For most industries, it is well-known that to be considered an expert by Google, you have to provide valuable content on an ongoing basis, to be classified as relevant and an authority. Inbound marketing is also a mainstream marketing effort where valuable information is placed on the website to be downloaded for the benefit of the website visitor. Both types of marketing are in an effort to engage the prospect to further develop their relationship with the specific business.
HOWEVER, the HVAC industry has not adhered to these standard marketing practices. As proof of this, I went out and surveyed 147 HVAC manufacturing rep websites. From my initial evaluation, only 49 made the initial "cut". This meant they had decent looking websites with a potential to have valuable content on them.
Then I put them through this evaluation with a total of 125 points. Here is how the 125 points were assigned:
|Current Looking Website
|LINKS TO MANUFACTURERS
|Printable Line Card
Current Looking Website - Having a current looking website will cause people to stop the first time ( see my opinion on the booth babes) ..however, it will not keep them on the site NOR will it keep them coming back.
Valuable Content - This is the kind of information that would be important to your engineers, architects, and mechanical contractors. This provides a reason for them to think about your company even when you are not face-to-face.
Current Content - The ongoing blog, news event, or regular posting of training. This gets 25 points because people instinctually want to know whether your website is kept up-to-date and whether they should come back again.
Ecommerce - Finally if you are a larger rep company, you are more than likely selling parts in a brick-n-mortar setting. The next "Bonus" level is that you've progressed to selling online - which brings significant value to your customers and keeps them coming back for more!
17 had 15-25 points ---- decent looking site, but really no valuable information
24 had 30-45 points - good looking site, case studies, and some other simple links or content
7 had 50-70 points - good looking sites, increased the amount of valuable content on the site
1 had 75-125 points - good looking site, had every aspect of valuable content on the site
www.hts.com Top Performer HVAC Manufacturing Rep Website
As you can expect www.hts.com is firing on all pistons with their marketing efforts.
Current Looking Design - as a website expert, I can tell you that this website is up to current design standards. It has a simple design which causes you to focus on the content of the website, and it is easy to use.
Product Insight - When you visit the Products Page and select any product, there are product links and downloadable pdfs
Case Studies - you download from Market Experience Page
Printable Line Card and Link to Manufacturers - all on their Products by Location Pages
Formulas and other tools are on the Engineering Toolbox Page
Current Content - view it on their News & Events page
Ecommerce - parts are sold on Online Parts Store
The only thing that I dinged them for is that they didn't have a training schedule on a separate page where I could see what events were coming up.
Two other great HVAC Manufacturing Rep Websites - http://www.reahvac.com/ & http://www.eei-ok.com/
Both of these companies really have done a great job with their websites. They are attractive websites with really valuable content on their websites. REA has a Training and Seminars page where they list both their in-house training and the manufacturer's training schedule. EEI has a highlight product on the front of their website with bullet points on the products benefits and a great set of tools on their Education page.
Do you want to discuss your website with me face-to-face? MEET ME AT THE AHR EXPO! Do you want to have your website evaluated? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Do you have a project you want to discuss? Then call me at 817-283-3324