With more than three decades of experience in the lawn and landscaping industry, Bruce Allentuck, president and owner of Allentuck Landscaping has a good sense of where landscapers need the most help. For the small- to mid-sized landscaping companies, it’s marketing.
Allentuck, who heads a residential design/build and landscape maintenance company in the Washington D.C. area, and his daughter Tara are looking to fill that gap with their website RightPlantz.com.
Right Plantz helps potential customers find Green Industry companies in their local markets by building their profiles, says Allentuck.
The effort actually began as a gardening website to connect home gardeners with garden centers by finding the “right plant” for their needs. But Allentuck says he soon learned that what would help the industry the most was another avenue for marketing and advertising.
“The top companies in our industry do a really great job at marketing but the rest don’t have the time or the money,” Allentuck explains. “They don’t understand SEO and they don’t have the money needed to hire a marketing agency."
“I’ve found there’s a need for more opportunities for the smaller to mid-sized landscaping companies to be able to build a profile and show off their work—plus start showing up in some local searches,” he continues.
RightPlantz is designed to be affordable, according to Allentuck. It’s built on a free model. A free membership gives you the option of adding four pictures and company information—that alone comes with at least some SEO power, he says. From there, there are three other premium levels of upgrades, starting at $15 a month. These allow for more photos and better SEO.
“We have found that it’s really important that landscapers take advantage of putting pictures on our site as those that do are the most successful,” he says. “It’s a very visual site. If you have social media links, we encourage you to put them there, too. You can grow your market best this way.”
A family project
Allentuck says the idea for Right Plantz came when he and his daughter Tara were driving home from her college graduation. She had just earned her Landscape Architect degree and the two were talking about the lack of cataloged plant information out there.
“We’re both plant geeks,” Allentuck says. “And we both felt like there weren’t a lot of great websites that shared plant information. That’s where the idea was born and that’s still part of our website today. But it’s pivoted a few times from that starting point. We saw there was a need to support landscape professionals in other ways and we began to find ways to fill that need.”
Currently, Allentuck says the website gets around a quarter million views each year—but they’re looking to grow. Obviously the more they’re able to grow the website, the more it helps the landscaping professionals who are using it for marketing.
In addition to offering cataloged plant information and a digital marketing platform, Allentuck says that the third benefit of becoming a RightPlantz member is access to free blogs. Currently, they have more than 200 blog posts on the site, which are geared to consumers.
“We provide these blogs that we’ve produced so that landscape contractors can provide links to their customers with helpful articles,” Allentuck says. “This is another way that they can provide value to their customers. We encourage our members to use the blogs in emailed newsletters or social media articles so that they have content they can provide to their clients. It’s just another way we’re doing what we can to support these companies who might not have the budget to create all of their own content.”