Creating a search engine-optimized website is the ultimate goal for any company, no matter what industry they’re in. This means that SEO website design should be a top priority, regardless of whether you’re building a whole new site or updating your existing one. Many business owners assume it’s simply a case of creating a website, then employing a savvy SEO magician to run some clever lines of code in the background to make it rank. Spoiler alert: that’s not how it works.
The right time to think about SEO web design is at the very beginning of the process. The best-performing sites have SEO-friendly web design principles embedded into their very core. Here’s another spoiler for you: it’s not always just about aesthetics. While the look and feel of your website is certainly an essential factor, having a beautiful website doesn’t necessarily translate into having a user-friendly, well-functioning, or successful website.
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the importance of SEO website development, the fundamental principles to bear in mind, and some top tips on which website design and optimization techniques will help get results for your pest and lawn care business.
Many people question whether it’s worth investing in SEO web design services rather than simply creating a website themselves. We get it — it can feel like a big outlay, and if your pest and lawn control business is small, it’s understandable it may feel like an unnecessary expense.
Whatever you decide, it’s important to understand that web design and SEO go hand in hand, and getting it right provides many benefits. Here are some of the top reasons to invest your resources in website design and SEO:
Website Design SEO increases your organic website traffic, helping you clinch one of those all-important top spots on page one SERPs (search engine result pages). Once your website is live, you can use social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and various other strategies to promote it.
However, to reach page one and get anywhere near the top, it’s also essential to attract organic traffic. Research shows that 25% of clicks go to the number one result, and about 2.5% click the tenth position website. So anything on page two and beyond is unlikely to get much traffic.
Web designers call this “high-intent” traffic. One of the main advantages of combining website design with SEO strategies is that it will attract people with search queries that match the services you provide.
The right keywords and formatting are essential if you are to get clicks from people looking specifically for businesses like yours in your local area. That doesn’t mean that every website visitor will convert right away, but that’s OK. Building brand awareness so potential customers can come back to you in the future is also important.
Effective SEO web design ensures your website is both well-built and user-friendly. Search engines like Google reward websites for being user-friendly. Plus, if you are to gain customers, your website must look attractive, be easy to navigate, and well-formatted so people can find all of the information they need.
A poor user experience can have a significant impact on your business. Research shows that:
88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after a bad user experience.
70% of online businesses that fail do so because of bad usability.
The links between web design SEO and return on investment (ROI) are well documented. Once the content is complete and the technical I’s dotted and T’s crossed, 6 customers should flow in naturally – rather than you having to spend more time, effort, and money on costly outbound marketing strategies like mailers and cold calling.
It’s estimated that there are over 1.7 billion websites on the world wide web, with around half a million new sites going live every day. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, the internet will be at least an extra few hundred sites bigger.
Of course, most of those websites are not directly competing with your business. Plus, many of them are old or inactive. Yet, this still begs the question: how do you get your pages to rank so customers can find you in their Google search? What’s more, how do you guarantee they have easy access to the right information when they get there? Here’s are the core elements of effective SEO web design:
Before you even begin designing or writing your website, there are a few key optimization factors to consider:
Domain name – The name you choose for your website should accurately convey what your business does and increase the chance of you being found in searches.
Content management system (CMS) – The platform your website is built on can play a significant role in its success.
Hosting – Choosing a reliable host is essential to ensure your website and its data are safe, secure, fast, and responsive.
A hierarchical structure is the most logical approach when deciding what pages to include. You can plot your site map by starting with the main menu items, then move down heading by heading, getting more specific by each page.
When doing this, always make sure the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) you choose for each page is straightforward and matches the written content. When considering navigation, think about what a site visitor might be looking for, and make the information as easy as possible to find.
