Ryan Moore

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Have You Saved Any Water During Smart Irrigation Month?

Posted by Ryan Moore on Jul 28, 2016 2:06:06 PM

If you’re a green industry veteran, you’re probably familiar with smart irrigation practices and know that July is Smart Irrigation Month. Now in its 12th year, Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative that exists to increase the awareness of the value of water and grow demand for water-saving products, practices, and services.

Did you remember to talk to your customers about water-saving smart irrigation practices this month? If not, it’s never too late.

As an EPA WaterSense Distribution partner, Horizon recognizes that water is a scarce resource and we have developed a catalog of resources to help you educate your organization and your customers about smart water practices. In this article, we’ll look at 5 tips to get you started.


Tip #1 – Use this Method to Quickly Check for Leaks

Checking every system component for leaks can be time-consuming. A quick way to see if there is a leak somewhere in your customer’s system is by checking your customer’s water meter.

The method is simple and takes less than a minute. When the irrigation system is shut off, go to the water meter and check the low flow indicator. If that flow indicator is moving, you have a leak somewhere in the system and you’ll need to do some additional troubleshooting to find the leak.


Tip #2 – Got Mulch?

Mulch can be a godsend to trees, bushes, flower, and shrubs. It stabilizes soil temperature, prevents weeds, adds nutrients to the soil, and conserves water. Richard Restuccia of Jain USA recommends using 2 to 4 inches of mulch around plants, bushes, and trees.


Tip #3 – Utilize Smart Watering Practices

When it comes to watering, less is more. The biggest problem with traditional irrigation systems and watering practices is that while they are largely effective at delivering water to lawns and landscapes, they are not designed to conserve water. Best practices for watering dictate that a system should be set up to:

  1. Water in the early to mid-morning. Watering in the middle of the day is less efficient because of evaporation. Watering in the evenings can lead to turf and plant disease because the water doesn't have time to dry and ends up sitting on the plants all night.
  2. Water in short cycles. Some plants and lawns need time for the water to soak in. Instead of watering for one long continuous session, split the watering time into shorter periods and allow a 15-30 minute break in between. You'll end up watering less, but the plant will receive more.
  3. Water in zones. Different types of plants require different amounts of water. Newer trees and shrubs require more water less frequently than grasses and shallow-rooted plants and may not require any water at all once established.

Dealing with a system that wasn’t hydrozoned correctly during installation? Check out this video.


Tip #4 – Upgrade to the Right Smart Water Controller for the Property

A smart water controller is the backbone of any smart irrigation system, but choosing the right one can be challenging. To identify the right controller for your business and your customer’s property, start with these questions:

  1. What parameters does the controller take into account? There’s a ton of data that can go into a controller and the right controller will take the needs of the property and the region into account. Does the controller allow you to input sun exposure, slope, soil type, plant material etc.?
  2. How often does the controller adjust? Hourly, daily, monthly?
  3. Where does the controller get its data? A sensor on-premises? Satellite communication?
  4. Are there recurring charges for the data?
  5. Does the controller have access to historical data? Especially important when the controller loses communication with the satellite.
  6. Will the manufacturer support you? When something goes wrong and you need help troubleshooting, does the manufacturer have a local representative that is willing to come to the job site and help you?


Tip #5 - Know When to Switch to Drip Irrigation

Smart water sprays are a great way to irrigate large open areas, but there are situations where drip irrigation is a better solution.

Drip irrigation is ideal in zones where plants, shrubs, and trees are spaced far away from one another. As plants grow, the plant itself can get in the way of the spray head, deflecting water onto buildings, driveways, and sidewalks. This not only wastes water, it also causes damage to the hardscapes and presents a liability risk to you as the homeowner.

Drip irrigation is also a great solution when watering small or oddly shaped areas where it can be a challenge to properly adjust the spray pattern to the dimensions of the zone. Dealing with a small zone that needs to be converted to drip? Check out this video.



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Topics: Water Conservation

Horizon Announces the Winner of the Makita 100-Year Anniversary Edition ATV

Posted by Ryan Moore on Jul 22, 2016 4:47:15 PM


Earlier today, Dave Richmond, Zone Manager for Horizon, announced the winner of the Makita 100-Year Anniversary Edition Can-Am Outlander L 450 ATV. Congratulations to Wayne Conrad of Landscapes USA!

