At the time that this article was written, it is estimated that there are well over 2,000 garden centers throughout the United Kingdom. While well-known brands immediately come to mind, it is just as important to highlight that boutique properties and start-up ventures can enjoy just as much success. However, this will often depend upon online exposure.
What search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can be employed if you are hoping to take your digital presence to the next level? Are there any suggestions that may be discretely suited for this sector? These are some of the questions that will be addressed throughout the remainder of this article. Let’s jump right in to see what is in store.
Appreciating the Latest Industry Trends
Similar to other sectors, the garden industry is defined by short- and long-term trends. This is why it is crucial to keep abreast of the latest information. One perfect example is how consumers are choosing to purchase products from ecologically friendly companies. This is a direct reflection of a greater amount of importance being placed upon the environment.
Another interesting observation involves the number of individuals who wish to adorn their homes with plants. Indeed, a recent study found that 30 per cent of all households contain at least one plant. So, it only stands to reason that garden centers should market these products accordingly.
Finally, the younger generation is much more familiar with the role of e-commerce solutions. This is why perhaps the most critical takeaway point is to create a strong and reputable digital “footprint” with the help of a bespoke SEO strategy. This also leads us into the main section of our article.
Discover the Appropriate Keywords
Keywords are often considered to represent the veritable “backbone” of any well-executed SEO strategy. Of course, these words and phrases will focus specifically upon what your business has to offer in relation to the garden industry. There are several ways in which you can determine which keywords are the most appropriate:
- Employ user-friendly tools such as Google Analytics
- Examine what words your closest competitors are utilising.
- Determine what pages within your website are receiving the most attention. This will often correlate to keyword usage.
It is likewise prudent to employ long-tail keywords which tend to be more descriptive, as these will help to increase your rankings within search engines such as Google.
A Mobile-Responsive Approach
It is crucial that a website is engineered to work in tandem with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is otherwise known as adopting a mobile-responsive design. Users should be able to access the very same information that would be displayed on a traditional laptop. When we recall that a growing number of individuals are using smartphones to complete digital purposes, it is clear to see why a mobile-responsive approach is crucial.
SEO likewise involves what takes place “behind the scenes”. This is particularly relevant when discussing HTML coding. Meta titles, meta descriptions, subheadings, and “alt” tags attached to images are all relevant. Search engine crawlers rely upon this information in order to determine what is contained within a website. As a result, users will be provided with accurate and relevant information immediately after a query. Also, let’s not fail to mention that optimized HTML coding will help to increase how fast a website loads. Considering the fact that up to 53 per cent of all visitors will leave if a site does not load within two seconds, HTML should never be taken for granted.
Similar to brick-and-mortar establishments, product presentations are extremely important. This also involves how the website itself is designed. Cluttered pages, annoying pop-up advertisements, blind links, and outdated links are all sure-fire ways to scare off a potential customer. A clean and concise such as can be seen at this online garden centre is a perfect example of what goes into a streamlined presentation. Here are some professional tips to implement at an early stage:
- Keep branding consistent across all pages.
- Include a call to action (CTA) on each page.
- All navigation menus should be easy to find.
- Create an “about us” page in order to explain the core values of your company.
- Always provide visitors with a streamlined means to contact a representative (such as an inquiry form or a chat widget).
While the aesthetics of a website are indeed important, these will be of little use if the portal itself is not highly functional.
Create Quality Content
It is a foregone conclusion that appreciating customer expectations is vital when developing a well-rounded SEO strategy. While this can be accomplished with the help of online surveys, sales statistics and client feedback, curating high-quality content will also have a massive impact.
We must stress the fact that the material within your website should not be written for search engines. Instead, it needs to embrace an “organic” tone which caters to the human reader. Quality content does not simply describe a product and its benefits. It tells a story. It convinces the reader why your services are preferred over the competition. It should elicit some type of action (such as confirming a purchase or requesting additional information). This why many successful online garden centres outsource content creation to trained professionals. It may be wise to consider doing the same if you lack the time or expertise.
Develop a Robust Social Media Presence
According to Ahrefs, an incredible 68 percent of e-commerce interactions begin with a social media platform. There are several reasons behind this observation:
- Consumers now rely heavily upon word of mouth.
- It is much easier for businesses to proactively engage with their followers.
- Social media offers a sense of transparency that is rarely achieved through traditional marketing campaigns.
This is why it is important to leverage the power of these circles. Not only will you be able to appreciate the needs of your client base, but on-the-fly marketing changes can be made when appropriate.
Focus Upon Local SEO Tactics
One of the latest marketing trends involves local SEO. As the term suggests, this involves focusing your efforts upon a discrete population as opposed to a broad demographic. Local SEO strategies are looked upon favorably by Google, so they will help to increase your rankings. Furthermore, a more localized approach to SEO will enable you to build a loyal client base while reducing the costs associated with advertising on a broader scope. This is particularly relevant if you happen to be on a budget or should you desire to target a discrete buyer persona.
The garden industry is showing no signs of slowing down. This is why there is no time better than the present to implement the suggestions outlined above. Although a bit of patience may be required to appreciate the results, there is no doubt that the ultimate rewards are well worth your initial efforts. As always, please feel free to consult with one of our experts to learn more about the options at your disposal.