I have broken things down into 5 easy steps that you can follow to quickly and easily start generating leads for your lawn care business online.
1. Decide if you want to create and maintain the website yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
This is something you will have to decide based upon your comfort level with computers and the time you have available to create your website. Another thing to consider is that a professionally designed site will most likely look better and be more usable than something you create yourself. You want to portray a professional image to your customers. One great option is to buy a lawn care website template and customize it yourself. Also, some hosting companies provide website templates for free to their customers. You may want to Google “Lawn Care Website Templates” and look for a web host or web design company that does this for it’s customers. If you don’t have the time, or just aren’t comfortable creating your website go to the next step for information on choosing a designer.
2. Choose your Web Designer
When choosing a web designer, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, look at the companies portfolio. You want to find a company that makes attractive and functional websites. Find a site listed in their portfolio then actually go to that site and click around. Second, think ahead about who will maintain your site if you need to make changes down the road. Look for a web designer who offers website maintenance. Some web designers also offer free website maintenance if you host your website with them. Finally, make sure your designer is familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the art of making your site appear higher in the search engines for a given search term or phrase such as “lawn care”. While not all of SEO is accomplished within your site, on page optimization is an important factor that must be considered. If you don’t get this important step done when your site is created, you will pay for it with lack of website traffic or pay for it by having your site SEO optimized. The last thing I will mention is again the website templates. If you can find one of these you like, you can save money. Even if you don’t customize the template yourself, you can have your web designer use the template as a starting point for your site. Saving the designer time and you money.
3. Web pages you’ll need
When you call your web designer, they are going to want to know what web pages you want incorporated into your site. You should think about this up front so you are prepared for this question. For a lawn care business, you should have at least 3 pages. Possibly more if your lawn care business offers additional services outside of basic grass cutting and trimming. As a start, you will of course have a Home page. Here on the home page you will want to make it clear where you are located geographically. Also, give a brief description of your company on the home page. Next, and probably the most important, you will want a way for potential customers to contact you. For this, you should have a Contact page on your website. On this page, list your phone number if you have a business line. If you use your personal phone number or cell phone, you will have to carefully consider listing your number on the internet. Instead of listing your email address on your website, you should also have an email form. This prevents a lot of junk mail coming into your inbox and allows you to choose who has your email address. Last you want a services page that outlines exactly all the services that you offer. Look around at other lawn care websites around the web and see what other have done and build from there. The more pages you have the better. More content on your site is another simple step you can take to improve your search engine rankings. Let’s move on and talk about where to put the files that make up your site so people can view your website on the internet.
4. Choose your host
No matter you decide to build your website yourself or have someone do it for you, you will need a host for your website. A web host provides the computer that is connected to the internet 24 hours a day and is equipped with a high speed data connection that allows customers to view your site on the web. It’s important not to skimp here. A poor web host will likely have a lot of down time or your pages will load very slowly. Both of these will have negative repercussions with any potential customers. Another consideration is the quality of customer service at the web host. Also, realize that “unlimited” hosting options are a myth. Just read the Terms of Service from a web host offering unlimited hosting to see what I mean. A computer server has finite resources. A hosting company selling unlimited resources is being less than honest. You may want to take the recommendation of your web designer here. I would recommend staying away from the larger hosting companies and choosing a smaller company that spends less time advertising and more time focusing on providing quality service. A few things to compare here are the price and the uptime. As for the price, I will warn you not to choose simply from the cheapest provider. Oftentimes, you do get what you pay for with hosting. At the same time, for most lawn care websites, there is no reason to pay more than $25 per month for hosting. At most hosting companies, the smallest hosting package will be sufficient for your needs. Also, you should look for a host that will provide your domain registration for free. As for a hosts uptime, there are several free websites that provide third party verification of a hosts uptime that will allow you to compare hosts. Now you have all the information to get a lawn care website online. Now let’s discuss how to get people there to see it.
5. Promote your Site
Just because you have a website, doesn’t mean you are going to start getting leads right away. For promoting your site online, you have two options. You can pay a company like Google to place ads on the search pages. This is called pay-per-click or PPC. The other way is to get your site to appear in the “organic” search results. Organic search results cannot be purchased and they receive more clicks than the purchased links. Depending on how competitive your local market is, you may not need to do anything to be on the first page of Google. In larger markets, you may want to spend some money on SEO. An SEO company will help your site build back links on the web pointing to your site. As these links are built, you will start to climb in search engine rankings and you will start to receive more and more traffic to your site. This is what will lead to more customers and make the whole thing payoff.