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Home services like pest control are often difficult to market in paid search. With CPC as high as $25 in major metro areas, customer acquisition costs quickly eat up the profit.
In mid-2023, Pointe Pest Control, a company servicing the greater St. Louis area and the PNW states, found itself relying too much on PPC and struggling to bring in high-quality leads at a reasonable cost.
The Pointe team decided to tackle the challenge in two ways:
Just 5 months later, they reported success:
Read on to learn how they did it.
Succeeding in paid and organic search often comes down to targeting the right keywords and showing Google your domain has the most authority and expertise in the subject.
To assess their domain authority, the Pointe team ran a quick analysis using Semrush’s Domain Overview tool. Its authority metric accounts for the number and quality of backlinks, organic search traffic, etc. The tool showed a domain authority of 10 (on a scale of 1 to 100). This left Pointe Pest Control behind many competitors in Google’s algorithm.
The team knew that after a recent rebranding, their site lacked backlinks from authoritative sources. This was confirmed by the Semrush Backlink Analytics tool.
For a quick win, the team manually listed their business in local maps and directories.
To save time on listings set up and upkeep, you use the Semrush Listing Management tool, which keeps your business’s online listings up-to-date, complete, and consistent across 70+ major business directories and maps:
Within 30 minutes, you can be listed in dozens of top directories in the United States:
The listings not only expanded the company’s visibility for thousands of directory users but also instantly added dozens of high-quality backlinks to their site.
Next, the Pointe team used Semrush’s Organic research tool to determine their competitors and see which websites linked to them using the Backlink Gap tool. They simply:
These two steps were the key to increasing Pointe’s domain score. In just 3 months, their authority score rose to 16 which has allowed them to rank higher on maps and outperform competitors in organic and paid search.
Pointe’s goal is to increase their domain rating to 20 by summer 2024. For pest control, summer is the busy season and increasing organic presence will help improve both the quality and quantity of leads.
Targeting generic keywords like “pest control Seattle” may be the most obvious and tempting way to go, but it usually means wasting ad money and losing organic positions to stronger competitors.
Pointe started exploring alternative keywords to target: popular (around 1500 monthly search volume) but more niche. To do this, they entered various keywords (types of services they offered) into the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool and checked their:
Once they find a good keyword to target, they dig deeper into it using the Semrush Keyword Overview. The tool shows the most popular questions around the term, providing ideas for blog posts and FAQ content:
Answering these questions on the website, Pointe drives the researching audience to its website and reinforces its position as a topic expert in the eyes of Google.
When implementing the newly found keywords, the team took into account the region-specific nature of their business. For example, they knew that rodents or termites are a common problem in Oregon, while in St. Louis, there are many brown recluses.
Finally, Pointe the rule of thumb when it comes to site health. The team uses Semrush Site Audit to ensure their site is well indexed and meets Google’s Core Web Vital standards. The tool not only shows issues but also has the “Why and How to Fix it?” feature. This helps Pointe figure out any issues with their site and fix them.
These monthly audits help ensure nothing’s in the way of the site’s rankings.
Just 5 months after the start of the campaign, Pointe Pest control: