Energy & Fuel Industry Professionals: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Website - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Energy & Fuel Industry Professionals: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Website

Posted on December 4, 2019 - By Melissa Bellas

Let’s talk about your company website – it’s your 24/7 virtual place of business, lead generator, core anchor for all your digital marketing efforts, and potentially, your most powerful asset. And with so much at stake, your website has never been more important. Yet, as the rate of digital marketing continues to accelerate, most propane, heating oil and HVAC-related businesses are having a hard time keeping up.

With 88% of consumers now researching businesses online1, you want to be the site that they land on, and ultimately choose. And with 2020 just around the corner, today’s consumers expect your website not only to look nice, but also to be functional, intuitive and user-friendly. Consider these 10 ways to improve your company website.

  1. Page Speed
    With dwindling human attention spans, page loading speed has never been more important to a website. In today’s fast paced, digital world, users will start to flee your site if they have to wait even just an extra 2-3 seconds for pages to load. And once they leave, they’re more likely to visit a competitor’s site.

    There are many factors that contribute to slow page loading speeds. Some common culprits include poor storage and retrieval of images, inferior or shared web hosting, web server technical issues or even improper coding. Consider performing a technical audit on your website. From streamlining website coding, to optimizing image sizes, and reducing the number of plug-ins and redirects, there are many ways to speed up a slow-loading site.

  2. Make Your Phone Number More Visible
    When a prospect lands on your website, what steps do you want them to take next? In all likeliness, you want them to pick up the phone and call for more information, or better yet, to schedule a service. But the reality is that they can only call if they have your phone number.

    When optimizing your website, make sure your phone number is prominently displayed right on the homepage. After all, the last thing you want to do is send visitors on a scavenger hunt just to find your phone number. The more visible your phone number is, the more calls your CSRs are likely to get. And more calls = more business!

  3. Add Live Chat
    If you’ve been on the Internet within the past 5 years, you’ve likely come across a website with live chat functionality. In today’s digital world, live chat has become a staple in customer service – connecting customers with instantaneous communications and prompt responses from businesses in real-time. As a matter of fact, live chat is proving to be the preferred method of communication for online shoppers and researchers, boasting satisfaction rates of 73%, as compared to those of email (61%) and phone (44%)2.

    Yet, despite these high levels of satisfaction, many companies are still not using any sort of live chat technology on their website. A recent study of 1,000 websites found that only 9% are leveraging live chat to better connect with customers on the web2. This presents an opportunity for retail energy companies. By installing a live chat software on your site, you increase the chances of having an advantage over competitors in terms of friendly, instant support access.

  4. Content – And Lots of It!
    A great website starts with great content. In fact, good content is often a key differentiator in setting your website apart from the masses – including your competitors! Delivering the right message to your audience through published content establishes trusted lines of communication with your customers and positions your business as the local industry expert.

    And search engines love content too! Consider how many pages your website has detailing all your business’ products and services…you probably don’t have all that many. But each additional page of content (think blog post, article, case study, etc.) is not only a new point of entry to your website, but also a new page for the search engines to index. And not all content has to be text! In today’s digital world, videos, slide shows, and infographics drive even higher engagement rates.

  5. Optimize for Mobile
    You may have the best looking and functioning website the Internet has ever seen – but if it’s not optimized to be viewed across mobile devices, you’re ultimately missing out on the 67% of web traffic now coming from mobile users3. With mobile internet traffic now officially surpassing desktop usage, having a responsive website has never been more important. Just consider this – 94% of people judge a website based on how responsive the design is4, while 8 out of 10 consumers stop engaging with a site if its content doesn’t properly display on their device5.

    Beyond improving user experience, mobile-optimized and responsive sites are important for SEO purposes as well. With 87% of smartphone users running an internet search at least once per day6, Google and other search engines now recognize and reward sites that are mobile friendly. As a matter of fact, 70% of Google’s first page results are sites optimized for mobile devices7.

  6. Keep it Real
    At the cornerstone of any successful website is credibility. And in a matter of just seconds, your website needs to establish your expertise, dependability and trustworthiness with visitors. Leverage your “About Us” page to provide a glimpse into your company, tell your story, and introduce your team members, complete with their pictures and short bios. After all, people like to do business with other people – especially those they like and trust.

    There’s no denying that the best way to build credibility is via social proof. Including customer reviews and testimonials on your homepage highlights your business’ success straight from the source – your happy customers.

