How To Spy On Your Landscape Designing Competition (Legally Of Course!)

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If it wasn’t true it would be almost funny.

A poor woman in New York City was walking and texting recently and fell down a manhole.

Yes, she was hurt.  Not terribly.  But too much to laugh.  I mean come on, a 12 foot drop down an open manhole…she’s lucky she didn’t break every bone in her body.

The real bad news?

She’s a potential client of yours.  

is she your next client

Is She Your Next Client?

She might have been trying to find “best landscape designer New York City” on her smartphone.  Maybe she was a $45,000 job just waiting to find the right artistic visionary to transform her backyard.  If you were a garden designer in Brooklyn or Bed Stuy or Queens, would YOU have shown up on her phone?

Listen.  This is important.

You MUST be in the first 3 listings in Google for your territory and the service you provide to have any chance of being found in the years ahead.

Google has transformed from a simple search engine to the dominate way to find things in real time on any device.

The BAD news?  If you’re not on the first page, you don’t exist.

The PROOF?  If you search “where is the best place to hide a dead body” several of the top answers are “on the second page of Google”!

The GOOD news?  If you know a couple of simple strategies to improve your garden design website rankings, you can easily dominate your poor competition who are still thinking about what font to put in their yellow pages ad.

Try this.  Open a new tab and search in Google for “best landscape design YOUR CITY”.  

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  Come back after you do it.  Remember to change the YOUR CITY to actually the name of where your business is located.

Here’s the shocking thing.  If you did that search, and I did that search, and 10 prospective clients did that search, we would ALL SEE DIFFERENT RESULTS!

Google is smart.  She tries to give you what she thinks you want based on your search history, location, device type and personal preferences.   If you want to get a little more accurate result as to what your clients and customers might see when they search, make sure you use the INCOGNITO setting in your browser.    You can find out how to enter Incognito Mode by doing a search of course.   Being incognito will block Google from customizing your search results and it will return a more accurate picture.

If you consistently see a landscape designer beating you in the rankings, how can you ethically catch up and pass them?

Here’s a quick list of ways to potentially improve your search engine rankings:

  1. add a few dozen real testimonials to your website from happy customers
  2. get featured in a couple of local newspapers with a link back to your website
  3. find out who links to your competition and gets links to your site from them
  4. donate free garden design to a major local charity for the positive PR
  5. host a Customer Appreciation BBQ open house and do a press release

Let’s talk briefly about point #3.

If you knew exactly who linked to your competition, and if you got those people to link to you, then Google would start to love your website even more.  Remember, ranking on page 1 in Google is part black magic, part voodoo, and part high school popularity contest.  If you try to cheat on Google, she will find out and penalize you by banishing you to page 15.  Trust me, being shunned is no way to get more clients for your business.

So how do you find out who links to your competition?

How do you discover what search phrases you’re being outgunned for?

Easy.  You use a tool.

Competitive intelligence in the landscape design industry doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to find.   Within a few minutes you can find out exactly what keyword money phrases are bringing your prospects to your competition instead of you.  

Imagine knowing if your competitors were spending money to buy ad space on Google or Bing.  What about the suburbs?  Would you like to know what other markets they are targeting?

I want you to click this link, go to the site, and enjoy a free trial on my dime.  

Turn off your cell phone, close your office door and grab a pen and paper.  Play around with this tool for the next 20 minutes.  Take a peek at what the other landscape designers in your city are doing with their websites while you’re out digging holes and moving dirt.

Look for important phrases that indicate a buying interest.   (best, cool, cheap etc.)

Look for suburbs and city-related examples.  

And look for what other websites you could potentially get links from.

Then think for awhile.  Make notes.   Put pen to paper.  Brainstorm.

Here are some important questions to ask when it comes to improving your rankings:

  • Do I need more geographic words on my testimonials pages on my website?  
  • Do I have enough optin forms to capture potential client data?  
  • Do I need to do more community outreach to get links from local media?
  • Who is friendly to me that I could ask for a link?
  • Do I have a daily plan of action to get more client prospects?


If you’re a subscriber to my private email list you’ll get a couple of ideas each week on how to get more prospects and to turn your landscape design website into a client-getting machine.  

Within a year I promise you can be the big kahuna in your city.  Stick with me, I got your back.