As the world increasingly has access to the internet at its fingertips, it’s no surprise that eight out of ten consumers now research a business online before making a transaction. It all starts with a look at a company’s website. If that alone can’t provide the information consumers are looking for, more often than not, people will discount it and look to do business elsewhere.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is no exception to this. As an in-demand technical service, HVAC service providers should be able to provide everything a customer needs to know on their website. But as this article will explain, there’s more to generating leads and building legitimacy than just offering content.
Research into eye-tracking and other website-viewing habits has produced interesting findings. In a 2018 study, 57% of visitors spend the most time viewing content above the fold, the visible area at the bottom of the page when it loads before scrolling down for further viewing. (1)
Understanding and acting upon consumer habits such as this is a step in the right direction toward making a website more user-friendly. HVAC service websites do this by putting the most crucial information above the fold like:
- the logo and name of the HVAC service,
- a brief description of services it offers,
- areas and regions it serves, and
- contact information. (2)
Some websites take user-friendliness a step further by adding an action button above the fold to contact the business quickly. However, this only works if it employs state-of-the-art business suites such as those offered on the Jobber platform. Any inquiries can be made through these programs, making arranging an appointment or paying for service really straightforward. The investment of cost is negligible, even for small start-up enterprises, when you consider the benefits that a service like this provides to the business.
The introduction of smart devices like smartphones and tablets changed the way businesses do business. Since then, the current web design doctrine has emphasized responsive web design over most principles. Websites, including those of HVAC businesses, must now look great when viewed on mobile as on a desktop PC.
Experts say having a poorly optimized website for mobile, let alone not having a mobile-ready one, can cost a business dearly. The numbers don’t lie, with one survey stating that over half of consumers are less likely to recommend a business without a mobile-ready website. It also risks losing out on conversions, with mobile registering a higher rate than desktop. (3)
There are plenty of design ideas that help HVAC websites convert, but developers agree on one crucial thing to keep in mind—the mindset of the average mobile user. The average mobile user can be goal-oriented, so websites must help them get what they need and want quickly, and refrain from distracting them with unimportant or irrelevant content.
Photos and videos in action
The phrase “pics or didn’t happen” isn’t just a meme; it’s the mentality of today’s tech-savvy user. Customers will demand any evidence of a business in action to help make more informed purchase decision making. Without these, they can’t see the business for what it’s really worth.
While high-quality photos can greatly influence purchases, marketing experts are divided on whether to use stock photos or real ones. The answer may appear obvious, but a closer look at the issue reveals that a website can benefit from both:
- Stock photos can work from a branding perspective, adding appeal and professionalism to the website. Professionally edited ones can make for unique design elements.
- Real photos, even those captured with a smartphone’s camera, vouch for a business’s legitimacy. These should comprise the majority of the website’s gallery. (4)
As for videos, the same principle more or less applies. Stock videos or B-rolls can enhance the video’s aesthetic. But footage of the business in action will still vouch for its legitimacy.
Most consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a friend or relative, and reading a handful of positive ones is enough to trust a business. An HVAC website should have a dedicated page to collect and show reviews—positive and negative—to visitors. (5)
However, the quality of the service provided isn’t the only thing that reviews show; it also shows how the business handles its customers. Any business with the customer’s best interests at heart will get noticed quickly through people retelling their experiences in their reviews. They’re at the heart of reputation management.
As discussed in detail here, the elements that make a great HVAC business website aren’t that different from other industries. By making research and transactions more convenient for the visitor, it prioritizes providing a quality customer experience.
“Scrolling and Attention”, Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/scrolling-and-attention/
“12 HVAC WEBSITE DESIGNS THAT WILL HELP YOU CONVERT”, Source: https://academy.getjobber.com/resources/articles/hvac-websites/
“The 5 Mobile Marketing Mistakes Infographic”, Source: https://www.socpub.com/articles/the-5-mobile-marketing-mistakes-infographic-14849
“Stock Photos vs. Real Photos: Does It Matter?”, Source: https://cxl.com/blog/stock-photography-vs-real-photos-cant-use/
“The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews [Infographic]”, Source: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/