Case study: Pest ID

pest id website displayed on pc laptop tablet and phone

Pest ID is a successful pest control firm based near Chelmsford in Essex, servicing Essex and East London. The owner Ian Bright is expanding the business, both geographically and in terms of services offered.

The launch of a franchises in Oakham and Suffolk created a problem in that the existing website was Essex-centric, and adding details of the Oakham and Suffolk services to the main site would be confusing to customers. The different locations would also cause problems with local SEO.

In addition, the company is expanding its bird control business, pigeon proofing solar panels and removing bird droppings for commercial customers across South East England. A dedicated site was considered critical in order to appeal to these commercial customers, but Ian’s marketing team did not want to use a different domain name, as this would both dilute the Pest ID brand and complicate SEO.

With an increasing number of commercial clients, there was also a growing need for a self-service document portal that would enable clients to access their pest control documentation online, without having to request this from the Pest ID team. This needed to be set up securely, so that each client could only see the documents relevant to their firm.

Project Brief

The project brief was as follows:

  • turn the existing Pest ID website into the main site, and create three new subsites: one each for the Oakham franchise, the bird control business and the documentation portal
  • give each subsite the same ‘look and feel’ as the main site
  • make each of the sites independent for SEO purposes
  • provide copy and set up the SEO for the bird control site
  • create a document store on Google Drive for the document portal
  • create a ‘public’ Google Drive folder to store documents which are common to all clients
  • create client folders to store client-specific documents, and configure the permissions on the portal so that clients could only access their specific folder
  • provide user and admin guides for the documentation portal

Implementation

Running multiple subsites can present SEO challenges, so time was spent working with Ian’s marketing team agreeing how the subsites would be implemented from an SEO perspective.

Ian and I then agreed what content should appear on the new subsites, and after copying the Pest ID site to a development environment I started work, making changes to WordPress to enable the creation of the subsites before setting these up.

Oakham and Suffolk subsites
Some of the content for the Oakham and Suffolk subsites was to be copied from the main Pest ID site. Doing this can cause problems for Google and other search engines, so canonical URLs were added to avoid any duplicate content issues.

Bird Control
Ian had asked me to write the copy for the ‘Pigeon Guano’ and ‘Solar Panel Proofing’ pages, so after doing lots of research (including keyword and competitor SEO analysis)  I set to work, updating the site once Ian had reviewed and signed off my copy.

Next I selected some suitable photos from Ian’s extensive collection, editing these in Photoshop before uploading them to the subsite. I also adapted the main Pest ID logo to reference ‘Bird Control’.

Document Portal 
The first step was to set up a new Google Drive account for the portal. Once this was ready, I then created the required folder hierarchy.

I had already conducted in-depth analysis to identify the most suitable plugin for Ian’s requirements, so after creating the pages and installing the plugin, the bulk of the work was configuring the plugin so that the permissions were all set up correctly.

Ian’s clients can now access their documentation online.

My rapidly expanding business was beginning to outgrow the website and I wasn't sure how to fix this. Mike introduced me to multisite networks, and showed how this could support the business as it expands. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant at first, but we took the plunge and I'm so pleased that we did, because the new websites have had a massive impact on business, helping secure some important new bird control contracts.

Ian Bright, owner, Pest ID - Chelmsford, Essex