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Website Structure: Organizing Your Site For Easy Use

Nowadays, it’s pretty much impossible to manage a business without having an online presence. Having a well-functioning website allows you to reach customers and markets you may not be able to reach with traditional marketing outlets. This makes building a website an exciting opportunity for you and your business.

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Your website should have a goal, a function greater than just being an online presence. So you need to make a decision on what is going to be the most useful action people could take for your business. This could be them calling you, scheduling an appointment online, or even giving you their email address so you can keep up with them after they leave.

 

Whatever the goal of the site, you’ll need to structure your website so that the easiest thing a user can do on your site is the action that is the most helpful for you. Once you have this goal picked out, we can start organizing the structure of the overall website.

 

Essential Pages:

  • A home page
  • A page for every major service your business offers
  • Business Location
  • Pages
  • Contact Page

Optional Pages:

  • Blog
  • Review Page
  • Gallery

Home Page

Your homepage serves as the default page people see when they land on your website. It functions as a starting point that tells people who you are, what you do, and how to get into contact with you. From there, users can look through your services, photos of your work, or contact you.

 

The ultimate goal of your home page is to tell people what’s important to your business and what they should know about you. It’s often your first impression to a user so you want to make sure there’s a clear path for them to complete the goal of your site.

Name

Be sure to always use your company’s full name instead of an abbreviation whenever possible. As a rule, you should use your business’s registered name.

 

Say for example, your business’ name is Dustin Cooper’s Heating & Air Conditioning. Even if your business is known locally as DC’s HVAC, search engines – and even potential customers – may assume DC’s HVAC and Dustin Cooper’s Heating & Air Conditioning are entirely different businesses.

 

Sometimes however, it’s not always possible when you have a limited number of characters. When this occurs, try to write out the first part of your name first.

 

For example, suppose you can’t fit Dustin Cooper’s Heating & Air Conditioning as your Facebook name. In that case, you might abbreviate it as Dustin Cooper’s Heating so that a user typing in your name is more likely to find it than having to guess at the abbreviation.

Be sure to always use your company’s full name instead of an abbreviation whenever possible. As a rule, you should use your business’s registered name.

Address(es)

There are a few different ways you can write out your address. For example:

Dustin Cooper’s Heating and Air Conditioning
55 Park Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75001

 

Vs.

 

DC’s HVAC
Corner of Park Ave. & Main St.
Dallas TX 75001

While slight variations in standard abbreviations like Avenue vs. Ave. don’t tend to impact how easily Google can find links between addresses; bigger differences may lead Google to assume the two addresses above are for different businesses. We’d recommend that you stay as consistent as possible with your address – just to be on the safe side.

When determining how to write out your address on social media and your website, search for your business’ location on Google Maps and copy how Google writes out the address for each of your business’s physical locations.

Phone Number

Google can easily distinguish between different phone number styles, but this format is recommended to match Google’s formatting: (123) 456-7890.

 

If you have a multiple-location business with multiple offices, Google recommends using a local number instead of a default number that redirects whenever possible. Without local numbers, you may run into issues verifying one or more of your Google My Business listings.

Email

It’s a good idea to provide multiple ways for users to contact you on your website, such as a contact page with a form they can fill out and your email address written out. This creates a better user experience, which Google likes.

 

Pro-Tip: Listing your email means it can be harvested by spammers, which is why some people write out their email like info [@] DustinsHeatingandAir.com.

 

However, many spammers have found ways to get around these methods, so you should only use your public email to answer customers’ questions – not for anything like billing. This way, you’re less likely to fall victim to phishing attempts.

Services Offered

When you set up your website, you’re going to want to create a page for every primary service your business provides. This gives you a better chance to show up in search results when people search for that service in your area.

 

Websites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List can be a great way to brainstorm the services you offer. If you go to https://www.angi.com/ and type in your trade or search through the categories here, it provides a great list of services you can use for ideas. HomeAdvisor, meanwhile, has an extensive list here you can consult.

 

You can also take a look at your competitors’ websites and see what services they list.

Licenses, Permits, Awards

Does your business have a license or permit for specialized work? Has it been featured in a publication or won awards? Make a list of these so you can feature them on your site and social media, which will boost your business’ credibility.

Here’s a few options:

  • Apply for small business awards
  • Get professional badges from home service listing sites like Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List, which are relatively simple to obtain
  • See if you can obtain permits or factory authorizations from dealers
  • List your license number on your website if you’re a solo operation
  • Highlight high-profile entities you’ve done work for, like the state or non-profit
  • List publications that mentioned you with quotes
  • Search for local non-profits or “causes” in the city that offer awards or highlights your involvement with them
  • Many manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers offer awards based on sales, revenue, or customer service as well as badges that show you’re certified with them

Services

Your service pages are the most important page of your website behind the home page. This is where you get to tell your customers not only what you can do for them, but also why they should trust you. Try to make one large page that contains related services instead of a bunch of small pages.

 

For examples: your Air Conditioning page can talk about new AC unit installations, repairs, emergency services, and maintenance. Or you could create separate pages for Repairs, Installs, and Maintenance and talk about how each of those services is related to water heaters, ac units, etc.

