Lack of insect photos on websites appeals to customers


August 18, 2016

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As a pest management professional, you know people don’t want to see pests in their homes or businesses. If they did, you wouldn’t be in business. But did you know some people hate pests so much, they don’t want to see them on your website, either?

Joel Miller, operations and marketing manager for Miller Pest & Termite in Des Moines, Iowa, says positive feedback poured in since removing photos of pests from his company’s website.

“Right after we switched it over, a customer said she went to two other websites first, but they freaked her out,” he says. “She couldn’t stand the thought of looking at the pests, so she left the previous websites, found ours, and called us up.” now features silhouettes of pests (such as termites and rodents) and a clean, modern look that mimics Pinterest.

Because women are the company’s target audience, it made sense to design the website around a social media site that studies show most women prefer, Miller says.

“Even if we’re in a house and the husband and wife are sitting there talking, 90 percent of the time we’re talking to the woman because she’s the one making the decisions,” he says. “You don’t want to turn off the person you want using your service.”

The new design is reader-friendly on mobile devices, and the company’s phone number is easy to find on the page. The site is also less cluttered and more professional looking. The company Miller hired to redesign the website used analytics to determine which pages people clicked on most often. It kept the most commonly selected links on the home page and moved the rest to a drop-down menu.

“We still have every one of those pages. The people who really want to read them are going to find that information,” he says. “Instead of taking up all that space on the home page and getting lost in the shuffle, they have to click on them.”

In addition, Miller Pest & Termite appears at the top of the list in internet searches, thanks to the design firm’s understanding of search engine optimization (SEO).

“SEO is one of the most important things for a website,” Miller says. “You can have the best looking site out there, but if people can’t find it, it’s useless.”

Fresh content also helps a website earn the top spot in an internet search. Miller’s website features a new blog post every week, a feat it accomplishes by working closely with the website design firm.

Miller redesigned the company website three times in three years, and says he is happy with the design company he chose this time around. He found the firm by typing into Google the letters “SEO” and the name of the town in which his company operates.

“If you’re really good at designing websites and doing SEO, you should probably be first on that list, if not second,” he says. “If you’re not, you’re probably not the best at what you do.”

In addition to research, Miller recommends checking references and communicating with who you hire regularly. Don’t assume the company is automatically working on your website, especially if it has a long list of clients. Find out how it is going to help you.

“Make it a priority to spend a little bit of time on your website,” Miller says. “It’s not one of those things you can set and forget. You have to put a little effort into it.”

You can reach Managing Editor Diane Sofranec at or 216-706-3793.


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