Thank you to Al Rodriguez, Director of Sales - Outdoor Power Equipment, and Louie Montes, Sales Representative - Outdoor Power Equipment, from Makita for stopping by for the announcement. And thank you to Makita for including Horizon in your 100-Year Anniversary Celebration!

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Topics: Horizon Events

What Types of Customers are You Fishing For? (Automatic Fish - Part 3)

Posted by Ryan Moore on Jun 30, 2016 4:24:51 PM


When it comes to building your business with leads that come from the internet, it's either feast or famine.

I've heard horror stories from landscaping companies who have spent thousands of dollars on a website and 3rd party marketing services, but when everything was up and running, the phone never rang.

I've also talked to contractors who built an effective online presence, but were overrun with calls and wasted hours every day dealing with tire kickers.

Businesses that take the time and effort necessary to build a presence on platforms like Google, Bing, Yelp, and Angie's List often have all the business they can handle and no longer have to pay for any advertising, but it can come at a cost. So if you want to effectively fish the digital waters and grow your bottom line with business that comes from the internet, it's important to know what you're fishing for.

What are You Fishing For?

In part 1 of this series, we looked at a simple way to identify the products and services customers regularly search for online. Part 2 introduced 6 psychological principles that can help your business become the automatic choice within your marketplace.

In future installments, we'll look at how to construct a net that consistently brings in the catch. But before you blindly go and throw your net in the water, let's take a step back and figure out exactly what you're trying to catch.

It's helpful to think of your website as an automated conversation. It's no secret that the internet has changed the way consumers look for products and services. Instead of having to call to learn about the services local companies provide, customers can get tons of background information from online sources before they ever pick up the phone.

Sites that convert well speak directly to the needs and desires of their target audience. You may not think it's a good idea to construct your site in a such a way that alienates entire audiences, but when you try to market to everyone, you end up marketing to no one. So if want to get calls from people you actually want to talk to, your content needs to focus on how you can make their life better.

Who are your Ideal Customers?
- What products and services do they purchase?
- What cities are their properties in?
- What type of property do they have? Is it a golf course, HOA, business complex, a single family home?
- What do they value most?
- What frustrations do they have?
- What are their most common objections?
- How can you make their life easier?

It may seem a little strange to spend time answering these types of questions, but the better you can describe your ideal customer and how you can help them, the easier it will be to attract them. The next installment in the Automatic Fish series will focus on creating web content around the answers to these questions.


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Topics: Business

The Emerald Ash Borer Has Arrived in Texas!

Posted by Ryan Moore on Jun 28, 2016 2:53:46 PM

In May 2016, officials from the U.S. Forest Service and the Texas A&M Forest Service confirmed that an unwelcome visitor had finally made its way onto Texas soil when they trapped 4 adult emerald ash borer (EAB) beetles just south of Karnack in northeast Texas.

First identified in Michigan back in 2002, these beautiful but destructive pests with origins in Asia have worked their way across 25 states (Texas makes 26), leaving millions of dollars worth of destruction in their wake.

emerald_ash_borer_1.jpgBecause emerald ash borers are not native to the U.S., our ash trees don't have any natural defense mechanism against this invasive insect; and once an ash is infected, it generally dies within 2 to 3 years if it's not treated early and effectively. What makes the situation even worse is that infestations often aren't identified until it's too late. And because they can easily be transported in firewood and wood products, it's tough to predict how quickly they will spread across Texas.

The good news is that the Texas A&M Forest Service has been actively looking for this pest since 2012 when it started deploying and monitoring traps during the spring and summer months, the peak period for EAB emergence and movement. It should also be noted that there have been no confirmed infestations in Texas yet, but it is certainly time for you to start talking to customers about their treatment options.

There are 7 species of ash trees in Texas (Green, White, Caroline, Texas, Water, Mexican, and Arizona Ash) and although they make up less than 5% of rural Texas forests, ash trees often appear in large numbers within urban communities. Austin, TX alone has millions of ash trees!

Identifying an Emerald Ash Borer Infection

emerald_ash_borer_damage.jpgAsh trees with low population densities of EAB often exhibit little evidence of infestation. It's also difficult to identify EAB damage in the winter because they are still in the larvae stage of their lifecycle, feeding on the phloem of the tree.

