Proper design and structure are essential for user experience and search engine optimization (SEO) when creating a website for contractors. Whether you are a general contractor, HVAC, roofing, electrical, or painting company, these principles will apply.
If your website is unorganized and complex, it not only makes it difficult for people to navigate, search engines will have problems crawling and indexing your pages. If it is also not optimized for mobile phones, this will result in poor rankings (poor SEO), a bad user experience, and fewer leads.
On the other hand, a well-designed, written, organized, and optimized site structure will make it easy for your visitors (potential customers) and search engine robots to locate and rank your website.
This is why the planning or redesign of your website is critical to your success when marketing online. If at all possible, you want to establish a proper site structure from day 1 and follow it religiously as you create content and your website grows.
A great site structure will directly boost your website SEO and result in more sales conversions in several ways:
* Search engines like Google will be able to find and index your website and service pages.
* Link authority will pass through to all the other pages on your website.
* People will be able to find and inquire about your services much easier.
* Your rankings and organic traffic will increase as your site’s structure and SEO get better.
Plan Your Site’s Hierarchy
How do you build an optimized structure for your contractor website design?
The best motto to follow when building your website is “Simple Scales” and “Fancy Fails!” This is the same as K.I.S.S principle which means “Keep it simple stupid!”
The homepage is the main portal and landing page (level 1) for your website. It should always be at the top of the hierarchy, followed by your secondary service pages, about, and contact pages (level 2).
The idea is to follow the unofficial golden rule of proper site structure: The 2-3-click rule – No more than 2-3 clicks for your website users or search engines to be able to find what they’re looking for.
This will make sure that all of the pages on your website are reachable through links, and can easily be found by visitors and search engines. It will create a better user interface and experience for your customers and also help distribute link authority and SEO juice from your homepage to all of your pages, which will most likely result in better rankings, more traffic, and sales.
To keep things very simple, you’ll generally use the following page types:
Homepage > Informational Pages (Services, Contact, About, Blog)
This is simple site architecture, which is great for SEO.
Creating Your Homepage and Service Pages
Your contractor website is like a digital business card for your business with detailed information about the services you offer.
The homepage will detail your company’s main service offering and information about your company and the main area (city or county, etc.) that you serve. The homepage should have enough of the main keywords you are targeting and be properly written for effective search engine optimization (SEO).
For example, you have an HVAC business in the city of San Diego, California. The next question that you will need to ask yourself is do you specialize in repairs or installations because you will also want to make sure you emphasize your “main service” offering in the content and title tags on your home page. Now, let’s use a keyword research tool to see what people are searching for.
Based on the keyword tool, air condition repair San Diego and ac repair San Diego get the most searches, so if your specialty is air conditioning and heater repair, you will want to create content, title tags, and optimize your homepage to center around the main keywords “HVAC, air conditioning, heater, repair, and “San Diego”.
A great title tag would be “Air Conditioning & Heater Repairs in San Diego” or “HVAC Repairs in San Diego.”
Your other services such as ac installation, heater installation, water heater repairs, water heater installations, etc. would be your secondary pages (level 2) or level 3 pages that link to your homepage and/or services page.
Create a Simple URL Structure
One of the most overlooked and essential factors relating to great website design and SEO is proper URL structure. URLs are the building blocks of any contractor’s website’s hierarchical structure.
An effective URL hierarchy across your whole website will inform search engines about all of the most important URLs so they can rank better. The best URL structures are keyword-optimized and shorter in length rather than longer. You should only be using your target keyword (plus a word or two) in your URL.
Here’s an example of a URL structure from Google that a lot of sites use:
Your URLs don’t have to look exactly like that. But all of your URLs must follow the same structure.
Main Navigation Menu & Breadcrumbs
A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page.
Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, leftmost link and list the more specific sections out to the right.
We recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup when showing breadcrumbs.
Sitemaps are created for search engines to locate your website’s pages and rank them accordingly via the various algorithms.
According to Google, “A sitemap tells Google which pages and files you think are important in your site, and also provides valuable information about these files. For example, when the page was last updated and any alternate language versions of the page.” Google says that you should “submit your sitemap or add another sitemap when you change the structure of your website, change or just update your content or type of content, or have some new content to show.”
If your site’s pages are properly linked, search engines like Google and Bing can discover most of your site’s pages.
The best place to submit your website sitemap is through the Google Search Console so Google will know to crawl your website. To do so, you will need a free Google account.
The Google Search Console will provide you with just about everything you need to manage your website’s structure and crawlability with the free Site Audit tool.
It can quickly generate a report about your crawled and indexed pages and allow you to review the pages in your sitemap versus the number of pages the Google bots were able to crawl. You can also use the tool to locate and repair issues that can impact your site’s SEO with over 120 on-page and technical tests for common website issues.
It is no secret that many people who access the internet use their mobile phones. Mobile devices account for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. 48% of buyers use mobiles as the first point of contact to start their search, and mobile devices account for 53% of paid-search clicks.
Having a mobile-friendly website is critical to boosting your conversions, leads, and sales because it will allow for users to interact and engage with your company’s website across mobile devices, without being annoyed or inconvenienced.
Providing a mobile-friendly web design is one of the most effective ways to keep visitors on your site longer, which reduces your bounce rate and helps with SEO.
How fast or slow your website pages load will affect your SEO, traffic, bounce rate, conversions, and sales. Page speed is a direct ranking factor on Google.
The faster your site loads, the better! That is why as you build your website – you will want to really focus on speed and faster page loading times.
The ideal site speed is about three seconds or less.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) tool to test and improve the speed of your website. The tool will generate a report on the performance of a webpage on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how it can be improved.
If you follow these recommendations given above for your website design, you will be way ahead of your competitors. However, I know that many contractors like you are probably too busy to handle your own web design and SEO.
That is where Contractor Market Pro can help. with our full service digital marketing program for contractors. We offer affordable and professional web design and SEO services that will help you beat your competition and dominate your local market!
Please call or text us at 951-454-3377 or contact us online at this link.