Pest control companies face quite a few hurdles when trying to attract new clients. A major challenge is the fact that when someone needs pest control, she will likely run a Google search and simply call the first few companies that pop up. So to maximize the number of clients you get, you need to make your way to that critical top spot.

SEO for Pest Control Companies

We will walk you step by step through our proven process to boost your company to the top of the list. But first, let’s talk about why local SEO is essential for all pest control companies.

3 Reasons Pest Control Companies Should Invest in Local SEO

The Yellow Pages Are Gone, and Google Dominates:

Until quite recently, you could draw prospects through an ad in the Yellow Pages. Today, though, a stunning 97% of people look for local businesses online, and Google is the undisputed leader in online search.

Free Traffic:

Advertising is a huge expense for virtually any business. Boosting your Google rankings gives you an ongoing stream of free traffic that you only need to convert into paying clients.

Lightning Fast Results:

National and international companies must wait an average of 6 to 12 months to see much difference in their Google rankings. As a pest control company, though, you have a tremendous advantage. You are competing only against nearby pest control companies, not those a world away. And many of them have not yet started a local SEO campaign. This means that you can get a huge jump on your competition, skyrocketing to the first page of Google local results in just 30 days!

Step 1: Devise Your Keywords

Step 1 is simply to draw up a list of keywords that reflect your services. For example, you might try “pest control”, “termite treatment”, and “exterminator”. When your list is reasonably complete, sign up for a free Google AdWords account.

There is no need to create or fund an ad campaign. You simply need the AdWords account to access the Google Keyword Planner, which lets you input your selected keywords to find out how much traffic they produce, and suggests additional related keywords.

You are now ready to decide on your final keywords. All keywords can be loosely categorized into 2 basic types:

  • Buying Intent: Prospects searching for buying intent keywords are ready to purchase. For example, someone searching for “bed bug exterminator Savannah” probably has a bed bug infestation and is looking for a company to solve the problem.

    Focus your local SEO campaign on buying intent keywords, since they create the speediest conversions. Feature them on your homepage, and develop service pages based on them.

  • Research Intent: People searching for research intent keywords are “just looking around.” They might use your services in the future, but are not ready to make a commitment. For example, someone searching for “what are termites” might have seen some bugs and be trying to identify them.

    Make these keywords a lower priority, as they do not drive rapid conversions. Hold onto them, though, as they are useful for blogs and FAQs. These posts introduce your company to prospects who might think of you when they are ready to buy pest control services.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

With your final list of keywords in hand, you are ready to optimize in 2 spots—your Google My Business page and your website. Here are the steps:

Google My Business

Google My Business pages are like miniature websites that appear in the “Map” section of Google local business results. They offer prospects a brief snapshot of the company and boost overall online presence. You can even get a fast boost to your Google rankings, as it is much easier to rank highly with a Google My Business page than with a website.

Ensure that all sections of your Google My Business page are complete and accurate:

  • Verification: First, you must claim your page and undergo the Google verification process. When you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your company name, this step is complete.
  • NAP: Make sure your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) is correct, and is identical across the internet. Make it clear that your business is local by selecting a local phone number rather than an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google My Business categories must list services instead of results. For example, you might choose Pest Control Service, along with any related services you provide. Try to list 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: The description is a brief overview of your pest control company that ends with a call to action. Aim for 100 to 200 words in a format similar to: {Name of Company} offers quality {termite and rodent control, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your company and/or why clients love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free inspection!
  • Hours: Your hours of operation must be up to date, and consistent across the internet. If your service hours are different from your office hours, note that in a separate paragraph.
  • Images: Images dramatically improve customer engagement, so add a few photos of your team in action (with permission!). Make sure your images have a sharp focus, are sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Begin with your “core” pages, which are your homepage and service pages. Optimize them for your chosen buying intent keywords. Later, you will focus on your “content” pages, or FAQs and blogs, which should be optimized for your research intent keywords. Here is what to do:

  • Homepage: Think of the title tag as a book’s chapter title. The most important part of your homepage, it should be 50 to 65 characters long. This format generally works well: Pest Control Service in {Your City} | {Name of Your Business}.

    The next element is your meta description, which talks about your core services and ends with a call to action. It should be 100 to 150 characters, and formatted similarly to: {Name of Business} offers top-quality {pest control and bed bug eradication, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for a free inspection!

    Your visible headline, also known as the H1, must be concise yet descriptive, and must contain your primary category. Try this: {Pest Control Service} in {City, State}.

    Finally, consider your page copy. This is a 500 to 1000-word overview of your company. It should provide some background information, briefly explain your core services, and close with a strong call to action. Make sure the copy is cleanly written and well-edited.

  • Service Pages: Create a separate service page for each of your main services, and focus it tightly around a buying intent keyword. Follow the tips above for optimization.

Step 3: Collect Citations and Links

With the framework of your local SEO campaign in place, you are ready to collect citations and links. Both increase your customer reach and boost your Google rankings.

  • Citations: A citation is a listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) in an online directory. Your options include general national directories such as Facebook and, general local directories such as your town’s Chamber of Commerce website, and even industry-specific directories for pest control companies.

    Many directories provide free listings, but some require payment. Before you pay, look at Google Analytics. There is no reason to invest in directories that do not drive traffic and conversions.

  • Links: High-quality inbound links from credible sites are essential to high Google rankings. Build relationships both online and offline with companies that provide complementary services, such as lawn maintenance, and then ask to trade web links. You can learn where your competitors’ links come from with a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer.

Step 4: Accumulate Reviews

Online reviews are important for 2 reasons: they convince prospects to try your services, and they assure Google that your business is legitimate. While all review sites have their place, Google My Business reviews are the key to a fast boost in rankings. Send your satisfied customers an email with a link to your Google My Business profile, and ask directly for a review. If you do this regularly, you will soon have a regularly updated stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

Tracking your results is the only way to know how your campaign is performing, and which areas still need a bit of help. There is a lot of available data, but it is important to focus on these 3 core metrics:

  • Rankings: Google customizes search results to the user’s past browsing behaviors. Therefore, to know how a specific page actually ranks, you must use a tool. The free Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a great place to start. Ask your webmaster to install it, and check your rankings once or twice per month.

    For a more thorough understanding of your rankings, move to a paid tool such as the one from You can track your Google My Business page as well as your webpages, and see automatically updated information from all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: Google Analytics is arguably the best method to track your website traffic, or visitors. You can get overall results, find out which page pulls in the most traffic, and even learn what percentage of your traffic comes from Google search. Read your reports once per month, and keep an eye out for any long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is a specific behavior that you want your website visitors to perform. For a pest control company, a common conversion is scheduling a free inspection. Google Analytics lets you track both website and telephone conversions, and see which pages have the highest and lowest conversion rates.

Let’s Go!

Now you know why a comprehensive local SEO campaign is critical for driving prospects to your pest control company. Make your way through the steps in order, fully completing each one before beginning the next. Here is a quick recap of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping pest control companies attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

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