Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Nate Houchin, content marketing manager for Fox Pest Control.
Pest control is hard work, both on the front lines, and behind the scenes. Every successful pest ontrol company has a website, but only a few have totally optimized websites. Here’s what you can do to boost your SEO so that your website starts showing up on the first page in Google, and boost your customer count because of it.
SEO is an internet term that’s become more mainstream over the last decade, and is a key building block to any successful website. In case this is a new term to you, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is defined by google as “the process of making your website better for search engines”. Google has parameters and guidelines to help your website rank, and although it isn’t an exact science, there are some key components that will help your website rank well. When it comes to SEO strategy, there are two common approaches, called black hat and white hat. Black hat refers to a strategy of looking for and exploiting loopholes in the google algorithm, while white hat refers to following google guidelines to increase rankings on search engine results pages (SERP). Today, we’ll be looking at the white hat strategy, because it uses useful and high quality content to get results.
Satisfy user intent
As a search engine, Google's top priority is to satisfy user intent, that is to say if someone searches for “best pest control near me” they are going to display pest control websites that are within a close radius of the searcher, and have positive reviews. So in order to rank on Google, your website should also satisfy user intent. The most common types of user intent are informational, commercial, navigational and transactional. The first step to creating an SEO friendly website is understanding your audience and what they will be looking for. Your pest control website will fall under transactional and informational. This means that you should create quality content that will help potential customers understand their pest problems, and provide clear and simple opportunities for them to sign up today. This can be in the form of blogs, pest pages, contact forms and more. It is also important to include business hours, frequently asked questions, and other simple information that a potential customer may want to look up online instead of calling.
Use Clear Titles and Headings
Now that you know what type of content you should create, the next step is to format it in a SEO friendly way. Google uses bots to crawl your pages, and ranks them accordingly. This means that you need to include clear titles, headings, and keywords so that google, as well as potential customers, know the intent of each page. Each page should only have one title, for example “Why You Need to Optimize your Website for SEO”. This title should clearly define what the page is about, use H1 font, and will show up on SERPs as the title of the page. Next, sections of the page should be clearly defined by headings, sized by levels of importance. This means that sections should be headed by H2, and subsections will use H3 and so on. Target keywords are an essential part of any good web page, and should be included towards the top of the page. Google’s bots use keywords to identify the purpose and topic of the page, and without them your page will not rank well. Relevant keywords or phrases such as “pest control” or “exterminators near you” will help Google understand when your website should appear on SERPs and help you rank better. These general keywords have high traffic, and while you may get lost in the flood of similar results, over time, and with dedication to your site you will begin to see results.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
A few years ago, SEO experts would tell you to include as many keywords as possible on your posts. This is a similar strategy to using dozens of hashtags on your social media posts. Like hashtag stuffing, the practice of keyword stuffing has gone away and is now considered a black hat SEO strategy. Google began to penalize websites that used keyword stuffing because search results were becoming chaotic and unclear. Keywords are still a vital part of any website, but it’s important to use relevant keywords and write for people, not bots.
There is a lot to know when it comes to SEO, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Use these rules to help build a base for your website, and continue to grow and improve as your site and business expands. In short:
• Follow Google guidelines using white hat SEO
• Satisfy user intent by providing high quality and relevant content
• Use clear titles and headings to organize web pages and make skimming easy
• Use relevant keywords to make sure your content reaches its target audience
• Avoid keyword stuffing
• Always write for humans