This month, we check in with Caleb Tennenbaum, marketing director of industry alliance The U Group and founder of Mktg4theFuture, which helps pest control companies (and other small businesses) optimize their digital presence.
1. Caleb, your dad, Bruce, started working at Arizona Pest Control in Tucson, Ariz., before you were even born. He became part-owner when you and your brother, Josh, were little, and bought it outright in 2012. In other words, is it safe to say the industry is in your blood?
Definitely. I ran a pest route and a termite route in high school. Later, Josh got back from the military and started taking care of operations, so I was able to focus on Arizona Pest Control’s marketing. Today, while Mktg4theFuture works with a variety of verticals, the nearly three dozen pest control firms we work with are by far our favorite clients — all because of the people involved. This industry contains the world’s brightest entrepreneurs, in my opinion.
2. When your agency conducts an audit of a pest control company’s website, what are some common issues that need to be addressed?
Make sure you have a great site map and menu; your metadata is accurate, regarding information like author, data created and file size; and your calls to action are clear. Communicate in a powerful way what you want your brand to say. Two mistakes we see most often are titles being too long on a page, and descriptions that are not accurate.
Site speed tends to be another common issue for pest control websites. You can use a site such as GTMetrix.com to test your own website, to ensure your site visitors don’t have to wait for a page to load.
3. You have mentioned in the past that tracking is important for companies, to ensure where every form and phone call from their websites originated and thus learn which channels are delivering the best return on investment (ROI). Could you offer an example?
We have some clients where pay-per-click (PPC) might deliver the lowest cost per sale and highest ROI in one particular market. However, for other markets, we may find that Local Services Ads by Google (LSA) or search engine optimization (SEO) brings the highest ROI.
Make sure your call tracking is also linked in Google Analytics along with your form conversions, chat bots, etc. Half the battle is tracking this with the correct systems so you can make sure the marketing you spend your hard-earned dollars on is going as far as possible.
4. Does that go for tracking by demographics, as well?
Absolutely. Make sure you are delivering an appropriate message to each audience segment. That’s what makes digital great. For example, we can sell the same service to the same person and have six different ads: three for male, three for female, and each one has its own psychographics and age groups that respond to different ads.
5. What do you foresee as upcoming or continuing trends for online and social marketing for pest control firms?
I think review pages and social media will continue to play an important role, particularly as Google gets more involved in the review business.
Zero-click searches are a trend to keep an eye on as we move into 2024. That’s when a search engine results page (SERP) displays an answer to a search at the top of a page, without the user having to click. If you Google “how many kilometers in 1 mile,” for example, you’ll see what I mean. It’s becoming more commonplace for common questions, but it will be interesting to see how it will eventually affect results for business searches.