Your home performance company's website serves a lot of purposes. It helps with branding, it allows potential customers to get to know your company better, it helps you show off impressive work that you've completed, and on and on. But the primary purpose of a website for an energy efficiency contractor is to get people to hire you to do work on their home or building -- to increase sales and keep you and your crew busy.
Now, the road between someone sitting down at their computer or pulling out their smart phone and filling out a "contact us" form on your website or calling you is a long one and it's full of obstacles. Your job when handling your website, then, is to minimize those obstacles and to make that journey as smooth as possible.
Thankfully, unlike a road (or a house), you can always change a website. It's a living, breathing thing, and it won't cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor to totally overhaul the thing later on should you so choose. That said, the best time to get your site on track is when you're setting it up: bake in the crucial elements of a strong, search friendly website that drives leads, and you'll save yourself headaches down the road.
Information Architecture for SEO
Your website's information architecture (IA) consists of the pages that will be on the site, and how they will be structured in relation to one another. Unlike regular architecture, you can change it later without too much damage, but there's no better time to get it right than when you're first setting up your website.
We've written a lot about how you can tweak your website to improve SEO. These include simple fixes such as adding fresh content, creating a page for each service you offer, improving your internal linking, creating a service area map, and the like. But setting up your site's IA to optimize SEO in the first place means that these other upgrades will pack much more of a punch when you complete them.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Figure out what your core services are, or the services that you're interested in pushing the hardest. Have a page for each of them and have them front and center in your primary navigation. It's much easier to rank well for the term "energy audits" if you have a page on your website called "energy audits."
- Think about what your major categories should be (e.g. "hvac," "remodeling," "energy efficiency services") as well as what additional pages will fall into those categories.
- Think about keywords when creating these pages: you'll have to make a choice, for example, between "energy audits" and "energy assessments." It's a good idea to figure out the strongest keywords related to your energy efficiency services, and take advantage of that knowledge to gain search traffic. Do the pages that you're creating match up to what people are searching for?
- While you're at it, be sure those pages include keywords in the URLs.
Information Architecture for Conversion & Sales
Of course, people visiting your website won't necessarily lead to sales. You need to be sure that once they get to your home page, or your blog post, or your educational page about the benefits of home performance, they know what to do next. Considerations:
- What do you want people to do when they come to your website? Most likely, you want them to fill out a form with their contact information; so be sure to include a prominent contact page with a form (and a clearly displayed phone number).
- Once again, those service pages that you're heavily focused on ("insulation," "home energy audits," "commercial energy audits," etc.) should be front and center so that they're extremely easy to find from your home page or anywhere else on your site. Consider a strong call-to-action on these pages that encourages people to "sign up now" or "get started today!"
- If you offer a lot of services and can't fit them all in the primary navigation, categorize them under intuitive umbrellas so that they're easy to find. (For example, "residential services," "commercial services," or "heating and cooling services," "energy efficiency services.")
- Make sure your home page has everything it needs.
- People rarely hire businesses they don't trust. Minimize that risk with a good about us page.
This may or may not seem overwhelming, but the long story short is this: a well set-up website with good content throughout not only makes it infinitely more useful to visitors, but improves your chances of showing up in searches, and increases the chances that visitors will become customers.
Any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact us at Energy Circle PRO. We'd be happy to help out.