Marketing your business online while juggling all of the duties that you as a landscape business must deal with in this overcrowded and competitive landscape service market is a huge challenge.

To remain competitive and get leads online in this environment, you must employ a multifaceted approach that combines strong visuals, shares fantastic customer experiences and optimizes your company’s online presence across devices and specific platforms. Unfortunately, you will also need to begin to use paid advertising online to get your message distributed to their target audience.

Here are five proven strategies to keep your online presence generating leads that you can translate into sales:

1. Mobile friendly is the way to go now. Are your websites, coupons, offers, landing pages and email sign-up forms formatted and ready to read across all devices? Remember, mobile is often the entry point for interactions with residential customers. People are out of their homes and on the go more and more these days.

Perhaps you have a beautiful billboard with your Web address listed and the person is compelled to look you up to check you out. Or, perhaps, someone is checking their feed on Facebook, sees your advertisement and clicks on it. Most people will not copy down the address and wait to go to their desktop computer to check you out. They will use their smartphone, iPad or other mobile-ready device.

If your presence isn’t optimized for mobile devices, appears distorted and they can’t navigate it, most likely they will move onto your competitor.

2. Remember that Facebook and other social media are pay-to-play. Gone are the days that Facebook and other social media platforms will easily allow you to stand out to your customers. In the noisy, busy feeds of the consumer, not only does the information need to be interesting and enticing to the viewer, it also most likely will need paid amplification in order to be seen by your target audience.

While Twitter and Facebook are now pay-to-play models, they are also a relatively inexpensive way to get in front of your target audience to promote your company’s special offers. They have also greatly increased the ways you can get your offer in front of the exact people you want to attract.

3. Promote yourself on Houzz. Houzz is an online business directory and social site. It is the largest home-remodeling online website/app. Consumers use the app’s business directory to research, find and connect to local contractors to help them with home and outdoor design projects.

One contractor recently said he was generating 10 to 15 quality leads per month just by having a presence on Houzz.

The key to Houzz and other visual sites is the quality of the photos. Before and after images of your great projects will go a long way to tell the story of what your company can do for a client. Build on your credibility by showcasing your portfolio with high-resolution professional images. They showcase the quality of what you can do. Share them on visual sites like Houzz and Pinterest to attract clients who are specifically using those sites to find both the inspiration for outdoor home and garden projects, as well as local professionals who can install them.

4. Post positive reviews on directory sites. When was the last time you bought a product or service without first checking it out online?

A recent in-depth report by Software Advice, a comparison site for field service technology, outlines the increased impact of online reviews on the consumer buying process when selecting lawn care providers, and why businesses should prioritize building a positive online profile. After surveying 1,239 U.S. residential service customers, here are some interesting key findings in the report:

  • 96 percent declare online reviews “valuable” when seeking residential service providers.
  • 74 percent consult Yelp, making it the most popular review site, topping Angie’s List.
  • 86 percent would pay more for providers with better online reviews and ratings.

These staggering statistics showcase why it is time for you to create a review system to help your business build credibility and beat out the competition.

So how can you get more online reviews? One simple way is after the final walkthrough of a job with a satisfied client, send a thank-you email and include a link to the review site to encourage him or her to leave a review of their experience.

5. Capture leads and create email marketing campaigns focused on existing customers. Why not reward loyal customers with information, coupons and service offers that can help them as well as create new revenue opportunities for your company?

According to Inc. magazine: “Acquiring new customers is expensive (five to 10 times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one.”

This article is from the 2015 Green Industry Guide. Read the rest of the digital edition here. You can find products, brands, companies and dealers in the industry on the main homepage here.