An HVAC company’s website is already of critical importance, and the importance of having a successful site that converts leads to sales won’t go away anytime soon. How can a contractor make sure their website is working well for their company? Ben Landers, CEO of Blue Corona, an inbound web marketing, analytics, and optimization company, recommends that contractors remember the acronym F.A.C.T.S.
A Website Needs to Be FOUND
Landers said that the first step to a successful website is that it needs to be easily found, which comes to down to having a good search strategy and understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s critical that if a potential customer is looking on Google for a service that an HVAC contractor provides, the site comes up on the first page. Landers said that if a contractor is looking at a website proposal, they should be sure that the proposal mentions SEO, and that the website design company can offer examples of other sites they’ve built that rank well on Google.
A Website Needs to be ACCESSIBLE
In addition to this, Landers recommended, a site needs to be accessible. That is, it must be easy to use and fast-loading across any device people come to the site on, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. He said that he has come across contractors that have their website designed by an outside company, only to learn after it’s complete that customers finding it on their smartphones are unable to easily navigate it. When they approach the company that made the website, the company will say, “Well, mobile-responsiveness wasn’t in the scope of the project.” This causes issues when customers using a phone are unable to easily see if a contractor services their city, especially when many sites experience more than half of their traffic coming from people that are using smartphones.
A Website Needs the Right CONTENT
Next, Landers said that a contractor must make sure they have the right content on their site. This is important, since a customer will form an opinion of the website (and the company behind it) within a few quick moments. Because of this, a contractor needs to take time to identify who the target audience is, and what they are looking for out of the site.
“You want to anticipate the problem(s) they are experiencing, connect and empathize with them, educate them, explain what makes your company the best choice, and entice them to contact you,” said Landers. “People make emotional decisions, but they attempt to rationalize them, so explain why your company is the best choice.” Landers added that having the right content will impact SEO rankings as well. Because search engine rank pages, rather than websites as a whole, the more rich a site is with content about its service areas and trades expertise, the higher the site will rank.
A Website Needs to Build TRUST
Contractors also need to build their websites with the goal of communicating their trustworthiness to consumers. Trust can be added by offering prominent brands of equipment, but also by showcasing that a company accepts Visa and MasterCard. Referrals and testimonials from real people in the local area also do wonders to build trust, and Landers said that some companies have gone so far as to showcase video testimonials from customers. The photographs on the site should also feature real photos of the company instead of generic stock photos. Photos of technicians, trucks, and the office show the personality of the company, and they generate trust when a customer can say, “Oh — I’ve seen that company’s truck at my neighbor’s house.”
Websites Need to Be SALES and SERVICE ENABLED
Lastly, Landers said that for a website to function the best, it needs to seamlessly integrate into the sales structure of the contracting company. If a consumer fills out an inquiry form on the company website, that consumer should get a notification quickly that someone has seen the form and wants to connect person-to-person. If a website does mesh properly with the sales team, and if online inquiries are being sent but aren’t being responded to in a timely fashion, sales fall through the cracks. These forms, as well as company contact information, need to be easily accessed/filled out from any page and from any device.
Contractors should also give people a variety of ways to contact the company, including a website chat option.