Another month goes by and it’s once again time to review the results of your local SEO campaign. Some things seem to be working (kind of, sort of), while you aren’t quite sure how to fix some of the problems that keep cropping up.
Does that sound familiar? Or, what about this scenario?
You’ve hired a professional SEO company to manage your local SEO campaign and boost your online visibility. Yet, results are mixed, at best, and you find yourself questioning what the internet marketing agency is really doing for you, and what value you’re getting for the money you’re spending.
To help get you out of this unproductive cycle, we’ve created this pest control local SEO guide that lists seven strategies that are part of a typical results-driven SEO campaign—one that drives relevant traffic and leads to your company.
If one or more of these strategies are new to you, consider hiring a professional local SEO agency. Or, if you’ve already done that and some techniques aren’t included in their internet marketing plan, then you might need to fire that agency and hire one that gets you the results you need to grow your business.
Here are the seven strategies:
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Online directory citations
- Keyword research
- Technical SEO analysis
- On-page optimization
- Blogging/long-form content
- Link building
When these techniques are used strategically, results can be amazing. Here is what we were able to do for one of our pest control clients and consequently won an industry local SEO award using the very principles you’ll read about below.
Strategy #1: Google My Business (GMB)
GMB should be at the heart of your local search campaign because information found there will appear in Google searches and Maps. Done right, your GMB listing will be complete and accurate, and effectively complement your website.
If this step hasn’t been completed yet, then follow this three-step process:
- Create or claim your GMB listing
- Verify the listing.
- Optimize it.
What’s most important is that your name, address and phone number (NAP) is correct (more about that throughout the post). You’ll also want to include information that makes it easy for new customers to find your company and contact you for pest control services. Another critical thing to include, which can help with rankings and appearing in Maps/local results, is choosing the best categories for your business.
Google allows you to choose a primary category and additional/secondary categories. The most obvious one to choose is Pest Control Service:
Unfortunately, Google My Business does not have many other relevant categories for pest control companies to choose from. One of our clients performs lawn care/lawn pest control — so we include lawn care service in their additional categories.
Additional information to include that makes it easy for potential customers to use your services include:
- listing forms of payment you accept
- detailing your hours of operation
- sharing your 24/7 contact information
Plus, write an optimized business description, and create at least a few Google Posts. Were the posts effective, causing potential customers to engage with you? Then keep doing them. If not, then simply make it a practice to regularly log into your GMB dashboard and verify that your information is still accurate.
Google allows anyone to submit edits for GMB listings and, even when inaccurate, they can be accepted by Google, especially if other online directories have that information listed. For example, you may have an outdated phone number on other online listings and, if someone asks that your GMB profile be changed to reflect that number, that change might happen. Or, if your listings in online directories are inconsistent, Google’s algorithm may trigger edits to your GMB NAP, even without human input.
Here’s the bottom line. If you find inaccurate information on GMB, it’s important to correct it.
As a related strategy, steadily receiving Google reviews is beneficial to boost visibility. These reviews can make your listing truly stand out in Google Maps and they serve as a hefty local SEO ranking factor. So, encourage satisfied customers to write them about your company, making it easy for them to do so by creating a unique link that takes the reviewers right where they need to go.
You can read guidelines about Google Reviews, and here are a few things NOT to do:
- Don’t specifically ask for a positive review.
- Don’t write a fake review.
- Don’t encourage anyone to write a fake review.
Finally, create a logical, well-thought-out plan about how you’ll respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Follow that plan.
Strategy #2: Online Directory Citations
Another key component of pest control local SEO campaigns is getting your website listed in quality online directories. Your company benefits from this strategy in crucial ways, including:
- When people are looking for a pest control company, they very well may look in an online directory for someone in the area.
- Quality citations boost your local SEO rankings and online visibility.
- Accurate information in these listings help with NAP consistency, which promotes trust in regards to how Google sees your site.
Focus on steadily building citations. Too much, too fast can have a negative impact.
Pest control directories to check out include:
Use your network to find more opportunities. What, for example, professional organizations do you belong to? Do they provide links to member sites? Also do a Google search on your business and check the accuracy of information provided, especially NAP information.
