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Keyword Research for Marketing Lawn Care Business

So in the simplest terms, key phrases are simply the words or phrases that you enter in to the Google text field when you hit search that is a key phrase. It is just a search term. It is just another word for it. It is also called key words. You know search term, key words, key phrase, same thing. Some people use key words, we use key phrase because generally people are entering more than word these days to find what they want. It really kind of drills down their search and so people are entering two, three, four words in tera sentences in tera questions, so we call them key phrases


And why they are important? They are really the foundation like I said that the foundation of everything that you do online, you will be using it in many of your online marketing strategies and they are really critical to getting them right is really critical to getting your marketing right, getting your message right and actually being able to reach people that you want to reach.

Yeah they set up the foundation of everything you are going to do from your SEO in terms of how you are going to structure pages, what they key words are going to be, what the title tags are going to be. All of that, they also set up the if you get into the multi website strategy what your domain names are going to be, what your copy on your website’s * is going to be tailored, crafted, it also gets into how your pay per click campaigns are going to work, what are the headlines, what is the concept, what is the web page that you are going to refer to, what are the phrases that make your ad show up, that get into your local search, they get into everything so that is why they are so foundational. They also, well they tell you how to market and they also are used in determining how competitive your market is.

Well in their competitive, based on couple of different things but a lot of this has to do with search frequency and a lot of marketers will target just the phrases that people search for the most and that is one way to do it but there is also other phrases that are less searched



Highly valuable

And highly valuable you can stock a get ROI on them if you focus on them right and get your message right and often times these lesser searched phrases are better to target because they are less competitive and they less competitive meaning, there is not as many pay per click. There is not as much pay per click competition


So your costs are cheaper when


When you are running an ad words campaign and also there is not as much searches optimization competition meaning your competitors haven’t optimized their pages to focus on those very specific key phrases that you are going to be targeting. For instance you might be, you might be a, let’s say you are a plumber in Los Angeles okay. Well if you just target the key phrase, plumber Los Angeles which is probably going to be your number one phrase for your business

Incredibly competitive

If you are just going to target on that it is going to be an incredibly competitive, it is going to be competitive, incredibly competitive search engine result page that you are going to try and get listed on and you are going to be competing with directories. You are going to be competing with a lot of different websites that have been around for a very long time, thousands of back links


And it is going to take you a lot of money, a lot of time to get ranked


So that is when you sort of adapt your, your strategy and also take a look at, you still want to target that word but you might also want to maybe spend more money targeting a lesser competitive word such as emergency pipe fixing in Los Angeles or something on those lines and that is when you can really stretch smaller budgets and kind of take advantage of holes in your competitor’s marketing campaign



And it also ties into what we have talked about before where it takes some time to get SEO results which are again all based on keyword phrases


By phrase it may take a little time to get ranking like the example you gave of Los Angeles plumber


So a fill in strategy while you are waiting is to use pay per click advertise to Los Angeles plumber. Now those clicks might be more expensive but you can get the immediate result

That is right

And in some cases it still might be less expensive to run the pay per click ads for a while that would have to optimize that keyword phrase from a search engine optimization strategy


So now again I would always recommend you do the SEO for those phrases but because I think SEO long term is better than pay per click

Yes you know organic listings are going to be better in the long term which you get them where you maintain them obviously. There is a time and there is a money value associated with optimizing for, to rank high in organic listings

Now when we talk about SEO and organic they are most interchangeable terms. Organic is, describes the search results and SEO is what you do


To get good organic search results

It is the process

It is the process yes and so let’s talk about, well let’s talk about the, some aspects of keywords like some things you consider


Like geography

Sure. We, a lot of our clients are provide services. They are not just, they are not just companies that make a product and in other marketing it revolves around one product or they are selling multiple products and so we are optimizing for multiple products. Most of we focus on clients that have services. And we clients have services they do business in a specific geographic region and one of the things that we found just having as many clients we have had over the years is that people don’t search for the same things in different areas. People search a little bit differently


And one of the things that I am sure you have noticed in your business lawn care is a very good example for that. People search in the South, people search for lawn care city name, in the north and Hawaii and other places people search for landscaping city name and that would be the search term that probably would be your number one search terms and in, in the south it would probably be the lawn care Dallas and in the North it would probably be the Landscaping New Jersey, Landscaping Kentucky

Ya they will be more specific about this. We see this exact thing with a lot of our service auto pilot clients that happen to be in that industry. The landscape and lawn care terms are both used in the South but in one describes putting in, installing something in, the landscape does in the South and lawn care describe mowing and fertilizing things like that whereas up in the North, kind of what you are saying landscape describes too often both the act of installing stuff and the act of maintaining what you have installed.

