Tag Archives: user experience

How to Craft a 5-Star Website User Experience

Consumers are often driven by emotion, rather than logic. Even in the most crucial homeowner decisions, how we feel still influences the decision making process. That’s why professional web design, specifically the user experience, is so critical to a website’s overall effectiveness. Text walls and poor menu navigation may seem like minor annoyances to a business owner, but the frustration they create may cause would-be clients to take their business elsewhere!

That’s why we’re taking a look at smart website design for a pleasant, productive user experience. If your plumbing company has struggled with high bounce rates and other poor site metrics, be sure to read along.

Create a Journey: Site Navigation

The goal of navigation should be to connect your clients with the services they need the most, in as few steps as possible. Picture the end goal of each type of client and create a simple one or two click path there. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a navigational menu at the top of your page. You can also place related links throughout your content below.

Dropdown Menu for Simplified User Experience

A Dropdown Menu and Collection of Service Pages Make for a Faster User Experience.

Here’s a good rule of thumb. A new website visitor should be able to locate their desired service page and your associated number in under 60 seconds. Any longer, and there’s a good chance your target users will give up and try a competitor’s website. Under 30 seconds would be even better!

Most plumbing companies can break down their users into three camps: frantic homeowner (or business owner), intentional scanner, and mild-interest reader. You may recognize these as phases of the customer buying cycle. There’s a purchase time frame associated with each category. Scared homeowners in need of immediate service may take less than a minute between finding your search listing and calling your office. Intentional scanners are actively hunting for a solution, but they may look through multiple websites first. Finally, mild-interest readers merely browse for information. They’re more interested in pricing data, as well as planning insights for upcoming projects.

Choose Responsive Design

A Good Mobile User Experience

How Does Your Site Read on Mobile?

By now, you’ve probably noticed that most people prefer to browse on their phones. Responsible design (also known as mobile responsiveness) simply means that your website can adapt itself to fit into a user’s phone. Nothing disrupts a user experience like trying to pinch and side scroll through a desktop sized page! 

Thankfully, it’s remarkably easy to create a mobile friendly website.

WordPress alone offers thousands of templates already designed for mobile responsiveness. A professional web designer can also produce a site that fits inside the palm of your hand. Wondering whether or not your company website caters to the mobile user experience? Simply Google Search “Mobile Friendly Test” and use the search engine’s free testing tool!

Remember, mobile friendly sites are the norm now. Since responsive design tools have been readily available for over five years, Google won’t promote a site that only provides desktop viewing (at least on the first page of search results). By the way, if a marketing company tries to pass off responsive design as a new capability, they’re pulling your leg!

Frantic User

Helping the Frantic Homeowner

Think of your website from the point of view of a frantic homeowner trying to get help in an emergency. When every minute counts, there’s no time to waste carefully reading through your company bio. All an emergency plumbing client needs to see is:

  • 4-5 star ratings in local search
  • Your emergency plumbing service page
  • Your company phone number

Many frantic clients won’t even make it through all these steps, instead calling the first 4-5 star plumbing company they see straight from the local map pack! That’s even more reason to make sure your service pages have been properly optimized with the appropriate keywords and calls to action (CTAs). Your Google My Business account will also heavily impact your service page visibility.

Intentional Scanner

Catering to the Intentional “Scanner”

In this phase, consumers have started to consider the different options they have to tackle a plumbing project. When it comes to plumbing SEO, there’s usually a driving force behind these potential clients, such as a rising water bill or a suspicious leak in the yard. In other words, these people have real motivation to find a solution within a few days or weeks.

Bombarding your clients with sales pitches and confusing website navigation only sabotages this natural momentum. Instead, focus on creating easy to find paths between your homepage and service pages. There’s your navigation menu at the top, an easy way to connect to your services quickly. You should also take a little time to talk about your service categories on the homepage itself, then include links to your various solutions.

Finally, we come to the service pages, the last stop in the scanner’s journey before contacting your business. To really nail these pages, focus on a handful of objectives:

  • Reviewing the problem(s) that specific service solves.
  • Educating the reader on the typical service process (step by step).
  • Providing applicable images that showcase the service / product.
  • Providing a clear calls to action at the beginning and end of the pages.

Mild-Interest Reader

Courting Future Customers

These casual browsers aren’t interested in immediate plumbing service. Most visit your website for research purposes. From identifying ways to save on water costs to planning their next bathroom remodel, mild-interest readers crave professional, unique insight for their projects.

