Guide to Google Business Profiles for Landscapers
Brandon Schmidt | Jul 5, 2022
When someone is searching for a landscaping service or their nearest nursery or garden center, what do they find? Find out how you can rank ahead of your local & regional competitors on Google.
Note: this study was first presented at the 2022 NCNLA Technology Symposium.
What is a Google Business Profile?
For years, Google has offered a free platform for local retailers and service area businesses to update and control the information shown on Google. Over the years it has been called a few names – most recently Google My Business – currently it is called Google Business profiles. These profiles appear prominently on branded searches and in the map section for local searches.
Because of the visibility of these profiles on local searches, it is crucial that you optimize your profile for the best results. In many cases, simple updates and fixes can help you leap over your competition and drive more calls and in-store visits.
1. Claim & Optimize Your Listing
The first thing you need to do to update your Google profile is to claim your listing. This step – which proves to Google that you are affiliated with the profile and allows you to make changes & respond to reviews – usually involves having a postcard with a code mailed to your physical location.
According to our study, 25.48% of landscaper & garden center profiles are unclaimed by the owner. Anecdotally, I would suggest another 25-30% of claimed listings are practically unclaimed – as they were claimed by a former employee or connected to an email address the business can’t access.
Once your profile is verified, you can fill it out with basic information: address, phone number, and link to your website. According to our study, 29.66% of landscapers don’t have their profile connected to a website. If you don’t have a website, you can still connect it to a Facebook profile or create a free website through your Google Profile.
2. Primary Category
The next step in improving your Google profile is selecting the right category. Google has over 6,000 categories to choose from – you can select up to 10 categories to describe your business. Still, the first one (called the primary category) directly impacts your rankings the most.
In our study, we found that a large majority (62.33%) of landscaping companies used Landscaper as the primary category, followed by Landscape Designer (13%), Lawn Care Service (7%), Landscaping Supply Store (3.67%), and Landscape Architect (2.89%).
On the nursery side, our study showed that Plant Nursery (32.66%) and Garden Center (32.55%) were evenly split for the top primary category, followed by Wholesale Plant Nursery (8.55%), Florist (3.12%), Greenhouse (2.62%), and Home Improvement Store (2.21%).
Selecting the right primary category can be challenging for diversified companies. For example, many landscapers also do hardscaping, lawn care, tree care, pest control, or exterior remodeling. Similarly, many garden centers may also qualify as a landscaping supply store, fertilizer supplier, or lawn mower repair. Choosing the right primary category can also depend on your local competition, your current rankings, the season, and your future growth goals.
3. Additional Categories
Now that you’ve selected the right Primary Category, you will want to fill out the rest of the categories in your Google profile. I’ve identified over 40 categories within the Google Business Profile system that are applicable to the Green Industry. Download the list for free >
The Green Industry is a very visual industry; fortunately, your Google profile can help you showcase your best photos right in Google. You can upload photos, videos, and Google Posts to help your profile stand out from the rest.
According to our study, landscapers have on average 70 photos on their profile, while garden centers have on average 44 images.
If you have a physical location or a retail lot, it is best to have photos of your displays, images of your seasonal selections, and detailed photos of the inside, outside, parking lot, and road signage. This will help people understand where you are, how to find you, and give them confidence before they visit.
If you are a contractor, your photos should reflect your best projects. Showcase the breadth of your work – with both completed projects as well as in-progress shots. Also include images of your team and trucks to reinforce & personalize your brand.
Another important area where your Google profile can stand out is with reviews. Increasing both the number of reviews as well as the average star rating will not only increase your search visibility, it will also help you stand out from your local competition.
According to our study, landscapers have on average 21 reviews and a 4.45-star rating, while nurseries & garden centers have on average 87 reviews and a 4.42-star rating. Our study also showed that 46% of profiles had 5 or fewer reviews; so to be in the top 50% all you need to do is get at least 6 reviews.
There are plenty of ways to ask for reviews while staying within Google’s guidelines. You’ll also want to respond to all reviews within 24 hours – especially negative reviews.
Getting your Google profile right is a critical step in any digital marketing strategy for landscapers. By following these principles, you can stay ahead of your competition and increase your search visibility in your service area.
Google Business Profile Trends for the Green Industry
Study based on 41,484 Google Business profiles for landscapers, nurseries, and garden centers n the United States.
- 29.66% of profiles do not link to a website
- 37.52% of profiles linking to a website link to an unsecure website
- 25.48% of profiles are not verified by the owner
- 30.60% of profiles do not show their address
- 44 – average number of photos a nursery/garden center had on their profile
- 70 – average number of photos a landscaper has on their profile
Primary Category for Landscapers
- 62.33% use Landscaper as their primary category
- 12.04% use Landscape Designer as their primary category
- 7.05% use Lawn Care Service as their primary category
- 3.67% use Landscaping Supply Store as their primary category
- 2.89% use Landscape Architect as their primary category
- 1.81% use Garden Ceneter as their primary category
- 1.35% use Tree Service as their primary category
Primary Category for Nurseries/Garden Centers
- 32.66% use Plant Nursery as their primary category
- 32.55% use Garden Center as their primary category
- 8.55% use Wholesale Plant Nursery as their primary category
- 3.12% use Florist as their primary category
- 2.62% use Greenhouse as their primary category
- 2.21% use Home Improvement Store as their primary category
- 2.13% use Landscaper as their primary category
- 21 – average number of reviews for landscapers
- 4.45 – average star rating for landscapers
- 87 – average number of reviews for nurseries/garden centers
- 4.42 – average star rating for nurseries/garden centers
- 46% of profiles have 5 or fewer reviews