That is what you tell and there is other term


Exterminator versus pest control depending on where you are at, one maybe search more frequently than the other. Not that they both aren’t searched on once just tends to have more, that one phrase comes out more volume depending on the part of the country that you are in.

That is exactly right and that is why it is really important that you do really thorough key phrase research

You can’t just read forums about other people in the other people in the industry and see what they said and copy what they have done

Copy what they have done

You just can’t talk to somebody you know elsewhere and say oh * for me you have to find that out for sure for yourself because your keyword phrase sets up everything and you build all these sites and your campaigns around these phrases and if you have gone often the wrong direction you

You have just wasted a lot of money


A lot of time specially if you are doing it yourself and you think you are targeting the right key phrases. I always recommend that you at least have your key phrase research done by an SEO consultant who actually knows what they are doing, knows your market, knows your business and can actually tell you for sure these are the phrases that people are searching for. this is approximately how many people are searching for in each month and then go from there


 If you don’t get that right, again you are going to waste money, you are going to waste time, I have seen it, I have seen it many times. As I have said before in other videos, some of our clients come to us after trying to do SEO themselves and have no results


But they spent a ton of time, taken time away from their business, running their business which is, which is, should be their core focus and it is where they are an expert but instead they spent time trying to do SEO and in turn waste a lot of time


And a lot of money, trying to do it themselves

Yeah yeah

So get the key phrase search right, it is  the foundation of pretty much everything that you will do online and something along with key phrase research, when you are doing your key phrase research, some terms that you will come across would be broad match key phrases, exact match key phrases and phrase match key phrases.

Let me give an example of that


Because alright so this is a good, these are good definitions to know specifically for pay per click. It is good to know for SEO but really for pay per click because when you do run your pay per click ads you can pick which type of phrase you want to optimize your ad around or build your ad around and then there is another concept called negative keywords which we are not going to get into but these, that term plus the three I am about to give you an example of are very very important to understand


And they also affect how much money you spend, how much you pay and how, how focused the results you get back are. So let’s start with, let’s start with exact. So an example of exact would be, plumbing company and so that is an exact phrase. The person typed in plumbing company into Google are big. That is an exact search and then the next level down so that would be your most specific. Your next level down would be a phrase such as best plumbing company in Dallas.

Phrase that would simply contain that

It contains the two words in order

In order exactly

Plumbing company and it has best and in Dallas on the other side of it so first with exact plumbing company second word phrase best plumbing company in Dallas and the third would be broad which is what a lot of people use but you can end up getting results back down and nothing to do

It really is broad. It is more, the idea that that Google or whatever keyword research tool you are using thinks matches

Could match yeah like so an example would be plumbing parts supply company


Plumbing company was our exact phrase and then in broad it is plumbing parts supply company so now you have got plumbing company in the term, in the search phrase but they are not even close, they are not even together. It does * by word

Yeah exactly right the broad match doesn’t even have two, have to

Could be a totally different concept

Contain your original two search term

Yeah it could be a story book for kids talking about a plumbing company. It could be anything

It could be a number of things whatever Google determines is, is close enough to fall in the search results.

That is right so that example I just gave a home owner could type in plumbing company looking for a plumber but the, they are looking to hire you possibly but when they type in parts, parts supplier, plumbing parts supplier, they are probably not looking for you so if your ad comes up and they click on it, you just wasted how many bucks or whatever that is

That is right

So these are good concepts to know for pay per click but they are also good to understand for SEO and for other purposes. So you want to think about this type of stuff when you get back your, when you develop this list of keyword phrases you want to then go through these phrases, prioritize them, organize them, you also want to have a feel for what, how competitive they are, which will determine how much time and money it is going to have to be spent to basically dominate them and then from their you start to choose to target phrases. You start to choose to phrase that you are going to focus your marketing efforts around.