Unlike your other two user categories, mild-interest readers have a high chance of landing on your website through blog articles and other forms of content marketing. If you’ve been faithfully posting how-to guides on your company blog (as you should be), make sure to keep linking back to related service pages. This creates a natural introduction to your solutions, sowing seeds that will slowly grow over the coming months until the readers return as active shoppers.

Enrich With Beautiful Imagery

Nothing creates a more comfortable user experience than classy imagery! It’s easy for readers to lose themselves in a great wall of text, which makes a well-placed custom photo such a relief. By carefully spacing out your wording with original images, readers can better digest information and learn about your services.

Imagery Making the User Experience More Rewarding

When You’re Afraid of Information Overload, Try Using Images to Refresh Your Readers.

In addition to the clear spacing improvements that images produce, they also provide opportunities to enhance your keyword optimization. Captions, alt image attributes, and image titles contribute to each page’s keyword strategy. Images also help with challenging topics too difficult or time-consuming to explain through words.

How many images should you use per service page?

Try opening up a website in a desktop browser. Arrange your window so that it takes up half the screen, then start scrolling down. Ideally, you should see a new image every 1.5 – 2 screen lengths until you see the end of the page. When one disappears, another takes its place soon afterwards. You can stretch the gap between photos with text formatting (bullet lists, quote blocks, etc.).

Summing Up the User Experience

The ultimate website user experience directs people to their services in a timely manner and makes it easy to digest information, no matter what device they browse with. With responsive design, your business can pursue a much larger audience from your local community, and earn higher rankings as a result. Your navigational menu, pages structure, and linking tactics all form the natural path from homepage to call to action! Finally, a healthy supply of original imagery saves potential clients from the frustration of text walls.

If your plumbing company struggles with a poor user experience, our team at Plumbing Webmasters would be thrilled to consult with you! With an enthusiastic collection of web designers, content writers, and plumbing SEO specialists, there’s no online challenge we can’t overcome together. For your free consultation, contact us today at (877) 388-9884!

Posted: | Updated: Sep 24, 2019 | Categories: Web Design

Developing a Relaxed, Productive User Experience

Do your customers have a tendency to leave your website quicker than you’d like? It might be that your user experience is chasing customers away. With careful planning and proper design, you can turn a poorly performing website into a lead-generating powerhouse! Today, we’ll define the user experience and discuss how plumbing contractors can improve it. By the end, you should have a simple game plan for creating fresh growth for your company.

Let’s get started!

A Google Analytics Form Shows the Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is Just One Important Metric for the User Experience.

What is the User Experience?

The name says it all. The user experience (UX) is simply a consumer’s journey through your website. Now, that journey may end within seconds. It might also last for thirty minutes. Success depends upon your company’s (or your web designer’s) ability to direct the consumer to where they need to go. Many elements affect the journey, including:

  • Homepage & Landing Page Design,
  • Service Categorization,
  • Content Quality,
  • Calls to Action,
  • and more.

While logic may govern the ultimate purchase decision, emotion drives potential customers throughout their user experience. The wrong combination of eagerness and frustration drives would-be clients away from your website. That’s why you want your site experience to flow as smoothly as possible, with no speed bumps along the way!

Key Metrics for User Experience

Conversions aren’t the only metric you should be concerned about as a plumbing company. The user experience produces many types of data that can reveal kinks in your content mapping. Perhaps the most popular measure of plumber SEO success is the user bounce rate. This term describes the percentage of users who leave the site after visiting just one page.

Keep in mind, it’s very common for people to leave after viewing your homepage. Some people only need to look up your company’s hours, while others perform initial recon on local services. It’s completely normal for plumbers to have bounce rates between the 60 and 70 percentiles. Higher rates could indicate an issue with your homepage!

Bounce Rate Showing Quality of User Experience

A High Bounce Rate Could Indicate Problems With Your Homepage.

Since bounce rate can be deceptive by itself, it’s crucial to include other metrics in your site analysis. Examine factors such as scroll depth, how far the average user looks down the page before leaving. Of course, you should also include average time spent on site and the average number of pages viewed. Plumbers can easily gauge their site health by consulting the company Google Analytics account.

So how can someone who isn’t a plumbing SEO professional take this data and interpret it?

Good Signs

Signs of a Healthy User Experience

  • Length: Most user journeys last well over a minute.
  • Depth: Most users scroll down the page for additional information.
  • Multiple Pages: Average pages viewed rounds up to two (at least).
  • Lead Development: A good percentage of people call or email your company.