As EAB larval population increases, the movement of nutrients becomes more and more disrupted, eventually leading to symptoms such as:
- Dead branches near the top of the tree,
- Leafy shoots sprouting from the trunk,
- Barks splits that expose larval galleries.

If you see significant woodpecker activity, that could be a sign that the ash tree is infested by EAB. As spring and summer arrive and the lifecycle progresses into adulthood, you'll also notice D-shaped exit holes in the tree's bark.

Recommended Treatment for Emerald Ash Borers

One of the benefits of Texas being the 26th state invaded by EAB is that there's a solid 10 years of research on the best methods for controlling this pest. Effective treatments have been identified!

The most effective treatment options have proven to be systemic insecticides, which can be applied to the base of the trunk or sprayed on the bark.

Horizon's recommended treatment for emerald ash borers is Zylam, a liquid form of dinotefuran, which provides exceptional control and can be used as a drench, soil injection, or bark banding application. If you are planning on applying Zylam as a bark banding treatment, we further recommend utilizing SCRIMMAGE (a organosilicone surfactant blend) which increases Zylam's effectiveness as it helps the chemical stick to the tree.

Have questions about the emerald ash borer? Contact your local Horizon branch in Texas. We'll help you get a head start on this pest!


  Free Landscape Maintenance Guide - Click Here

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Topics: Maintenance

6 Principles of Influence that Automatically Attract Customers (Automatic Fish - Part 2)

Posted by Ryan Moore on May 24, 2016 6:00:17 AM


Would you run your company differently if you had more business than you could handle?

What would you do if you constantly received calls from customers that discovered your company online and were excited to work with you based on your glowing reputation?

Would you hire more employees, raise your prices, say no to lower margin jobs, pick and choose your customers and the services you provide? All of the above?

While this may sound too good to be true, after working on over 100 internet marketing projects across dozens of industries, I can assure you that in most niches, a small percentage of companies get most of the business.


Because these companies have taken the time and effort necessary to build a positive online reputation. They are featured prominently at popular online destinations (fishing spots) that large groups of their target customers (fish) visit as they're making purchase decisions.

In part 1 of this Automatic Fish series, we looked at one way to discover the terminology your customers are using as they're searching online for products and services. These keywords are the framework that allows you to build an effective online presence (net). But without the proper bait, your net won't catch many fish.

In this article, we're going to look at 6 key principles of influence that you can use to bait your net so you can attract more visitors and convert more of those visitors into leads and sales.

Dr. Cialdini's 6 Principles of Influence

robert_cialdini_32.jpgWith over 30 years of research, Dr. Robert Cialdini, is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. Early in his career as a researcher, he spent 3 years infiltrating sales, advertising, public relations, and fundraising agencies. He would answer newspaper ads for trainees and pose as an aspiring professional so they would train him.

After learning 1000s of different tactics, he identified 6 key principles of influence that many compliance professionals continually use to get their prospects to say yes. These principles are:

1. Authority
2. Social Proof
3. Commitment and Consistency
4. Scarcity
5. Reciprocation
6. Liking

Even though these principles were originally observed in person to person interactions, they are also influential online.

Principle #1: Authority

Without question, the most important principle is authority. If you aren't perceived as an authority, you will have a tough time charging a premium for your services. It should be your goal to immediately provide online prospects with evidence that demonstrates you can be trusted. Text is good, but graphics are better!

One way to do that is by leveraging your company's longevity and experience. That could include:
- The number of years your company has been in business.
- The number of years your company has served the local community.
- The number of years your employees have been in the industry.
- The number of customers your company has served.
- The number of completed jobs.

To take it a step further, you can further establish yourself as an authority by having a relationship with other authorities. Here are some examples:
- Is your company licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Has anyone on your staff received professional instruction or training?
- What is your rating with the BBB?
- Are you a member of any industry associations?
- Has your company won any awards?

Principle #2: Social Proof

Another way to build your authority is through social proof. The principle of social proof states that when people are uncertain how to act in a situation, they often look at what other people say and do. Social proof operates most powerfully when we are observing the behavior of people just like us.

Testimonials are a well-known form of social proof that can be a great addition to your site. But your best strategy is to slowly and continually build reviews on platforms such as Google, Yelp, Angie's List, and Facebook. If you can position your company prominently on the right review sites, your business will get all the leads you can handle. Sometimes too many, which leads us to...