Here is a structure and URL example for a fictional company named Pest & Lawn:
Sub-category page 1: www.pestandlawn.com/services/mowing/
Sub-category page 2: www.pestandlawn.com/services/fertilization/
Sub-category page 3: www.pestandlawn.com/services/pestcontrol/
Be sure to update your sitemap when you publish your website and any time you add new content. Otherwise, Google can’t find your pages, and you won’t generate any organic traffic.
A staggering 97% of Americans own a cellphone, and research shows that 61% of consumers are more likely to contact a local business with a mobile-friendly site. Plus, if your 8 website isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t appear on search engine results, and your ranking and organic traffic will suffer. These factors make mobile website design and optimization a top priority.
This is particularly important on mobile because 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. However, the principle applies equally to laptops, PCs, and tablets. People are typically impatient and expect instant access to information when clicking on web page links. If a page takes too long to load, users will simply close it and try a competitor’s website instead. Google’s mobile-friendly test is a great tool to give you an idea of how your site performs.
You could argue that usability is a combination of all of the fundamental web design and SEO factors we’ve listed so far, and to some extent, it is. However, there are a few extra considerations beyond this that can make your site even more user-friendly. Examples include:
Design – Make your site look as inviting as possible.
Page layout – Give important elements priority above the fold (so readers don’t have to scroll to see them).
Visual elements - Make the most important visual elements bigger.
Forms – Make forms as short and easy to fill in as possible.
Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans has a disability that makes accessing information online difficult? This includes hidden disabilities like vision problems, neurological challenges, cognitive impairments, language issues, and learning difficulties, in addition to physical disabilities and mobility issues.
So you stand to lose a heap of business (around 25% of your market!) if your website is not accessible. There are many easy ways to adapt your website build and content to make it more inclusive. Examples include:
Using dyslexia-friendly fonts
Being mindful of color contrasts
Using headings correctly to structure your content
Making navigation keyboard friendly
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines offer a great resource, and level AA compliance is usually the standard most businesses aim to achieve.
With the technical nuts and bolts accounted for, it’s time to think about your site's written content. Search engine optimized content should form a core part of your overall marketing strategy. To rank, you’ll need to include plenty of well-researched keywords for the services you offer.
For example, lawn care and pest control companies can include keywords like:
Lawn care services
It’s important to note that keyword research requires in-depth research and expertise — you cannot simply pick keywords at random. Whether you decide to take on learning the nuances of SEO yourself or hire a professional, having the right keyword strategy is crucial for your SEO content.
The tone and voice of your content are is just as important as the keywords you include. You need to hit the right balance of professional, engaging, and relatable, while inspiring a desire in your target market to learn more about your services. This can be trickier than you might think. You want to include as much information as possible, but you don’t want to come over too pushy, sales-oriented, or be heavy-handed with confusing technical jargon.
While most web designers are well-versed in SEO content principles, few are copywriters as well. If you outsource your SEO website development efforts, you may end up using different service providers or if you’re a good writer yourself, give it a shot! If you’re not a writer or simply don’t have the time, you can look for an SEO agency that offers both SEO strategy and SEO content.
Improving your website design and SEO can be a daunting prospect. After all, you’re a lawn and pest expert, not a copywriter or technical guru. So, where to start? Here are our top tips to help you update and improve your website according to current SEO principles and best practices.
People form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics. When a lead arrives on your website, they have preconceived ideas about what they expect to find. Choosing visuals, like the correct color palette, is therefore essential. For lawn and pest services, green is a popular option. In addition to being generally associated with outdoorsy, earthy topics, color phycologists say shades of green are associated with relaxation and help put your site visitors at ease. Conversely, red evokes a sense of urgency. So if you specialize in emergency pest control, utilizing shades of red could be an appropriate option.