Exactly right and it gets a little bit more tricky when you are doing key phrase research for search engine optimization to build your strategy around that and that is because you want to use a combination of couple of things. You want to consider the broad match key phrases and what the possible phrase match key phrases are as well as the exact match. The exact match when combing your core search term such as plumbing company with a  geographic region will give you a pretty good sense.


Of how many people are actually searching for

For you

For exactly what you offer


In that geographic area

Right because plumbing company keyword, just searching on plumbing company keyword research might return all the results in United States


But plumbing company Dallas will give you a feel for how many you even have a potential to get and yeah that would be a way to say that how many * are even searching in your market which gives you your best potential in terms of how many clicks at a maximum you can get.

Exactly right

And if you just relied on the broad match of plumbing company and went by those results to do your, to do your search engine optimization for your service, for your service in Dallas or whatever city that you are doing business in, there is many many times that I have done the research and the number one phrase for that particular service doesn’t match up with the geographic region that you are in so, so you have to drill down all the way to the exact match level and really find out what people are searching for.

Yeah if you look at broad it is way over stated


If you, If you had the broad phrase and came back and said there are seven thousand searches


A month that would mean, a plumbing company, plumbing company Dallas it would also mean plumbing company self ware, plumbing company parts store so you have got all those, all the searches for those completely different topics all aggregated into one number and you would, you would possibly get a little too excited about the potential


And send too much money trying to capture the potential or you might spend more than, you might think your opportunity is more than it is and then not allocate your budget correctly so it is wise to really focus what you are saying to look at the exact and the phrase.

Yeah it will give you more realistic idea of how big your market is and how many people are actually searching for those services in a given month and it will also, it will also keep you from spending money on areas where you shouldn’t be spending money. So what else should we

So when you get this list of keywords and something else I will interject there. So you get this list so depending on what industry you are in, let me give an example, so like for example in lawn care there might be sprinkler repair, tree care, tree removal, bush trimming, fertilization, I mean there is all these different terms and now there is a couple that dominate but there is a lot of pretty big list because it could be lawn care or lawn service or lawn mowing or lawn maintenance that is four right there just for the same thing. But then when you look in some other industries like pest control, like pest control for example is dominated by three terms, pest control, exterminator and termite something. Something related to termites so depending on your industry too you many have a big big list of keywords or you might have a more condensed list of keywords where is only so many phrases.


And so it can vary by your industry cell, once you get back this list the next thing we should talk about is talking this list and prioritizing it so if you were in one of the industries that had fourteen potentially good phrases, realistically you might not do all forty at once


And so you need to, you know, kind of use the eighty twenty rule here and say of these phrases which twenty percent are going to give me eighty percent of my clicks. Eighty percent of my results, eighty percent of my sales, try to narrow down and maybe twenty is not really the number but that is the concept. We take twenty percent or thirty or forty percent or some number of these phrases that is where we start and then I do believe in coming back and doing more of them later but that is where we start.

Yeah that is a very good point and another thing to mention is, going back to the exact match and broad match and phrase match, that is going to be probably the most common mistake that most people make when they are doing their own key phrase research is going by the broad match number


And that is that is not the way to do. you really have to look at each and every one and especially that exact match, that will give you a true idea of how big your market is. and beyond that you want to, you want to actually, after you generate that first basic list of key phrases that you think you want to target, you actually want to do the searches. You want to look at those and see what the results are

Yeah look at those pages see who your competitors are, see if their budget directories, see if it is Wikipedia, see it if amazon


See if it is something like that that you are going to have to try and * above and especially these days since Google made the huge change in ad it local listings, you want to see if those pages feature local listing. Because if they feature local listings your organic, your organic listings are going to appear all the way at the bottom of the page

Unless you get listed as local on that page

Which you should be but another thing to consider is that doing organic optimization for these key phrases where the search engine results page features local listings, optimizing for those phrases will help your local listing on that page


So keep that in mind you know, just because it is a local listings page, don’t avoid optimizing for that key phrase, just because you think it is going to be hard to get your organic listing on that same research engine result page

Right in that case it becomes a two step strategy, get your local and get your SEO combination of the two is very very powerful

That is exactly right

And you are saying that if you find that there is a lot of local listings and you just don’t, you are too cheap or don’t put in the effort to getting the local, even if you are number one on the organic rankings, you are still going to be * so when you see that it is all, you know, it is a

It is a two combination

Strategy. Yeah okay so what, I kind of interrupted you but okay so what else do we got

Well, I think we talk about all phrases aren’t the same in that space line competitiveness that is based on where the local listings are on the search engine result page. it is based on a number of different factors.

