I’ve created a process to make writing a landscaping blog easier and less intimidating. When applied, writing what you know about will be more enjoyable and get it out of your head faster and onto the website. Through this process, you’ll learn how to find the right keywords and how to use them in your landscaping blog. We will cover some blog topics you can use as a jumping-off point to educate and inform your clients. I’ll add suggestions on how to organize your content so it flows well. Using great photos and illustrations will discuss setting up the best photo shoot. Easily applied and free resources will be given, and finally, how to add SEO to your commercial landscaping blog in strategic places.
Best Landscaping Blog Ideas
Discern what your readers are interested in as it relates to your services two or three months from now. For instance, will they be needing landscape clean-up soon? If so, the topic can center around the areas you can help with within their lawn and garden. You can answer reasonable questions on that topic, including shrubs and tree trimming, fertilization, mulching, raking leaves, cutting back grasses, or deadheading perennials. Inform and educate your client on how these maintenance items are performed regularly to keep the lawn and garden clean and disease free. Discuss how frequently they should be done and what time of year. Any frequently asked questions would be an excellent opportunity to integrate into the discussion.
The best landscaping blog topics can be created by pulling out your favorite garden book and skimming through the index. Read the latest magazines on the subject and review the headlines in their table of contents. Industry magazines will have seasonal topics to highlight too. If you’ve just completed a big job, write a case study about the project. State the client’s problem or need and how it was solved through your landscape services.
If writing a seasonal blog should be written 2-3 months ahead to get indexed and be ready when needed so it reaches your audience in the search engine results. If you are a seasoned blogger and your website consistently ranks, then the time would be shorter.
Planning Around Keywords
With the topic in mind, Google keyword planner is commonly used to find SEO competitive keywords, but there are other sources. I use Ubersuggest. It gives a few more whistles and bells that I find helpful. Type in the topic you want to explore, and it will rank the word for competitiveness and other statistics. I try to find and use related keywords that are below 25% in competitiveness to give me a chance in the SEO world. Find the least competitive words to help with better-ranking statistics. Keep that list available when you’re writing.
Another place to find searchable and related keywords are to put your text into the search engine and see the list of keyword searches at the bottom of the page. Also, check out what’s ranking at the top of the page and how they have worded their headings and meta descriptions (we’ll return to this topic later.)
Using a Graphic Organizer
You can organize your thoughts now that you’ve got your keywords and topic. Start with what your English teacher in middle school called a graphic organizer. A graphic organizer helps you plan the process of writing. For instance, a common one people use to start is answering the questions, who, what, when, where, why, and how. Use that planner or write down headings relevant to the landscaping blog topic you’re writing about. These headings will guide you when writing the content. Use bullet points to get it down and organized. You’ll fill in the material later. This approach will simplify the process and keep the material in order. Here is another source if you want to get creative with your writing.
Channel Your Inner Author
Just remember, your English teacher is not looking over your shoulder. You know the topic better than most, so type it as it comes to your mind while following the headings or organizer order you’ve created. Forget grammatical errors or misspellings. That’s down the list. Just write. If writing intimidates you, you might want to try dictating into a voice memo app on your phone and transcribing it later. Some people can talk easier than they can write. Whatever works are the best way for you, so go for it!
While writing, your keywords are at the forefront of your mind. Use them wisely and naturally. Write as if you were talking to your clients face to face or on the phone. You want to convey information to your audience, so provide them with your best practices and thoughts on the subject. Answer their questions while formulating your blog.
Add any links to outside sources that will reiterate and back up your information. Adding links will not only give your reader more helpful information but also lets Google know that you are on target with the content and make your blog a viable resource to land on. Also, if you have more content on relatable topics that will naturally coincide, add a link to that blog post. This keeps the reader engaged and interested, furthering your authority for more readership.
Always add content that’s interesting, usable, and adds value. For instance, infographics, videos, an interview, a slide deck, a how-to guide, or an ebook can help obtain readership and keep your audience engaged. In the blog summary, always have a call to action you want your readers to do. Give them a way to contact you with a link.
Editing and Polishing the Blog Post
Once your words are on the computer screen, copy and paste them into Grammarly, a great free source that will make this easy. Imagine having your English teacher there to correct all your mistakes without embarrassing you with those nasty red lines on the paper! That’s right. I use Grammarly as a paid source, but a free version is available. It will show you how to improve your blog piece and guide you with correct spelling, punctuation, and much more. With the paid version, I get a performance indicator that lets me know the word count, reading time, and readability score.
