Published: August 4, 2020
Last Updated: October 26, 2020
In an effort to gather data and test some new methods for search engine optimization, we built a brand new website from scratch and verified a Google My Business listing and over the course of a few months climbing the search rankings, we turned it into a lead generation machine that has produced 1,123+ inbound calls & form leads so far in 2020.
I’m Matt Wacek, CEO of Landscape Marketing Pros. This is how we created a web property (website and Google My Business listing) strictly for the purpose of generating high-interest inbound phone calls and contact form leads. In this case study, I’ll lay out the initial steps we took and how this web property’s presence has been transformed from nothing to a true powerhouse that dominates the lawn care, landscaping, irrigation, tree trimming/removal, concrete, mosquito control and snow removal services market in the city of Champlin, MN and nearby areas. The city’s population is approx. 25k.
In early spring 2019, we built ChamplinLawnLandscapingIrrigation.com and verified the Google My Business listing belonging to it. If you are reading this and are wondering why we would build a website to just exist and it does not belong to a client – its sole purpose was to attain rankings in the search results and Google “map pack” in an effort to generate traffic, and drive calls and contact form submissions. We monetized these two properties by routing these inbound calls and form leads to a network of local contractors that paid us for each qualified lead. This business model is very similar to HomeAdvisor, Porch, Thumbtack, etc.
We built these properties because we are all about testing new techniques and methods to further refine our search engine optimization strategies. We use this website (and a big collection of additional web properties just like it) as a test dummy to see what works and does not work. By executing successful campaigns on these test websites, we are able to stay at the forefront of upcoming trends which allows us to better deliver results to our clients.
Since this website was designed to be a lead generation property with the sole purpose of connecting website visitors to a network of outdoor service companies that serve the Champlin area, there is not much personality on the site in terms of branding, the text is generic and doesn’t go too in-depth, images used are stock photos, etc. The reason I mention this is because many would say this design will not convert visitors (entice a visitor to make a phone call or fill out a contact form), that is only partially true and I have the results to back this up. However, it should be known that a website belonging to a local company will outperform a generic lead generation website every time. Especially if the local company’s website includes an “About Us” page with pictures of owner(s), office staff & field personnel, as well as a gallery of previous work and testimonials from previous clients.
Through the spring and summer there were 223 phone calls from March through early September, and 35 contact form submissions from May-August (images of both are below).
While I’m not the biggest fan of showing rankings because 99% of the people reading this don’t care about “organic search rankings” or other technical SEO terms. Because the reality is that most of you reading this case study own an outdoor service company and just want a website that provides a professional image for your company while at the same time generates a solid return on investment.
But I knew the results could be better with this website. At this point it was September 2019 and the website and GMB (Google My Business listing) only ranked for a couple keywords because the website only had its homepage which was optimized with text and images related to lawn care/maintenance, landscaping installation and irrigation services.
We spent some time in the fall redesigning the website with a new WordPress builder and expanding its reach by building additional pages for sprinkler blowouts, snow removal, mosquito control, tree services, hydroseeding, paver installation, retaining walls, sod installation and concrete. All of these services pages are optimized for the website’s home city (Champlin, MN). This is key for any local company’s main service pages as it is low hanging fruit in the search results and the competition is wide open on these search results.
Once the pages were built and indexed (recognized by Google’s bots), we began a comprehensive back-linking campaign to increase the rankings of each one of these pages. Think of backlinks like “votes” for a website, the more of these links (from a quality source) pointing at your website, the more popular the website becomes in Google’s eyes. When the popularity of a website increases, Google takes notice and will want its users (the people going to the Google search) to be able to find it. So they send it up higher in the search results., and voilà you are ranking at the top of page one.
Here are the form leads that were generated in October through December, please note that our rankings were not completely optimized at this point yet.
These are the early results from the expansions made in the fall. We continued to build additional backlinks through the winter and in the spring is when the work paid off, big time.
Right as the 2020 peak season (late Mar through June) was about to begin as the snow started to melt and temperatures warmed up. Covid began and economic shut downs occurred. Even landscaping companies were subject to being closed for a short duration until the Minnesota governor allowed lawn care, landscaping, irrigation and tree service companies to operate. However, the demand for outdoor services did not miss a beat!
In this video I showcase these results from contact form leads and inbound phone calls that were generated from this website and Google My Business listing from January through early June.
Like mentioned earlier, I could show rankings and talk about that all day long. (If you really want to see them you could enter into any outdoor service related keyword + “Champlin” into Google and you will see this site on page 1 and/or its GMB in the top 5 results.)
But what matters to you and your business is more calls/leads that are exclusive, high-interest and local. Allowing your company to be in a position of abundance with increased lead flow, and being able to increase profits along the way because you can be more selective with the clients or projects you take on and can say “No” to the cheap work.
In the video above I show how prospects are finding the website and Google My Business listing, the contact form lead stats and call tracking stats as well.
This is hands down the best method to get new customers for your lawn care, landscaping, irrigation, tree service, concrete, mosquito control or snow removal company. The people visiting our case study website are typing exactly what they want into the Google search bar. Such as “landscaping company in my area”, or “lawn mowing [city]”. This means they are already interested in your services! When your website is ranking near the top of page 1, you have the highest likelihood of getting that prospect to visit your website and reach out via phone or fill out your contact form.
P.S. If you’re reading our case study and you may be on the fence about any of this or have questions for any of our current clients regarding the results or experience of working with us. I’m more than happy to provide you their contact information if you wish to speak with them directly. First, book a call, then email us directly and we’ll be happy to connect you.
(Without Relying on Lead Generation Companies or Expensive Print Advertising)