People enjoy spending money this time of year. Need further evidence; enter the terms Black Friday or Cyber Monday into your web browser.

Research firm ShopperTalk estimates that Americans shelled out $11.2 billion at store locations nationwide on Black Friday.

But who wants to compete with those crazed lunatics camped out for days when you can conveniently shop from the comfort of your own home? Trends show more and more people are opting to stay away from the stores and shop from the convenience of their own homes. The National Retail Federation estimates that 47.5 percent, or approximately one in two consumers, shopped online on Black Friday. And while data has not yet been substantiated, those numbers were expected to increase exponentially on Cyber Monday. International Business Machines Corp., a firm that analyzes online activity from more than 500 U.S. retailers, released preliminary data stating that Cyber Monday sales increased 30 percent this year, when compared to last year.

IBM reported that buyers are also more apt to shop using their smartphones. Mobile devices accounted for 18 percent of visits to retailer websites and 13 percent of sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 70 percent and 96 percent respectively.

If consumers are flocking to cyberspace for clothes, jewelry, and electronics, you can bet your shorts that they’re trusting in Google to find an adequate HVACR contractor as well.

So, surf over to your website. Go on, load it up. What is the first impression of your page? Most consumers will only grant you five seconds of their time – if you’re lucky to gain that initial click. In these five seconds, your website must immediately convey that you and your staff can adequately solve the HVACR issue at hand.

Navigation must be simple as most shoppers want to quickly learn about the company, what services are offered, and how to get in contact. If the website fails to appear clear, concise, professional, and friendly — or requires a visitor to seek out any vital information — it’s likely the customer has already punched his back button.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to include a printable coupon in plain sight. Anytime a consumer is conditioned to believe they are receiving a discount is a plus.

Seems simple, right? But if you need help, spend the money for a website consultant. The ability to attract potential customers will make it money well spent. Because if you are still doing things the way your father did, there is a good chance your son won’t be afforded the same opportunity to follow in your footsteps.