In the eyes of your prospective customers, the quality of your content is a direct reflection of the quality of your work. After all, if you can’t manage a website and social media channels, how will you handle the innumerable, complex aspects involved in a commercial landscape architecture project?
At Techo-Bloc, we know this assumption isn’t true. We’ve met many landscape architecture geniuses who struggle to position themselves online in a way that truly represents what they’re capable of.
To be found online by the right user at the right time, it’s not enough to have a wonderful platform; it needs to be utilized and optimized to drive traffic to your content and ultimately your portfolio. It may seem daunting, but thankfully, social media and SEO aren’t rocket science. With just a few consistent practices, your website and social media will help you build your brand and reach your business goals.
Social Media Tips for Landscape Architects
Social media is allowing opportunities for brands and consumers to connect like never before. But connecting to consumers isn’t enough; you’ll want to inspire, engage and help them so when they’re ready to purchase what you’re selling, they wouldn’t dream of buying it elsewhere.
Allow Your Client to Work for You
Strictly using your own photo content can be beautifully seamless, and a great place to start — but may come off as too curated or lack variety. Mix in some photos from your clients as proof of the quality and overall satisfaction of your service. Using real-life photos gives your brand a human touch that lets an audience easily envision themselves using your services.
Ask your clients to take photos year-round to capture how your landscape design morphs with the changing seasons. Or keep track of your commercial projects’ geotags and monitor for content that you can easily share. Create a landscape that will serve as the perfect Instagram selfie backdrop, and watch the content create itself.
Your photos could be worthy of hanging in a gallery, but when great photography is paired with crafty captioning, it’s a match made in heaven.
Engaging social media starts a conversation. Post a series of sample paver options and ask followers to comment on their favorite. If you’re marketing to professionals, they’ll be happy to share their opinion about something they’re passionate about. Whatever you post, think of it as an opportunity to keep your audience from scrolling on to the next thing.
And, most importantly, don’t forget to engage back! Respond to comments and questions with honesty and authenticity to show you care (and to help with most platform’s algorithms, too).
Targeted Ad Campaigns
Advertising campaigns are an extremely useful tool, but when used wrong, can be a waste of money. With digital ad platforms, you have the chance to focus your message for a targeted audience (aka your ideal customer) so your content has a larger chance of success.
You can also analyze previous campaign results to inform what target areas you should focus on next. It is better to reach a fewer number of people who actually click on your content or profile than a large number of people who do not engage at all.
If the social ads platforms feel too daunting, start with just boosting well-performing posts. Chances are, if your current followers like a post, potential new followers will too.
The Long Haul
Remember social media is a long-term game where consistency is key to overcoming the algorithm. Don’t let any lack of engagement disappoint or distract you, especially at the beginning. Keep posting quality content consistently, and you will eventually reach a break-through point. A great social media page can, at the very least, be valuable as an updated and easily shareable online portfolio.
SEO for Landscape Architects
A more intimidating feat to overcome than social media is SEO. Let’s break it down into digestible steps you can take today to optimize your website.
SEO Made Small
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about increasing the quantity and quality of search engine traffic driven towards your website. A properly optimized site has a better chance of appearing at the top of the search engine list where clients are more likely to see the listing and click through. Without SEO, your business could be lost in endless unrelated listings where high-value prospects who need your services will be unable to find them.
While a website can help you reach the entire world, the largest ROI for landscape architects is usually in local SEO. This increases the visibility for businesses throughout their community or the communities they want to target. Start by claiming your business on Google MyBusiness so you have the ability to tell Google what products and services you offer, what your hours of operation are and to add imagery and reviews.
Quality Over Quantity
The next step is to integrate relevant keywords into your website so that it tells search engines what type of customer needs to see your product. This is another situation where being more specific is better than going broad.
Focus on long-tail keywords which typically contain three words or more. This may seem like you are limiting your potential reach, but you are actually maximizing the impact of your website and finding quality leads.
For instance, “landscaping” is far too broad and your site will be lost in the millions of results — and likely buried underneath larger competitors. But “commercial landscape architect in Raleigh, North Carolina” is specific, localized, will weed out any company not serving the Raleigh area, and ensure customers clicking on your listing are looking for the exact service you offer.
Once you have your list of keywords and phrases, look for opportunities to use them so search engines know to rank your site high on these lists. Keywords can be used in your website pages’ title tags, meta descriptions, headings and content.
Keep Your Website Fresh
Another way to improve your SEO and find opportunities to plant your keywords is in content creation. This includes blogs, videos, guides, podcasts, infographics, web brochures and whatever other material you can add to your site that customers will find helpful and are likely already searching for.
Content creation keeps your site from being boring and outdated. It gives your site more material which is more opportunities for a potential customer to find it. It also provides more opportunities to implement your keywords and will continue to push your site up in the rankings.
Make sure your materials are full of imagery and visual impact. A landing page full of nothing but text is a quick way to intimidate a potential customer into clicking the back button. And don’t forget to add alt attributes (the text that shows up if your image fails to load) to your images. Not only will this further contribute to SEO, but your blind and visually-impaired clients will appreciate knowing what the images are about too.
Your website needs content that people will want to spend time on and are actively looking for. One easy place to get started sharing content is through your portfolio page. By providing project imagery and details about the project, you can add SEO-rich content to your site in a way that feels natural and helpful. And make sure your content is sharable so people can link it on their own websites and social media pages to increase direct exposure with your company and build a collaborative brand.
The more people engage with your site and the longer they spend there, informs search engines that you have quality, high-demand content that more people need to see.
Start Optimizing Today
The Techo-Bloc social media channels and SEO efforts are a long-running, ever-improving slice of our marketing mix. But with consistent effort, monitoring and adjustment, they’ve become something we’re incredibly proud of and that’s what we hope for you too.