These days it’s pretty much impossible to run a pest management or building inspection business (or any business for that matter) without a website. But with over a billion websites in the world, how do you get your website ranking high so people see yours? Even if you’re the best pest manager in the industry, who’s going to know unless they see you online!?
This brings us to a very important point: SEO. You may have heard about SEO, which stands for search engine optimisation. If you have you might have hoped it would go away because it also stands for spending time and effort on digital marketing. However, SEO is not like a nest of cockroaches with nothing to offer. Rather it’s like a nest of bees that you have to tame to get the honey at the end of the day.
It’s a simpler exercise than you think but it will take some know-how and setting aside time to get involved. All you need are some SEO basics to get you started. Don’t think of it as being dangerous or intimidating – instead it’s just a way to work with the free tools Google gives everyone so you can improve your business website ranking, be seen more, and get more customers.
1. Do a site speed test
How fast is your website? If you click from one page to the next do all the images and copy show up right away, or does it take a few seconds? Your site speed can greatly help or hurt your website ranking.
Firstly, because Google measures page loading speed, and will penalise your website for slow page loading. That means it pushes it lower in the search results so people are less likely to find your website.
Secondly, those who find your website might abandon their search if the pages don’t load quickly. The algorithm also measures these website visitors’ behaviour and will also penalise you if they don’t engage with your pages because of slow loading time.
You can use Pingdom Website Speed Test for free to check if your website speed is healthy. If it isn’t, look into ways to improve the situation…
2. Optimise images to improve website speed and ranking
Just like your phone gets fuller faster from pictures than from texts, pictures have the same effect on your website speed. So one of the best ways to make sure your website speed is looking healthy is by reducing the file size of images before you put them on your website. Learn about what the best sizes for images are for banners, headers, logos and more, then save each image to the smallest optimum size.
Here are some quick ways to do this:
- If you’re using stock images from the internet, download them at the smallest size you can
- Most image viewing programs also have a ‘change your file size’ option.
- If you’re using Photoshop don’t ‘save as‘. You need to ‘export‘ then choose your ‘save for the web‘ option.
Watch this video to see how it’s done:
3. Choose your keywords to optimise your website ranking
If you were pitching to a financier, you’d choose your words wisely. Likewise you need to cleverly choose the words you use throughout each of your website pages to optimise your website ranking for search terms your audience (customers) are searching for. Choose the most relevant keyword for each webpage as per the content on that page, then use that keyword over and over again throughout it.
When it comes to SEO, these words are called keywords. They’re the words that describe exactly what you do and what each of your website’s page is about. But, they’re not necessarily the words you would choose or the words you like the most.
Instead, you need to use the words other people are using (the most) when they look for the type of building inspection or pest management service you’re offering. How can you know what words other people use? Simple, there are tools – free and paid – to help you discover what words people use the most.
Here are some tools for choosing keywords;
Also watch Google’s video on finding the right keywords (and keyphrases) to match what people search for:
4. Keep your content fresh
One of the exciting parts of being a building inspector or pest manager is that no two jobs are ever exactly the same. In other words, every day gives you a new challenge and keeps you fresh. Your website is the same, for its ranking to perform well, you need to keep the content fresh and new.
That doesn’t mean disturbing the pages and content that are doing well, but it does mean tweaking them for refinement all the time (all the while keeping those keywords, the key search terms, top of mind).
It also means adding new content, usually in the form of a blog or journal page. This area of your website has two purposes. Firstly it’s a way to share news, tips and events with your customers. Secondly, it shows search engines you’re tending to your website and keeping it fresh.
Here are some tips for your journal or blog:
- Separate content with headers. These should contain keywords about the topic of each journal/blog ‘post’
- Choose the best keywords and use them over and over again throughout your posts, as naturally as possible without ‘keyword stuffing’
- Use articles to answer popular pest or building industry specific questions.
- Use pictures and videos to tell stories and keep readers’ interest.
5. Get Google reviews (especially good ones!) to help your website ranking
Strictly speaking, Google reviews aren’t SEO, but they help your website ranking so much they may as well be. Google reviews of your business by customers are so important because not everyone believes what you say about yourself. However, most people will believe what others say about you and your business. Every time you finish a successful job, invite your customer to review you.
Many people go straight to a website’s reviews to see what past customers say about a business. They check who has five stars and what people’s comments are all about – especially the complaints! Google will automatically reward your website for having reviews, especially good ones.
When people in your area type in a service that you do, Google will make it easy for them to find your website.
Why do I need SEO for my website ranking?
In the old days you’d go to a library and ask the librarian where the book on different types of pests are. Now you can find everything out about every pest type online, but who do you ask? You ask a search engine. And because the engine is like the librarian for everything on the internet, it needs a system to manage and catalogue all that information and all those websites.
This is what the Google algorithm is. It’s a way of sorting information so people can find it easily, and it helps people find what’s most relevant to their search. That’s where you want your website ranking to outperform your competitors. Then when people type in “pest control” or similar, your website will come up at the top of their list.
Improving your website ranking will help your business grow
Google’s algorithm is like a garden. You should always be tending to it. For example, you wouldn’t water your garden once and expect it to thrive. Oh-no, you would need to constantly be watering, weeding and planting new seedlings. And the algorithm sees your website just like this: a healthy garden, or a dry weed-filled plot. When people type in “pest control” or “building inspection”, the search engine kindly sends them to the green gardens filled with roses.
The best way to make your website like a healthy garden is not only to make sure it looks good, but also that it functions well and stays fresh and up-to-date.
Online strategy + hands on strategy for successful business
Besides your website ranking, we’ve also compiled a list of business management insights to help your pest management or building inspection business grow and flourish:
- How to reduce your business costs
- Property service marketing business tips
- Give your clients clear and rapid reporting with this user-friendly app
- Find out about tax deductions for your business
- How to grow a successful online business
- Upskill yourself and your staff by training your business
- Tips for managing customer complaints
Of course, no matter how well the job is done, things can go wrong and customers do complain! Sometimes you discover you’ve accidentally breached your duty of care, or that a customer’s property has been accidentally damaged during your service and you can end up in a civil dispute owing thousands to customers and lawyers.