And I don’t want to say

Yeah and you really have to do, you really have to do some research and not just go just by really quick keyword search and or what the guy in the next state over is doing


You got to, you got to do it, you got to be thorough about it and it really do some background research on it as well as doing some competitive analysis to see how difficult it is going to be to rank against other people who are already listed. Competitive analysis we can talk about that in another video. There is a lot of great tools to do that and can really analyze your competitor’s websites and determine what they did to get where they are and that is something that we will go to in another video but there is a lot of factors that play role but again key phrase, key phrases and getting key phrase research correct is the basics for all of it

And I want to mention one more and it is something I mentioned before but it is an advanced topic even if you don’t do it, it is something good to at least have care for must at a couple of times. That is the one that let’s say you come back with twenty key words phrases and the twenty keyword phrases as you have eluded to are not equal and by not equal, it means a couple of things. One some phrases get a lot more search volume than others and then some phrases for whatever reason covert cells better than other. People that type in a certain phrase are more likely to buy them. People that type in a different phrase searching for the same thing

That is correct

And you can always explain why that it so the advanced concept here is when you get your list and you start running pay per clicks on those phrases to figure out which ones lead to the most number of cells and then those are the ones back applying eighty twenty rule, those are the ones that you, you spend your money to build out first. That cost that strategy that was again more advanced and it cost more money because you have got to set up your conversion tracking, you got to set up your campaigns, you got to pay per click cost but if you are really serious about this that is very powerful strategy

It also lets you drill down right away

You have to let the campaigns run for a while. You really need to have, you really need to get a lot of information on the click through rate and all that but it, after you have done that testing and that research, you can really drill down on what, what your prospects are interested in, in that particular geographic region that you are targeting


So that is a very good point

Yeah city based stuff I would talk about

City based, having limited budgets

I can speak to this


So there is another advanced strategy that I don’t think a lot of people use, take that same list again of twenty keyword phrases. It is too many. It depends on your budget what you want to do in time but let’s say the twenty is too many for you and so you need another method to extract out of that list of twenty to be five best or eight best or ten best or whatever the case maybe and so another idea would be to use census data. So let’s say that these twenty phrases encompass eight different cities and so, so for example you might have plumbing in Dallas, plumbing in Fort Worth, plumbing in South Lake, those are some cities around the area. Okay so you have got these, we will just isolate this down the same thing, plumbing and then three different cities but you wonder well okay, I can’t do all three. I could do one, so which one those three might be my best one. So then you would go and you would do some census data research and on the census you would look at how many people own homes. Now plumbing may not a great example because you might also serve apartments but you were a lawn care company or pest control company, you are not going to be serving apartment complexes so depending on what you are researching or what service industry you are in. it is going to determine if you are talking about owner owned homes or if you are talking about like rental property so if you are a lawn care company, you are probably only focusing on homes that are owned because those are, those are the people most likely to pay for that service


So you would look at that statistic then you would look at how many of those homes are in the market. You would then look at what is the average income of the market. What is the average age of the market. Census is sometimes we even show I believe the turnover in the market. I maybe wrong on that but the three most important things are how many homes are owned and the demographic information about the type of people. I mean it goes into some real detail about the demographics educated, college educated race, money, all these different things. So if you have got again three similar phrases and there is three different cities, you know what you want, find the one that contains the most number of people that match your target demographic. That matches, if you look at your client base, your best twenty percent of your clients, find the city that has the most of those clients and then optimize that phrase first.


So that is again, that is an advanced strategy that allows you to sift and sort that list and come up with the, with where to start.

Very good. Very good point. It is always good to sort of cross reference your data and really kind of analyze what market you think it is going to be the best for you.


