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Issue 3: Why It’s Ranking, Landscaper Nashville TN

This seems to be something that is gaining a bit of popularity so welcome to the 7 Pack Analysis, Why is it Ranking series. This week we’re analyzing a 7 pack that looks a tad bit different than the past two weeks. Reviews aren’t playing much of a role this time and it should be an interesting inside look at these listings.

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Let’s dive in, shall we?

7 Pack Analysis – Landscaper Nashville TN

Before really jumping in though, I would like to mention that there have been reports of listings disappearing and organic displaying instead for a lot of location specific keywords. Earlier, I was going through a ton of searches and I didn’t see it, but a lot of others in the community did.

I don’t know if that is some sort of sign of there being a tweak to the algorithm or maybe it has already happened. What I have noticed though, is a lot of shifting in the results based on slight changes in wording. Very minor changes in wording, causing an entirely different group to show up in the 7 pack. In my experience, they really don’t vary so drastically in local. Is there something happening?

Here’s the results:


There’s really nothing that sticks out initially like the past couple weeks where there was a large amount of reviews. The only business that stands out is Perfect World Landscapes, even though they’re ranking 3 I would bet they have one of the highest click through rates of this specific 7 pack.

However, things usually do look fine at the surface, don’t they? It’s only when we dive in, that we get to see what’s really going on!


A Spot – Landscape Solutions

This is one of those listed in the pack that are not showing up for a wide variety of keywords. It seems as if the domain is giving them a big boost for this keyword search due to the “TN” being in their domain name. The business name is landscape solutions, and they have the state abbreviation included which is helping them out a lot.

After a little search of the address we see that the business is based out of an apartment, apartment 405. One could reasonably assume they don’t have customers coming into the business, so this is something they should fix with the address settings in their Google My Business (GMB from here on out) panel.

Going to the website I see they have the typical menu structure, design is average, on page optimization is below average. Clicking on their services page, I was expecting to see something a bit better instead of every single service being listed on the page with hotspots. I definitely like to see individual pages for each service, offers a lot more opportunity for rankings.

Areas to Improve – This business could be ranking for many more keywords but their title tags are essentially the same throughout the entire website. They also need to fix their address display issue. They also are missing out on a lot of top citations, while 83 active citations are good, the top sources are missing.

There are a lot of issues that they can address but most are relatively simple to accomplish which would result into more leads and higher visibility for their business. The on page optimization, beyond just the title tags really needs to be addressed as well.

This site is not mobile friendly, nor is it responsive. Bad news if they don’t fix it soon!

Other Stats:

Domain Authority – 19

Total indexed pages – 15

Summary – This business could be doing a lot better for related searches and different phrased searches related to their business. More focused on page optimization, the addition of individual service pages and possibly a redesign of the site in order to make it responsive will really help them out.

B Spot: Smart Scapes LLC

Their business name isn’t giving them too much of an advantage but the domain name sure is! very good domain name for SEO purposes.

This one is unique because of the fact that they are the only ones in this pack that do NOT have a verified GMB listing. It is unverified. Perhaps one of you consultants reading this can give them a call? It also looks like their website is a bit outdated considering that they are advertising a $500 off coupon for fall landscaping.

The website doesn’t look bad. It looks pretty decent actually, a couple things from a design standpoint I don’t really like but we’re discussing SEO not web design.

Title tags could be structured better. They have no h1 tags, overall the on page needs a bit of work.

What they really have going for them is the domain, and the website having a lot of pages. Not that just the amount of pages matter, but the fact these are broken down into different service related and industry related keywords that really gives their site more relevance.

Areas to Improve – On page optimization seems like something I’m always complaining about with these blog posts but it’s the same for this one. They need to verify their GMB listing, if they do that they can fully optimize the listing and probably rank better for multiple terms. Holy hell, do they need to fix their citations. Data is all over the place, name, addresses, phone numbers, everything is inconsistent.

Other Stats:

Domain Authority: 16

Total indexed pages: 102

Summary – Seems like Smart Scapes needs to clean up their citations, but they also need to verify their GMB listing. Doing that and focusing more on on page optimization will allow them to solidify their position as well as rank for other phrases. They’re extremely fortunate to have a great domain, but shouldn’t be too dependent on that because the big G can lay the smack down at any time.

