Local area codes send positive signal to customers

By |  November 19, 2018
PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/SKROW

PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/SKROW

How much thought went into the selection of the phone number you use for your pest control business?

You may have simply taken any available number out of convenience. Or perhaps you may have given it a bit more thought and went with a number tailored to your pest business, such as a vanity number — much like a vanity license plate.

Most people may not even think about each part of the number itself and just grab whatever is available and cost-effective. Or, as a business owner, perhaps you think a toll-free number (1-800, 1-888, etc.) may be your best bet because it comes with the prestige of looking more professional.

As local pest management professionals, however, you may be missing out on a big, but often overlooked, aspect of local marketing: the area code.

Three simple numbers can make a huge difference in your business without you even knowing it. This is especially the case for local and small- to medium-sized pest management businesses that focus on a specific service area, as opposed to statewide or nationwide like the bigger players.

Not convinced? Below are two reasons why picking a local area code is a great idea for your pest control marketing efforts:

1. Local area codes can increase the number of phone calls you get. The simple fact is, people can relate to and know where a business may be located because of the area code. When people see a toll-free number, they do not know where the call is being routed. Sometimes it still may be local, but other times it may be in another state.

Having a local area code sends a clear signal to a potential customer that you are local, and service where they live. The question of “Does this company come to my area?” is immediately answered before they even pick up the phone. In addition, there is a push in many markets for consumers to “shop local” — and your local number can help nudge them as they make their purchasing decisions.

2. Local area codes can help with online optimization efforts. A local area code is not only a clear indicator to a website visitor that you are local, it’s an indicator to Google that you are as well. Having a local phone number is considered by many local search marketers to be, in addition to other local signals such as business address, an important piece of the foundation in your Google local footprint.

Having on your website a local area code, along with a list of the cities and towns you service, can help triangulate your service area and give customers and search engines a better idea of where to place you. Then, when someone types in “pest control” in a city or town your company services, the collective use of all location-based information creates a higher likelihood that locals will find your business.

One way to rev up your local marketing is to have your website locally optimized and working alongside paid marketing, such as Google Ads, to ensure your local paid search and organic search engine optimization (SEO) work in unison.

If you have a toll-free and/or a non-local number, this isn’t to say you need to eliminate that number entirely. But you should absolutely explore acquiring a new phone number that is local to your service area and rolling it out online — on your website, in any directory listings you have, and in your Google and Bing business profiles. Send a clear signal to the search engines, and your prospective customers, that you are local and ready to offer pest control services.

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