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Sales & Marketing

How to Improve Your Website’s User Experience?

Originally published
Originally published: 7/1/2024

What is UX or User Experience? UX or User Experience in the digital marketing world describes how easy it is for a consumer to interact with your company online.  In the world of HVACR, we are focused primarily on a contractor’s website.  In layman’s term, it needs to be easy to use and navigate, so that the searcher quickly finds information.

Simple Clean Design (Minimalistic)

Just a few short years ago, website design revolved heavily around producing as much content as possible. SEO tactics were all about pages and pages of content. That technique has changed in recent years. Here is an example of outdated SEO for HVAC businesses:  creating pages for every service your company provides, location pages for all markets served, and different pages for the same service (i.e. AC Repair, Air Conditioner Repair). Users want the simplest and easiest website content available to digest.  Remember, the average homeowner will only purchase heating and air conditioning 2.5 times in their lifetime.  They are not thinking about it at all until it breaks.  It is out of sight and out of mind. So, when the moment of truth happens, they need repair at their home.  The consumer searches on their device and wants a contractor that gives them an answer immediately, one they haven’t buried in layers of service pages.  Keep your design simple and clean.

Hierarchy of Information – Pillar Content

Pillar content must start with a central topic of interest to your target customer and then you build content around it. Remember, consumers do not casually browse heating and air websites like they may a car dealership or clothing website. It just doesn’t happen. The focus should be around one of your core competencies: Service, Maintenance, or Installation. Pillar-based content is a newer SEO technique that drives the best user experience on a website. It is designed around layers of content that support one main topic. 

An example would be “Air Conditioner Repair” and the information that you structure to support it. The supporting layers or clusters would be:

    Blog: “What to look for before you call a contractor” or “Signs you need AC Repair.”
    Blog: “The importance of maintenance to prevent breakdowns.”
    Video: Showing how to check your filters, the circuit breakers, and your thermostat before you call a contractor.
    Content: A list of items presenting problems and the accompanying answers.
    Content: Reasons why repair or replacement is the better option. Provide supporting evidence for both.

High-Quality Content

Your company’s website must deliver high-quality content in 2024. You need to immediately convey to the user that you are the trusted authority for what they seek. They will know right away that they have found the best service provider for their needs. Your content is current and up-to-date, and it identifies their problem and gives them answers. Deliver high-quality content and Google will reward you through organic traffic to your website.

Weed Out Old Outdated Content

Old, outdated content can hurt your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a technique to help your website rank higher in organic search results. Google has released recent updates that hint at poor, old, outdated content is detrimental to search rankings.  So, if your website has a plethora of pages that get little to no traffic, it’s time to remove them. Another good practice is combining similar content pages.  Ex:  An HVAC website may have a page for “HVAC Repair,” “Service,” and “AC Repair.” Good practice would be to combine these into one page.  Also, Google’s most recent core update looks to “weed out” poor AI-generated content.

Mobile First

Google ranks all websites “mobile first” these days.  This means your company’s website looks better on mobile devices.  This is a key feature of user experience.  Remember when you would go to a website on your smartphone, and it was just a shrunken-down version of the desktop site?  That is a HUGE no-no in 2024.  Mobile-first websites have a responsive design regardless of the device the searcher is using (i.e., smartphone, laptop, tablet). So, in simple translation, your website looks good on all devices.

Fast Loading

Have you ever clicked on a website in the search results, and it takes forever for the website to load?  Yes, we all have, and what happens? We get frustrated, and we leave the site.  What does it tell us about the business?  If this home service provider has a poor-performing website, what will their service be like for me? Google considers 0-2 seconds a fast-loading speed.  Anything longer than 3 seconds is considered slow by the search engines and may prompt them to derank your website.  Ultimately, searchers will be prone to leaving your website.

User First Content

User-first content is critical in 2024 for an HVAC business’ website. We must stick to our core services, such as repair, maintenance, service, and installation.  The site must give the searcher exactly what they are looking for where they land on your website.  Example: a homeowner’s air conditioner is not working, so they search “AC Repair Near Me.” They want answers to their problem.

Here's What Consumers are Looking for:

    Is it apparent to the user immediately that you can solve their problem?
    Can they contact you easily through a phone call, chat, or web form?•    What are your business hours? Are you open after regular business hours, after 5 p.m. Can they reach a live person?
    What does your company charge to come out? (Diagnostic or Trip Charge)
    Do you provide the service they are looking for, “AC Repair”? It has to be evident you can solve their problem.
    Emphasize your company’s attributes, such as guaranteed repairs, years in business, same day service, and giving back to the community. 

Consistent Design Throughout

Consistent design on your HVACR website sounds simple, but many sites neglect it. Inconsistent design can hurt your website’s rankings by detracting from the user experience.  Your site structure should remain the same overall pages. 

    Same navigational menus on all pages.
    Footers should be the same.
    Consistent font throughout your website.
    Proper use of H1, H2, and H3 Heading Tags (Use this approach: H1 is your main topic of a particular web page, H2 would be the next most important supporting topic, H3 would be important but less than H2).
    Structural layout should be what consumers know.  Consumers are familiar with certain website designs; deviation can confuse potential new customers.

User Experience for HVACR Websites Summarized

“Take your contractor hat off,” and think like the poor homeowner who comes home from a long day at work to a hot, stuffy house with no air conditioning.  They don’t understand the HVAC business or air conditioning like you; they just want comfort. Follow the structure listed above, and you will drive a great user experience!  Make the answers to their questions obvious with clean design, support your answers to their questions with pillar-based content, and make the content about the searcher and their dilemma. Follow this protocol, and it will help drive organic rankings and garner your company new customers. 

Will Merritt is the Managing Partner at Effective Media Solutions, a full-service marketing agency.  With 27 years of experience in the HVAC field, 10 of that in marketing for contractors, our agency has keen insight into our industry that others do not. Contact Will at or (704) 507-7858. “We Speak HVAC.”

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