After you’ve made all the edits in Grammarly, step away from it. Come back with fresh eyes. Reread it and edit with precise clarity in mind to tighten your wording. Less is more. Say what you mean in as few words as possible. Channel your English teacher and look critically at the overall content. Will it give information and answer questions while telling them you know what you’re talking about?
Finally, Grammarly has the option to check for plagiarism. With this, you can rest assured that you’re not picking up content from somewhere else and appearing to duplicate it.
If you want to go further after doing this for a while, check your readability factor score. Grammarly will give you a rating on all your written content. Try to aim for a number between 60-80. If you’re using the Yoast plugin, it coaches you on how to reach this mark. Mainly, you want to aim for a reading level of 12-15-year-olds or a 7th grader. Easy reading makes people read longer. If you struggle to achieve this score, shorten your sentences and use words with one or two syllables. Right-click on a word in Grammarly, and it will give you a synonym index of other words to use in its place. Hemingway Editor is another free service I use. It will color the sentences that may need attention and help you identify the harder-to-read sentences that need editing.
Adding the Right Images for Story Telling
If you are writing about a topic, you’ll want to add images that accompany the content or sources, such as infographics or illustrations. When taking photos, make sure that you choose the right angle and back toward the sun when taking pictures in the field. Have a balance of light on the subject or focal point without being overly exposed or underexposed. If showing before and after photos, stand in the same location to take the picture. Flag the spot if you’ll be there working several days so as not to forget to stand in the same place.
When looking through the frame of the camera, study the complete picture. Are there hoes, shovels, or people in the way to distract the viewer? Clean up your focal point before snapping. Remove dirt clumps and gear, and sweep off the hard surfaces. The pros will even water the surface to make it stand out more in color. After taking the shot, review it to see if you need to revise and shoot again.
Use these tips as a guide to taking the best landscape photography to display your work.
Adding SEO to the Landscape Blog
Next, look over your keyword list again and work on any long-tail keywords that can be used in appropriate places. Long-tail keywords are relatable words or have additional identifiers attached to the main keyword. (i.e., landscape: landscape companies, landscape companies near me, landscape design, landscape lighting) Do not add these words in strange places; Google will call it ‘stuffing’ and penalize you. Ensure it sounds normal and clear as if you were talking to the client about the topic.
Creating the Best Titles and Headings
A title for the blog will be needed for the web page to display on search engine results. Creating a clickable title is always tricky. One way to research the best ones is to google the keyword you’re using and review the titles used at the top of the page. Can you tweak any and use them for your particular blog topic? Here is an infographic template to use when creating titles. Your title tag should not exceed 60 characters. Use this simple character counter when writing the title and meta-description to keep you in check.
Create 5-10 titles and pick out the one you think will be the most relevant for your landscape services blog. Over time, you can change the title and see if it makes a difference in the number of clicks if you’re not getting the readership. Notice in the next illustration that the keyword is garden design ideas in these titles. Also, notice the common denominator in each title. They used numbers and dates in their tiles. People love lists and as much information as possible on a subject. In addition, adjectives like best, incredible, and most creative are qualifiers and can get more clicks. Take these hints and tips when creating your amazing title!
Headlines in your blog are next and made for the skimmers. Yes, some people preview with the headlines. So make them relevant and bold. You can add keywords to your titles but don’t overdo it. Keep everything in moderation and as natural as possible for the reader.
Meta-description: A Snippet of Words
When browsing titles in search engine results, you will run across meta descriptions placed right under the title tag to identify what the article is about. See the illustration above. Review the top-ranking ones for hints on sentence structure and content. You have only 150 characters to describe your topic and brief overview, or you risk getting the description truncated. Write it as if you were giving an elevator pitch to someone or the ‘Cliff notes version.’ Be concise and dead-center on what the blog on landscaping is about.
Lastly, ALT tags help identify the image displayed if the image isn’t showing up or the reader can’t see it. Write a description such as the one below.
Ok, you’re all set. You’ve got the content, title tag, meta description, images, and SEO keywords dialed in. It’s time to publish! High-five, you just wrote your first landscape blog post! Give yourself an A+! Your high-school English teacher will be proud!
If you’re not interested in channeling your inner author, the landscaper’s virtual assistant is here to help with topics, content, and posting on your website. Contact Offshoot Virtual Landscape Services today, and we can discuss adding a landscaping blog to your site to direct traffic and increase your sales.