Principle #3: Commitment & Consistency

Within sales, one of the more classic examples of commitment & consistency is the "foot in the door" technique. You start with one service offering and expand to additional services as the relationship grows.

But when it comes to digital marketing, commitment & consistency is also expected of the business. Negative customer interactions can have serious implications on your ability to attract leads from online sources, especially if you don't have many positive reviews to balance the negative ones.

I've seen far too many negative reviews left by people who weren't ever customers. Situations where they weren't called back or where the sales representative never showed up to provide a quote. On review sites, there is no way to separate a customer complaint from a non-customer complaint, so best practices is to treat every interaction as if your business depends on it and always set the proper expectations.


Bottom line: If you don't live up to your word, your online reputation will suffer.

Principle #4: Scarcity

On the plus side, if your business is already at the point where you have too many leads to handle, it's time to use scarcity to your advantage. According to Dr. Cialdini, people assign more value to products and services as they become less available. Properly prequalify your prospects early in the conversation. Politely get rid of prospects that don't fit your service parameters. Throw them back in the sea!

If you are overrun with business and the phone is ringing off the hook, it's time to reassess the services you offer, your service area, and your existing book of business. Maybe it's time to stop offering a low margin service or discontinue a relationship with an unprofitable or problem customer.

Principle #5: Reciprocation

Reciprocation is one of the most widespread norms in human culture. If someone provides something to you, it's generally assumed that you will return the favor at some point in the future.

When it comes to the digital interactions, reciprocity usually fits in when you have content that helps someone else fix a problem on their own or when you provide a resource even when it doesn't directly help you at the time. It's a means of further establishing you as an authority in your field.

Another example that would fall more into the sales cycle is when you take time out of your day to visit the prospect's property to provide a quote. Even if you don't get the job, a positive interaction where you provide as much value as possible can help you build your reputation.

Principle #6: Liking

Liking is pretty simple. We tend to buy from companies and people that we share something in common with.

Is your business family owned? Locally owned? Do you employ veterans? Do you actively support causes? Are you a member of any social groups? Make it known throughout your online presence. It could be the one piece of information that earns you the business.

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Topics: Business

6 Technologies Behind Horizon's New TurfGro Plus Premium Fertilizer Line

Posted by Ryan Moore on Apr 29, 2016 3:26:42 PM


Designed to help you adjust to seasonal and environmental changes and accomplish more with every fertilizer application, Horizon's new TurfGro Plus premium fertilizer line does more than just feed your turf. It also reduces water use, improves soil health, and ensures satisfied clients all season long.

The TurfGro Plus line utilizes some of the best technologies our vendor partners have to offer. In this article, we'll focus on 6 key technologies that help separate TurfGro Plus from other fertilizers.


4 Technologies Already Being Used in TurfGro Plus Formulations



sanctuary_logo.pngIf you're facing a situation where your turf needs fertilizer, but you can't water it in right away, using a fertilizer that is blended with the Sanctuary is an ideal solution. The Sanctuary is a high energy organic blending base that feeds the soil first and won't burn your turf.

Each of our TurfGro Plus organic based products increase the soil microbial populations and promote a natural sustainable approach. This reduces the amount of nutrients and water required without jeopardizing the turf health or negatively impacting the environment.

Many of today's consumers are moving toward a greener, more sustainable approach when it comes to the products that they purchase. When you use one of the TurfGro Plus fertilizers that utilizes the Sanctuary organic technology, you get the organic soil building benefits without the high end organic cost.

Currently used in:
TurfGro Plus 8-0-2 "Soil MD" Fertilizer w/ Mycorrhizae
TurfGro Plus 21-0-4 Organic with Urea
TurfGro Plus 23-0-4 Soil Care Plus

MycoApply Mycorrhizal Fungi

myco_apply_logo.pngThe word "mycorrhizae" literally means "fungus-roots" and reflects the mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between specialized soil fungi and plant roots. In fact, about 95% of the world's plants form a mycorrhizal relationship in their native habitats.

Mycorrhizal fungi work on almost all plant material from turf to trees and increase the surface absorbing area of roots 100 to 1,000 times, which greatly improves the plant's ability to use the soil's resources. In addition to increasing the surface absorbing area of the root system, mycorrhizal fungi also release powerful enzymes that dissolve "locked up" nutrients such as phosphorus and iron.