There is a lot of factors that plan to it and if you have been in the business for a while and you have been serving a community, you will have a better idea of exactly what your ideal market, what is your ideal customer

And population size like the size of the market has zero to do with this. I mean it is meaning less when it comes to web marketing. You have a massive population and this, like, if you are a lawn care company Manhattan, wow look at the opportunity at Manhattan or San Francisco, wow these are massive cities * it tells you nothing. And so you know there is a little bit more intelligence that goes into this decision.


Population doesn’t tell you anything likewise you can have a population, a massive population of people making less than thirty, family income of under thirty five or forty thousand dollars a year. Probably not buyers of a lot of services and so why even go after that market.

Yes sometimes it makes more sense to target a bunch of small cities tightly packed together


That have less, less competition and there by less competition means less online competition and so you can easily, much easier dominate those, dominate those, the services and markets online and reach those clients that also have a need in the smaller cities

And then once you dominate those markets that means you make more money and then as you make more money you take that money you are making and you go spend it in the bigger market


So there is a lot of thought and wisdom that can do into determining what your, what your keyword phrases are thinking * like we talking about you don’t have a lot of money, you have got limited budget. Start where it is easy, pick off those clients, build up some money, then go compete.

I mean the key phrase there that you can find online is great. It is great for doing the research on your markets. It is great for just finding your new business. If you want to figure out Oh okay I want to start business. I am entrepreneur. I have got skills. I have got, there is different things that I can do but what is the best business idea in the area that I live in, in my market and you can use, you can go and dig it through a lot of Google tools and come up with some great business ideas. They have a lot of tools that they have Google insights, trends, * Google has got a lot of great tools that actually let you dig in and dig through seven plus years of historical search data and you can really search, you can really drill down and see new emerging markets, new emerging trends, new, see if a market is growing, see if a market is fading. I mean you could do, you could, if you went back and looked at search it over years, you could go and look back at upcoming fads or new different things. You might go back in, you can probably go back seven years and look at * in your area and see how the search term, the search frequency increase over the year as it has become more and more popular. Well, if you do that sort of research you could go back and look, you could go back a couple of years and look and see okay what trends are emerging. What kind of business  opportunities do I have because there is an interest in the number of searches in this particular market and it

There is a lot of examples to that * picking up the backyard with the dogs I mean these are markets you can see what they are doing. I mean, you can see all the, you can see all that information on what people are searching and what people search for and what they are interested in. so that can really tell you a lot about

Yeah I * do that because that is a really good topic. I am glad you brought it out. So something I am just adding about, it is just my personal philosophy is, I really really believe in this concept that you need to be able to outspend all of your competitors and so to be able to do such a thing I really believe that you sell a lot of services back into client base. So you don’t just offer just one service, you ultimately offer lots of service to that same client and extract as much money out as possible in a good way and so the but at the same time if you start a company or you are a small company without enough internal resources and you try to offer every service you will never be a good company. So I do like to start out focus but then diversify that more and more services in. your concept right here that you are talking about is powerful for figuring out okay we do these two services what would be the absolute best service. So if I was going to add third service to my business, I want to see which one is one of the most amended service in my market place that is going to probably indicated that it is one of the easiest ones to set back to my clients and to sell to other clients and then the other thing about it too is if a lot of people search on this, this is a really powerful concept. I would not start a company now or go into a service now that is just a personal philosophy

Without actually doing key phrase research

Well number one that but number two if I don’t find that there is a lot of searches for that phrase, then that means it is going to be hard to get to those people. Now * may I could turn it into a marketing direct mail campaign but that now means I have to do all my testing with print marketing which is more expensive


So I am only going to go in industries where there are enough key word, at least initially enough key word phrase data that I can get to these people using Google ad words at first and then optimize with SEO next and prove that there is a market, prove it that I can sell the service before I go spend massive amounts of money on print or even establish * service offering in my company. So I think it, this stuff is powerful, powerful information.

Very good

Anything you want to add

No I think that is, that is a lot, good introduction from the most


Simple terms

To some really advanced stuff

So do your keyword research or get somebody to do it for you but be very sure if you do it yourself you know exactly what you are doing and  you are looking at all the factors

Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

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