What sets high performance plumbing companies apart from the rest when it comes to online lead generation. Quality website design and plumber SEO (search engine optimization). While these topics cover a vast array of activities, like keyword research, content creation, and graphic design, there’s one element that forms the foundation for all the others. That’s website structure development.
When we refer to site structure, we’re talking about both the visual navigation systems (menus, sitemaps, etc.) as well as the underlying URL design, service categorization, and blog topic management. That’s a lot of activity to cover all at once, so let’s keep things simple. Website structure matters for your plumbing company’s online business growth. Here’s why…
Why Website Structure Matters
There are two primary missions when it comes to site design.
- 1. Create a convenient, positive user experience.
- 2. Help Google (and other search engines) understand and rank your website.
Website structure plays a crucial role in both how people and Google perceive your business. Clean site design goes a long way towards guiding people towards their essential services, making it much for likely for them to call your plumbing company. Better structure means better lead generation. That effective site design also allows Google to crawl and index your pages so that the engine can better list them on SERPs (search engine results pages).
How Google Assesses Website Structure
So how does Google examine your brand new plumbing contractors website? First, it locates your website and identifies the various links on your pages. It then follows those links, mapping the site and examining content to get a basic understanding of what your plumbing company is all about. This process is called crawling.
The better organized your site is, the clearer picture Google will have of your services, expertise, and trustworthiness. All the pages revealed in the crawl are then stored in an index, to be examined whenever anyone makes a relevant search. If you (or your website design team) have done a good job preparing for plumbing SEO, Google should have a clear understanding of your site structure. That means better odds of ranking high in a results page and getting those sweet leads!
Consequences of Poor Design
Of course, the opposite is true too. Poor site design makes it incredibly difficult for Google crawlers to map your site. That could mean entire pages never get indexed and people never learn about your highly-rated services. To make matters worse, Google shuns poorly structured websites and ranks them accordingly. That’s a shame, because companies with outstanding customer service miss out on potential customers all the time.
What sort of mistakes should plumbing contractors be on the lookout for?
Common Website Structure Mistakes
- Including Too Many Services in the Navigation Menu
- Adding Too Many City Pages
- Not Categorizing Services
- Not Making a Sitemap
- Not Linking to Other Pages in Content
Let’s talk about how to master these elements and enhance your site structure.
How to Optimize Your Website Structure
Think of site structure as a journey you create for potential customers. Every design element should guide them from the homepage, service page, or blog post towards a clear call to action. Try to remove any pitfalls or obstacles that would stop readers from finding the services they need. At the Plumbing Webmasters, our design and content teams address each of these elements and optimize them for both search and user experience.
Menus and Site Navigation
One of the simplest aspects of site structure, menu design often serves as the first step for potential clients hunting for their services. Yet so many plumbing contractors get menu design so painfully wrong. Dropdown menus that cover the entire screen or menus that don’t function well with mobile browsing just kill the user experience.
The best menus work to keep things simple while carrying readers towards their destination.
Start your menu design by compiling a list of your most popular services. Arrange them into two or three categories (four max). If you can’t compress your services into that many categories, there’s a chance you’re trying to advertise too many at once. Try to include only your most important services, or you may end up accidentally running off customers.
On Page Structure Elements
A dropdown menu isn’t the only tool readers (and Google) look for when navigating your site. Links on the borders of your content and within the text itself also provide guidance for your site guests. These simply inform readers of related services that may provide the results they’re looking for. You can find them throughout your website on service pages or blogs.
Plumbing Service Links Inclusion
In the picture above, you can see how our design team at the Plumbing Webmasters organized services into a convenient category. The child Garbage Disposal page fits within the Plumbing Services parent category, and all the other child pages are conveniently located beneath. To make it easy for Google to find and index these child pages, we also change the URL slugs – think of them as the tail of the web address – to match the page topic.
Bad URL Slug: laplumbingco.com/plumbing-services/fienxienfs=25140&action …
Good URL Slug: laplumbingco.com/plumbing-services/plumbing-repair/garbage-disposal-repair/
Again, this makes it easier for both Google and readers to locate your services.
Service Schema Lists
Not only do they look fantastic on your homepage and top level service pages, schema lists also provide ample direction for visitors and Google crawlers. They are so visually impressive and helpful for plumbing SEO, our team at the Plumbing Webmasters almost always includes them in our site design. There’s plenty of opportunity to customize, but their most important function is to showcase your services in a clear manner.
Plumbing Company Sitemaps
You may have stumbled onto these sitemaps in the past. They contain an extensive list of (and link to) every active page and post on your site. While they may offer useful shortcuts for homeowners and businesses shopping for service, sitemaps offer a more crucial function: guiding Google’s crawling process. They offer a clear indication of page hierarchy and location, vastly improving the search engine’s ability to properly view all of your juicy pages!
Plumbing Webmasters Website Structure Design
Has your team struggled with developing a functional website structure? At Plumbing Webmasters, our team supports countless plumbing contractors across the United States with custom web design, search engine optimization, and ongoing content development. These (and other helpful services) allow our clients to continually rank in the front pages of local search, get more clicks, and earn more leads. If you’d like to learn more about website structure and other elements of plumber SEO, contact us today.