If errors are found, contact the directories and request they be fixed. When Google cross-references NAP information and compares it to your GMB listing, you don’t want any discrepancies to exist. Discrepancies, as mentioned above, can cause Google to change your GMB and can also cause a lack of trust with Google, which can lead to a reduction in online visibility.
Finally, also use appropriate schema on your own website whenever you list your NAP information.
Strategy #3 Keyword Research
Here are questions to ask yourself about your keyword research strategy:
Questions to ask yourself include:
- When did you last review and refresh this strategy?
- Have you verified that you’re currently using the best keywords to accomplish your SEO goals?
- Do your chosen keywords still have good traffic?
- Has the amount of competition changed since you initially conducted your keyword research?
Periodically review your keyword research (some companies do so annually). Professional tools that you can use include:
Check to see if any of these tools have free trial periods if you’d like to check them out first. Or, you can outsource your keyword research to a professional pest control online marketing agency.
Any time that you revamp your strategy, make sure that you include keywords that:
- are geo-targeted
- have commercial intent
- have educational intent
- have research intent
Educational keywords fit well into blog posts (more about that later) and here is an example:
You’ll also want keywords where people are clearly searching for pest control services. Keywords with commercial intent tend to convert at a higher rate, and here is an example of a potential choice:
Also find keywords with research intent, ones where people are looking to solve problems. These terms often start with “why” or “how”; for example:
Monitor the success of your refreshed keyword strategy and continue to tweak, as needed.
Strategy #4 Technical SEO Analysis
Technical SEO elements to consider include:
- site organization and navigation
- internal linking
- page speed
At its most basic, when a website is easy for people to navigate and find the services they need, they’re more likely to stay on that website until they find the relevant information. So, an effectively organized website will typically see increased engagement metrics (time on site, number of pages viewed and so on); although Google has stated that engagement metrics aren’t direct ranking factors, there is a clear correlation between higher engagement metrics and higher rankings. When you interlink among your pages in a way that keeps people engaged, this also helps.
As a lesser-known strategy, be sure to list your services heading to the far left of your main navigation bar, with specific service choices listed in a sub-navigation menu. This simple SEO strategy automatically sends authority signals to Google about what’s most important on your site, and this will help with your local SEO campaign.
Too often, as in the image below, companies put their About Us section first:
Finally, test your page speed and follow relevant recommendations provided. For several years now, speed has served as a desktop ranking factor and is now one for mobile searches.
So, with a faster website, you’ll keep more people (impatient ones, since that’s who we are today!) on your site, rather than going to a competitor’s site that’s faster—while also boosting your SEO.
Strategy #5: On-Page Optimization
Using the keywords gleaned in strategy three, you should also strategically optimize content, both page copy and blog posts, along with backend tags. Specifically places where keywords make sense include:
- Title tags: this is an important ranking factor
- Meta description tags: although this not a ranking factor, compelling content in this tag will make it more likely that prospective customers will click on your listing in the SERPs, rather than a competitor’s
- Heading tags: these include blog post titles, and subheadings on pages and posts
- Schema: as mentioned in element #2
- New URLs: If you want to use keywords in already-existing URLs, we recommend you contact a qualified internet marketing agency first
We often get asked about word count and what’s the most optimal for pages and posts—and the answer depends upon what your competitors are doing. If, for example, you really want to rank well for mosquito control services in your area, check to see how long your competitors’ pages are on that topic. Then, write a high-quality, well-optimized page that’s 500 words longer than your high-ranking competitor’s page.
Strategy #6 Blogging/Long-form Content
Google rewards quality long-form content. This was already the case at the beginning of 2018, and is even more so now, after recent Google algorithm updates favor E-A-T sites: Those with expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
We’ve provided an in-depth post about the value of long-form blogging, and here is just a partial list of its benefits:
- This strategy will position you as an authority on a topic of interest to your customers and prospects. When people have a question on a subject, they tend to turn to the experts (in this case, you), which is just what you want.
- Longer posts tend to rank more highly and therefore be more visible online.
- Longer content sometimes appears in Google’s in-depth content feature.