Spot C: Perfect World Landscapes

At first glance, I can tell that this company cares about their online presence, even though the activity on the Google + Business page is a little outdated, they still put forth the effort and it looks like it has paid off for them. They’re also leading this 7 pack in reviews, and definitely the most optimized GMB page though it could be a bit better.

The website itself is nice, clean, well put together.

On page optimization is lacking a bit, their title structure is okay but it could be improved along with the URL structure. Heading tags look like they were lazily put together.

I give them props for having a blog and keeping it semi-updated.

Areas to Improve – Overall this business looks pretty good. Their GMB listing could use a few videos. Other than that the main issue is on page optimization.

If I were them, I would revamp the on page SEO, tell them to harvest MORE reviews, and get some additional citations. 54 citations is okay but they’re missing some high authority sources out there and could really give them a little boost.

The only thing I’m concerned with is the citation consistency. It’s not bad, just some minor stuff here and there with displaying or not displaying the “LLC” at the end of the name, and a couple low authority sources displaying other conflicting information.

Other Stats

Domain Authority: 19

Total Indexed Pages: 72

Summary – Pretty nice to see a business like this that cares about their online presence. They obviously put a lot of thought into the website, and keeping an active blog really gives them brownie points with me, and more importantly Google. Just a few low effort fixes and they’ll be set! Perfect responsive website by the way.

Spot D: Acer Landscape Services

First glance, 4 reviews, if they had a few more they would have the cool little review stars showing up and help their CTA and possibly ranking in this 7 pack.

I hate their website. It’s not awful but I hate that style and the slider is useless. Why have a slider if you’re not going to associate your business name with trust symbols, or call to actions, or even have a freaking phone number on it? You’re just making the page load slower and making me scroll more for no reason. Have a damn gallery page if you want to show off your work, or have attractive images in the slider with your business logo, phone number and some sort of call to action.

Ugh. Rant is over.

On page optimization is bad. The title tag for the home page is Acer Landscape Services… really? I thought we could gather that from the domain name, are they competing with hundreds of other “Acer Landscape Services” in Nashville that they need to try to optimize for their business name?

No h1 tag on the home page, but the h2 is free estimates.

The one thing I can say they did well is the optimization of the GMB listing. Photos, videos, somewhat active on google +.

Areas of improvement – Get rid of the effing slider, or make sure it has a purpose. That annoys the crap out of me. Some sort of on page SEO would be helpful. They have a blog but its setup poorly, definitely not appealing to a regular user. They have SOME conflicting NAP data, but for the most part are okay with consistency. The main problem with their citations, is that out of their 43 citations, they only have 14 of the top 50 citation sources covered.

Other Data:

Domain Authority: 20

Indexed Pages: 128

Summary – I was probably a little hard on them just because of the stupid slider with no purpose but other than that they have a reasonably strong online presence. Probably one of the reasons they are well represented across many different keyword topics and phrases. In order to keep that representation they should be building more citations, getting a few more reviews and work on the on page optimization.

Spot E: Teacup Gardener

Ahhh the days of 2002 with background images on websites… nostalgic I must say but could go without seeing it in 2015. Cute bubbles though.

Okay, the website really isn’t that bad, it’s unique. Funny how people compliment others, or other things by saying it is unique when it is simply unique because nobody else would be caught dead doing it. LOL, but this isn’t one of those times.

Not sure why they have the domain name in the title tag. They really are stuffing those meta keyword fields. Add a couple more characters and they will have a short story ready to be published by SEOfails Publishing House.

URLs are dynamic, no permalinks, just stock WP links. Awful.

The good news? They have a review! 1 review on their GMB page…from 5 years ago.

Perhaps citations will be good, even though they added keywords to their GMB page, perhaps they made it consistent over all their 115 citations? Nope. Phone numbers are good for the most part but addresses are inconsistent as well as business names.

Can it get worse for this business? It sure can, April 21st is coming and they don’t have a responsive or mobile friendly site.

Areas to improve: Everything.

Other Data:

Domain Authority: 22

Total Pages Indexed: 196

Summary – I don’t even know what to say. This company could definitely use some help and could be an ideal prospect for some of you reading this. Website redesign with responsive, on page optimization, citation clean up, etc. It really isn’t THAT much work, heck they’re still ranking but for how long?

