WEB EVOLUTION: Ben Landers, president and CEO, Blue Corona, Gaithersburg, Maryland, says HVAC contracting websites are trending towards bigger imagery with large icons, large text, and big calls to action. They are also employing more video for customer testimonials and interviews with current employees. Photo courtesy of Ministerlo TIC Columbia
Let’s get right to it and talk about what some of the leading HVAC websites have in common, and why these characteristics are important. Whether you have one truck or 500, these website tips will help you get a better return on your marketing efforts, grow your business, and give you an edge over the competition.
This is super important! According to WordStream, “Not only does Google index the mobile version of your website over the desktop version, but over 60% of web traffic comes from mobile.” This number is increasing by the day. Furthermore, Google has made it clear they are ranking websites based on speed.
Without a fast-loading, mobile-first (aka responsive) website, you’re missing out on an opportunity to rank higher on Google and you could be losing customers due to a negative user experience.
If a potential customer is Googling “air conditioner repair near me” from their phone, they want a site they can easily browse and call directly with the tap of a button. Build your site so it works well on mobile devices and loads quickly. If a customer visits your website and it takes a while for it to display, they may very well click back to the search results and choose another HVAC company — your competitor.
You provide a service where customers will be letting a stranger into their home. Establishing trust with your customers is mandatory. Third-party reviews from websites such as Google, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau will allow customers to learn more about what to expect when choosing to do business with you. Be sure to monitor your review presence across all major review sites. Respond to every review, whether it’s positive or negative, and always try to resolve issues. On your website, show photos and videos of your staff, as well as video testimonials from previous customers. Stay away from stock images (purchased images of people) if you can. Reiterate that all of your employees undergo background checks, drug screening, and continual training to ensure the highest quality of service.
Pro tip: Encourage your employees to maintain a well-groomed and presentable appearance. They are a direct reflection of your company. They should not appear as if they rolled out of bed after attending a frat party the night before.
Although I might sound like “captain obvious” here, your HVAC website should clearly explain all of the heating and air conditioning services you offer. We recommend separate pages for heating, cooling, repair, installation, and maintenance.
Clearly explaining each service will help customers know what to expect, and it will also benefit your SEO efforts, as you can create multiple subpages around each of the services/products with a keyword strategy for each. Be sure to create pages for any type of accessories you offer, such as smart thermostats, air duct cleaning, UV purification lights, and other add-on services to educate your customers and build awareness. This can also lead to additional sales.
Let’s face it: No one has ever said, “Gee, I hope I have to call an HVAC contractor today.” That being said, your offers and call to action need to stand out from the 25 other HVAC companies in your area. Depending on the different HVAC services you offer, some strong call to actions may include:
Notice a pattern? Savings, urgency with an expiration date for each offer, and a clear call to action.
Be sure to include at least three coupon offers. Although it may sound old school, visitors love clipping and redeeming coupons.
Pro tip: Conduct a monthly review of what other contractors in your service area are offering so you can stay competitive with your promotions.
Your website is a great place to tell potential customers who you are and how you got started. You might be thinking, “I’m an HVAC contractor. I’m about heating and cooling.” So are your competitors.
Building an “About” section with information about your business, your history, and your mission statement, is a great way to build trust and can also help you stand out from the competition. Are you involved in the community? Do you support local charities? Talk about it! If someone is trying to decide between your locally owned business with 50 years of experience or a competitor without a good story, they’re probably going to choose you. People relate to people, not faceless corporations.
Show real photos of your employees, owners, and management team — and make sure you have a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Post to these channels on a regular basis, and be sure to include employee videos and customer testimonial videos.
Obvious, but often overlooked: Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to contact you. Provide the path of least resistance through multiple communication platforms; otherwise, they’ll get frustrated and go somewhere else. We highly recommend providing multiple forms of contact on your website, including:
If you provide 24/7 service, make it jump (think Air Jordan) throughout the site.
By providing these different types of contact options, you’re making it convenient for the user to choose their path of least resistance. For example, say a customer is at work and they need to schedule an appointment, but can’t call at the moment. Live chat or online form to the rescue!
Pro tip: Millennials, who are quickly becoming homeowners, grew up on texting. Make it easy for them.
Your HVAC website should also act as an informational resource for your visitors. This will help you establish yourself as an authority and expert when it comes to the services you provide.
Create a blog where you can post articles such as tips to save money on heating and cooling, as well as answers to common questions surrounding the products and services you provide. Post frequent news updates, community involvement, photo galleries of your work, and more.
Including a blog will help with your SEO efforts, as you have control over the content and what you write about. Do some keyword research ahead of time and create a list of commonly searched for heating and air conditioning questions, then draft your blog posts in response to these. Not only will this give your site a boost with SEO, but it also shows good will on your part by providing useful informational without a “hard-sell” tone to it. Google gives precedence to websites that are updated frequently and provide useful info.
Pro tip: Provide a method for collecting visitors’ email addresses, which can be later used for marketing. For example: “Join our mailing list and we’ll send you an extra $10 voucher which can be used towards any service!”
In closing, your website is a conversion tool for all of your marketing efforts. You can spend as much as you want driving traffic to it but at the end of the day, if visitors are not converting into paying customers, you’re missing the mark. By implementing the suggestions and tips listed above, you can use your website to drive new leads and revenue for your business.
By Dominic Leodoro
Dominic Leodoro is the marketing and advertising director at Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electric, based out of Chicago. He also owns a digital marketing agency, www.reachthru.com, which specializes in HVAC contractor marketing.
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