Here are some examples of service page topics:

 

Service

  • How to troubleshoot common issues
  • What causes the issue
  • Why you should call a professional
  • Signs your equipment needs to be repaired
  • What can happen if problem is left untreated
  • What to expect from technicians, including services they will perform during visit

Types of Service

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Types of repairs (e.g. for leaks, you might want to talk about the difference between hidden and visible leaks)

Installation

  • Signs you need new equipment
  • Systems offered
  • Why you should pick specific systems

Maintenance

  • What technician will do during maintenance visit
  • Maintenance plan, its cost, what’s offered in maintenance plans

Cost

  • What impacts cost
  • Discounts and current specials
  • Financing options
  • Whether you offer free estimates

 

You can download our template for service pages here.

Locations

If you’re trying to rank for a certain location(s), the best way to work that in is through your meta data and H1’s naturally within your page content.

 

Creating a separate page for each location or having a gigantic list of all the locations you serve can be seen as a spammy tactic by Google. Naturally working your keywords in is just as effective and will actually save you a lot of time! If you’re unsure what an H1, or meta data is, don’t stress, we’re about to explain!

Page Structure

H1

An H1 is also known as a “Heading 1”. This is an important factor for SEO. It essentially works as the title of your page.

 

Try to pick a keyword that is the most relevant to the page. This is also a great place to work in your primary target location if your business is localized. Google bots read like Americans do, from the top to bottom and left to right. With that knowledge, it makes sense that Google will place more importance on headings and content that is closer to the top of the page and on the left.

 

You should only have one H1 per page. You can also use H2s-H6s to help establish a clean outline to your content.

 

Examples:

  • HVAC Repair in Dallas
  • New HVAC Installations Near Portland
  • Air Conditioning Repair Near Las Vegas

Title Tags

When including the keyword in the title, keep in mind that Google only shows around 60 characters for its titles (including spaces). Page titles are a great place to work in related keywords that may not be easy to naturally work into your content. You can use line breaks (|) or dashes (-) to break up keywords.

In the example above, Google cut off ‘WATER HEATER REPAIR’ so people viewing the results can’t see it. An easy way to fix this would be to prioritize the keywords you want to rank for first and then if you have room, at the end, you can add your business name.

 

Odds are good you will rank for the name of your business pretty easily, so really the only places where you need the business name in the page title are the home page, location pages, contact pages and review pages if you have them.

The screenshot above is an excellent example of a title tag. They were able to fit two relevant keywords in, separated by a dash, and still had enough room to add their business name. Also, their title tag is still fully visible in a SERP.

This company did a great job of working their target location into their title tag. Again, they used relevant keywords for the page to sandwich their target location, but it’s still short enough to fit the entire title in the search result.

 

PRO-TIP: Users don’t usually search using full sentences. So, while you might be tempted to write PLUMBING REPAIR IN DALLAS, users will most likely be searching for PLUMBING REPAIR DALLAS.

Meta Description

Your meta description doesn’t directly factor into whether your website will rank, but it can be used to grab searchers’ attention. That means, the primary goal of your meta description should be to ensure users choose to click your link instead of the other results present on the page. The better your click through rate, the better your rankings.

 

Ideally, meta descriptions should be between 139-158 characters. If you go over (not that you should with a meta description as it won’t benefit you or your readers), Google will use an ellipses just like the title as seen in the example below.

URL

When creating a link, the website name should be organized similarly to your navigation structure.

 

So, urls should be organized like so:

  • DOMAIN/FOLDER or CATEGORY (if applicable)/DESCRIPTIVE NAME
  • dogs.com/breeds/hounds/bloodhound
  • dootycallsatlanta.com/services/drain-cleaning

 

As can be seen above, we used our keyword ‘drain cleaning’ in the URL to help Google understand our page is about drain cleaning.

You should also:

 

  • Match URLs to the title of the post. The easier they are for humans to read, the easier for search engines to read. Matching the URL to the title of the page also tells users the page is about what they were searching for.
  • Use your keyword in the URL. URLs are regularly used in place of linked text. That means the URL is serving as anchor text – which plays a large part in telling Google what the page is about because Google reads it as a keyword.
  • Use hyphens to separate words for readability (instead of underscores or spaces) e.g. drain-cleaning
  • Don’t use capitals.
  • Keep it short (the first 3-5 words of your title carry the most weight so you’ll want your keyword there).

Content

When you’re writing an article or text for a page on your website, there are several areas you want your keywords to appear:

 

  • H1. This is one of the most important factors because it acts like the title. Try to use the most important keyword relevant to the page. Only one H1 per page.
  • Content. Your keyword should be spread throughout your article 2-3 times, particularly within the first 100 words. Keep keyword density in mind—you don’t want to use the keyword too much or too close together because search engines will think you’re being spammy.
  • Images’ Alt Keyword. If you use images that are related to your keyword, you can add some keywords that naturally describe the photo. Add an image and use your keyword in the alt text of the image in order to gain more visibility in search.

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