- People tend to engage more deeply with long-form content, therefore spending more time on your site.
- Longer content tends to gain more inbound links, and these links still play a central role in Google rankings.
Now you understand the importance of blogging and creating in-depth, long-form content — what should you write about?
We have a few ideas for you:
- Create content around specific pests most common in your area. This can be done as an educational piece which highlights your company’s authority on the subject of pests. Make these detailed and in-depth to address all questions and concerns about different species.
- Seasonal content. Virtually every region has seasonal trends, create content outlining the specific pests most common around certain times of year and the best prevention and control methods.
- Preventive pest control planning. This can coincide with seasonal content or be its own content. Homeowners should know the best prevention methods and when to call you for service. This makes for perfect “How-To” content.
- Frequently Asked Questions. This is a great way to expand content on your service pages, but it’s also a great series of blogs based on things your technicians are probably asked on a regular basis. The beauty of this is there is so much content that can be created around this: FAQs for pests or for treatments and chemicals are great starters.
- DIY vs professional. A good piece of content readers like is advice on what are things they can reasonably handle themselves versus when they should definitely turn to the professionals for help. This is super-informational and lets customers (and potential customers) know you’re looking out for them by explaining things that could save them money.
- Highlight local businesses. This is good for cross-promotions. Highlight some of your longtime customers or other businesses that trust your services. Obviously, you should get their permission first, but this is a good way to get other businesses and people to promote you.
- Talk about important things in your community. You live and work in the community so it’s only logical you might want to discuss some important events and news. Stay on the positive side of things, but highlight any big industry news that would be helpful to your community or even talk about things you are doing within the area.
- Work with complementary businesses to create content. We have collaborated with real estate agents, construction companies, and even physicians to create content that meets the needs for pest control information as well as highlighting relevant issues with the complementary business. For example: we worked with an allergist client to discuss allergic reactions to pests and rodents.
- Case studies. This works as a testimonial as well as proof of your expertise. If you ever had a particularly bad infestation and you worked hard to get rid of the pests, you can create a case study detailing everything you did to get rid of the pests or rodents. If you can put real numbers to the study that would make it even better (i.e., had a 200% reduction in roaches based on…)
- Create content on how to get into the industry. This can be a recruiting tool as well. Highlight the benefits of working in pest control, highlight common careers, even discuss different types of education that is offered and where to get that education.
Finally, for the best pest control local SEO results, you’ll also need to focus on creating a healthy link profile.
Strategy #7 Link Building
To create a healthy link profile, you need to have a diverse yet relevant set of quality inbound links pointing towards your site. As with Google reviews, you want to steadily grow this number; ultimately, the more, the better. When your website’s link profile is considered to be healthy by Google, it is recognized as one worthy of trust, which makes it more likely that you’ll receive organic traffic.
When you use strategy #6 and create relevant long-form content of quality, you’re much more likely to naturally attract these links. Another method of increasing the number of inbound links is to write guest posts on quality sites that allow you to link back to your site.
Yet another strategy is to monitor reporter requests at HelpAReporter.com (often referred to as HARO), ProfNet and so forth. When they ask questions in the areas of your expertise, you can respond to the queries and possibly get quoted in articles being written.
No matter how you craft your link building strategy, focus on gaining quality ones. Low-quality ones don’t help, and can actually hurt, your local SEO campaign. If you discover that spammy links are being pointed at your site, you may want to consider using Google’s disavow tool to let Google know you don’t want your site negatively affected by these links. Because this is a more advanced technique, it makes sense to consult with an internet marketing expert first.
As a final tip: Link building campaigns aren’t ever done. Continue to cultivate quality inbound links.
Creating the Best Pest Control Local Search Campaign
There are, without a doubt, plenty of moving parts that make up a successful online marketing campaign. Armed with the guidance from this post, though, you should now be empowered to improve your own local SEO campaign or know how to choose the right internet marketing agency for your needs.
Any good SEO company will provide a list of action items centered on these areas. If you’re having a hard time finding a good local SEO agency, then give us a call. We would love the chance to earn your business.
Here is what one pest control company said about our services:
Here’s what we did for that client and its local SEO campaign.