The foundation of a HVAC company’s online presence is website design. A strong website facilitates search engine optimization, brings legitimacy to your brand, and helps convert traffic into leads. Digital marketing concepts like SEO, PPC, and content marketing increase online visibility but it is the quality of the website that converts that exposure into sales. Many factors dictate a website’s design quality but as a heating & cooling contractor, the ultimate goal is to grow your business online and capture leads and sales within your local service area.
In 2019, anybody can build a website. With DIY website builders like Wix, Weebly, & SquareSpace, along with an abundance of templates for content management systems like WordPress, it’s never been easier to get a functional webpage published. But design is not always about the front-end visual display of a website. A major consideration in website design, especially as it pertains to SEO and marketing is codebase. The back-end of a website requires design as well, and it is as important, if not more so than the visual presentation.
What is HVAC Website Design?
Website design is the process of constructing websites with layouts, user interface, and other aesthetic imagery, including graphics.
Why is Web Design Important?
Without a functional website, it’s very difficult for HVAC companies to convert leads. Even if you pay for PPC ads on Google, Facebook, or other platforms, the absence of a converting landing page is going to nullify the majority of clicks. Even SEO which is an organic methodology is heavily reliant on the quality of the website. While there are more platforms on which to promote a brand than there were a decade ago (Social Media, Google My Business, Etc.), none of them are maximized without a related website. Since the goal of contractors is to increase sales, the direct correlation between web design and sales conversions should be enough to garner focus.
In our guide on HVAC SEO, we demonstrate the importance of generating traffic to your website. But the harsh reality of any internet marketing method is that it is as only as valuable as its final result. Website design and SEO cannot be separated from one another on a conceptual basis. In many ways, web design is a part of search engine optimization. Attempting to implement one without the other is a waste of marketing resources. By keeping your focus on the ultimate goal (sales), you can take actions that align with this underlying motivation and stay the course to reach your desired destination.
When HVAC workers talk about their brand, what they really mean is their trust level within their community. A functional and appealing website does wonders to strengthen a brand. Not only do consumers invest trust in companies that showcase their professionalism with a website but search engines like Google reward them as well. Aside from converting traffic that reaches your domain, strong web design can also influence said traffic and serve as a central hub for inbound links from all of your secondary media platforms like Facebook, Google My Business and even Yelp. Digital footprints leading back to a primary domain increases its authority as well as the legitimacy of your brand online.
The front-end of a website is what most consumers take notice of immediately. For people without knowledge of HTML, CSS, or any other coding languages, it is the only thing considered when formulating an opinion on the site itself. So what do viewers actually look for? Factors like colors, white space, aesthetics, and overall user experience top the list. Many of these work on a subconscious level and the user may not be able to tell you exactly why they like the looks of a website, only that they do.
In 2019, presentation has greater variance than ever before. Consumers visit websites on a plethora of devices including mobile, tablet, and desktop, as well as thousands of iterations of each. A website should appear optimally on each device which is something that can be accomplished through responsive design principles. When a website is responsive, it adapts to the device of the user without having to create an entirely new website for each one. Google has gone as far as to recommend responsive design principles to professional web designers.
Palettes are critical in modern design. Not only do they inform the experience of the visitor, but they create cohesion between brand and platform. The diversity of a palette stems largely from an HVAC company’s logo, which makes creating or updating one of great importance. A logo with lots of colors will distract the average user but a logo with only one color will bore them. Having 2 or 3 colors, a primary and 1 or 2 secondaries, is most ideal in modern website design.
A funny anecdote about white space is that it is not always white. The phrase refers to empty spaces between images, text, and blocks of content. The modern consumer prefers information that is digestible since they can become overwhelmed by excess. The function of white space is to foster a feeling of organization and conciseness. Both can improve the visitor’s experience and both can influence behavior metrics like bounce rate, pages per site, and duration on site, etc.
If you’ve ever heard a visitor discuss the “feel” of a website, aesthetics are at play. Defined as the “appreciation of beauty” aesthetics might not be something that HVAC contractors plan to concern themselves with. But make no mistake, everyone considers aesthetics in website design. That includes your prospective customers who are reading about heating & cooling services. Don’t assume that the subject matter disqualifies any website from aesthetic appeal.
A website’s look and feel has great appeal but its functionality can make or break its effectiveness. Let’s say a user enters your HVAC website and likes what they see. Imagine now that as they are attempting to navigate to other sections of the site via smartphone browser, that they can’t seem to properly scroll down or click the desired page links. Once something like this occurs, the visual appeal becomes mostly irrelevant. Users will leave a website for functional reasons in an instant (literally) and never return, regardless of what visual impression was left.
Navigation is one element of usability, but is not the only one. Consider site speed (loading time), URL structure, menu links, and user interface as some of the other most prominent factors. To revisit responsive design, usability should translate to all kinds of devices, from mobile, to desktop, to tablet, including the endless variations of each device category (iPhone, Android, MacBook Pro, HP, etc.). The user must be able to use your website at their convenience, because if not, they will move on to the next search result who does it better.
9 times out of 10, the most frustrating part of a bad website is its navigation. If the user cannot scroll properly and get to other sections of the website with ease, they will become discouraged and exit the site. Mobile websites are typically the most complicated to navigate which is why designers should pay extra close attention to mobile design. Since the screen is smaller than a tablet or desktop monitor, it should be especially convenient for the user to find their way around the site and all of its elements who will be scrolling primarily with their thumb and index finger.
Over half of internet users will exit a website that does not load within 3 seconds. That puts HVAC websites on the clock immediately after a user clicks on their result. If we’re being honest with ourselves, that 3 second number is likely to have lowered even more since the survey was last taken. In 2019, that number is more than likely closer to 1 second. The attention spans of users have shorned, and designers must take notice. You can check your existing website speed using Google PageSpeed Insights, which also gives suggestions for correcting errors.
A website URL hierarchy is an important part of a site’s functionality for users. If you have pages for each service, the URLs should be both logical and hierarchical. Let’s say you provide both residential and commercial HVAC services. If so, a page for residential ac repair should be categorized as a child page underneath the parent page which would be residential HVAC services. This closely relates to your HVAC SEO efforts and helps the user navigate your site.
Every important page on your HVAC company site should be linked from the homepage menu. When converting traffic into customers, you want them to be able to see all the services you offer and to easily access the one that intrigues them. In alignment with URL structure, menu links should have main categories (parent pages) and subcategories (child pages). You should also have a Contact Us page along with an About Us page to help connect with the visitors.
User Interface (UI)
User interface, often shortened as UI, hones in on the user’s projected need from your website from a functionality standpoint. According to Usability.gov, UI combines interaction design, visual design, and information architecture. They break down UI elements into 4 sections which are input controls, navigational components, informational components, and containers. They stress simplicity, consistency, and purpose as the driving principles of an effective user interface design.
Code is not used only for website design but really for any kind of web or software development. Think about Facebook or iTunes. Each of these has a codebase which not only informs its presentation but also its functionality or usability. Coders are often the most technically sound webmasters in the room and are able to implement the elements that the average person cannot. Although website builders have turned everyone into an amateur designer, they have not familiarized everyone with coding, which is still what separates the legitimate professionals.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the fundamental code that every website is written in. HTML annotates text with tags, suggesting a browser to display it in a way that the designer intends. The language is built on a series of these tags that range from very basic to very complex. For example, text surrounded by a <strong> tag on the back-end is bolded on the front-end. HTML is closely associated with SEO as well, since header, title, and meta tags are all part of the HTML language. A CMS like WordPress makes HTML alterations simpler from an SEO perspective but the design itself still requires in depth knowledge of the coding language.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is code that instructs a browser how to display HTML. While HTML tags suggest things like bolded text, the CSS code is what actually instructs the browser on what that will actually look like on the front-end of the website. CSS is made up of what designers call rules. A CSS rule can be separated into 3 parts; a selector, a property, and a value. Aside from CSS rules, there are also more advanced levels of CSS link inline CSS and internal CSS. The simplest way to describe the codebase is as the stylization of HTML tags. CSS is very much related to the display presentation of a website, a concept outlined earlier.
Schema.org or Schema Markup is a vocabulary of semantically related tags that are inserted into HTML to help Google interpret the page. Microdata tags from Schema.org exist to help search engines like Google better categorize pages and subsequently promote them on search results. Schema is very important to SEO and is perhaps the most important optimization element of a website’s codebase. Since it was created from the instruction of search engines, we know for certain that it is a factor considered when pages are crawled, indexed, and ranked.
The increased mobile usage of the average American has made mobile design more important than ever before. It is estimated that over half of all HVAC website visitors will access the site through a smartphone. Because phones are accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, there is literally an infinite window of opportunity for contractors to reach their largest consumer base. SEO can drive traffic to your website and other web entities (Google Maps, Facebook, Etc.) but without a website that is simple to use on mobile, a sales conversion remains unlikely.
