3 Ways We Debugged a Pest Control Website

Guardian’s first website in 2001

Guardian Termite & Pest Control, Inc. is a full service Pest Management company servicing all of Southern New Jersey.  If you have a pest problem, they will customize a solution to help you solve it.  They can rid you of any pest but little did they know their biggest bugs were right under their nose, lurking in their website and affecting their SEO.

They first got on the web in 2001.  Early websites were initially made very small in order to fit the older computer monitors sporting a fancy resolution of 640 × 480.  Mobiles devices weren’t a thing yet, so there was no need for responsiveness. Yahoo and Netscape Navigator (now discontinued) were the the popular search engines at the time and were not very strategic, so SEO was not too important.  Web technologies were also not very advanced so websites were basically just a digital version of your brochure.

Guardian’s website goes wider.

In 2005, larger flat screen monitors were becoming more affordable with resolutions at 720 HD.  Wider screens meant older websites were looking pretty small and some revealed alignments to the right or left which were not appealing.  Guardian’s website in 2005 used a wider template resulting with the ability to add more content to pages.

The iPhone launched two years later and changed everything.  All of a sudden, screens were now in portrait mode. The reverse pinch was the newest action to be able to zoom in on text but it would only be a matter of time until search engines would demand a better experience for visitors.  The need for websites to look good on mobile devices was growing.  Google was now king of the search engines and was announcing new algorithms with emphasis on keywords, backlinks and and sub-navigation (sidebar menus).

Guardian goes responsive in 2015 and employs WordPress

As mobile devices became more popular, it was obvious that web searches were favoring websites that were easier to read with less clutter.  On April 21, 2015, Googles announced it’s Mobile Friendly Update, later called Mobilegeddon, due do it being a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.  That meant that your site may rank lower if a visitor had to do that reverse pinch to read your content.

In 2015, Guardian’s website was redesigned in WordPress with a responsive template.  It was a natural choice as WordPress is a robust Content Management System (CMS), but there were a few things that just – wait for it – “bugged” us.

Guardian’s website as it looks today

When Guardian asked us to take look at their website, we noticed a few things that were very important to search engines today.

In 2018, the mobile experience will reign supreme. Google has already announced that it will rollout it’s mobile-first index sometime in 2018.  This means that Google will index the web from the point of view of a mobile user and use the mobile version of a website as its primary search engine index.  Non-mobile or adaptive sites that use mobile folders (i.e., m. or /mobi/) may be negatively impacted by this change.  If Google believes that your website will help provide a good search experience for someone looking for a specific service, your site will be listed higher in the search engine results pages (SERPS).  This is called Organic SEO.  

Content that establishes a business as an industry leader, has replaced keywording as the most important element on a website.  WordPress started in 2003 as a blogging tool and is still regarded today the best blogging tool available.  WordPress has blogging built in so naturally we were concerned as to why it was missing from Guardian’s website.  We added the blog feed to the homepage and published three industry specific posts.

Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons are also imperative for mobile devices. There need to be a clear CTA buttons on the homepage where visitors can either touch a button and immediately launch a phone call or send a form.  We then deleted some unnecessary text on the homepage and added the CTA buttons.

This is how Guardian’s website looks today.  Adding the blog, losing some unnecessary text, and adding CTA buttons made Guardian’s new website better suited for today’s search engine algorithms, and provides a better user experience.  This will result in more people finding them on the internet and a better chance of converting these visitors into customers.

Congratulation to Guardian on their new and improved website. Here’s to a great year 2018!

You can test the responsiveness of your website by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Contact us to get a free consultation on your results and to discuss tuning up your site for the new year ahead!

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