When was the last time you paid attention to your website? If it has been longer than one year, your website needs a tune-up. Just as you advise your customers to have their heating and air conditioning systems looked at regularly, your website also needs to be looked at regularly.  

Think of your website are like your information highway truck. If you don’t wash your truck regularly, it begins to look pretty bad. With your website, pictures become dated, links break, content loses it relevancy, and standards change.

The latest thing that can affect your website is the switch by users to mobile devices, cell phones, tablets, and the soon to appear Google Glasses. Website standards have changed to incorporate these not so new devices. Can your website handle this new technology? Chances are, if you haven’t updated or refreshed your website in a couple of years, your site isn’t going to make the grade where mobile device users are concerned.

For as little as $1000, companies can take your existing website and reimagine it by putting it into one of the many new formats that readily resize to make it easier for mobile devices users to access and interact with your website. These days’ websites mean money. They legitimize a company and they bring business to you. Consider them your silent salesperson who’s always on the job.

You should also understand the psychology behind how people react and interact with your website. According to the article 6 Web Design Tips Based on Brain Science, written by Andy Crestodina in May 2013, the order in which you list your bullet points is important. In fact, you should put your most important points in the beginning and at the end of the list because people tend to recall the top and bottom of the list better then points in the middle.

When you write your marketing copy, you should stress the cost of not using your company, product, or service. Group the costs together and list the benefits separately. Be sure to emphasize the benefits of doing business with you. In addition, limited time offers create a sense of urgency that helps drive people to action.

Don’t forget to get customer testimonials. Encourage your customers to send you video testimonials. Potential customers will take the word of existing customers over your words any day of the week. Experts referred to this as the herd, swarm, or flock mentality. If something is safe, people will endorse it and support it, but if it isn’t safe, customers will avoid you just like a herd avoiding a predator.

When it comes to word choice — use simple words. If you use simple word choices, you will reach a wider audience. Folks with PhDs and high school dropouts can both read at an 8th grade level. However, if you write at the PhD level, you are only going to reach a very small percentage of your potential audience.

Use colors to your best advantage when redesigning your website. Hedwig von Restorff, a German scientist from the early part of the last century discovered that colors help people remember items, particularly colors not related to other items. This is because the vision center in our brains is wired to respond to color differences. Web studies show that colored text is clicked up to 60% more often than black text. Select a color unrelated to your brand colors – bright vivid colors work well. These colors become action colors and when people see them they will instinctively click them. However, only use your action colors in areas where you want people to act.

According to Crestodina, eye tracking studies show that people look at headlines first, and they look at them more often than they look at anything else on the page. Emotional headlines get more attention and people share them more often than neutral headlines. The top three attention getting emotional headlines are anger, inspiration, and anxiety in that order. This is particularly important in social media and blog posts where you want to encourage sharing.

As with anything that you do in marketing, you always want to test to see if an idea performs as expected. Therefore, offer different layouts to pages and determine which one performs best. Once you find something that works, use that idea but remember to keep an eye out for the next thing.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is 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.