In promoting services to a mobile user, several design elements will be embellished or adapted to narrow the target. One such example of this is a call to action. A CTA on a website for desktops might list an HVAC contractor’s phone number. On mobile design, it should be taken a step further by having the number be clickable by the smartphone user who is then directly connected to your phone line. Because conversions are the goal of websites, CTA’s are crucial. This has never been more pertinent than in 2019 when mobile usage continues to increase daily.
Screen size matters and smartphones have less space to work with. Pair that with a low attention user and you have yourselves one of the primary challenges of modern design. How can you as a web developer intrigue the mobile user through your website? You have limited time and space and must make the most of it. A layout should be simple and instructive while creating urgency for the visitor. A clear call to action with a clickable phone number is ideal. Other layout factors to consider include height, width, image and logo placement, and space.
Websites are expected to load quickly regardless of device, but it is even more crucial on mobile. Sites that don’t load within 3 seconds will lose more than half of their visitors, a timeframe that has likely already decreased and will continue to with each passing day. Google’s tool; Test Your Mobile Website Speed can give HVAC companies an idea of where they are currently and perhaps where they should be relative to other sites throughout the web. For contractors, the fear is that slow loading pages will prompt visitors to try the next result.
Mobile Call to Action
We’ve mentioned several times that calls to action should be tailored to the mobile user. The best example of this is a clickable phone number which can be a stylized button or text of the number itself. The goal is to create urgency for the mobile user so accompanying the phone number with a statement like call now for a free consultation is something every contractor should think about. There’s a fine line between creating urgency and becoming overly salesly and the most successful websites can navigate that terrain to generate high quality leads.
Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace help the average person create nice looking websites. If they have a disadvantage it is their lack of customization. There are certain limitations that come with using website builders that don’t exist when investing in a professional designer. While not every Wix site for example will look identical in presentation, the back-end codebase will be similar and less customizable. This can hinder SEO efforts that are needed for a website to get traffic. As we’ve stated, website design cannot exist exclusive from SEO if increasing sales is the goal.
Besides custom codebase being superior SEO protocol, customization is part of every aspect of design. From the placement of a logo on the page’s layout, to the color scheme of the palette on the CSS style sheet, customization can go a long way towards increasing conversion rates and satisfying user’s needs and attention spans. It’s not to say that website creators cannot work under any circumstances, but instead to highlight the reasons why custom design is so useful. At the end of the day it becomes the choice of the HVAC company based on their digital marketing goals.
Tools like Wix provide options for display. Website makers can choose their layout, buttons, and even color schemes. While this might differentiate one website from another, the code will remain similar. You see, even with a change in color scheme which alters the existing CSS code, the skeleton of the style sheet stays identical. Google can see that the website you’ve created was made with Wix based on its internal codebase. It doesn’t make it a bad choice, but it can make SEO a more difficult process to execute and ultimately discourage the sales growth you covet.
Tired of your website’s footer saying something like “designed with Weebly?” If so, custom design may be for you. With custom design, you control what appears on your website and where it appears. There is no mandatory insertions of code that cannot be deleted. Instead, you can add your own logos, awards, and badges of honor to your header and footer, instead of being forced to promote the tool used to design the website itself. Customization = control for HVAC contractors. Consider even something like your logo width which could be limited in Wix.
With truly custom web design, you can brand your HVAC company in a manner not replicable through website builders. A unique codebase, layout, and color scheme can differentiate your website from others in the same industry and service area. You may find the differences between a template website and a custom one to be minimal at first glance, but Google sees it differently. Perhaps most importantly, users growing accustomed to your brand through website design can only help expand awareness and foster a long-term, sustainable online presence.
We’ve noted that most visitors will access HVAC websites through mobile smartphones, but the highest conversion websites cannot ignore any of its users. That includes those who access the website on desktop, tablet, or some other 3rd party device that is not a smartphone. Since it’s not plausible to design a site for each device, brand, and model, the best solution is responsive web design, sometimes shortened as RWD. The primary advantage of RWD is to optimize display and functionality for a website on any device efficiently and reach all possible customers.
Mashable named 2013 the year of responsive design and 6 years later it is now considered the norm for websites that perform well on Google. The search engine has gone as far as to recommend its usage to web developers and has even offered RWD tutorials on their Web Fundamentals platform. RWD fixes would-be problems that designers would once dread. For example, an image displayed on a mobile site might appear too small on desktop, but responsive design incorporates flexibility so that the image is resized to its optimal display.
The area immediately visible to the user is known as the viewport. As you might imagine, viewports vary by device so an iPhone 7 viewport will not compare to that of a Dell PC monitor. Prior to mobile’s emergence to prominence, designs were often left “fixed” for desktop viewing which would create viewport distortion when accessed via mobile. If you can remember when mobile phones were first popularized, you likely remember some of the worst looking websites in history. Imagine trying to set up a phone call with your local HVAC contractor on this display. It would not be ideal.
The point at which a provision of the optimal layout is displayed is known as the breakpoint. In responsive design, breakpoints are usually changes to the width of the screen. Sometimes a breakpoint might shift the viewport from displaying 2 columns to displaying 4 columns. Designers should focus on breakpoints by device rather than model. In other words, smartphones should be a category, but Apple iPhone 7 should not be. Breakpoints also vary in significance. Some of them can be quite obvious while others are more subtle. Use tactfully.
Graphic Design (UX)
A website’s graphics are part of its visual presentation but can be considered an entirely separate skill altogether from a designer’s standpoint. Graphics can be everything from logos to interactive buttons and everything in between. Graphics are often tied into a site’s color scheme, but are not the color scheme itself. Most color palettes work from the starting point of the logo. If your HVAC company has an existing logo with brand recognition, it is ideal to keep that one if not slightly enhance it. Brand new contractors might be looking for an original logo from a professional designer.
Logos are likely the most important graphic for a company but certainly not the only one that should be integrated onto a website. Like we said, graphic design is a skill that transcends web design. While website’s are written with code and tags, graphics are crafted using digital art studios such as Adobe Suite. Illustrator, inDesign and Photoshop can all be helpful in creating graphics for your website and other marketing materials. Graphics can be published on print materials as well, such as business cards and newsletters. They can even be printed on t shirts, truck wraps, and other property.
An effective heating & cooling logo is both simple and memorable. Striking that balance isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. Still, the companies that thrive are the ones who find a way. Focus on solid colors that are easy on the eyes. 99 Designs outlines what each color evokes from the perspective of the typical consumer. Blue for instance, is one color that people often associate with trust and professionalism which makes sense when you understand that it is used on at least half of all logos. Think about your own logo for a moment, what characteristics does it evoke?
A call to action is often enhanced by its graphical outline. In other words, a phone number button might appeal more to the user than simply the number itself. Why? Because consumers love to be visually inspired. Since the goal of every CTA is to create urgency and prompt action, enhancing its graphical nature can help reach that destination. This assumes the graphic is skillfully designed, of course. Keep in mind that poorly designed graphics can have a negative impact on a user’s behavior. CTA buttons are important when merging graphic and web design.
What is the information distributed on infographics? It can be anything and everything as long it stays within the context of your webpages and the content published on them. If CTA buttons merge graphic and web design, infographics unify content marketing, graphic and web design. It’s a way of threading everything the user consumes together in one cohesive construct. Like with logos and buttons, an infographic can range from extremely helpful to discouraging. Some infographics become so popular, they earn inbound links to the image address, which helps SEO.
User Experience (UX)
We spoke about UI or user interface, but the most important part of a website is UX or user experience. Although it is less quantifiable, UX encompasses the overall experience of the website visitor. This relates to everything previously discussed on this page. From aesthetics and visual presentation to navigation and website functionality. Of course codebase remains the foundation of UX since it is what ultimately dictates it, even if the users themselves don’t realize it on a fundamental level. While UX cannot be measured by a single metric, there are groups of data that can paint a general picture of its performance, such as bounce rate, pages per session, etc.
Google understands the behavior of website visitors better than ever before and uses that information to inform their rankings. The site’s that rank highest are liked by visitors who demonstrate their affinity through behaviors. Whether it’s visiting multiple pages on a website or engaging with content elements on the homepage, users make their feelings apparent to Google in more ways than one. The goal of every HVAC website is to generate leads and there’s no safer way to accomplish this than through enhancing the user’s experience and inspiring them to complete a call to action.
UX is best understood through user metrics like bounce rate and pages per session. Although we can all subjectively visit an HVAC website and form an opinion on it, it is actions that demonstrate our most authentic conclusions. Any local service company that can keep users on their website for long periods of time and have them participate in sales funnel entry or calls to action is going to output strong metrics to Google and be rewarded in some capacity. The best way to track user behavior on your own end is through Google Analytics, a free tracking tool.