  7. Contact Page
    It’s been said that online interactions with potential customers are similar to speed dating – you very quickly need to capture their attention, discuss interests and court them – all in just seconds. Today’s website visitors want precisely what they came to your site for – and they want it fast. As a matter of fact, potential customers are most likely to leave a website within the first 10 seconds of landing on the page. And neglecting to have contact information, or even making it somewhat difficult to find within the site could cost you these vital seconds – and probably a customer.

    With this in mind, it’s an absolute necessity to provide the most fundamental information to prospects in the most efficient way possible – a “contact us” page. The hub for getting in touch with your business, contact pages are often the most important and most visited pages on a website. Be sure to include key information such as your phone number, address, and map as well as a “Lead Generation” contact form where visitors can leave their information along with their inquiry.

  8. FAQ Page
    As a propane, heating oil or HVAC-related service company, you’re the local expert – and as such, likely receive questions about your services, product line offerings and company on a regular basis. And while its only natural to want to try and answer these questions wherever possible in your website content, it can sometimes become difficult for viewers to find the exact answers to their questions. Including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your site makes it easy for visitors to find these answers and more all in one clearly designated location. Better yet, covering some of your most received questions on a FAQ page keeps traffic on your site, addresses any uncertainties prospects may have, and ultimately, expedites the process of acquiring new customers.

    Not sure what to include? Start at the front lines – your CSRs. They can reveal some of the most common questions your business receives. Whether its “Where should I store my propane tank?”, “How do I know when its time for a fuel delivery?”, “When should I consider replacing my oil tank?”, or “What’s the difference between automatic delivery vs will call?” – no matter which topics you choose to address, just remember that for each question your business receives, there are likely other prospects out there with the same question.

  9. Online Ordering & Bill Pay
    Today’s business is where your customers are – online. And when it comes to your business operations, giving customers access to all aspects of your company is the way of the future. Online accounts to your website allow customers to order oil at any time, check on the status of their latest or upcoming delivery, request a service call, or even pay a bill – all from the comfort of their own home.

    The customers are in control: they can log on from anywhere, simply click a few buttons and swiftly place an order or pay their bills. With the ability to review their balances, track payment history, and set up future or recurring payments, your customers can keep better records and ensure their bills are paid on time, every time. Talk about a win-win!

  10. Service Call Scheduling
    When it comes to today’s customers, convenience is key – just take it from Uber Eats and Amazon Prime. With all the tools now at their fingertips, today’s customers know exactly what they’re looking for – and when they find it, the next step is to book it. In the past, this previously entailed finding a phone, calling the business during hours of operation, hope a team member is available, and then explain what service(s) they’re looking to book and at what time. But thanks to online booking platforms, the days of calling to book an appointment by phone are becoming numbered.

    The modern, digital way to take several bookings simultaneously, online booking platforms enable customers to schedule and book their tune-ups, maintenance, and other service calls at any time, on any platform, from anywhere in the world. And with 70% of customers preferring to book online8, this also frees up some of your CSRs’ schedules, allowing them to focus on other tasks. What’s more, a recent study found that 31% of people would be more likely to choose a new service provider if that provider offered online booking options8.

When a visitor lands on your website, it needs to clearly communicate what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. If your site can’t do this in just a few seconds, they are likely to click off. And with over 1.7 million active websites across the internet9, there are plenty of other sites to click over to.

Ready to increase your traffic and improve your website for 2020? Warm Thoughts manages over 150 websites and digital campaigns for propane, heating oil, and HVAC-related businesses across the country. Access to proprietary data guides us to create impactful “websites that work” with measurable results. Contact us today to see how we can elevate your digital presence.


1. https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/omichannel-ecommerce-consumer-habits/
2. https://www.superoffice.com/blog/live-chat-software-benefits/
3. https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/mobile-desktop-internet-usage-statistics
4. https://www.infront.com/the-blog/search-engine-optimization/the-blog/8-statistics-that-prove-responsive-web-design-is-essential-to-seo
5. https://blog.sagipl.com/web-design-statistics/
6. https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/40-unbelievable-seo-statistics-need-know.html#note-68961-13
7. https://getgist.com/mobile-friendly-google/
8. https://lab.getapp.com/research-online-booking-importance-of-appointment-scheduling/
9. https://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/


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