.

They also have a pixel limit of up 920 pixels at the time of writing this. Not all letters are the same size so if you use big letters like “W” a lot, you might not be able to use as many characters to craft your meta descriptions.

You can typically edit these in the same are you edited your page title referenced earlier in this post.

Also, keep in mind, meta descriptions do bold the keywords of the search query. This is important to know when writing these so yours stands out!

Bolded Landscaping Keywords in SERP Meta Description

Make Sure Your URL is Clean

I see a lot of instances where the URL of a page isn’t optimized. It looks like joeslandscaping.com/p1234 or joeslandscaping.com/services-2.

Keep these clean. It’s important that these not only look presentable to the user but to Google as well. All website builders should have the ability for you to easily edit URLs and it’s also usually in the same area your page titles and meta descriptions are.

Keeping these clean, short, and simple is part of Google’s “Advanced SEO” guidelines. Although, it really isn’t that advanced.

It’s often referred to as “the slug”. Us technical SEOs often refer to the /slug as the “path” or the “subfolder” of your website.

Featured images aren’t technically considered a ranking signal, but they do make your link look nice when you post on social media.

What social media does when posting a link is take the first image they can find on your page and use that as the thumbnail. Oftentimes, that is your logo (found in your menu or as your favicon).

But you can set this image by setting a featured image. In website builders like WordPress, there is a specific section where you can set these on the backend of each page.

Just go to the editor of your page and select the image you’d like to use for your featured image. Of course, you want to make sure the image is the right size so it displays properly when linked on social media.

Facebook… or Meta, rather… has Facebook image size guidelines that are super helpful.

If you changed your featured image and it still isn’t updating on Facebook, then you’ll have to run the URL link through the Facebook debugger before posting again.

**Note**

Featured images are not the same as OG images. OG images are specific featured images used for Facebook. Featured images are just general. If you want a different image for Facebook than your featured image, you’ll want to specify an OG or social image. Tools like Yoast can do this.

Using Yoast to Specify a Facebook Featured Image

Optimize for Mobile

The number one thing to do nowadays is optimize your page for mobile devices. We can’t stress this enough.

That includes:

  • Making sure elements don’t go off screen on mobile
  • Making sure buttons are large enough to click with a thumb
  • Making sure elements don’t overlap
  • Making sure the website loads extremely fast
  • And much more

You can see how your site stacks up to Google’s health report on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This is all part of their Core Web Vitals (CWV) algorithm update. It’s Google’s method of not just testing your site speed, but whether or not you’re doing good technical SEO housekeeping.

For the record, they want you to be green in all categories.

Even though your site may load fast, if Google sees redundant CSS or undeferred JavaScript, it can ping against your score. Additionally, if content shifts too much as things load in, that can hurt your score too. Although, we’re getting a little too advanced here.

Some SEOs have suggested that the CWV update will merely be a “tie-breaker” between you and your competitor, but John Mueller again steps in and says this isn’t the case. It’s more than that.

To see how your page looks on mobile, you can either simply look at it on your phone, or you can simply resize your browser window to see how elements shift around.

You can also access the browser console and change the device type by either hitting F12 on your keyboard or by right-clicking and selecting “Inspect”

Landscaping Website on Mobile Device

Want to Learn More?

Keep in mind, we’ve only scratched the surface of optimizing your pages let alone your entire website. Although we didn’t cover some of the more advanced stuff like:

  • Schema markup
  • “nofollow” and “dofollow” link rules
  • JavaScript minification and deferral
  • CSS redundancy prevention
  • and much more

…The optimizations listed in this post are more than enough to get your website’s pages in great health for your SEO!

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You can also browse our collection of posts and articles and do a deep dive into the world of digital marketing for landscapers.

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