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Essential online marketing tactics can be utilized for pest control companies to help showcase their businesses to potential customers via online searching without requiring an increase in advertising dollars. Some simple, free, and inexpensive strategies can be utilized to help tighten the advertising budget while still employing key marketing strategies.

DOMAIN NAMES. When a pest control company is just starting out, selecting a solid domain name that is relevant to the business is essential. At a very high level, a company needs to consider the primary market, include the product or service in the domain, keep it short and memorable, and avoid hyphens and numbers, all while ensuring that the selected company name has not yet been used (e.g., Google search) and that the desired domain is available for purchase (e.g., GoDaddy search).

To take marketing one step further, an idea for a pest control company already in business is to purchase additional domain names that are applicable to the existing business or potential future business expansion (see related story, right). Per GoDaddy, owning multiple domains can help protect a company’s brand, build trust with potential customers and position the company for future growth. Firms that own service- or product-specific and geographic domains could help potential customers find them. Once a firm owns multiple domain names, those additional links can be redirected easily to the primary domain.

To illustrate, take a fictional company and location called Mikah Pest Control in Crampley, Ohio, where the company already owns the obvious domain MikahPestControl.com. For additional trust and reliability factors, the company could also purchase CrampleyPestControl.com and then redirect that domain back to MikahPestControl.com. This will ensure that any search for CrampleyPestControl.com will be redirected to the Mikah Pest Control home page. If the company is contemplating expanding into an additional coverage area, like Hampfield, Ohio, then HampfieldPestControl.com also could be purchased and redirected to the main domain.

Owning numerous domain names is not essential and it can be expensive, but owning a few strategic names could be an effective long-term marketing strategy for your company.

SEO. Having a dynamic website with compelling content is important for earning customers’ confidence and trust. This also will help potential customers find you when they search for “pest control companies” using search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Adding and utilizing applicable social media sites adds an extra layer of legitimacy in potential customers’ minds.

CONTENT. Having good website content is a must for SEO, and some simple content suggestions include: using keywords related to your services strategically throughout content; ensuring that content is a minimum of 300 words per page; content is written for the target audience rather than peers; and images with captions are utilized. Additionally, PCOs should make sure to list their businesses with Google (Google My Business) and Bing (Bing Places for Business).

BLOGS. Writing and posting blogs on a pest control company’s website is additionally helpful for SEO and customer confidence. First, Google’s ranking algorithm (in addition to site structure, written content with imagery, longevity of domain and more) gives preference to sites with new and relevant content. Second, blogging helps to identify a PCO as an expert, which potential customers like to see when visiting a site. Third, each blog written can then be shared on social media, which helps to drive traffic to the website.

SOCIAL MEDIA. Utilized strategically, social media can help to validate a company’s pest control expertise and instill consumer confidence, making it a critical part of a company’s marketing plan at no extra cost other than time. Some quick tips related to social media include:

  • • Facebook: Share blogs or relevant articles, and encourage customers to write reviews or share recommendations (which their friends will see on walls or in newsfeeds).
  • • LinkedIn: Share blogs or relevant insect/pest articles to be seen as a pest control expert.
  • • Instagram: Share images related to your services, even before-and-after photos (if customers give permission).
  • • Twitter: Share blogs, relevant articles and news related to services provided, the industry and your local area.
  • • All Outlets: Be as active as time allows by liking, sharing and commenting on business-relevant pages.

The author is an Ohio-based freelancer.