Aside from measuring user behavior, asking them outright for feedback can also be helpful. While it doesn’t provide the kind of raw data that Google values it does inform heating & cooling businesses about strengths and weaknesses of their site, explained from a visitor’s perspective. Sometimes people will holdback on criticisms, but if you include an anonymous survey directly on your website, there’s little for them to hold back. You might even get criticism so harsh that you wonder if they’re being intentionally combative in hopes to weaken your will as a contractor.
Separate from the user’s behavior when first visiting your website, a telling piece of information can be the ratio by which visitors return for a second time or more. Sometimes brand notoriety can influence visitors to return to a site again and again, something that should make itself clear by the percentage of traffic that is reaching the site through a branded search or a direct visit. Other times more than brand recognition, it is about the quality of the site’s design and its UX. All the design elements discussed in this post can influence repeat visitations.
HVAC Website Design Company
For an HVAC SEO company you can trust to design a high quality website, choose HVAC Webmasters. Each website constructed by the expert webmasters are custom-made and tailored to the client’s needs and brand. With a team of designers on staff (website & graphics), we are able to produce a high conversion online marketing channel for your heating & cooling business. A website serves as the foundation for your digital marketing strategy. It influences SEO, Google Maps, and of course conversion rate optimization. As a company that focuses on online marketing for HVAC companies, we are uniquely qualified to construct a website that checks of all your boxes in 2019.
Affordability is always a consideration in marketing but what’s most important is ROI or return on investment. A website template might cost less upfront but how much money is it going to bring in? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you should opt into a free SEO audit that quantifies your rank position based on call volume. If you aren’t getting many calls, it’s likely that your site is not ranking on either Google organic or Google Maps. If that’s the case, even the nominal investment you’ve made in a website template is negative ROI. Keep in mind that our services are especially affordable for agency level website design, so we are happy to discuss the details further with you at your convenience.
Custom Websites for HVAC Contractors
Tired of template websites that hinder your SEO efforts? Invest in a custom website from HVAC Webmasters. Our team of designers crafts custom codebase that implements your logo and color scheme into a cohesive conversions machine. Best of all, every design measure we take is done so with SEO and lead generation in mind. No longer do you have to worry about whether blocks of code from your template are being correctly parceled by Google crawlers. We have the data and protocol to ensure that Google not only indexes your site, but favors it.
Branded Websites for HVAC Companies
We don’t just build a website, we help build a brand for HVAC companies. Because the internet is bigger than any single website, it is important to integrate your brand onto other web entries like social media networks and local business directories. This especially useful when these properties link back to your website and vice versa. That’s why we include social media icons on your homepage so that visitors can find you on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We believe that digital marketing ventures should target a complete web presence and one that is branded.
Website Lead Generation for Heating & Cooling Contractors
A custom branded website can generate leads with the proper calls to action. Each website designed by HVAC Webmasters aims to connect relevant consumers to your office line. By integrating your contact information into our codebase, we are able to input clickable phone numbers in multiple areas throughout your site. This encourages users to take an additional step in the sales conversion process. We facilitate a connection between users who need HVAC services in your local area and yourself as a contractor or company in their general radius.
Call (800) 353-3409 for HVAC Website Design
The competition for heating and cooling repairs is fierce! We hear this constantly but know that we can’t advise our clients on a single silver bullet to make them come out on top. (In fact, no one can, so run far from anyone who assures you otherwise.) However, after decades of experience as HVAC SEO specialists, we know that it takes many little things, done really, really well to help improve Google rankings and get your phone ringing daily. One of those “little things”: online review sites, which often considered citations.
We’ll talk about the reviews themselves another time, but for today, let’s focus on which sites are going to drive leads to your company, and how you should manage the content on those listings to stand out from the crowd.
#1: Google My Business (GMB)
Hands down, the most important citation listing for your HVAC company is the Google My Business page. GMB is a rich listing that you can claim and manage, allowing you to create a strong profile that is directly tied to Google. Because Google is still the search engine king, it’s only logical that you would do anything you can to appeal to this resource, with top rankings as the goal of a well-played organic SEO strategy. (NiceJob, an online review tool for businesses, echoes our recommendation to start with Google.)
One of the really nice aspects of Google My Business is that you can manage your company listing from a user-friendly dashboard, and the information you enter instantly updates across Search and Google Maps. Because local searches for heating and cooling repairs is vital when service areas are fixed, this is the absolute best way to keep your NAP accurate in the most visible listing you’ll have.
Don’t Forget To Enter Your HVAC Company Attributes on GMB
Putting myself in the customer’s’ shoes, one of my favorite things about using Google to search for HVAC repairs near me is how much information I have at my fingertips when those results come back. I can click on a business name from the map results — which is a common spot to launch research when proximity matters, especially true for emergent repairs — and see a nice overview of data about that company. I may go ahead and place a call for service from this view alone, without ever having visited the HVAC company website. (And that’s not to say that your primary website isn’t important. It’s a vital tool for ranking well on Google and making sure that your company is toward the top of the Map results to get that click!)
But here’s the thing, even if you’re optimizing well, if you haven’t claimed and updated your GMB listing, you may never get that call due to incorrect information. A simple typo could cost you tons of calls, and a poor user experience could result in your business tanking in the rankings. However, with a strong listing that incorporates HVAC keywords throughout the quality content, and a linked listing that connects viewers to your website for more info (like service pages with great on-page SEO), you’re far more likely to earn their business.
Google’s Got The Hook Up On Great Business Tools for HVAC Pros
A new Google Ad feature worth mentioning here is the Google Guarantee badge. These are paid listings (versus organic results, which are still typically seen as most valuable) but they add an extra layer of comfort for customers who want the backing of a third-party. This feature ties to your GMB account and lets you manage communication via Local Services booking. Because Google is recognized as an authority and trusted by billions of users, this paid listing could really help a newly launched domain see some action before it has put in the years to rank organically.
Example of Google Guarantee badge for HVAC Google Ads
Millions of users continue to favor the Yelp app and website for finding everything from restaurants to air conditioning specialists in their area. (In fact, there is even a quick select icon for Heating & Air Conditioning on the landing page of the app!) Because the app is closely tied to mobile use, the local search aspect is clutch and tends to provide a favorable user experience.
Landing page of the Yelp app, featuring a Heating & Air Conditioning icon for quick search
The other benefit to users is review-rich pages that are tied to an identified reviewer (versus anonymous posts). Sure, you’ll still some unreasonable nonsense, but it’s not nearly as rampant as sites that allow unidentified reviews.
It is also my experience that the reviews on Yelp tend to be more detailed than some other online review sources, so having a great listing for your HVAC business on Yelp is a fantastic offering for potential customers to find you…and to be impressed.
Pro Tip: Respond To Yelp Reviews From HVAC Customers
While this might not seem like the SEO tips you’d expect from us, it’s important to realize that engaging with customers is vital for the life of your company. This is true of almost any industry, but because you have a tremendous opportunity to earn business from personal referrals, thinking about how you engage with the customer is a great investment of time and energy. Social media marketing, for example, hinges on good engagement to get your posts seen and allow your business to thrive online.
Replying to reviews on sites such as Google and Yelp is a great way to show that you’re appreciative of your customers and tuned-in to what they need. Even if a review was mediocre, when a business owner responds in a respectful and professional way, that still leaves me with a positive impression of the company. In fact, the response can be more valuable than the review or star-rating itself!
You may not think of this as a review site, but it’s not uncommon for Facebook reviews to show up on a Google homepage for a company listing. As we covered earlier when discussing the power of Google rankings, a potential customer may not even make it to your website, but they will likely check out a few ratings before clicking the phone number from the SERP. While a user would have to be logged in to leave a comment or dive deep into Facebook content, reviews are visible to everyone (with or without an account), and should be considered as important for your online reputation as any other.
In fact, when potential customers are vetting your company for their HVAC repair business, they may start with a Google search of your company name, and then check out serval online review sites to get a sense of the service you offer. Because of the incredible traffic that Facebook gets, this listing usually shows up fairly high in the rankings, and should therefore be given plenty of love. But if you’re all reviews and no content, the viewer may be less inclined to pull the trigger. Don’t forsake developing a great secondary website with your social media business pages, starting with Facebook for Business.
[H3:] A Quick Word About Getting Good Reviews For HVAC Services
While we’ve spent the majority of this article talking about how to best claim and manage these various online review sites for your HVAC company, they won’t do you (or your customers) much good if there are no reviews to view. While there are some tools for making review requests more streamlined, the fact remains that you simply have to ask for them. It’s assumed that only a small percentage of customers are likely follow through to leave a review — good or bad — after their heating and cooling repairs, so you’ve got to be diligent about asking everyone to improve the odds of getting a decent turn-out.