Negative Symptoms

Symptoms of a Poor User Experience

  • Bouncing: More than 70% of people leave after one page.
  • Shallow Scrolling: Most users don’t scroll down very far on the homepage.
  • User Complaints: People call because they can’t find their service on your page.

How to Enhance UX

The good news? Plumbing contractors with mediocre or poor user experiences can fix them! Below, we’ll walk through each step of a hypothetical journey that one of your future clients might go through. With each step, we’ll offer ways your business can make significant improvements to your UX and plumbing SEO results!

Part #1: Homepage & Landing Page Impressions

Did you know that the average person forms an opinion about your company within 0.05 seconds of landing on your website? (SWEOR) This first impression heavily influences the ultimate destination of your user experience, whether that ends with another bounce or a quality lead. Of course, 0.05 seconds isn’t enough time to complete a thorough read-through of your homepage. So what elements are crafting that initial opinion?

Simple Design Example for Good User Experience

Even a Simplistic Landing Page Can Provide a Pleasant First Impression!

Key (Initial) Factors in Homepage UX

  • Clean Company Logo
  • Simple Menu Navigation
  • Professional Graphic Design
  • Excellent Images
  • Clear Call(s) to Action

Since the human brain processes images much faster than text, much of the user experience hinges on clean menu design, pleasant spacing, and vivid color. Of course, you’ll need to back this imagery up with well-written content and easy navigation. Ideally, your customer should be able to scroll through your homepage and find their required service within 10 seconds or less.

Part #2: Progressing into Services

Speaking of navigation, your menu system forms the backbone of your site’s user experience. Keeping the menu concise and visible can be a serious challenge, especially for plumbing contractors with numerous service offerings. The temptation to include every single repair service spells disaster for far too many businesses. So does the allure of dozens and dozens of city pages.

What do all these pages do for customers however? They make it exceptionally difficult to find the services they actually need.

An Example of How a Schema List Aids the User Experience

Schema Lists Make it Easy for Users to Navigate to Their Desired Services.

Most successful plumbing companies restrict themselves to a handful of service categories. This allows users to find their services quickly, instead of instinctively bouncing from text overload. If your company caters to a larger community, be sure to limit your city pages too! You’ll still get a high volume of calls, and crafting quality content will be so much more manageable.

Part #3: Engaging Users With Content

Most Americans go through content at a 9th grade reading level. In other words, plumbers need to keep wording professional but fairly simple. Avoid throwing out special terms that only contractors understand. While it might feel exciting to prove your plumbing expertise, your potential clients won’t appreciate the vernacular. Let your license and association credentials prove your skill!

What other tips can help plumbing companies improve their SEO results and user experience?

Pro Content Writing Tips

  • Don’t forget to include great images!
  • Spell out your service process in a step-by-step list.
  • Manage your customer expectations with average time requirements and costing.
  • Link to other helpful services that might apply to their situation.
  • Include your company name and phone number a few times throughout each page.
  • Mention well-known industry authorities in your content to increase your credibility.
Blogs Aid User Experience

Blogs Create Ongoing Interest for Your Site & Show Google You Mean Business!

If you’re hunting for ways to impress your audience, trying using step-by-step lists and visual guides! As we mentioned earlier, people process visual information a lot faster than they do text. Save their time and energy with these convenient content features.

Part #4: Finishing With a Call to Action

Your site users have made it all the way through multiple pages of text and several minutes of reading. Now, they’re ready to make the call (or email) to your business. This is perhaps the simplest, yet incredibly important part of their user experience. All your hard work could go to waste if there isn’t a clear call to action.

That’s why the most successful plumbers provide call buttons at both the top and the bottom of their pages. Make the buttons clearly visible against the background! Your phone number should be spread across the text too.

The Call to Action at the Top of a Homepage

Remember, Keep That Call to Action Visible at the Top and Bottom. That’s Standard SEO for Plumbers. 

Need Help Crafting Your User Experience?

Our team at the Plumbing Webmasters supports numerous companies across the United States. Thanks to the hard work of our experienced web designers, graphic artists, content writers, and social media experts, our clients dominate search listings in their local service areas! We’d love to help your business grow too.

To learn more about the user experience and how our plumbing SEO experts can help, contact our friendly staff today at (877) 388-9884. See for yourself why so many companies trust us with their online marketing!

Posted: | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 | Categories: SEO