Having a website for your landscaping business is certainly one of your keys to success. However, before you invest in marketing or a website, this brief article is a must read.
I had a conversation with a business owner and it caused my blood pressure to go through the roof! He is being held hostage by a “web/marketing” company that cares more about their bottom line than they do about the business success and growth of his business or the business people to which they sell their services.
A few years ago they set up a new web site for him and promised him good results with search engine optimization and promised him that he would be on “Page 1 on Google.” His business is now on the bottom of page 1, but it is for a search term that is not often searched for and is not one of his chosen keywords. The company simply chose a keyword that did not apply to him, it was not a competitive keyword (since it was not a top searched keyword) so they were able to get a page one listing for it. Instead of working on getting him ranked for the keywords that were important and profitable for him, they did the opposite. He only shows on page 1 if someone happens to search for that term. He was informed that there would be extra fees involved if he wanted to rank for his chosen keywords.
That’s bad enough, but here is the part that makes my blood boil. He indicated to them that he did not want to renew his contract.They informed him that they owned the website and the domain name. They let him know that when he cancelled, he would no longer have the website or the domain name. He was then informed that the domain name would be offered to another competitior. Wait a minute! You mean to tell me that his domain name that is printed on his business card, marketing pieces and used by his clients would now direct visitors to another landscaper?
In addition, they added a tracking phone number to his web site and they owned that as well. The bottom line, cancel the contract and they take away your domain name, website and tracking number.
They used strong arm techniques to try to sell him on remaining with them in order to keep his website, domain name and tracking number. I call that holding someone hostage and I consider their techniques unethical. I am sure all of this was outlined in the small print of their legal documents, but it not a fair way to run a business.
Here are a few initial questions to ask when you are being offered a web site:
1- Can I use my own existing domain name? (If you do not currently have one yet, purchase one that you yourself own.)
2- Who will own the web site and all of the content?
3- Do you use tracking numbers? If so, what happens to the number if I cancel my services with you? Note: Tracking numbers are a great way to report on which marketing source is generating leads for you, just make sure that if your service is cancelled that you can continue to use the number (for a reasonable fee) if that is your desire.
You need to make sure that you own the domain name. That way, if you no longer want to do business with that company, and they keep the web site, you are able to have a new site built on your existing domain name. The best scenario of course is if you own the domain as well as the web site and all of the contents. If they do use a tracking number on your web site, that is the only place that particular number should be used. You can learn more about the use of tracking numbers and the importance of a consistent NAP listing outlined in our article “The importance of having a consistent NAP listing (Names,address, phone) across the web.”
Beware of tactics like this. Also be aware of anyone calling your business and indicating that they are from Google and want to get you on page one, or want to help you get better search engine results. It’s a lie. The call is not from Google. Google does not call anyone to solicit business. In addition, Google is not in the business of getting you better listings or selling you a website.
If a company begins their first contract with you based on a lie, how can they be trusted? The best thing you can do is tell them to add your name to their do not call list. If they continue to harass you with phone calls, get the callers name and inform them that you have requested not to be solicited by their company and you will report them to the Better Business Bureau.
To be successful, you not only need to retain your current clients and have them refer their friends, but you need to be bringing in new clients. The internet is the medium that your prospects are using to search for help for their landscaping needs. A website that is continually updated and maintained for search engine optimization will give you profitable results.
However, you website should just be one component in your overall marketing plan. At Success Landscape Marketing, we implement a comprehensive marketing strategy based on the goals that you want to reach for your business. Our focused, ongoing and intentional approach is exactly what’s necessary to predictably grow your company. Each month we meet with you to show you detailed reports so you can see the work that we are doing and the results that we are achieving for you.
I’ll be happy to analyze your current web statistics and marketing and show you ways to bring in more clients, more referrals and more revenue. There’s no high pressure and no hassle. Simply click here to request your complimentary assessment.
Questions? I would love to personally talk with you. Feel free to call me toll free at 888-979-3870 or email me: Chris@SuccessLandscapeMarketing.com.
My goal is your success. I work exclusively with one landscaping business per market area. You are not tied into a contract. If we are not bringing you profitable results, you are free to cancel anytime and we will still remain friends. And yes, you own the domain name, your website and all of the contents. (: