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Marketing 360® Blog

Case Study: Pest Control Kill Termites – And Conversion Rates

Post By Scott Yoder | Case Studies | Local Advertising

With online marketing, the best way to compete in large urban areas is to have a specialization.  This termite control service covers a huge area and competes with a specialized service.

Orange County has a population of 3.17 million.  Los Angles 4 million.  San Diego 1.4 million.

Large, densely populated areas like these are an imposing challenge for SMB marketing.  You may want to service large areas, but if your advertising is too broad it will be costly and ineffective.

For example, trying to compete on general terms like “exterminator” or “pest control” in a total area pushing 10 million people would require such a large paid advertising budget that ROI would be all but impossible.  Likewise, these general terms are very difficult to rank for organically in such competitive spaces.  You have to plan for years of work to get top positions.

But there is another strategy.  Specialize.


Case Study:  Termite Control in Southern California

Value Proposition

A Marketing 360® client shows us how this works.  They are a pest control service, but from the start they decided to brand themselves as termite control specialists.

This made all the difference.

It starts with tight, well-developed value proposition they communicate:

Hi-Tech Termite Control specializes exclusively in advanced termite control and termite extermination methods. As such, you’ll find our depth of experience and expertise unmatched in Southern California when it comes to exterminating termites. Just what type of termite treatment you may need will depend on how extensive your termite infestation is and what an inspection reveals. You may not need to tent! However, we do offer fumigation services on top of our less-invasive termite exterminator services. 

They come across even stronger in their video:

You communicate with greater clarity when your offer is specific.  People see you as an expert who specializes in solving their exact problem.

When you’re targeting a large market, this is the only way to go.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Focusing on termite control allows this business to run tight PPC campaigns.  Their overall conversion rate is 11.34%:

pest control ppc data

Their top performing ad in Orange County converts at 29.41%:

pest control ppc ad

These are stellar numbers for a business in such a populated area.  The reason they do so well is targeting.  If the lead isn’t looking specifically for termite control, their ads don’t display.


As we mentioned, organic SEO is somewhere between difficult to impossible for general terms in large, competitive areas.  A new pest control service trying to rank in LA could languish for years on the back pages of search results, never seeing any traffic.

However, for something like “termite control” it becomes viable.

They rank:

  • #5 for “termite control San Diego”
  • #24 for “termite control Los Angeles”
  • #23 for “termite control OC”

With “termite control” as seed keyword, our NLA organic search team has a real chance to get them – and keep them – on page one for these keywords.

Comparing the last 60 days (period 1) to the 60 days before, their SEO data has skyrocketed:

pest control seo data

178.05% increase in organic conversions says it all.  The long-term outlook for their ROI with this channel is outstanding.


Wrap Up

We see it all the time.  A lawyer in New York.  A BBQ restaurant in Kansas City.  Plumber in Chicago.

Yes, it would be great to rank for “attorney New York” (you can for about $150 per click).  There is just a bit of competition in Kansas City for BBQ.  There are thousands of plumbers in the Chicago area.

However, “patent attorney New York” is more specialized.  “Best brisket Kansas City” is doable.  “Water heater installation Chicago” gives you a chance.

Not only are more specific terms cheaper on paid advertising and easier to rank for organically, they also convert better because they match the need of the searcher better.  If you have termites, wouldn’t you rather hire a pest control service that specializes in that service?

There is a heuristic to this you should remember if you’re marketing in a big, urban area.

The bigger the marketplace, the more specific your offer needs to be.

In the end, marketing ROI comes from reaching the right audience at the right time with the right message.  If you accomplish that, you’ll convert well.