Your customers are perennial as peonies.
From spring mulching to fall cleanup, landscaping businesses want clients who are as loyal as the seasons themselves.
Retention? Easy. Finding new customers? That can be the real challenge – especially when your market is limited to the community you serve and the seasonality of your work.
The good news: pay per click (PPC) advertising is perhaps the most powerful marketing tool on the planet, allowing landscapers to connect with new customers at the exact moment they show intent online.
The only catch is that effective PPC advertising isn’t easy. To connect with high-quality leads who are ready to hire you, successful landscaping businesses partner with proven PPC experts.
PPC for Landscaping Businesses
Chances are you’ve run PPC ads on your own, or with the help of a marketing manager or agency for some time.
So you’re probably very familiar with Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) — those listings at the very top of the search engine results page (SERP), branded with a subtle “Ad” label. Especially for landscapers, who rely heavily on geographical location and community reviews, almighty local search ads alone can be an incredibly effective way to get your business in front of the right people at the right time.
But if your lead flow feels like a slow trickle (or worse, a buncha tire kickers), it’s time for a new direction.
With the right audience targeting, bidding strategy, ad creation, and regular optimization, you can rise to the top of the SERP and find those new customers who are looking for you.
All it takes is the right PPC partner.
PPC Partners: What to Expect
Not every PPC agency is going to be in the top 3% of agencies in the U.S.
And while we’d love to partner with you here at HawkSEM, it’s important that you end up with a reputable PPC partner either way.
Here’s a (very) basic overview of the deliverables we provide to our clients — and what you should expect from any PPC professional you choose to work with:
- PPC audit
- Competitor analysis & market research
- Conversion tracking & goals
- Campaign strategy
- A/B testing & optimization
- Custom reporting & communication
PPC Audit: Campaigns, Marketing Plans & Objectives
Your partnership should always begin with a full, in-depth PPC audit of your current (or past) campaigns promoting your landscaping services.
No campaigns running? No problem. Account managers should still be able to do a comprehensive analysis of your website, other marketing channels, and opportunities. This is a great time for your team to really align with your overall marketing plans and landscaping business objectives.
By the end of this audit, you should both walk away with a strong understanding of:
- PPC audit
- Your target audience and demographics
- Your competitors
- Your business goals
- Which PPC channels to utilize (i.e. Google Ads and Bing)
- The types of ads (i.e. campaign types) you should use within those channels, such as Search, Display, Video, Shopping, or Performance Max)
- Website optimizations, content gaps, or assets you might need for your campaigns
- The key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to track the success of your campaigns — think click through rate (CTR), cost per conversion (CPC), and return on investment (ROI)
Competitor Analysis & Market Research
The research only begins with your campaign audit. Any qualified agency will conduct deep competitor analyses (including direct and indirect competitors) to learn what other landscapers are doing. This is a recurring practice that includes:
- Search query research
- Reports from keyword research and online ranking data tools (like Semrush)
- Google Trends
- Auction Insights (for existing campaigns)
- Other industry insights
Conversion Tracking & Goals
PPC advertising is fueled by conversion tracking.
After all, PPC advertising is a machine learning platform that relies on conversions (goal = achieved) to replicate that desired result.
But believe it or not, many lawn care companies not only have improper tracking installed — they fail to set up conversion tracking at all. Yeah, yikes.
That’s why we take the time to audit all conversion points to ensure all goals are being tracked properly, including:
- Form fills
- Phone calls
- Email subscriptions
No conversion tracking? No conversion rate optimization.
Once your goals are defined, it’s time to build a marketing strategy that will make those milestones come to life. This strategy will take your budget, bid type, optimization objectives, and creative recommendations into account, including:
- Keyword research
- Custom audiences
- Ad copy
This leaves you with an in-depth proposal that includes projections and ongoing expectations.
Once we have a full strategy in place that you approve, it’s time to build those PPC campaigns. This is, admittedly, an extensive process — but here’s a brief overview of what goes into your campaign setup:
- Conversion tracking
- Well structured and organized ad groups with relevant keywords
- Appealing ad copy
- Negative keyword lists
- Publishing optimized landing pages with strong calls to action (CTAs)
- Bidding strategy and budget
- Remarketing campaigns
For HawkSEM clients, this is also about the time that we connect all your marketing channels inside ConversionIQ, our proprietary reporting platform. This system gives you complete transparency to what we’re doing on a daily basis, your account performance, as well as access to all your other online advertising metrics in one easy-to-navigate dashboard. No more hopping from one platform to another — everything you need is in one place. But more on this later.
A/B Testing & Optimization
As soon as your ads are running across your network of choice, we track every appearance, click, and conversion. Within a week or two, we use that information to:
- Review and refresh your ad copy, assets, and formats
- A/B test ad copy
- A/B test keyword variations
- A/B test landing pages
- Keep negative keywords list up to date
- Make website improvements
- Tweak the bidding strategy and budget
- Incorporate ad extensions
- Improve Quality Score
- Try long-tail keywords that are more intent-based
- Try new match types
- Check languages and locations
This process is just as in-depth as strategy and setup, but it’s a recurring practice. Every PPC company should lean heavily into A/B testing during campaign setup, as it will be the key to optimizing your campaigns later.
