We love working with Pest Control companies! Why you may ask, and I think the best way to answer that is Pest Control is something every single home, apartment, business owner and property manager needs. They either already have it or they are looking to get it. The only real question is who will deliver the service and will it be a one-time application or can we convince them to enroll in our yearly maintenance program?
With Pest Control there is always an active market on the Internet and social media searching for answers to their pest problems. If you have the right answers in the right places when these pest control prospects are looking, your chances of making them new customers is good.
When you break down a strategy for growing new customers to your pest control company it is always helpful to think in terms of strategic pieces and how you must master each part to make a great whole. I liken it to coaching football. You might have a good offense, you might have a good defense, you might have good special teams. But when you are great at all three, you now have a championship team!
So what are the basic components of a championship Pest Control Company? Let's break it down into the basic components. There are more but these will get you from fumbling to scoring.
- Your website
- Your social media channels
- Your email strategy
- Your positive reviews strategy
- Your content strategy / blogging
- Your Google advertising strategy
- Your sales strategy
We’ll start with some basic assumptions and you can adjust to your own market as you see fit:
- A basic residential annual pest control treatment costs about $500.00 per year
- You are going to have a delinquency problem of about 20%
- Your average customer lifetime is 3 years. That means that most of your customers stay on the program for an average of 3 years or more. This gives you and average lifetime customer value LCV of approximately $1500.00 less 20% for delinquency or $1200.00 as your overall LCV.
- You need to build your base of local residential customers first and grow commercial accounts in the route territories that you have a good penetration of local residential business.
- Your website and your brand are really important
- Communicating on a regular basis with existing customers and the general population in your market territory is a good and essential thing.
- You must have more to sell than a cheap price.
A website is not a brochure. Let me say that again, a website is not a brochure. The reason that I say that is to emphasize the primary purpose of a website is to lead generate and bring in new prospects via the telephone, text messaging or emailing every single day. Yes, it should have a nice branded appearance, but if that nice branded appearance is not properly optimized for website traffic and search engine indexing, it’s about as useful as a billboard in the Sahara desert. So let’s take a brief moment to describe what constitutes a Pest Control championship website that will dominate in your local market territory.
- It has the basic on-page components to optimization.
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- H1 Tags
- Alt Tags
- Appropriate content for a single site page.
- There are individual pages that are optimized for each market area you serve. For example, the area I live in is called the Tri-Valley and has a few cities in that area; Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon. A good pest control website in this area would have optimized site pages for general pest control services for each community.
- There should be site pages for each and every target pest you treat for. There is no good way to have a single website page that tries to cover 12 different target pests. Google is a computer algorithm and if you have too many choices or options it simply will not know what to do with that page. So if you treat for ants you should have a page for ants. If you provide service for different types of ants like carpenter ants, black ants, sugar ants, fire ants, it’s a good idea to have target pest individual site pages.
- Over time you want a site page for every community and a target pest page for every target pest optimized by each community. This may have to be a long term project you do over time, if you serve a large market area, but it must be done if you expect your website to be the one that is found through organic searches for all target pests in all the communities you serve. You won’t be able to find a way to trick Google; you have to put in the time here
- Your website must have a blog and that blog must be created with a keyword strategy which drives an editorial calendar. To emphasize the importance of blogging, please take a look at this screenshot from one of our clients. Notice this is a report of YTD 2019 and I am writing this on 3/3/19. So it is about 63 days worth of data. Look at the traffic going to just these few blogs. I would challenge almost any pest control company to show that kind of traffic to any pages on their website.
- It has the basic on-page components to optimization.
- Have content offers that give away free documents in exchange for an email address or mobile phone number. This allows you to constantly grow your database of prospects and to always be converting prospects into new customers.
- It is helpful, not mandatory but works great to have some pricing programs. This helps your staff on the phone to be able to sell a tangible program as opposed to just basic pest control. It also allows potential clients to look your services over before they call, that way, by the time they call they are pretty much sold. Your job is to explain, sign up and schedule treatment.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Social media has a great many people visiting, chatting and exchanging information about businesses going on all day everyday. Its importance to your business cannot be overstated. The things important to social media are as follows:
- A daily, weekly and monthly editorial calendar for your strategy of your content that is created with 2 purposes in mind, educate and entertain.
- Branded cover designs and profile images that fit. Professionally written to convey your brand image and bold statement.
- Consider a paid advertising strategy where an ROI can be demonstrated.
Your email has 2 purposes, to communicate with customers and provide information along with up-sell and cross sell opportunities. It also is used to drip market to those that have visited your site and not purchased anything. We can send them information, coupon offers and options to buy from us.
POSITIVE REVIEWS STRATEGY
Make no mistake about it, reviews can make or break a pest control company. For example just look at this:
This kind of review can be the kiss of death. There is no way to avoid this except to have 10 other 5 star reviews. Don’t let yourself get caught in the situation where the only review you have is one like the one shown here. Have a strategy, at Rhino we are partners with a product called Birdeye, it’s a great place to start growing your positive reviews and dealing with problems before they become a bad review.
Birdeye puts 4 components in one platform that enables business to effectively monitor, manage and optimize their reputation and customer experience.
CONTENT STRATEGY / BLOGGING
Blogging is adding URL’s to your site page with optimized content on a regular schedule. This helps your domain authority and also allows the blogs to be indexed, read and responded to. A calendar is a very important element in content creation
GOOGLE ADVERTISING STRATEGY
Advertising with Google can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing. With click costs in the pest industry running between 6.00 – 12.00 per click you have to make sure the clicks you are getting are good clicks that will convert at a high level. The way to do that is with multiple campaigns broken down into target pests and geographic locations. This keeps the click costs down and at the same time keeps them hyper targeted to a given geography.
YOUR SALES STRATEGY
Easily the most commonly overlooked area. The last step in your online marketing efforts is the most important. If you can keep your conversion rate above 30% you will see a nice ROI. But, it requires a commitment; training and a plan to convert at the point of contact and to also follow up with prospects that don’t close on the spot.
Sorry for the length of this blog article, but it really is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to read some more, check out our Lead Generation Guide and our story of how we changed an old school pest control company to the modern age.
Casey Lewis is the founder/CEO of Rhino Digital Media.