One treatment can last for the life of the plant and reduces water use by as much as 40%, which means it's a great solution in times of drought. Mycorrhizal fungi also greatly reduces transplant shock.

Currently used in:
TurfGro Plus 8-0-2 "Soil MD" Fertilizer w/ Mycorrhizae

Wolf Trax Iron

wolf_trax_logo.jpgThanks to its patented EvenCoat Technology, Wolf Trax Iron DDP is coated onto every granule in the fertilizer blend. This results in a blanket-like distribution of the nutrient and places the nutrients closer to plant roots for earlier uptake, allowing the turf to develop an even, deep green color.

In addition, Wolf Trax is a non-staining iron source, which means you won't have to worry about the fertilizer staining your customer's sidewalks. 

Currently used in:
TurfGro Plus 23-0-4 Soil Care Plus
TurfGro Plus 19-0-7 with Synergy
TurfGro Plus 25-0-6 Slow Release with Synergy


synergy_technology.pngAquatrols Synergy Technology is a unique patented combination of non ionic surfactants that was discovered while evaluating interactions between a variety of surfactant chemistries. This discovery yielded an exceptionally effective soil penetrant.

Synergy allows the water to better infiltrate the soil and delivers the water more effectively to the root zone, which translates to less puddling and runoff. Aquatrols Synergy Technology increases the uniform movement of your fertilizer into the root zone of trees, shrubs, turf, and plants.

Currently used in:
TurfGro Plus 23-0-4 Soil Care Plus
TurfGro Plus 19-0-7 with Synergy
TurfGro Plus 25-0-6 Slow Release with Synergy

2 Additional Technologies that are Coming Soon


Crystal Green

crystal_green_logo.pngCrystal Green is a slow release phosphorus source that will be added to our TurfGro Plant Pro Plus product line. When soil isn't providing enough phosphorus, roots can have a difficult time establishing and plants can struggle to recover from stress and disease.

Crystal Green releases phosphorus in response to organic acids produced by the roots. Because it gradually releases phosphus according to root demand, Crystal Green minimizes phosphorus tie up in the soil, lowers the risk of leaching and runoff, and provides a season-long supply of phosphorus.



apex_10_logo.pngApex-10 is an organic peat humic substance that will soon be added into our TurfGro Plus Starter fertilizer. A small amount of Apex-10 can make a big difference when you're laying sod or planting trees and shrubs.

Numerous university studies have shown that Apex-10 consistently cuts transplant replacement costs by at least 50%. It also enhances fertilizer efficiency by up to 66% and water efficiency by up to 30%.


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Topics: Fertilizer

Horizon Acquires Metro Irrigation Supply

Posted by Ryan Moore on Apr 4, 2016 1:45:54 PM



Horizon is pleased to announce the expansion of its current footprint in the Texas market with the acquisition of Metro Irrigation Supply Co, a leading regional irrigation products distributor. Metro operates 8 sales centers with locations in North and South Texas.

Jim Ross, President of Horizon, commented, “Metro has a reputation for superior customer service and offers a comprehensive range of irrigation, drainage and landscape lighting products. We are excited about the opportunities this creates to provide value to customers and new opportunities for the Metro team.”

Manuel J. Perez de la Mesa, President and CEO of POOLCORP, Horizon’s parent
company, commented, “This transaction expands POOLCORP’s footprint in the
$3 billion plus irrigation and landscape distribution marketplace by providing a greater presence in the strategically important Texas markets.”

Metro will continue to operate under the Metro Irrigation Supply name. No changes are expected in either Metro or Horizon Texas market management, sales or operations and there are no plans to consolidate or reduce the number of Metro or Horizon distribution locations.

Organizationally, Metro will be a separate region in Horizon’s Central Division led by General Manager Shawn Connors. Former Metro President Kelly McColm will serve in an advisory capacity to Ross and Connors moving forward.

“The Metro people have an outstanding reputation for exceeding the expectations of the Texas irrigation professional,” added Ross, “We plan on providing them the additional resources necessary to continue to build on their success.”

