It’s never been more important for pest managers to ensure their businesses are visible online, both on the web and through social media channels. So what should you be doing to ensure customers can find you?

In the fast moving online world, it’s worth having a look at what trends the experts think will impact digital marketing in 2019. We’ve reviewed a number of articles and come up with the list of trends that will have the biggest impact on pest control businesses in 2019.

More of the same

In terms of your website, content (or rather, good content) is king. Providing website visitors with quality information that they want in an engaging, easy to use format makes sense from a customer point of view, but it is also vital for search engine optimisation (SEO).

In terms of generating quality content, video is still a great way of getting engagement. Videos on YouTube are generally a better option than Facebook videos, due to the SEO bene ts amongst other reasons, although video content through any medium is a good idea.

In terms of SEO, Google has already flagged that load speed, especially related to mobile devices, is an important ranking factor. Many will be aware of Google’s ‘mobile first’ policy and all businesses should be focused on their website’s performance on mobile, even if for most pest control business the number of searches on mobile is still just behind desktop searches. However, mobile responsive sites may no longer be good enough as accelerated mobile pages (AMP), a stripped down version of your desktop site, are now the way to go.

What’s changing?

Facebook is still the biggest social media platform by far, but things are changing. Although in the over 55 demographic Facebook users grew by 25% last year, so they now represent the biggest demographic on Facebook, user levels in other age groups are at, or possibly showing a slight decline.

Instagram continues to grow across all age groups, and Snapchat, traditionally the domain of the under 20s is showing growth across all age groups. However, Facebook is still dominant and with Instagram being owned by Facebook, if you have limited resources, this is still the area to focus on.

Remember all that effort you put into SEO activities to make sure your website content is optimised for search? Well, voice search is here – and it is expanding. Content will therefore need to take into account how we speak and ask questions, which is very different to how we write.

Email remains a cheap and effective source of customer contact. However, generic emails get lost in the daily email avalanche. Email personalisation, not just in terms of using the recipient’s name, but in sending out automated emails in response to their interactions with your business and your website, is necessary to get that cut through.

AI is growing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is very much the buzz topic. However, it’s still too early to see how this will impact or be utilised by your average pest control company. However, chat bots, which can be considered a form of AI, are already here. Many will be familiar with the website chat bots that are already being used by many large companies to handle customer service interactions, but they are being increasingly used for verbal interactions as well – you may not even know you are talking to a chat bot.

Programmatic advertising – automation technology that is used to buy and sell online media – is developing rapidly. It will allow companies to make decisions (sometimes in real time) about which ads to show to which customers, across a range of different media. It is designed to drive efficiencies and better results. Again, probably an opportunity for the bigger companies in the short term.

So as always, exciting times ahead in the tech world. For business success it’s important to keep tabs on these developments, or know someone who does!

Phil Ridley, Director, Bug Doctor Media

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