Each web page should have a meta title and meta description that include relevant keywords and give an accurate description of what the page is about. You should include benefits and unique selling propositions (USPs) wherever possible. Meta titles and descriptions both show up on SERPs and play a key role in whether a browser clicks through to your site or not. Here is an example of for a lawn mowing service page for our fake company, Pest & Lawn:
Meta Title: Professional & Affordable Lawn Mowing Services in Albany
Meta Description: Is your lawn in need of a cut? Pest & Lawn offers professional and affordable lawn mowing services in Albany and surrounding areas. ✓ Get a free quote today!
It’s recommended you don’t exceed 60 characters for the meta title or 160 characters for the meta description. Otherwise, Google will truncate some of the content in the results, and people won’t be able to read the entire sentence.
All elements on your webpage should have descriptive names. In the website design and SEO world, these are called alt tags. Many website visitors rely on alt tags for additional information and context. Plus, including keywords gives Google a better idea of what is pictured, which helps your ranking. You should avoid having images with names like ‘JPEG00462’ or ‘service-page-header.’ Here are some better alternatives:
Meet our lawn services manager, Paul.
Our range of environmentally friendly pest control products.
Lawn mowing in progress in Jefferson, Texas.
Our lawn team removing leaves and snow after a storm.
Video content is more compelling than web copy and static pictures, so including videos on your website is a great way to grab attention and differentiate yourself from your competition. Studies determined that a single minute of video is worth about 1.8 million words because people tend to remember more from visual sources than from reading. Remember that not all website visitors will watch with the sound on, so be sure 13 to include captions if you want to increase engagement, generate leads, and boost conversions.
According to Google consumer insights, there has been a 900%+ increase in “near me tonight/today” searches in just two years. So capitalizing on local SEO by including location-based longtail keywords is recommended. You also saw Pest & Lawn include Albany in their meta title and meta description earlier. Here are some additional examples of potential location-based keywords:
Pest control services in Orlando
Lawn mowing companies in Los Angeles
Commercial weed control in Houston, Texas
Setting a focus keyphrase for every page demonstrates attention to specific search intent, which increases your SERP performance. While there are some keywords you’ll want to integrate throughout the website, using the same key phrases over and over essentially means the pages on your site compete against each other. The technical term for this is keyword cannibalization, and it can harm your Google ranking. Try to have a dedicated keyword theme for each page to avoid cannibalization.
There are two types of links to incorporate into your website wherever possible:
Internal links – These are links that point from one page on your site to another. You should always ensure they have relevant anchor text — even better if you use a keyword from your page’s theme. For example, if you mention ‘weed control’ on your mowing page, use those words as the hyperlink anchor text. Avoid hyperlinking from cliche phrases like ‘learn more’ or click here.’
Backlinks – These are incoming links from other websites that Google classes as “upvotes” for ranking purposes. You can incorporate backlinks by creating partnerships with product suppliers and referral sources. Google Search Console can also help you find opportunities for backlinks. Both internal links and backlinks have SEO value, but because backlinks are usually harder to get, they hold more value.
Ranking in the top three on Google Maps can get you valuable extra traffic, and creating your Google Business account is easy and free. These are the steps to follow:
Set up your Google Business Profile (formerly known as “Google My Business”) as completely as possible, ensuring that photos contain geotags.
Aim to get more reviews than your competitors. Ask trusted clients, friends, and family members to review you.
Ensure all online data about your business (website, Google, Facebook, etc.) is the same, especially your company name, address, and phone number.
To rank quicker on Google Maps, improving your site's structured data and Open Graph data so everything loads properly will help.
At FieldRoutes, we have a team of experts specializing in SEO-friendly web design. With a suite of results-driven tools, strategies, and techniques at our disposal, we can help you reach the top of the search engine rankings in your area. Whether you’re in need of pest control SEO or you need help with your lawn care website design, we’ve got you covered.
We can even help you calculate your marketing budget and help you track the results to help you determine which investments are paying off. For pest control software or lawn care business software designed for field service experts, by field service experts, partner with FieldRoutes.
Request a free demo today, and discover why so many companies trust FieldRoutes to assist with their web design, SEO, and lead generation
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