Just a few years ago, websites used to be a novelty, but now, every company seems to have one. In fact, if you don’t have a website now, people don’t believe that you're a real company. But, the real problem is, there are so many websites out there now. The Internet has over 1.4 billion websites as of May 2014; some are effective but most aren’t.

Do you have a website? If you don’t you're missing the boat, because your website can sell for you, without constant supervision and involvement.

How do you build an effective website? What are the must haves for your website and how can you cut through the clutter?

Building an effective website, or revamping an existing website to make it effective is important if it’s going to draw customers to you. According to Alan Weiss and Chad Barr, authors of the book Million Dollar Web Presence state there are ten factors of a successful web presence. I believe I can narrow that list down to five factors that you need for your HVAC website.

Establish Credibility
The very first thing you want to do after you have spent marketing dollars building awareness and visibility is to establish credibility for your company using your website. You have to position your company as the go-to company for whatever brand you sell or service you offer. Also, consider your website as a sales website, even though you sell complex equipment that requires engineering you can sell other things like filters and replacement parts online.

Customer Testimonials Work
The second success factor is to create a testimonial page and let your customers take you to the next level. I’m always talking about finding ways to stand out from the crowd and to cut through the clutter. Last time I wrote about the importance of video and that is one of the five, success factors that you will want to utilize. One of the things that I suggest doing is let your customers “sing” your praises. If you do it, it’s okay, but if your customers do it, it's even better. Customer testimonials — both written and in video form, carry much more weight than anything you can do.

Be Consistent
Third, consistency is the key to building your branding; the more consistent you are in you trucks, your ads, and your website the stronger your brand becomes. Build a world-class website that shows you lead the industry or at least your community. Don’t use templated websites; make yours unique to you and don’t be afraid to make each page different. Make your website interesting and show that you are the expert in your field.

Tell of Your Success
Use your website to demonstrate your success record. Provide case studies, provide lists of impressive clients, and make your company the obvious choice for your customers. Do you want to do business with the leader or a follower? Proving you are the successful company is the fourth success factor.

Combine All Efforts
The fifth factor is, there's no magic formula, no sure fire approach. All of those emails you get promising to boost your traffic through SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are just pieces to the puzzle. The reality is, traffic comes from all of your marketing efforts combined. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Try monetizing your website. Write a short eBook about how to select an air conditioning contractor and sell if for $1 or create a report on 10 factors that every customer needs to know heat pumps. If you can’t write, hire a writer and tell them what you want. You never know what will work and what will make you stand out from the crowd until you try it.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter.

Andy Fracica is the author of Navigating the Marketing Maze, he is, a speaker, a marketing coach, and president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, andy@fracicaenterprises.com or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.

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