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6 Musts When Redesigning Your Propane Gas Website
Your propane gas company’s website is the cornerstone of your online marketing strategy. It’s the online face of your business!
When a prospect lands on your website, you have 2 goals to accomplish within the first 5 seconds.
- Prove that you can help
- Make a good first impression
Winning attention in the first 5 seconds isn’t easy
Dated websites can hurt your chances of winning new customers that find you online. Visiting prospects might think…
- “Man, this website is old. I bet they don’t have a portal so I can pay my bill. “, or worse…
- “Geez, is this company still in business?”
Just one split second negative first impression is enough for you to lose a chance to a new customer. Even if what they think isn’t true.
This may be why you are thinking about a redesign.
Thinking About Redesigning Your Website
The great part of a website redesign is that it provides the instant satisfaction of a fresh, shiny new look.
But the choices you make during the redesign process determine if your site will be a success (by bringing in revenue generating clients).
Before you strip down your website and slap up a new one, let’s talk about what you need to make it successful.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
There’s a 35% chance you’re reading this on your phone right now (according to my website’s analytics).
So while I hope the importance of mobile-friendly websites needs little explanation, let me give you some facts to back up the obvious.
People are searching for you on their phones!
People are Googling your business on their phones from their couches, from the sidelines of their kid’s soccer practice, and wherever else they are. The technology is right in their hands. In fact, mobile surpassed desktop search in 2015 specifically for Local search (i.e., people searching for local businesses like you).
When people visit your site, don’t make someone pinch and zoom to see the information. They won’t leave the couch to get their laptop; it is easier to find a better website.
Real Propane Company Analytics
Google demands it
Google penalizes sites in mobile searches that are not mobile friendly. So, if your site is not mobile optimized, you might not even show up in search results. Getting in line with Google’s requirements for what makes a good website is especially important for small, local businesses in competitive markets.
Mobile does not necessarily mean more money
If your site is in the dark ages of the desktop-only web, you might have the impression that optimizing for mobile means you need to shell out the dollars.
Not so much anymore.
Because mobile is such a requirement now, there are pre-designed themes and coding frameworks that make mobile more of a “built-in” feature than it was even 5 years ago.
Bottom line…mobile is the first priority in your website redesign investment!
Define & Refine Your Value Proposition
What makes your propane company different from your local competitors?
I’ll give you a hint: it’s not any variation of, “We provide reliable, friendly service and fair prices!”
Those are claims that ANY company can make.
In fact, most do. Take a look at these propane companies that are using “Friendly Service” as their differentiating factor.
Saying things like “friendly service” or “fair prices” are claims that don’t make your company stand out as different.
Instead, dig into that special something that makes your customers love you and stick with you.
Surveying your customers and your team members can help tease out your unique value proposition.
Hint: enlisting a third party is a good move
Involving someone new in the process provides the outside perspective businesses need to know what makes them shine. You and your team know too much.
With the help of a third party, you’re investing time telling stories to ears that can hear what is unique - because they haven’t heard it all before!
It’s challenging, but nailing down your differentiator can make the difference in setting your website apart from the competition.
My friend Gerry at Stories That Work has a knack for bringing out the best stories. If you need a jumping off point, I recommend him.
Decide Between a Brochure & a
Lead Generation Website
Just in case, let me tell you, what’s the difference between a brochure site and a lead generation site.
Brochure sites are passive. Lead generation sites are active.
A brochure site says, “Yes, we exist! Here’s the basic info”
Brochure sites are an excellent place to start. They’re simpler content-wise and therefore less expensive. However, they also have less SEO value which means it might be harder for you to be found online.
Brochure sites might not help you grow your propane business, but they do help you prove your business exists. A brochure site is a good choice if you know you need an upgrade, but aren’t ready to invest in other online marketing growth.
A lead generation site says “Yup, we exist. Here’s helpful information to help you decide on your purchase & a great offer you can redeem now”
Lead generation will be a more significant investment. But this investment pays off when your website draws more traffic to itself and starts sending you qualified leads who are ready to buy propane from you.