We know that consumer behavior shows that folks are more likely to call a service provider with lots of reviews, but a mid-to-high star rating, versus a company who has just a handful of reviews, even if they’re all five stars. The quantity has weight for Google rankings, too, whether the reviews are made on your GMB page or elsewhere.
For Facebook specifically, you have the benefit of a more engaged user than you’d find on Google, for example. The billions of Facebook users spend a lot of time on the social network every day, so don’t hesitate to post every so often a request for existing customers to post a review. And if you’re trying to build up reviews on Yelp versus Facebook, tell them! It’s perfectly acceptable to make it known that you’re trying to bolster your brand reputation on a given site, but the key is to provide a link to make it as easy as possible for an existing customer to help you out. Don’t make them search or you’ll likely lose that willing participant.
Other Citation Sites for Heating and Cooling Repairs Worth Using
Here are a few other online review sites/directories that are helpful for connecting HVAC pros to new customers:
While quantity is important to help search engines recognize your business as reputable and legit, it’s also worthwhile to invest some time into each listing to ensure it’s a strong entry point for new HVAC customers to find your business, and to get those online review sites working for you!
In today’s HVAC marketplace, online presence is everything. Consumers look to Google to find heating product and A/C unit information, operation instructions, HVAC services, and more, and if your HVAC business isn’t being properly represented in SERPs, you are probably missing out on company dollars. However, traditional website SEO methods are no longer enough to rank well for HVAC services on Google and other search engines. In order to have a chance at a top Google ranking spot for the heating and air industry, your website must be highly optimized, using in- and outbound linking, well-organized content, and proper coding. But, it takes more than that to stand out among the crowd and end up in top ranking positions on searches and maps. Using images, videos, and other rich media formats that are correctly optimized can help give your website the boost it needs to rank well in SERPs.
The Importance of Rich Media On Your HVAC Site
While the use of each of the SEO techniques is crucial, rich media such as video, images, and audio, can dramatically boost your SEO ranking and website visibility. Google is always establishing new and helpful ways to deliver better search results to its customers. Because of this, the search engine offers blended results in most cases, including rich media such as images, videos, and podcasts, as well as content. If your HVAC site offers more rich media and indexed avenues of information, it is more likely to appear in more search queries, resulting in more clicks and viewers. By using properly optimized rich media about HVAC within your site, you are able to create more links, shareable content, and keyword optimization that can boost your site’s trust and authority, strengthening your searchability. However, poorly optimized rich media does little to nothing for your site and can inhibit load times and user experience, negatively affecting your website authority and SERP ranking. When adding rich media to your HVAC site, ensure that proper planning, creation, and display efforts are followed for maximum exposure.
How to Optimize Your HVAC Images for Higher SEO
Including HVAC images as a rich media option on your site is not just a no-fail way to break up text and create better flow within your page, but it can also provide credible linking, sharing, and secondary SEO techniques for better ranking. However, each of your images must be correctly optimized in order to provide top rich media benefits to your HVAC site. They should be relevant to the content being delivered and be formatted correctly in order to provide maximum benefits.
What is Image Optimization
Image optimization is the process of making your images more detectable by Google crawlers. This means adding bits of information and data to help crawlers correctly and quickly index the content that is being displayed. Since Google is not yet able to index images, video, or audio itself, it uses the metadata and surrounding content to identify the topic being communicated. Therefore providing quality metadata that is detailed, informative, and contains keywords is imperative for successful HVAC SEO. When Google can index your images effectively, you appear higher in traditional search results as well as image search results.
HVAC Image Selection
The images chosen for your webpage should flow seamlessly with the HVAC content presented. Images can be photos of work and services being completed, employees and company photos, or other HVAC-related topics, infographics, illustrations, or graphs and charts. They should be relevant to the idea of the page and offer a visual aid to the information presented. While unique images are always recommended, you may sometimes need to use stock HVAC images or other paid avenues of image collection to create the site you want. When using stock or paid photos, ensure that they aren’t overused by conducting a few quick Google image searches. Resize your HVAC images instead of shrinking them down to avoid long load times that can hurt SEO.
Correct Image Formatting
Your images should be formatted according to what they present. For instance, photographs typically format best as a JPEG which is the most versatile format. For graphics and other images types, GIF and PNG formatting may work better. GIF formats have a limited color range but offer small file sizes and a translucent background. This format works well for logos and simple images. PNG formats deliver high resolution and a transparent background but often come with large file sizes which can slow download times. This formatting style should be used only with graphics and animations that require high-quality resolution and is not ideal for all rich media selections.
Image SEO Setup
In order for your images to be indexed by Google, they must be properly optimized. Naming images for SEO can be difficult, but is also crucial for the optimization process. The file name of your image should be descriptive and have a prominent keyword. The metadata attached to your image is also important. You can find this data by right-clicking your image from the library and selecting Properties and then Details. You can then delete all useless information to create metadata that Google bots can easily index for better rankings. The alt text of your image appears when the image is obstructed for some reason. The alt text should describe what’s in the image while using a keyword if possible. Along with the alt text, the caption is crucial for Google indexing and should provide a short connection to the content as well as a primary keyword for optimal Google ranking.
Keyword Selection for Image SEO
When selecting a keyword to use for image optimization, use keyword tools like MOZ or SEMrush to identify the most beneficial words possible. These programs offer keyword metrics such as volume, difficulty, and competition so you can locate the ideal keywords for your purpose. Use top keywords in image names and title tags to help Google identify the main topic of your image. Then, utilize specialized keywords in your image caption for more focused optimization to appear in local, map, and image searches. For instance, an image titled Residential Furnace Repair could use a keyword such as Furnace Pilot Light Repair in the caption to focus crawlers on specific information.
Google uses the surrounding content to verify your images. Therefore, it’s imperative to place your images near relevant content. Use keywords and keyword phrases in the text surrounding your images to ensure that Google correctly indexes your site page. Add your images to the sitemap to better allow crawlers to quickly retrieve your information. For WordPress sites, this can be done with an XML plugin.
- Photo Use: When using photos on your website, ensure they are high-quality and intriguing. Choose shots that clearly display an action or service such as a technician working on a repair project. Another top choice is staff and office photos which work well on About Us and Contact Us pages.
- Infographics: These images should present clear, accurate information and should have correct attribution tags to prevent copyright problems.
- Charts/Graphs: Use these images to present difficult information in a more appealing manner. Ensure each graph is properly labeled and the information is correct and accurate.
Adding these types of images provides the user with a better experience along with displaying your company’s skill and expertise. These images are also able to be shared and syndicated to provide your HVAC site with valuable links and reach.
Are HVAC Videos Important for Better SEO?
When trying to achieve an unbeatable customer experience while providing your HVAC site with backlink and sharing opportunities, video additions may be the rich media addition you’re looking for. In fact, 80 percent of today’s internet use is video-related. Using HVAC videos on your site can provide shareable content that is directly linked to your HVAC site, create the opportunity for backlinking as others share your content, and generate better overall and on-page SEO for your website.
Whether viewers are watching, sharing, or talking about online videos, the SEO benefits can’t be disputed. When your website uses videos that are properly optimized for SEO, your business has a chance of appearing in YouTube searches as well as Google searches, creating further reach and more traffic to your site. Videos can also be used to provide rich snippets on SERPs which can boost your rankings and click-through rate. Like images, however, video optimization must be properly completed in order to get the best results.
Much like images, videos must be properly optimized using title tags, keywords, and links to benefit your site’s SEO efforts. Correct optimization of your videos includes on-site SEO efforts as well as SEO and keyword optimization on YouTube or other hosting sites. This requires a multi-step process that can lose effectiveness if not completed correctly.
Finding Your Goal
First, you must decide what you want your HVAC video to accomplish for your site and your business. Are you looking to build links and generate shares or do you want your rich media addition to help increase conversions? Identifying the purpose for your video will help you create the content and idea.
Link and Share Generation
Videos that are made to generate links and shares must have compelling content that is informative and useful. How-to, demonstration, and interview videos work well as link builders and provide shareable content that’s interesting and compelling.
When utilizing videos for link building or share generation, it’s common to use a secondary platform such as Youtube to host your video. This also allows your video to appear in helpful Youtube searches which can generate more traffic to your site.
On-Site Conversion Increase
Videos that display material and product use or direction, as well as interview and news videos, provide excellent avenues to help increase conversion on your site. These videos can help provide additional information and techniques that lead a user to complete your desired task.
Many times, HVAC company owners choose to host their own videos on their site. While self-hosted videos can be difficult to set up, they have great benefits that can’t be found with embedded video options. For instance, self-hosted videos are able to generate a rich snippet on SERPs that can give your business an edge among the competition. However, this method prevents your video from appearing on Youtube searches and can hinder sharing and likes. When using WordPress, the Yoast plugin allows you to add a rich snippet to search results without having to self-host your video, delivering the best of both worlds.
