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2014 Top 50 Pool Builder, Cipriano Landscape Design shares the best way to find landscape & pool companies for your project online. Bergen County, Northern NJ

Have you ever wondered if the search results that show up at the top of the list in Google are really the best? A lot of really good information can come up on the second or third page of a Google search but often people never look past the first or second link. When you are looking for something of importance, like a contractor to work with, if you only look at the first or second link you are greatly limiting your options. If you are looking for landscaping and swimming pool companies does coming up first in Google mean they are the best for the job? We wanted to take a moment to talk about this in order to better help you choose a company when looking for one to use on your next pool or landscape renovation.

Use caution when searching Google, as a high-ranking company doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best at what they do, but rather means they best fit the description for what you searched. Similarly, if a company shows up in the “paid search”/”sponsored ads” section it doesn’t mean they are the best either. This just means they have spent money on advertising to show up in that space. Along with this idea, some of the best landscaping and pool companies in the world don’t have a website and can’t be found in the yellow pages. Don’t be afraid to browse through to the second or third page of search results as often some really good companies that don’t exactly fit the description you typed will show up there. Google images are also a great way to find completed projects from local or national landscape and pool companies.

One good trick if you are looking for more information on a company is to search the companies name followed by the word “complaint.” Again, just because a company has a negative comment doesn’t necessarily mean they are terrible. Sometimes competitors will post negative comments about companies and there are some homeowners who simply would complain no matter what. You can get some really good insight into a company by also looking at how they responded to the complaint and whether it was professional or not. In general though, reading some of the complaints can give you some good information about a company, and if there are a lot of them this could be a warning sign.

Avoid pontification and platitudes – When you are reviewing a company’s website, remember that just because they say something online doesn’t make it true! Be careful when reading about companies who talk about honesty and integrity. Really? Isn’t that to be expected? I would also caution you to watch for companies who claim to be the “best landscaping company,” “#1 landscape architect” or “premier contractor.”  What makes a company “the premier” or “the leading”? Is it by income or their accomplishments in design and construction? Anyone can write and lay claim to those types of phrases but do they really have any merit behind them?  Other important things you can look for are award-winning projects the company has built. If a company is going to advertise winning an award, make sure they list the name of the award and the association that awarded it to them. If it just says “award-winning” be wary of it as again anyone can write that. Check to see what the award was for as well. There are maintenance awards, design awards, awards for a particular material, and craftsmanship awards to name a few. If a company displays real awards and can back it up with proof, it means the company has demonstrated excellence and been acknowledged by its peers throughout the industry. A company with a plethora of awards year in and year out really demonstrates not only its experience but also consistency of design and build expertise.


Also look for something that is substantial like Certified Building Professional or Member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). Some other national landscape associations are the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), Landscape Contractors Association (LCA), and National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).


When looking for a landscaping or pool company make sure you do your due diligence and ask a lot of questions. Get to know your contractor and seek out their references to make sure you are working with the right person. A swimming pool or landscape project is a large investment for any homeowner and you will want to make sure you can trust the person building it.