When it comes to casting a creative vision for your website, it’s easy to get carried away with artistic license and expressionistic design. When it comes down to brass tacks however, web design should ultimately balance the needs of the business with the experience of users. Successful design is practical above all else, and nobody knows this better than Jason Landry of the Webmasters.
We sat down with the Creative Director to get his two bits on developing a productive service business-to-consumer (B2C) website. Bust out your pen and paper (or phone), because you’ll want to take notes!
Key Takeaways for HVAC Professionals
- Website design goes way beyond visual aesthetics!
- Site visitors prefer familiarity over artistic expression.
- Personalized photos are incredibly valuable, for SEO and branding.
- Design breaks down into two segments: information & presentation.
Design: Making a Difference
The average consumer’s first exposure to your company brand won’t be sitting off the freeway or driving through the neighborhood. It won’t be ingrained in a catchy tune on the radio, and it certainly won’t be smiling back through a cable television ad. Can you guess where they might see your brand?
Most consumers (residential or commercial) discover your brand online via local search.
That means the majority of first impressions are made on your website. If that impression says anything other than “professional, relatable, and reliable”, customers are going to bounce long before you have the chance to make your case in person. On the other hand, you can paint a generous portrait of your brand and make true connections with a first-rate website design.
What Winning at Website Design Looks Like
In case you’re thinking “Bah, humbug!” and breaking out the mailer cards, you better hear what a quality website can offer first. An optimized site, even a simple one, will generate more leads for your HVAC company than all the billboards, car wraps, and newspaper clippings combined. In most cases, it will also outperform television, radio, and printed ads.
Not only does professional web design and SEO generate more leads, it produces them at higher quality. Forget about paying a shot at leads a dozen other companies are fighting for. These are your exclusive leads to pursue, and they’re much more likely to convert into sales than those from other channels.
Winning at web design means securing a reliable channel of calls for your services. If that’s not worth investing in, what is?
Making a Productive Website
Does it seem like most successful HVAC websites look suspiciously familiar? That’s because most heating and cooling service companies utilize the same basic concepts for design. That could be a problem for flashier, artistic industries. But consumers don’t demand a lot of pomp from their AC mechanic. They only want convenient, accessible service.
That’s why the most profitable websites are rarely the most original. You will find several practical features that link them together:
- Easy paths to service pages
- Clear logos and phone numbers at the page top
- Informative, well-ordered content in each page
- No-nonsense menus
As Creative Director Jason puts it, “Web design is all about information and presentation.” If you can provide the right information about your services in a presentation style that’s easy to digest, you’re golden.
Frequently Asked Questions
What design elements matter most for SEO?
Simply having dedicated, optimized pages for all your services makes a huge difference in SEO! Many HVAC professionals shoot themselves in the foot by creating a handful of pages and relying on a bullet list of services. That simply doesn’t work for search. Frankly, it doesn’t work for anyone.
Schema markup and structured data make it easier for Google to crawl your website. Original photos also add more juice to your strategy, beating out sites that rely on stock images. Finally, content formatting (headers, bullets, and alt tags, for example) elevates your material for stronger search results.
Which design aspects are important for users?
Make it ridiculously easy for people to find the services they need. On top of the standard dropdown menu, sprinkle related services throughout each page. Add schema lists, and put breadcrumb labels at the top of every service page. Any given prospect should be able to find the exact service they need within 30 seconds.
Beyond that, be sure to provide your office number throughout the site. For phone-shy individuals, consider a contact form and/or email link. If you cling to a pleasant, convenient user experience, you’ll intuitively find areas to better serve your customers!
How do you balance SEO and user experience?
Google may be technological super-company with revenue in the billions every year, but it still takes the time to pursue a positive user experience. Simply put: if your site visitors are happy, Google’s happy too! Continue researching your industry keywords and carefully infuse them into your conversational writing.
Take time to listen to common client questions address them in your pages / blogs. If you can’t remember any, try your luck in the People also ask section of Google Search results. You can also find helpful tools like Answer the Public, who conveniently do the work for you!
Practical design takes your business out of the backside of Google Search and onto the front pages. It’s not about fluffy visuals or fancy tools. It’s all about serving the customer as best you can.
If you’ve struggled to develop a successful website, our team at HVAC Webmasters would love to help! Thanks to our custom sites, hundreds of professionals are earning fantastic leads from local search. We provide sustainable brand growth, all at very reasonable cost.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation at (800) 353-3409!