Planning Your Video
You should never begin a video without sufficient planning. Your topic and ideas to be discussed should be preplanned with regard to keywords, both primary and secondary. This will ensure that your video stays on track and delivers helpful, informative information to visitors. The keywords used in your video should also be researched to ensure your video delivers optimal SEO for your site and your content.
Even in a video, keyword research is crucial. Your keywords will be used in the video itself as well as in the video URL, title, and tags in order to index correctly for your content. Your keywords should be researched using effective tools like MOZ or SEMRush and should include both top-level keywords and specialized keywords. A top-level keyword may include general terms like “roof repair” or “air conditioner service” while specialized keywords are more specific such as “ductless A/C repair” or “sewer line replacement”. Using both types of keywords can help improve your chances of appearing on SERPs.
Video SEO Essentials
In order to get the most from your video, its SEO functions must be complete. Just like images and content, video can and should be optimized for effective SEO capabilities. Depending on how you use your video on your site, SEO strategies can help tell Google crawlers exactly what your video is about.
When uploading your video to YouTube and embedding within your site, make sure to include your brand or a keyword in the URL. A URL with branding and keywords such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heater-repair-your-company will be indexed by Google and YouTube much better than a URL that looks like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58th948j46d.
This small step gives you a great advantage over most of your competition since this step is widely skipped. To edit your video’s URL, select the “custom URL” option from the “settings” menu. However, in order to have this option, your account must meet YouTube’s requirements.
Next, you want to consider the title of your video. Your title should be approximately 5 words long and should include a main keyword as well as a secondary term, if possible. Your title should also encapsulate the idea behind your video. For example, if your video is about how to repair an air conditioning unit, a good title could be “Central Air Conditioner Troubleshooting and Repair Instructions” over more general options such as “A/C Repair” or “HVAC Repair”. This provides a much clearer picture of your content which is more easily indexed by Google crawlers.
Once your title has been created, it’s time to write a description that will be displayed along with your video’s link. YouTube video descriptions cannot be more than 5000 characters and should be clear and to the point. When creating your video description, try to use the same keywords as you used in your title, and put more important keywords at the beginning of the copy. YouTube provides searchers with a preview of your video description that is a few lines long and then attaches a “see more” button to view the rest of your content.
Just as important to your YouTube video as the title and description are the tags you use to label your video’s subject matter. Tags should include a combination of both general and specific terms to ensure that your video appears in more search results. While YouTube allows as many tags as you want, there is a 400 character limit across all tags. YouTube recommends 6-8 tags for every video for proper optimization.
If you would rather upload your video straight to your site, you will need to submit an XML sitemap in order to tell Google that you have a video.
In order to fully optimize your video, you will want to surround it with relevant content that includes headings, schema.org, and traditional content, all of which should have primary and secondary keywords. Keyword placement is even more crucial in this type of video display because other video SEO elements are less prevalent, such as tags and the title. In order to submit an acceptable sitemap, you must include a few basic points of information. These values should be created with keyword usage in mind to maximize your video’s SEO.
First, you will need to create a code line to tell Google the location of your video on your site along with the image and location of your thumbnail preview.
Next, add a title for your video, which can be up to 100 characters. Your title should be clear and concise, using at least one keyword. After your video title, you will need a description. It’s crucial to keep your description to under 2048 characters because longer descriptions will be cut off.
The main benefit of hosting your own video is that a rich snippet will be visible along with your business listing in search results. Since viewers are six times more likely to click on a website with a video, this can dramatically increase your click-through rates. When you use a third party to host your video, such as YouTube, the URL for your video begins with their brand tag. However, when you host your videos, the URL begins with your brand which can boost visibility and reach. This can also help to build direct links to your site when your video is shared or displayed.
Along with your video file, you should also create a text transcript of your video’s content. Since Google cannot properly index audio and video for searchability, a text transcript allows crawlers to identify the content and keywords within your video. While transcripts are time-consuming to create, they allow ranking for multiple terms instead of only the keywords used in the title and description. Because of the boosted SEO effects, adding a transcript to your video is proven to improve views, engagement, and ranking on Google and other search engines.
Adding Audio for Better SEO
Now that you have fully optimized images and video on your site, audio is another rich media option that can make a nice addition to boost your site’s performance even further.
Audio files, such as podcasts, can enhance your site, are rich media options that create a more enjoyable user experience, and provide additional SEO opportunities. Audio files can be embedded to your site by using third-party hosting sites such as BuzzSprout, Pod Bean, or Castros, or can be added to your site through the use of a sitemap, much like video. No matter which way you choose to add your audio content, correct optimization is imperative for maximum results.
Podcast and Audio Creation and Setup
Just as with video, your podcast or audio file should be well planned before anything is ever recorded. With so many podcast options already available, you want to provide your listeners with something new. Try to identify information that can set you apart from your competition. This will give you an opportunity to not only provide new and useful information but also to rank for keywords that other sites aren’t ranking for. Keywords are just as important in podcasts as they are with images and video. Keywords are how Google will index your information for search inquiries so they should be researched and implemented accordingly. The same research sites used for finding and researching traditional, image, and video keywords can be used to find relevant audio keywords. Remember to note the volume, difficulty, and competition of the keywords to ensure you are implementing terms that are productive.
Once your audio file or podcast is created, it’s time to add it to your HVAC site. Like with video, you have a choice on how you would like to add the content to your website. You can use third-party hosts such as Blubrry, PodBean, or Buzzsprout to host your audio files on an RSS feed or you can submit a sitemap to add the podcast directly to your site. Third-party hosting is common with podcasts and provides simpler attachment to your site as well as easier SEO creation. Through these sites, you will simply embed your audio feed into your site using an embedding code provided by the host.
The Blubrry hosting site works well with WordPress and offers many advantages over a basic host site. Along with podcast and audio hosting you receive:
- Simple and Advanced Mode Choices for All Levels of Knowledge
- Submission of Your Shows to Spotify
- Free Migration
- SEO Tools
With the PodBean host, you get great benefits along with superior analytics. ALong with your audio hosting service you get:
- Your Own Domain
- Unlimited Storage
- SEO Tools
This hosting platform is designed for the novice user and boasts easy-to-use capabilities such as:
- Easy-to-Read Stats
- Multiple Directory Listing
- Automatic Optimization
While each host site offers incredible benefits, it’s important to choose the best site for your needs and experience level. A superior hosting site means nothing if you can’t properly utilize it.
Adding Metadata for Better HVAC SEO
Adding proper metadata to your podcast or audio file is crucial for it to have a positive impact on your HVAC SEO efforts. Both primary and secondary keywords should be used along with efficient tagging and linking. While these datasets must be created using the sitemap submission when self-hosting, most hosting sites offer SEO entry tools to make your metadata creation easier and more productive.
Your HVAC podcast will have two separate titles- one for the show and one for the episode. With your feed, you are able to group podcasts together by topic, date, or just about any other grouping property. These groups are called shows. Within each show, you will have multiple podcasts that fit into that category. These are called episodes.
Your podcast show title should be no longer than 60 characters to avoid being cut off and should include at least a primary keyword with either a location or brand tag. It’s also helpful to include a secondary keyword if possible. Show titles are displayed on directory lists, so should be very explanatory of the content. If your podcast is about energy efficient air conditioners, a good title may be “Energy Efficient A/C Units in Your Town, USA”. Another option would be to include your brand in the title, which might look like, “Energy Efficient Air Conditioners by Your Company Name”. This allows your HVAC show to be indexed for not only keywords but also for location and brand searches.
Next, your episode title should be comprised of a primary and a secondary keyword that explains exactly what the content is about. An effective HVAC episode title might look like: “Are Ductless Air Conditioners More Energy Efficient?”. These titles will be displayed once a viewer selects your show. They should be explanatory and communicate the exact information in your podcast.
Description of Your HVAC Podcast
Like the title, the description of your podcast is made up of both the show category and the episode category. The show or podcast description will appear in podcast directories and varies in length according to which directory you use.
This description should utilize both primary and secondary keywords along with branded long-tail keywords. The episode description will be displayed on the show’s directory page and tells the viewer what each recording is about.
Podcast episode descriptions should be no longer than 255 characters to avoid being cut off and should use top keywords as well as secondary keywords for full optimization. The episode description should be specialized to the content of only that recording. Therefore, service and product keywords can be utilized with greater effect. For instance, while your show description may discuss the advantages of more energy efficient air conditioners, your episode description may focus on energy efficient Rheem A/C units installed by your company. By using this method, your podcast can reach listeners searching for your company, energy efficient A/C units, or specific details on Rheem brand units.
Podcast RSS Feed Optimization
An RSS feed stands for “Rich Site Summary”, but more recently has been coined “Really Simple Syndication”. This feed is a list of your rich media and resembles a sort of digital table of contents. Your podcast’s RSS feed is also the basis for your URL. You want a primary keyword in your RSS feed’s URL as well as your brand. This way, when you submit the feed to platforms for viewing, it can be easily indexed.