Custom Reporting & Communication
Whoever you choose to take on your PPC campaign management should be transparent, communicative, and send over regular reports that are easy to understand. These reports should be customized to the KPIs that matter most to you, applicable customer relationship management (CRM) tool data, and any other valuable insights.
And speaking of communication, you should expect predictable check-ins that meet your expectations.
How often do you want to communicate? Do you prefer to have check-ins via email or phone call? Your agency should feel like a partner in your business and match the culture you work so hard to instate.
How to Choose a Landscaping PPC Agency
We covered what deliverables you should expect. But when it comes to choosing which PPC agency is right for your landscaping business, you should also pay extra attention to:
- Services offered
- Qualifications & achievements
Sure, you can look for a PPC agency.
Or you can look for an experienced search engine marketing (SEM) agency specializing in PPC, along with a long list of other digital marketing strategies.
This can include:
- Social media marketing (organic posts on the top social media platforms)
- Paid social media marketing
- Amazon Ads
- Website design
- Remarketing and retargeting
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Performance display
- Landing pages for lead generation
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Qualifications & Achievements
What certifications does your prospective agency have? When looking for an agency that specializes in PPC management, it’s especially important to keep an eye out for the highly coveted Google Premier Partner certification, which means they are among the top companies in the country designated by Google themselves.
You understand how important it is to have experience in your industry.
When narrowing in on your ideal PPC partner, make sure to ask how long your prospective agency has been in business. Have they worked with landscaping companies (or landscaping-adjacent businesses) in the past? And don’t forget to look for case studies as proof of success.
When it comes to looking for the right PPC agency, there are several pricing structures you’ll probably see along the way. Most often, you’ll see:
A “flat fee” model means you pay a one-time fee each month. This should mean no surprises or added expenses.
However, some agencies use a tiered flat fee model. For example, if your budget is $5000, their flat fee may be $500 — whereas a bigger budget leads to a price increase (a $10000 might mean a $1000 fee).
And heads up! Some agencies may require a set up fee, too.
Percentage of ad spend
This pricing model works on a commission basis, where agencies get a percentage of your monthly ad budget. This percentage might range from anywhere from 10-20%. Some higher-level PPC experts may also charge around 30%
A performance-based fee is when agencies only ask you to pay them for the leads they bring you. This might sound great, but there’s a risk:
It’s easy for these agencies to focus on quantity over quality, so be extra thorough in your interview process.
Each pricing model has its benefits and drawbacks.
No matter which you end up with, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what services you’re paying for and if you’ll need to pay for or hire additional resources or tools down the line.
HawkSEM: Landscaping Enthusiasts. PPC Experts.
There are a lot of digital marketing businesses out there.
But HawkSEM is in the top 3% of agencies in the world according to Google’s Premier Partners network.
We have a 98% retention rate and our clients average a 4.5X ROI.
When it comes to our landscaping, outdoor maintenance, and lawn care clients, we found your challenges can actually be your greatest assets.
Small local market? For neighbors who see your truck around town, your business listing is inherently more trustworthy when it’s at the top of the SERP.
And when your local search ad appears alongside glowing reviews from neighbors, long-time community members and new homeowners alike won’t hesitate to give you a call.
Limited seasonal work? We say the seasonality of the landscaping industry makes for predictability and beautifully structured PPC campaigns. Unlike other industries, you have the unique ability to anticipate the needs of your prospective customers and offer the solution right when they need it.
While acquiring new customers is the hurdle for landscaping businesses everywhere, the lifetime value of the customers you do acquire is generally high.
And we have the proven track record to connect you to those lifelong customers.
Our Not-So-Secret Weapon
One more thing.
Unlike other agencies, we have a proprietary marketing platform called ConversionIQ. It connects all your marketing tools — like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, social media channels, Hubspot, and Google Analytics — onto one dashboard so you can see a full picture of your marketing efforts to make effective optimizations.
(This means you can get an up-to-date report anytime you want, not just when we send one over!)
Here’s how ConversionIQ looks in action:
The Bottom Line
If it’s time to grow your revenue, partnering with the right PPC partner can get you there. But it requires a hefty load of research upfront to ensure you choose the right one.
We already mentioned that HawkSEM is in the top 3% of agencies in the world according to Google’s Premier Partners network, with a 98% retention rate, and an average 4.5X ROI for our clients.
Yes, we are absolutely experts when it comes to PPC success.
But the kicker? We know landscaping.
We know your biggest challenges and your greatest strengths.
We know where your prospective leads are hidden in plain sight — and where you might not expect them (here’s a hint: the same users searching for internet installation are the same users who could become lifelong landscaping customers).
For our lawn care clients, the grass really is greener over here.
Request a Free Consultation
No BS, just results. Average clients see a 4.5x ROI
- Dramatically improve ROI
- Outperform the competition
- Increase conversion volume
- Better track ROI
- Reduce cost per acquisition
- Improve lead quality