Spot F: Green Pastures Landscaping

First look at the GMB page, no videos, some pictures, description could be better. 2 reviews, 1 by a “google user” and another by someone else that didn’t review anything. Looks like they need help with harvesting reviews!

Website itself is pretty decent, clean for the most part but another one that has a stupid slideshow without any real purpose. Thankfully this one doesn’t take up the entire screen, otherwise I would have severe anxiety right now.

On page optimization… hold that thought.. Why is it that nobody really places much importance when it comes to on page optimization? These sites are garbage when it comes to it. On page SEO is one of the BIGGEST, most IMPORTANT factors when it comes to Local SEO. If you ignore on page optimization, do not be surprised if Google ignores you.

Anyway…. their on page optimization sucks. Another company or negligent web designer that thinks the business needs to optimize their home page for the business name. Title, is green pastures landscaping, didn’t even include the city and state in that. All their title tags suck.

Of course this one isn’t responsive either.

58 Citations. Not bad, but most of them have conflicting business names.

Areas to Improve – Get a responsive site, clean up those citations and get some more. Find someone that knows beginner level on page optimization and they will be light years ahead of where they are right now.

Other Data:

Domain Authority: 13

Total Pages Indexed: 15

Summary – This business is missing a lot of important things but if they were open to having a redesign or even a mobile website and allowing you to optimize their existing on page setup then you can make a big difference for them. Of course the citations also need clean up and probably the addition of some more

Spot G: Gardens of Babylon

Cool name. This is probably hands down the best website of this 7 pack, at least design wise. I really like it, stands out, great branding, and the interior pages are very friendly for the user. I don’t care for their slider, because once again it doesn’t have a true purpose, but I could live with it being like that as long as they slowed down the transition time. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the purpose of this analysis but I want to give props where it is due!

So lets get to the on page optimization. There’s not a lot of content on the home page, I’m okay with that but the interior pages could use additional content. Their title tags are below average, but for this 7 pack it seems that below average is above average LOL. Looks like they’re reusing the title tags throughout the entire site though, that’s not good. No h1 tags on the home page, but don’t worry, they overcompensated with 3 h1 tags on the landscaping and design page. SMH.

Shame they have such a beautiful site but aren’t taking care of the on page issues.

The GMB listing could be better optimized, from the description all the way to the addition of pictures and videos. Granted, this business handles more than just landscaping, they have an entire garden center but it’s reasonable to assume that the landscaping and design jobs are pretty high paying, so it could only help if they gave this area more attention.

The citations are nearly flawless, with one exception that I see and that’s with the BBB. 29 of the top 50 citations are not claimed so they may have some work to do there.

Areas to Improve – This business is probably one of the best on here, if this were an equal playing field where business name and domain name did not factor into the rankings, I would expect to see them ranking much higher. That said, there are areas they have to work on.

On page optimization needs to be addressed, just like every other business in this 7 pack. This is the area where they can experience quick wins and with proper optimization I would bet they could just from being 7th, to maybe the 5th spot with no additional work.

They also need MORE citations and should probably fix the BBB listing. I would also work on fully optimizing the GMB page.

Other Metrics:

Domain Authority: 29

Total Indexed Pages: 97

Summary – An area of strength I didn’t point out is the strong backlink profile also containing powerful .edu links, but as we know, backlinking is just a small part of Local SEO. This business has the highest ceiling of all the others in the pack, not because they’re last but because they are the best positioned for long term success when it comes to search.

I’m pretty impressed with them overall in comparison to the others, but they still need to work on their weaknesses like listing optimization, on page optimization and building more citations. Do these things, and they can really move on up in the rankings and really expand their online presence.

That sums it up for this week everyone. I really enjoyed this 7 pack. Doing this for 3 weeks in a row now, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a site that made me go, “damn, that’s why they’re #1”. I hope to see that soon and I really hope to see better on page optimization in the future.

To you SEO consultants that read this blog, I know backlinks and citations are the most talked about areas it seems but make sure to place major importance when it comes to on page optimization, it can make a HUGE difference in the search results.

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