Fully Optimized Content Page
Once your podcast is successfully uploaded to its host and thoroughly optimized for searchability, you are ready to embed it into your site. This can be easily done with an embedding code offered by your host platform. Along with embedding your podcast onto your site, it’s important to create fully optimized content that relates to the audio presentation. Be sure to include primary and local keywords along with varied H2s and H3s for complete optimization. You should also include meta tags and titles on the page, as well as an optimized image. This will allow your rich media to be searchable on SERPs as well as audio search platforms and create more indexable content to help your page rank higher.
HVAC SEO and Rich Media Experts
Rich media utilization is a great way to boost your HVAC SEO when used correctly. Get the most from your rich media efforts by calling the HVAC Webmasters professionals to help. Our experts are trained and experienced in all SEO tactics to ensure that your site and rich media effects are fully optimized for maximum reach and results. We work with you to identify your SEO and rich media needs and provide realistic options that fit your needs and your budget. HVAC Webmasters provides complete website and social media management so you know that your site is performing where it should be. As a HVAC Webmasters client, you are able to receive
- Website Creation and Management
- Professional HVAC SEO Research, Development, and Implementation
- Media Addition and SEO Creation
- Social Media Management
- Blog Management and SEO
- PPC Marketing
- Rich Media Implementation
Our team also provides updates and data that delivers a clear picture of your HVAC site’s progress and performance so you never feel in the dark. We deliver comprehensive reports and figures so you can not only see how far your HVAC site has come, but you can also see where it stands now. If your website is getting the visibility it could be, call the HVAC Webmasters team at (800) 353-3409. We can help your business get seen online.
The aim of search engines like Google is to ensure to users can get to the best information available for the queries they search. The algorithms continue to tighten up to provide the best user experience possible, and the concept of user intent is right along those lines. User Intent — sometimes also called “search intent” — is taking into consideration not just the keywords entered into the search bar, but the nature of information about those keywords the user is after. It’s important for HVAC websites to offer up lots of quality content with user intent in mind to best serve their customer base and perform well in Google search rankings!
Let’s take a look at the main types of user intent for HVAC Google searches, and I’ll share some practical tips for ensuring that your internet marketing strategy is poised to optimize well.
Understanding User Intent Types + How To Write HVAC Content For Each Type
It’s important to get a sense of the various user intent types to determine if you have sufficient content for each type, or if you need to generate some new content for your HVAC website. For example, if your Google ranking suddenly dropped, taking a survey of the webpages you’re offering search engines to index is a wise move to capitalize on organic SEO. (You may still need to employ some other strategies to make sure your overall HVAC SEO game is strong and your web design is solid, but this is a logical start that will immediately benefit new customers too.)
Type #1: Informational – “How?”
This is a prime user intent type when you (or the content writers you’ve hired, in most cases) are developing copy for your website, and dovetails beautifully with Content Marketing for heating and cooling services. If you’ve missed our recent blog posts, content marketing is copy that is written with the goal of informing your customer about a product or service, without pitching your specific company per se. It’s delivering value via content without explicitly advertising your brand. Answering the questions that potential customers would ask of an HVAC professional like yourself is a great way to not only anticipate the needs of folks looking for the services you offer, but will also help you rank better in the Google SERPs.
Think about the types of questions you get calls about (or that your receptionist/office manager hears). Write specific webpages or blog posts to address those questions. They’re needs, after all, and you’re uniquely positioned as a subject-matter expert to address them as a service to your customers. The key here is utilize proper on-page SEO like optimized Title Tags and Header Tags so that search engines are aware of the great content you’re publishing, and can ensure you get prominent placement to get your phone ringing!
Consider This Post As An Example Of Informational User Intent
This very post is an example of addressing a need for potential customers (that’s You) by publishing content (a blog post) which answers a common question that HVAC business owners ask of us (as SEO specialists). It’s not about whether or not you hire us to redesign your website and manage your content (although we’d love that, of course), but I want to provide value to YOU simply by sharing information to help you better navigate your buying decision on the SEO and Internet Marketing front.
And speaking of navigation…
Type #2: Navigational – “Where?”
Let’s say this post really piqued your interest and you like the content you see on our website and blog. (Aw, you’re making us blush!) Your next step may be to research other Web Marketing companies, or to specifically research our firm to determine if you’re ready to make a call for more information. You would be the Navigational User Type at this point, because you’re beyond the research phase and now considering a particular “brand,” or at least trying to find that for your next move.
Here’s another example: think about trying to locate a particular webpage for a company you know you’re ready to work with. You may not want to take the time to search for their homepage, and then navigate within the site to find the desired page. Instead, common user behavior is to simply Google the company name and what information you’re specifically trying to find. This lets Google (or whatever search engine you’re utilizing) do the work for you, so you can simply click on the link from the SERPs to get to the exact page you need to move forward in the process. This is navigational user intent.
How Do I Create HVAC Content For Navigational Searches?
Assume that the viewer has already made a decision to call an HVAC professional. So they’re beyond determining if they can DIY a fix, and know they need help. They are going to search for a particular service or company name (if known, but rare) and generally include the location. They’re still trying to hone in on who will get the call, so while a buying decision is imminent (we’ll talk more about this transactional stage in a moment), they’re still discovering information to help that decision along.
Because it is unlikely that a potential customer will search for your particular business name off the bat (although this is a common step if they’re vetting your brand for the work, which is why a well-established web presence is important to make that decision easy for them), the best way to appeal to this user type is to ensure you have content on your website and social media pages that is targeted for your service area.
It really won’t serve your business if you have a blog post, for example, that is killing it with traffic if you don’t get any calls as a result. By making sure to use your service cities (and county, depending on the population) as part of the HVAC keywords throughout your content writing, this will help the right customers stay engaged with your information and on the right track to booking your services!
Type #3: Transactional – “Buy!”
It’s important not to treat one user type as more valuable than all the others, as any potential HVAC lead could result in an awesome long-term relationship. Transactional searches are going to be focus on moving forward to book a service, in the case of heating and cooling repairs. You can (and should) absolutely cater to these queries, and offering content to differentiate you from local competitors is a great way to do so.
HVAC Brand Pages To Facilitate Lead Conversion To Sales
A great way to appeal to the transactional user intent is to offer brand pages on your website. If a homeowner has a busted Trane air conditioner, for example, they may be searching for repairs or replacement by brand name. Having an optimized service page for Trane ACs in your area may get you the best placement possible to catch that call and get their business, which could potentially be a total system replacement. Cha-ching!
Leverage Service Pages And HVAC Blogs To Appeal To Search Intent Well
Because there is potential business tied to each of the user intent types we just covered, it’s important to ensure that your HVAC internet marketing — from your primary website to social media and citation listing content — appeals to each user. It’s perfectly fine to market more heavily to one or some of the search intents, but making sure to have something available for everyone is a great way to ensure you’re not leaving potential business on the table.
Service pages, which delve into deep content about a particular heating or cooling service, that are optimized for the service area and with a user intent in mind are going to help you get solid traffic and stand out from the pack. Especially in competitive markets, the key to succeeding online is offering specific webpages and blog posts that allow you to show up well in Google rankings and dominate early page SERPs.
To make the most of on-page SEO, use a specific search query as the H1 for blog posts (which typically serve as the post title) or H2s for service pages. For example, write a blog post titled, “How Do I Know If My Furnace Can Be Repaired Or Needs To Be Replaced?” This is a logical search intent — Informational User Intent, to be precise — and will provide a great entry point for your website via this blog post (assuming it’s structured as an internal blog, versus a separate platform).
You can use the Suggestion feature of Google to find additional topics for a nice breadth for content, all of which helps search engines see your site as relevant, valuable, and therefore deserving of top spots.
Google suggestion feature as a rich source of content ideas (sample query for furnace replacement)
In the example above, Google seems to really like the keyword phrase “furnace filter needs to be replaced/changed.” This is a great idea for another post! If I proceed with the post title I just suggested (trying to determine repair or replacement), I may add the suggestion of a specific post or page about furnace filters to a list for future topics. Thanks, Google!
What Would My Customer Want To Know?
At the end of the day, you’re creating content for potential customers. Even if the idea isn’t explicitly to push your brand (which is honestly never really appealing to viewers), make sure you’re thinking like customers and using feedback you get via your team or Google reviews to serve clients before they even pick up the phone.
In today’s competitive HVAC landscape, business owners are looking for any edge over the competition. While print, billboard, and radio were top marketing platforms for small businesses in the past, online representation has taken over as the number-one way to get your business recognized. Search platforms like Google and Bing have made it easier than ever for searchers to find the results they are looking for, paving the way for an evolved marketing atmosphere.