Horizon is a professional distributor of turf irrigation products, outdoor power equipment, fertilizers and allied products serving the professional turf, landscape and golf markets, and currently operates 69 sales centers in 11 states including Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Florida,Virginia and Maryland. Horizon is a full-service provider of irrigation, landscape, power equipment and outdoor living products supplies, including brand names of Hunter, Rain Bird, Toro, Irritrol, eXmark, Echo, Makita, Club Car, Monsanto, Vista, and FX Professional Lighting. For more information about Horizon, please visit www.horizononline.com.

Horizon is a wholly owned subsidiary of POOLCORP (NASDAQ/GSM:POOL). POOLCORP is the world’s largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool and related backyard products. Currently, POOLCORP operates 344 sales centers in North America, Europe, South America and Australia through which it distributes more than 160,000 national brand and private label products to approximately 100,000 wholesale customers. For more information about POOLCORP, please visit www.poolcorp.com.

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Automatic Fish: How to Get a Steady Stream of Customers From the Internet (Part 1)

Posted by Ryan Moore on Mar 29, 2016 5:11:35 PM


It's no secret that the internet has changed the way consumers shop for local services.

It wasn't long ago that when you needed a local service, you would pull out the phone book and start making calls without really knowing much about the company other than what you saw in their ad. If you were fortunate, a friend or family member had someone they could recommend to you, but you were often flying blind. You simply had to go with your gut and trust the salesperson you were speaking with on the phone.

Today, we're moving further and further into an Age of Transparency. Especially within local markets, consumers are able to conduct extensive research and compare service providers before they call to get a quote or arrange a service call.

In their 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey, BrightLocal found that:
- 60% of consumers search for local businesses on the internet at least 6 times per year,
- 92% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews,
- 68% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more,
- 80% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Local businesses that take the time and effort necessary to build an online reputation that outpaces their competition have a distinct advantage. They have a steady stream of customers contacting them to do business. They spend little to no money on advertising. And when they really get things going, they can raise prices, turn down low margin jobs, and pick and chose customers and the services they provide.

Learning to Fish the Digital Waters

Attracting customers on the internet is much like fishing. When customers use their pc, tablet, or phone to enter the digital waters, they turn into fish that are, for lack of a better term, magical. They can disappear and reappear at will, be in multiple places at the same time, and they're invisible until you get them on your hook.

To succeed online, you must build a net to automatically catch these fish. You need:
- To identify who your fish are and what they're looking for,
- To put out lines at popular fishing spots,
- Bait to capture their attention and draw them closer,
- Hooks to bring in the catch.

It takes significant effort to build a productive net and we'll be looking at various ways to attract fish over the coming weeks and months. To get you started, the rest of this article will focus on a task that can make or break your net: keyword research.


What are Your Fish Looking For?

Whenever I start a new project, the first thing I do is look at the language surrounding it. If you want to be found in search engines or on local review sites, it's critical to know the terminology your fish use when they're looking for your services.

There are a number of great keyword tools out there that can help you find the keyword phrases that reflect who you are and what you do, but the one I always come back to is Google's Keyword Planner. You'll need to setup a Google Adwords account to use the Keyword Planner, but it's free to use for keyword research. I used the tool for years before I ever paid for an ad.


Step 1: Write Down the Type of Business You Are and the Service You Provide

Every keyword phrase you find that accurately reflects who you are and what you do gives you an additional opportunity to put out additional lines in the digital waters, especially when you find a niche that is underserved in your local market.

For example, if you're a contractor that focuses on installation, your initial list of services might include:
- Landscape Irrigation
- Landscape Installation
- Outdoor Kitchens
- Pavers
- Barbeques
- Water Features


Step 2a: Use the Google Keyword Planner to find keyword phrases. After you've logged in, click on "Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category."

Search_for_new_keywords.pngStep 2b. Enter the service you want to research and click the blue "Get Ideas" button. In this case, I searched for "tree removal".



Step 2c.  The Google Keyword Planner will provide you "Keyword ideas" on one tab and a list of "Ad group ideas" on another. The ad groups listed on the "Ad group ideas" tab groups similar phrases together, but you'll find keyword phrases in both areas.



Step 3. Take note of keyword phrases and the number of times they are searched each month.

It may look a little intimidating at first, but keywords are the backbone to any online strategy that involves search engine optimization and getting traffic from referral sites, which are two of the best ways to build your online presence. We'll cover those topics and more in future blog posts.


Image Source: Chinese Fishing Nets by Tim Moffatt


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Topics: Business

Why is Horizon Opening 8 Outdoor Living Showrooms in 2016?

