Feature articles

17 November 2017

Quick marketing audits for every pest management company

Marketing and promotions feature | PPC89 November 2017

Quick marketing audits for every pest controller

We get a lot of questions about how to market your pest control business. Content and Communications Officer, Scott Johnstone, spends more time looking at BPCA member’s websites, social media profiles and print materials than anyone else. He’s found four free 15-minute marketing audits that every pest management company can do to check your brand is talking to your customers.

In 2016, there were 5.5 million private sector businesses in the UK. Most of those will have a website, print materials and some idea how they want to be perceived by their customers.
That’s a lot of noise between you and your customer.

Try some of these quick marketing audits to see if you’re breaking through the noise and being heard by your customers, or merely getting overlooked for a better-presented company.

Check your copy

Your words: waffle or worthwhile?

I’m a big advocate for writing in plain English.

Some companies fall into the trap of writing about themselves in this weird sort of ‘Marketese’. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, stolen straight from a website written exclusively in Marketese:

BRAND is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progression.

Users detest this weird style of writing subjective and boastful claims about yourself. Get to the point.

A great tool for stripping down your work to its essentials is the Hemingway app.

Named after writer Ernest Hemingway, this free web tool examines your words and tells you where you’re going wrong.

Copy and paste some text from your website or print materials and see how you score. I’ve copied and pasted everything in this section into the app to see how I’ve done, pictured below.

 Quick web audits (1)

OK, so you can see that I scored a grade 10 – which isn’t great (lower is better here). To be fair, I do have the big horrible quote in there to bring down my average.

If I remove the quote and swap the word “exclusively” for the easier to read “only” I get grade 6 which is very good.

The real (non-robot) Hemingway said, “Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.” The same is true for any copy on your website or print materials.

The Hemingway app checks for readability, adverbs, word choice and the passive voice. The creators freely state that rules are made to be broken, but do so sparingly.

See how the copy on your website measures up:

Check your logo

How good is your logo?

Think of your logo as your organisation’s face. There are thousands of pest management companies, all with a different face to make them stand out in the crowd. A striking logo can elicit a feeling of professionalism and trust in an otherwise faceless business.

McDonalds, Snapchat and Apple have some of the best logos around – but how do you check your face is sending the right message to your clients?

Here’s a fun tool we found on the web that everyone with a logo should do. Go to brandmark.io/logo-rank and drag and drop a copy of your logo into the tool.

Brandmark is artificially intelligent web tool that understands what makes a good logo. It’s been trained with millions of logo images to score it based on uniqueness, legibility and colour/contrast.

Let’s see how the BPCA logo measures up:

Uniqueness – 100 / 100

This score is based on comparing a library of millions of other logos to your own. Brandmark found no icons that are very similar to the BPCA logo. We always knew BPCA is unique - but it’s nice to get the confirmation.

Legibility – 62 / 100

This score is based on recognising the logo from afar or when it’s displayed really small. 62 out of 100 isn’t great, but that’s probably because of the 34 characters we have to squeeze into it.
We don’t recommend squeezing lots of text into your logo, unless you’re the UK’s leading trade association for public health pest management. Then it’s fine. Honest.

Colour/Contrast – 100 / 100

Colour and contrast help draw attention to your logo. Colour is completely subjective, but there’s a reason why technology companies tend to go for blues, entertainment go for reds and environmental go for greens.

There’s plenty of logos out there that don’t follow the crowd but don’t underestimate what your company colours are saying about you.

Quick web audits (2)

BPCA’s logo gets another 100 here – that’s probably one of the reasons the BPCA logo stands out from a crowd. If you haven’t got the logo on the back of your van yet, what are you waiting for?

Overall we scored 87 out of 100, which is a good job really as we just ordered several thousand new branded pens.

See how you score:

Check your website

How good is your website?

Time to look at the big picture. Websites are big and complicated, and you may need help knowing what to focus on.

We suggest you throw your site through the Nibbler test.

Nibbler is a free tool for testing your websites. All you have to do is enter the address of any website, and the tool will give you a report scoring the website out of 10 for things like accessibility, SEO, social media, and technology.

You’re limited to three searches with the free version, so choose your sites carefully.

Let’s have a look at our scores – overall we scored 8.6. To put that into perspective, bbc.co.uk scores 7.8.

Quick web audits (3)

The results show that in terms of accessibility, marketing and technology we score at least 8.0. Our domain has been registered for a long time; all our pages have good headings and metadata for search engines. Our site is regularly updated and is 100% mobile friendly.

It’s not all good news though. We’re the 1,265,579 most popular website in the world, which is a small dip on this time last year. This is probably due to our June website update. We’re confident it’ll recover slowly over time.

Nibbler also highlighted that our pages are hard to print and that we could be doing more on social media.

Why stop at your own site? Compare yourself to a couple of competitors, and you’ve got yourself an industry Top Trumps card set.

I won’t go into details about how our competitor research went, but it’s fair to say we’re pretty happy with the results. (Note: if anyone from NPTA’s marketing team is reading, your domain name expires early in 2018).

Try it yourself:

Check your visability

When was the last time you gave yourself a good Google?

No, it’s not just a vanity exercise. You need to make sure when people are looking for you they can find you.

First things first. Google tries to customise your searches based on who you are and where you are. To make sure you’re getting similar results to everyone else, browse privately, without cookies or tracking:

Google Chrome > File > Incognito window
Firefox > Select “New private window” from the menu in the top right corner
Safari > File > New Private Window
Edge > Select “New InPrivate window” from the more button in the top right corner
Internet Explorer > uninstall > use any other browser listed above.

Now go to google.co.uk and search for your business. If you don’t have a particularly unique company name, you might want to try adding your location.

Our search engine results page is shown below. We have a Google ‘My Business’ setup in the top right-hand corner with company pictures, aggregated reviews, opening times, address and location.

 Quick web audits (4)

We don’t pay for any adverts, so Google is showing two sponsored results at the top. Short of bidding for the Adwords, there’s not much they can do about this, unfortunately.

Next, we have our website, which Google has thoughtfully aggregated together for more straightforward navigation. This bit will depend on how much traffic your pages have, rather than just your homepage. For example, the BPCA site has ‘Find a Pest Controller’ automatically listed first because it’s a high traffic page.

Then we have our Wikipedia page, a couple of directory sites, the Bangladeshi Parents and Carers Association site (acronyms are hard to rank for), articles about us on the BBC news site, Pest Magazine and other news sources. Our social media pages pop up, and then there are lots of pages member companies have written about us on their sites – thanks, guys.

If you want an example of a poor digital presence, Googling “Scott Johnstone” gives you a Glaswegian Cardiovascular doctor and a picture of Peter Capaldi.

Obviously, you want pages relevant to you to appear in the search results as much as possible. Here’s a couple of quick wins that might help you get more presence on a search engine results page:

  • Set up a Google ‘My Business’
  • Have a company Facebook page
  • Have a company Twitter page
  • Have a company LinkedIn page
  • Try a company Instagram if you think you can pull it off
  • Get reviews on Google, Yell, Yelp, Trustpilot, Feefo 
  • Get other people to write about you (local news, blogs)
  • Bid for an advert with Google.



If you’re a member, you can contact us for support:

< Contents Next article >

Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer
16 November 2017  |  PPC89

Source: PPC89