Today, online marketing and presentation is the end all of business communications. The general public uses Google to locate services, find product information, and much more. In order to ensure that your HVAC business can compete in this evolving landscape, proper SEO planning and implementation are crucial.
What is HVAC SEO (in 2019)?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is currently the best way to compete with other local companies in customer acquisition and company awareness. Effective SEO is accomplished when your business is listed higher in ranking than your competition on platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
In past years, effective SEO could be gained fairly easily by simply adding keywords and links to your site. However, Google quickly caught on to these methods and created more detailed algorithms to deliver better content to its users. Today, HVAC sites must be well-written, provide a good user experience, and deliver helpful information and informative links in order to rank on SERPs. It must also include correct and clean coding, precise metadata, and images, videos, and media that match the discussed topic. While good HVAC SEO isn’t difficult to achieve, it can take time, skill, and knowledge of correct and effective formatting.
Why HVAC SEO is Important
When someone in your area needs a service or product, chances are, they go to Google. If a consumer searches for “A/C repair in Dallas, TX”, a list of sites will appear that present relevant terms, content, and information. The more relevant and useful the content, the higher on the results page it will be. This is called ranking and sets the order of the search results listed on search platforms. Since most customers don’t scroll down far, it’s important to appear at the top of this list in order to generate leads for your business.
Applying effective SEO tactics will help your site to rank higher in search results along with listing pertinent information such as the phone number, location, and services listed. This could lead to more inquiries, appointments, and business awareness for your HVAC company. In today’s digital landscape, effective HVAC SEO could mean the difference between a fruitful customer base and closing the doors for good.
SEO Strategy: The Planning Stage
Your SEO strategy is not something that should be done on the fly or without thought. Effective SEO is well-planned according to what consumers are searching for. Your SEO plan should include well-researched keywords, clear URL structures, and captivating images and videos, all of which lend to how well your site will rank with search engines.
Keyword planning is crucial for ranking well on search engine platforms and is the foundation of a good SEO plan. The goal with keyword selection is to identify words that will attract the most relevant searchers. This can be done by identifying each word’s search volume, difficulty level, and competition level which can be found using programs such as MOZ, SEMRush, and Ubersuggest. The search volume metric suggests how often the term is used during a search query. The difficulty level is a metric the identifies the level of difficulty of the word itself. The competition level demonstrates how often the word or phrase is used on other sites which is helpful when developing a unique keyword set. Use these metrics to identify the most viable keywords for your business. For instance, if a keyword is most often linked to commercial HVAC repair and your company provides only residential repair, that keyword may not be the best option.
- National Keywords: High volume keywords like HVAC Repair, Air Conditioners, and Heaters are indexed according to the searchers’ location so local businesses aren’t competing nationally for these terms. When creating your SEO plan, you should be aware of the top 100 national keywords in the HVAC field. This will help when creating URL hierarchy, content, and on-page SEO. Identifying these top terms will also help when thinking of more specific longtail and service-related terms that pinpoint even more relevant searchers. Top keywords such as these should be used throughout the site with concentration to top-level pages in order to be indexed effectively and help SERP ranking.
- Local Keywords: For local optimization, HVAC companies should use top keywords with a location reference. For instance, if you’re an HVAC company in Wilmington, DE, then an effective keyword may be heating in Dallas, TX or Dallas, TX heating. Keyword research programs can help you discover which location tags are the most useful for your area. For instance, “air conditioning in Dallas TX” has a search volume of 210 while “Dallas Air Conditioning” has a search volume of 110. While good practice to use both keyword phrases in your content, the first option should be the focus for the best results.
- Service Keywords: The most successful HVAC sites have subsequent pages describing their specific services in detail. These sites use more specific service keywords that focus on one category or service. For example, if your HVAC company provides gas furnace repair and installation, then a realistic service keyword would be gas furnace services. Be sure to include location tags on these keywords as well for proper optimization.
URL Structure & Page Hierarchy
Once you have your list of keywords, you can begin to set up your URL structure and page hierarchy. Typically, sites have multiple levels of pages that present information from a general to a more specific level. This is called the site or page structure. Most HVAC websites have a top-level Home page, About Us page, and a Location page. In addition, they may also have a few general service top-level pages such as “Heating” or “Air Conditioning”. From there, HVAC sites lead into secondary pages that may include categories like “Central A/C Service”, “Furnace Service”, or “Central Heating”. A tertiary level is usually added from that point which addresses specific services like “Natural Gas Furnace Repair” and “Ductless A/C System Installation”. Your site structure helps Google index your pages for search rankings and should be clear and easy to follow. The pages should flow well into each other and create a natural flow process for reaching them.
Along with your HVAC site’s page hierarchy, the URL structure should be considered carefully. Each URL should be mapped to be easily followed by Google and searchers. They should be short and concise, and present the exact topic that will be displayed along with a clear path to the information. A well-planned HVAC URL may resemble something like http://HVACCOMPANY/heating/furnace-repair. This URL has a clear path, includes top keywords, and presents a well-communicated subject. This helps SERPs to know exactly what your HVAC content is about.
Images & Videos
The most successful HVAC websites use images and videos that represent the content and are clear and correctly sized. Photos and videos should be chosen during the planning stage to ensure proper emphasis on the content as well as preventing duplicate usage. Images should be unique and provide a look into your business, staff, and services.
Search Engine Optimization: The Implementation Stage
Once you have finished your SEO plan, you should have a clear layout of your site’s page structure along with keywords, images, videos, and URL for each. However, your SEO tasks aren’t finished. Your HVAC site’s design and usability also contribute to your HVAC SEO and should be constructed with the customer in mind.
While there are multiple usable templates available for your HVAC site, a custom website design is always best when it comes to SEO and searchability. This is because templates lack the coding that Google uses to index information and keywords. In order to implement key structure and coding details like schema, headers, and title tags, a custom site design is needed.
One of the biggest contributors to high bounce rates and poor HVAC SEO ranking is a lack of easy to utilize contact information. Your HVAC site should have listed contact information including a location address and map, phone number and email address on every page of your site. Your company’s phone number should also be distributed throughout the content for maximum usability. Not only does this lend to a boost in trust that can contribute to higher search rankings, but it also presents a better user experience that can help attract and retain visitors.
Call To Action
Any marketer worth his salt will tell you that a call to action is crucial. Your page’s call to action is meant to lead, instruct, and inspire your site’s visitor to complete the desired action, whether it be to schedule an appointment or call for more information. For optimal SEO, every page on your HVAC site should have at least one call to action. It should be easy to find and conveniently located within your page to maximize usability and task completion.
Your company website is a reflection of the business itself. Your design should represent your HVAC company’s personality. If your HVAC business is geared toward mostly commercial service, you want a professionally presented site with a lot of structure and uniformity. However, if your business has a laid back approach, you may want to use a broader color scheme or more vibrant design elements.
Badges, Accolades, and Testimonials
You work to get certifications and certificates that set you apart from your competition. Make sure that your site visitors know how skilled you are by displaying badges and accolades prominently with links back to the original site. This not only communicates your abilities to prospective customers but provides outward lining opportunities to reputable sites within your industry.
Testimonials also help promote your company by providing positive real-life experiences to your visitors and potential customers. Testimonials can be displayed on your HVAC website as well as your Google Homepage to encourage searchers to choose your company.
The best way to hold user attention in today’s online landscape is with multimedia content which can include videos, PDFs, or other interactive options. Along with providing backlink and sharing options which help to boost online trust and reputability, these additions create a better user experience, leading to lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates. Multimedia content is also perfect for sharing on secondary platforms such as YouTube or social media, providing backlink and distribution opportunities. A company video, for example, can be added to YouTube and your site, then linked to Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms for maximum reach to potential clients.
In order to rank on search engines, your site must be optimized for mobile use. Mobile optimized sites provide the viewer with the most important information while hiding graphics, animations, and other secondary elements that could create longer load times. Like mobile optimization, responsive design adjusts your content for the screen used to view it. Responsive sites manipulate information and graphics for the best view possible on smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.
Local SEO for HVAC
The key to website success is local optimization. When your local HVAC SEO is in good shape, your business appears in “near me” and map searches which are crucial for generating new business in today’s world. Local optimization is achieved through multiple tasks and techniques and can offer the boost you’re looking for to outdo your competition.
Local Business Citations
Citations are listings or mentions in other locations throughout the web that help build trust and recognition. When using Google to locate a service or product, we have all seen the search options that boast the “10 best professionals” in your field. These are citation sites and can help boost your site’s ranking when used properly. Local directories such as Angie’s List, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor are all noteworthy directories that provide useful citations to boost your HVAC SEO.
One way to boost your local HVAC SEO efforts is by ensuring your NAP, or Name, Address, and Phone, are consistent throughout the web. On each site that your business is listed your company name and contact information should be exactly the same. This helps Google and other search engines easily pair your site with your other business listings which improves your credibility and online clout.