Posted by Ryan Moore on Jan 29, 2016 2:45:17 PM


Over the past several months, a team of Horizon employees and manufacturing partners have been hard at work behind the scenes developing a completely new idea in the green industry - Outdoor Living Showrooms.

Featured prominently inside of existing Horizon locations, these showrooms get products out of their boxes and off the shelves so you can get up close and see what these products look like when they're assembled and finished. We want to give you a firsthand example of how a backyard can be transformed when you bring popular outdoor living elements like pavers, fire pits, water features, lighting, and outdoor kitchens together.

A Place to Bring Your Customers

While these showrooms are intended to serve as a point of inspiration for our customers, that's not their only purpose. More importantly, the showrooms provide you a powerful tool that will help you sell your services to current and potential clients.

“Ultimately our showroom gives you a place to bring your clients so they can actually see their new outdoor living area”, explains Keith Johnston, National Sales Manager for outdoor living products. “We’ve re-created a typical design featuring all the standard outdoor living components with the colors and textures common in your region. Basically it’s a catalog you can touch and feel."

Before & after pictures, samples, and product catalogs often work great, but for some customers they're not enough. Bring them to a showroom! Have them relax at the fire pit. Let them explore the kitchen. Open the drawers and cabinets. Play with the grill. Get them involved. They may end up wanting to do more with their yard than you expected.

Part of Our Commitment to Help You Grow

Horizon has been selling outdoor living products for several years. With these showrooms, we are reaffirming our commitment to help you grow in this category.

If 2015 didn't go as well as you planned and you're looking to expand your business and make it more profitable in 2016 and beyond, look no further than outdoor living. It offers some of the highest margins in the industry and if you do it right, it can completely transform your business.

There's no question that getting into a new service offering can be intimidating, but you don't have to do it alone. We aren't here to sell you a product and send you on your way. We have the staff and resources to help you every step of the way. We're happy to show you how to install these outdoor living products, but more importantly how to price them and sell with confidence.

Our first showroom opened at our Scottsdale, AZ location earlier this month and we just finished a 2nd showroom in Dallas, TX. We have several other showrooms under construction right now and the goal is to have 8 completed in 2016.

To keep up with the latest openings, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or simply ask your local store or business development representative.



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Topics: Outdoor Living

5 Myths that are Making California Water Restrictions Even Worse

Posted by Ryan Moore on Aug 25, 2015 4:57:00 PM

how_hot_things_can_getAs the drought continues in California, many landscapers are abandoning industry best practices in an effort to comply with Governor Brown's mandatory water restrictions. But water restrictions don't have to be a death sentence for turf!

Implementing the right combination of cultural and smart watering practices can result in turf and soil that is healthy year-round, even during the hot summer months.

In this article, we'll take a quick look at 5 common myths and the practices that address the concerns behind the myth. If you want a more thorough and comprehensive explanation of smart watering practices, be sure to visit the Drought Solutions section of our site.

Myth #1: Water restrictions mean my grass will die.

If you are utilizing fundamentally sound water management practices, your turf can thrive on as little as 2 days of watering per week. Using controller settings like cycle and soak can get the same impact as watering more often without creating runoff from long run times.

Myth #2: If my turf is green, then I'm not saving water.

Using products like Turface, humic acids, wetting agents and soil surfactants will help keep your turf green while reducing water usage by up to 30%!

Myth #3: I can’t fertilize because it won’t get watered in and I will burn my turf.

Using high quality organic fertilizer will direct most nutrient activity to the roots and crowns, avoiding the “burn” you get with water soluble nitrogen.

Improving your soil will help the turf stay healthy enough to survive these drought conditions. The time you put in today will save you time in repairs and replacement later.

Myth #4: I should just scalp my turf through summer.

While scalping may seem like an easier solution, it actually puts more stress on the turf. Mowing heights should be RAISED through summer, creating a deeper and more extensive root system, allowing plants to withstand summer stress. Plus that taller grass will allow soil temperatures to remain cooler at the soil surface.

Myth #5: Less water means the soil will dry and water will runoff.

If you focus on your soil’s health by using organic vs synthetic products your turf will become more porous, actually retaining water in the subsurface. So rather than just running off, the water is reserved by the soil and released as needed.


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Topics: Drought Solutions