However, lead generation sites require more effort to maintain. You need to create offers, form, and analyze metrics so you can make improvements.
Can you afford a lead generation site?
In our experience, a lead generation site works better for propane gas businesses with 5+ trucks to keep busy. These companies often have a more extensive marketing budget and can scale their business with the new growth a lead generation site brings.
A lead generation site could be right for you if:
- You have an extra delivery truck that needs more customers for a delivery route
- You’re expanding into a broader service area
- You’ve opened up an additional location
- You’ve acquired a new propane business
Your website has the power to increase your sales
If you want to fill the pipeline with more propane gas leads, commit to a lead generation site.
Start slowly with one or two offers. Your ideas and site will flow and grow from there.
Keyword Research & Onsite SEO Optimization
You want your propane website to show up on the first page of search results. Landing on the first page of search results doesn’t happen accidentally. You need to do two things:
- Know precisely which questions people are typing into Google when searching for a service like yours
- Make sure your website answers those questions (“We are a propane delivery company in Anytown, USA” OR “Automated propane delivery saves you money”)
With time and effort, you can shape your website into one Google recognizes as a valuable answer to the searcher’s question. This will help you appear higher in the search ranks.
Local SEO is the Next Step in Targeting Your Site
Local SEO is important for your propane company because you have a specific delivery area. If you deliver propane in Kalamazoo, you want to show up for people in Kalamazoo searching for propane delivery.
So, after you identify the core industry-specific keywords people are using to find you, you need to pair them with local modifiers for your service area.
Investing in local SEO means you increase your chances in showing up on the map and your target search areas.
Local landing pages are one way you can increase your appearance in your target service areas. Local landing pages, or service area pages, are effective ways for service area businesses to obtain rankings in towns where they don’t have an office building.
Driving more visitors means driving more leads
SEO optimization means you can rank higher in search results. Ranking higher means you’ll get more visits to your website.
And visits are a key factor whether you have a simple brochure site or a robust lead generation site.
When you drive more visits, you have more opportunities to convert. Even brochure sites with some strategically placed “Call Us Today” CTAs and a clearly visible phone number can drive leads if there is enough traffic.
Next, the trick is measuring the traffic and leads!
System for Measuring Performance
You can’t make the strategic decision to improve or change your site without a measurement system in place.
A measurement system is especially important for lead generation websites.
Fortunately, there are several tools (many of them free) which can provide you with powerful data. We recommend you implement two at a minimum:
Google Analytics will track activity on your site. Configuring some strategic dashboards can make it easy to see the data that’s important to you.
Call Tracking Software
Call Tracking Software measures how many people are calling via the number on your website. Call analytics can help you know how many new leads are coming from your site even if you don’t have advanced lead generation systems in place. This also makes sense for propane sales because people are more likely to fill up the phone to answer their immediate questions.
Decide which metrics matter
In addition to the tools you use, you will want to decide which metrics are important to you. Organic Visits? Phone calls?
Then, create a framework to report on these metrics, at least monthly.
Choose a Partner You Can Grow With
Who you work with on your propane gas website redesign can make the difference between a website that’s nice to look at and a website that’s nice to look at AND generates results.
Choose a partner you feel you can count on to help you grow your business online. This means a partner that has the experience in online marketing, not just website.
You might also consider choosing a partner with industry experience. When a business is familiar with your industries, they “get it” better. They can focus on learning the things that make your company unique because they are aware of the primary industry challenges.
They will bounce ideas off of you because they are familiar with the propane industry and your customers.
For you, this means better website results and more potential for growth.
Customer-Winning Websites Require Doing Many Little Things Right
These 6 “musts” for redesigning your propane gas website are the broad brush strokes. Many little todos and details within each determine if you’re successful over time.
But requiring these as the basis for your redesign will set you up for a good project.
Your next steps are to ask yourself a few fundamental questions:
- Where does your website stand now?
- What are your goals for your dream website?
Or, you could see what we think.
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