Google My Business Optimization
When searchers perform a branded search, or a search of your company name, they are presented with your Google knowledge graph. Within the knowledge graph, you find details like contact information, reviews, ratings, hours, and location. You will also find links to company social media pages, directory listings, and other secondary business mentions. Your Google Business Page is crucial for top HVAC SEO and rankings. The information entered into your Business Page will allow Google to correctly index your company according to services, location, and other details to ensure productive searchability.
In the past, a static list of your service area was enough to let searchers know where you provide services. Today, however, optimal HVAC SEO is achieved through the addition of city pages which are focused for each city that your company serves. These pages are optimized for the services and location and are typically brought together by a linked list on a top-level ‘Areas Served’ page. Correctly optimized city pages allow Google to easily index every area your HVAC company serves.
Your HVAC site should ideally include a city page for every large city your business services. They should be complete with unique content, images, and SEO elements, and provide a clear overview of your company’s offerings. Title tags should be used within the content and include a top keyword along with a location tag to provide optimal indexing for the specified area. This way, when a location-based search is performed, such as “heater repair in Palmdale, CA, your Palmdale city page is displayed in the search results.
On-Page SEO for HVAC Companies
When a searcher enters a query, they are not usually taken to a website’s homepage, but instead to a page within the site which presents the information being searched. But how do search engines know which pages have the correct content? On-page SEO provides Google with clues as to what information will be found on each page which is done through images, bullet points, headers, and other styling and formatting techniques. Google uses these details to determine what type of content is available on your site and which level in the search results you will be ranked.
Within your content, your keywords should be strategically placed and naturally flowing. They should be present not only in the general content, but also in the headers, image captions, and lists for optimal referencing during search queries. Remember, the more relevant and more frequent your keywords are, the more likely Google is to display your content when the word is used in a search.
While using main keywords such as HVAC repair and HVAC installation are important, you should also use more specialized secondary keywords in your content. These keywords provide more description and are more likely to provide high search rankings when users perform specific service or product searches.
Title tags are crucial for proper on-page HVAC SEO and provide Google with an overall description of your page. These tags are found in search results as the title of the query and at the top of the page when clicked. Your title tags should be short and concise, having a max of 60 characters in order to display as they should. It should be descriptive and include a main keyword as well as a location or brand tag.
When a Google search is performed, the displayed results include a short snippet of information that paraphrases the content. This is called the meta description and is used by Google to correctly index your content topic. When creating your meta description you want to include a main and secondary keyword if possible, as well as contact and brand information. This will help Google to connect your content with your site which can help boost your rankings. However, make sure to keep your meta description under 160 characters to prevent being cut off.
Header tags are used in content to separate different thoughts. Multiple styles and sizes of headers can be used when laying out your content and can provide title breaks as well as content dimension. When arranging your content, using header tags can help Google correctly index the topic of each paragraph on your page.
Header tags should be strategically placed within the content to emphasize independent ideas and new thoughts. They should have between 20 and 70 characters for optimal viewing and indexing. Your HVAC webpage should have a combination of H2 and H3 header tags to distinguish between main ideas and supporting thoughts. This helps Google and other search engines accurately index your content and focus for search rankings.
Your URL is the exact address where your page is located. Because Google uses your page URL to index your site and as a displayed object on SERPs, it’s important that it is created correctly. An effective URL will state the content clearly and use a top keyword that relates to the topic. Many sites have not optimized their URL slugs and end up with slugs that make no sense or are hard to understand. An air conditioning repair page might have a URL slug of /air-conditioning-repair for an effective URL slug. Google uses bots to crawl every site when a search query is performed. These bots use URLs to correctly and quickly index your HVAC site’s content.
Image Alt Text
Images can greatly improve your HVAC SEO efforts, but only if used correctly. While captions and image titles are important, Image Alt text is crucial for Google to correctly index your image content. As search bots crawl your site, they index image subjects as well as image content. When your image has appropriate tags and descriptions, Google can easily tell what it’s about, leading to possible better rankings.
Other SERP Ranking Factors
Google and other search engines use a wide array of information and details to provide helpful search results for its users. While on-page and site-wide SEO is crucial, other factors also weigh into your business’ ranking. To ensure complete optimization, these factors must be up to par as well.
Domain Age: Your site and domain age are also factors that Google considers when presenting search results. A site that is 10 years old is more established than a site that is six months old and will hold more clout on SERPs. While in some cases this can’t be helped, it’s important to keep your domain once you have one. A well-established domain displays a web address that is reputable and not a “fly-by-night” site which helps with ranking.
Reviews: Reviews are also a deciding factor with SERPs. As your clients leave reviews of your company on different platforms, Google indexes them as reputability. Reviews also display on your Google knowledge graph, showing prospective clients what level of workmanship they can expect from your company. The knowledge graph displays many more review types than Google alone, so it’s vital to encourage your clients to complete reviews on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor for comprehensive coverage for your HVAC business.
Location: Your business location is a crucial deciding factor in your HVAC SEO development. In large cities and metro areas, new or less well-known sites will have trouble competing with larger companies and sites when it comes to top keywords. In this case, utilizing secondary keywords can give your site the boost it needs.
How is Your HVAC SEO Doing?
As with any business plan, your HVAC SEO should have a set method of analytics to ensure its effectiveness. Luckily, Google and many other programs offer helpful tools for measuring your SEO success. Google delivers first-class analytics that is easy to read and transfer so you are able to create helpful and productive progress reports.
With your Google My Business account, you have access to Google Analytics to help track your site’s performance on Google. These metrics give a clear picture of how your site is doing, and what can be improved. Each metric delivers valuable information on keywords, customer conversions, and even image reaction.
Along with Google Analytics, platforms like SEMRush, MOZ, and CoreMetrics provide helpful metrics and analytics that can be used to judge the effectiveness of your HVAC SEO plan. No matter what platform you use to measure the success of your SEO plan, it’s important to keep track of benchmarks, shortcomings, and other details to be able to make effective adjustments.
In order to produce a successful HVAC website, your SEO must be correctly done. Each component of effective HVAC SEO plays a part in the indexing and tracking of your site by Google and other search engines and will decide where, if at all, your site shows on search results. Therefore, an efficient plan, implementation schedule, and analytics method is crucial for business success in the online world.
The HVAC SEO Experts
A well-performing website is crucial for business success in today’s landscape. When your HVAC company has a website that simply doesn’t get the attention it should, call the HVAC Webmasters team to help. We provide a comprehensive assessment of your website and web presence and offer realistic techniques and methods to boost your online reach. Our experts are trained and certified in website creation and SEO to ensure your website gets the recognition it deserves and you get the leads you need. Our experts walk you through each step of your service, explaining techniques, styles, and other details to ensure you are always in the loop and can see the progress that your site is making.
Site Creation and Management
Along with well-written, relevant content and design techniques, your site must be regularly updated for optimal ranking. This means that content must be added and adjusted on a regular basis. This tells Google that your site is fresh and update, and can offer helpful information to searchers. Our experts provide regular content, image, and coding adjustments to ensure that your site is always optimized effectively. We provide regular blogging service as well as content update and revision services to ensure that your site is always fresh and up to date.
Social Media Management
In today’s business world, social media plays a crucial role in reaching prospective customers. In fact, on average, people spend more daily time on Facebook and Instagram than they do eating. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, you are missing countless engagement opportunities. The HVAC Webmasters professionals will monitor and manage your social media accounts so you can be sure that your audience is receiving current, interesting content that generates consumer interest and action.
While SEO isn’t rocket science, it can be time-consuming and tedious. Luckily, the HVAC Webmasters team is ready to help. Our experts can devise and implement a productive SEO plan for your HVAC business to help generate reach, interest, and conversions that result in better ROI for your company. Our HVAC SEO specialists will perform comprehensive research on current keyword and keyphrase usage and develop a working plan that is recognized by Google bots to boost your rankings. Our team’s ongoing management efforts ensure that your site is able to keep up with current Google SEO regulations and algorithms so your company gets the reach and recognition it needs to be successful.
In today’s market, online presence is crucial for a successful business of any kind, and HVAC is no exception. Google search has become the number one method of locating services and products for the general public, above all other advertising and marketing endeavors. Keep your HVAC SEO in top condition with help from the HVAC Webmasters professionals. We have the knowledge and know-how to get your site where it needs to be in order to rank well in Google searches and other search engine inquiries. Our HVAC SEO experts complete every step of your SEO development and monitor changes, fluctuations, and revisions to Google and other search engine platforms to ensure your site’s rank, authority, and trust throughout the online environment. When you want HVAC SEO management that you can trust, Call the HVAC Webmasters team at __PHONE__. We deliver the optimization you need to get the reach you’ve been looking for.