One of the hardest lessons in life is learning when to let go. For many HVAC contractors, dropping an unproductive website proves more than they can bear, even if that site is harming their bottom line. In our latest podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss why starting from scratch is usually the best approach for getting your HVAC SEO and online marketing back on track.
If your business has struggled to earn leads through your current website design, be sure to listen in closely!
Key Points to Listen For
- Visuals do not drive website performance.
- Patchwork efforts from multiple vendors waste time and money.
- Quality website design utilizes coding, content, and visuals.
Ditching the Old Website Design
Imagine the prettiest, high-dollar air conditioning unit money can buy. Your customers call asking about the installation process and how soon they can buy their own system. Orders pile in and these exciting projects start filling up the calendar. Weeks into installing these brand new (and expensive) appliances, you receive startling news: they don’t actually work. Thanks to a previously unknown design flaw, the blower motors can’t summon enough power to drive air all the way through the duct lines.
Ideally, this situation would never happen in real life. After all, contractors take time to make sure their inventory performs as designed. But what if you heard of a contractor that knew of the part flaw and still continued selling the system without warning customers? You’d probably be pretty angry, and rightly so.
Digital marketers have been selling flawed website design for years.
This is primarily done through the use of template websites. We previously talked about the untold dangers of website template designs, which offer impressive visuals but lack the power of HVAC SEO. The type of templates that most heating and cooling professionals invest in (especially the bargain variety) simply don’t produce the level of traffic that businesses need for sustained growth.
Escaping from Stagnant Online Performance
As our team at the HVAC Webmasters has found over the years, the vast majority of online-active HVAC contractors have yet to grasp this truth. In fact, when shown concrete analytical data that their websites are underperforming, some companies cling all the more fiercely to their old website designs. As a result, they continue to earn a fraction of the leads that they could be earning if they switched to a more optimized site.
What’s keeping these professionals from letting go?
Below, we’re going to tackle some difficult facts about website design and why templates don’t provide the results HVAC companies need. If any of these points hit home, it might be time to dig into your Google Analytics and see if your website is due for a change!
Fact #1: Your Visuals Don’t Drive Performance.
All the professional graphic design and eye-catching templates do almost nothing to drive your HVAC SEO performance. While they certainly add to the user experience (UX), visuals don’t actually draw people to your website. To put this in perspective, let’s consult the typical process of how someone finds your website.
Google Search Process (The Basics)
- Step #1: A user enters a phrase and begins a search.
- Step #2: Google examines keywords in the phrase.
- Step #3: The search engine recalls related pages from its vast index.
- Step #4: Google arranges entries by order of relevance in a SERP.
- Step #5: The user browses the list and chooses a listing.
- Step #6: The user arrives on the/your website.
The rest is history. Either the user likes what they see and investigates the site further, or they “bounce” and start examining other sites. Your graphic design and other site visuals are essential during this phase, but most people don’t make it that far. No matter how gorgeous the design template a site may have, Google Search users will never even see it if the website fails to draw traffic in the first place.
Fact #2: It’s All Tied Together.
“Okay,” you might think. “I’ll just add in all the elements that I need to draw people to my site. How hard can that be?”
HVAC SEO (search engine optimization) involves many facets of website design. One crucial portion of the optimization process comes from keywords and their integration into the content throughout the site. Obviously, that plays a huge role in how Google categorizes your services and ranks them for search.
Then there’s coding. Perhaps the most under-acknowledged driver behind local search performance, schema coding tells Google how to interpret the content inside your website. Most site templates are designed by graphic designers, people who went to art school but probably have very little experience with coding a website.
There are many other elements of site optimization, such as navigation, page structure, image attributes, and more. These are tied in directly to the design of the template, and can’t easily be changes (effectively). The end result is an attractive but underperforming site that doesn’t drive traffic.
Fact #3: It’s (Usually) Cheaper to Start Fresh.
Let’s say you’ve purchased an attractive template that seems to represent your HVAC company well. We’ll even say that your design company input your logo and slightly altered the template theme so that coloring matches. That’s pretty typical for a cheaper service.
You paid a couple thousand for the site, but it’s underforming. What are the options?
- Option #1: Let the site stay as is.
- Option #2: Patch in missing SEO elements.
- Option #3: Choose a website redesign.
Option #1: Let it Stay
If you’re not satisfied with the performance of your website as it is now, there’s very little chance of significant change happening on its own. Keep in mind, even the most highly-optimized websites take a few months to start getting results when they first launch. However, older websites won’t spontaneously jump from page 10 to page 1. There has to be a dramatic change in the site’s optimization, which is hard to achieve with a template.
End Result: You have to rely on other forms of marketing to compensate, so you’re still spending extra money.
Option #2: Tack on Additional SEO Elements
Enhancing a given website template may take more time, money, and effort than you’d like. For one, site updates often require input from multiple, specialized marketing vendors. One adds a reviews tool; another rewrites the content. Even if all these facets find their way into the site, you’ll need to ensure they actually work together (and not against each other).
End Result: Multiple site projects and vendors makes managing the site extremely frustrating. There may be performance improvements in local search though.
Option #3: Ditch the Template
Sometimes starting fresh offers the cheaper path of least resistance. Even if it takes thousands of dollars for a trusted company to design your new custom site, the resulting traffic influx will more than compensate. Plus, you won’t have to worry about spending addition funds for patches, redesigns, or getting multiple vendors to fix random bugs.
End Result: Your company earns lasting traffic improvements to your site, and you can start ranking up in local search. No major update costs are needed!
Team Up With HVAC Webmasters!
You can probably tell which website design option we prefer at HVAC Webmasters! Our team produces custom-coded, highly-optimized websites for companies all across the country. Clients earn enormously better traffic volume, deeper customer interaction, and stronger lead generation in their local service area. If your business has struggled with gaining ground in online search, we’d love to team up with you to change that!
Call the HVAC Webmasters at (800) 353-3409 and schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO professionals.