Complete Checklist For Home-Automation or Smart-Home Website Design
Studies show 97% of all people will use a search engine first to find a local business they need.
You can guarantee anybody who is looking to engage the services of a home-automation or smart-home professional, is going to visit a website first before they do anything else.
Therefore, the overall look, user experience and copywriting on your website is going to be the first impression most new customers will have of your business.
It is now essential for EVERY local business to have a website. However, a lot of the time, most local business owners have very limited knowledge about how to actually utilize their website to generate quality leads for their sales pipeline.
Hiring a professional web design company to build you a beautiful looking website is a good start. However, these specialist web designers aren’t typically ‘in the know’ when it comes to optimizing your website so it ranks high in search engine results (SEO) and is focused on conversion rate optimization (CRO) — so you can transform website traffic into actual leads and customers for your smart-home business.
That’s why building a website needs to be a collaborative process between your web designer, copywriter, SEO professional and CRO specialist (or digital marketing consultant).
Having an effectively designed website that is fully optimized to rank high in search engines and capture quality leads online is going to help your business:
- Attract more potential customers.
- Keep website visitors attention long enough for you to pre-sell them on your home-automation services and expertise (by providing a seamless user experience, using persuasive copywriting on your main website pages and offering additional informational content in your blog section).
- Capture the contact details of ‘warm’ leads you can follow up with and invite to the next step in your sales process (such as booking an appointment).
- Boost your sales, increase revenue and help you grow your smart-home business.
Having a poorly designed website that looks outdated, doesn’t rank high in search engines, doesn’t have effective copywriting, doesn’t maximize opportunities to capture information from website visitors, and doesn’t place lead information into a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system for you to follow up with, can lead to:
- A bad first impression about your smart-home business based on the outdated appearance of your website.
- Potential customers clicking straight back off your website when they visit and never returning.
- Potential customers not really understanding your value proposition and why they should choose your home-automation services (because the copywriting is ‘weak’ or information is hard to find on your website due to poor structure and layout).
- Potential customers not leaving their contact details for you to follow up with because they don’t ‘trust’ your website.
- Potential customers leaving their contact details for you to follow up with — but you miss the opportunity because your CRM system is not properly integrated with your website’s contact forms.
- Potential customers visiting a competitor’s website and choosing them simply because their website is built ‘better’ (even though you know your business provides a superior home-automation service).
As an owner of a local smart-home business, you really need to treat your website as more than just a digital storefront for your home-automation or electrical services.
In today’s ‘digital world’, where 97% of your potential customers are most likely going to visit your website first, before actually reaching out to get in touch — your website is more important than ever.
You need to make sure this first point of contact between your business and your target audience leaves the best possible first impression of ‘who you are’ and how your home-automation business operates.
You also need to make sure your website is fully optimized to capture lead information from website visitors; and is equipped with the appropriate technology to track and re-target past website visitors with future marketing campaigns (e.g. installing a Facebook tracking pixel on your website to re-target website visitors on Facebook later with a paid ads campaign).
Implementing an effective lead generation strategy utilizing your company’s website and other online web properties you own (such as your social media profiles), is absolutely essential to ensure the growth and longevity of your business.
Without a successful online lead generation strategy set in place — where do you expect to find a consistent stream of potential new customers for your home-automation business?
The only reliable way to ensure you are able to consistently generate new leads for your smart-home business in 2021 and beyond, is to implement a multi-faceted digital marketing strategy that is able to drive generate targeted traffic back to your website from multiple different online platforms — where you can effectively pre-sell potential customers, display your home-automation expertise, capture important contact details, setup appointments, nurture leads through their unique buyers journey, provide quotes, and eventually sell the home-automation services which you provide.
To help make sure your website is going to be an asset for your business and to ensure it will do what it is supposed to do on a regular basis (i.e. generate and convert online leads for your business) — we have created this in-depth guide which outlines all of the essential and most important features your smart-home business website should have.[Don’t have a website or online presence yet? CLICK HERE]
HEADER AND HOMEPAGE
SSL Certificate (Secure Socket Layer)
SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser.
An SSL certificate is something that every business should have on their website, especially after Google prioritized websites with SSL certificates for better search engine rankings.
One of the biggest changes that search engines like Google have made with ranking websites in search engine results, is the ‘HTTPS Everywhere‘ initiative. If a website has an SSL certificate and exhibits a commitment to online security for their website visitors, it will simply rank higher in Google Search results.
Comparably, websites with poor website security will be pushed further down in Google rankings.
When a website has an SSL certificate properly installed on the server, a small green padlock icon will be displayed to the left of a website URL in the browser and https will appear in green as well.
SSL certificates provide a sense of security for all website visitors and make people more likely to provide information using your website’s contact forms.
ccTLD domain name (Country Code Top-Level Domain Name)
Your domain name should represent your business (i.e. your business name) or be related to your service (e.g. smarthomepros.com.au). Additionally, there are many other benefits for a local business to have a country specific domain (ccTLD). For example, a .com.au domain is going to be the best choice for a home-automation business located in Australia.
A ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain) is one of the strongest ways to show your target audience and search engines where your business originates from. This will help your target audience instantly identify that they have found a local business AND also help your website rank higher in search engine result pages for local search queries (from people in your main service areas).
However it has to be noted that having a ccTLD domain name is not an absolute must-have for your business.
Having your phone number immediately visible when someone visits your website is extremely important for all local businesses. We also recommend adding a click-to-call feature when you display your business phone number, so website visitors can simply click on the phone number and begin calling you from their mobile device.
Your logo is a crucial part of your online branding. Having an elegant, clean and professionally designed business logo displayed on your website also helps to build trust with online audiences. Make sure the company logo on your website is of the highest possible quality (i.e. not blurry or low quality resolution). Also, consider having your logo placed in the upper corner of your website or directly in the middle of the page where it is highly visible.
Main menu / Navigation bar
Your main navigation essentially operates as a map for the rest of your website. For a home-automation business, the main navigation needs to contain links to all of the main pages of your website — such as your main homepage, about page, core services/products pages, portfolio, blog and your contact page.
Depending on your home-automation business and the type of smart-home technologies you specialize in, a slightly different menu design may be appropriate for your particular situation. For example, your main service pages may be titled and structured according to the different smart-home systems you work with, i.e. a main service page to promote your Loxone system installations — and another main service page to promote your KNX system installation services, etc.However, you need to make sure that you don’t ‘clutter’ your main navigation with a bunch of different pages and make it difficult for the user to find the information they need. Always focus on providing a clear, simple and easy-to-use main navigation bar for your website visitors.
Heading and tagline
The heading (or tagline) of your website should contain some of the most important keywords that sum up what your business is about. This is very important for SEO (search engine optimization) and ranking your website high in search engine results for the main services which you provide.
Crafting the perfect tagline is not always easy. It needs to be clever, easy to understand and preferably below 60 characters. Search engines like Google start cutting off title tags in the SERPs (search engine results pages) after around 60 characters. So try to keep your title tags below this length so all of the information about your website and business is fully displayed in search engine results.
Short blurb of text
Your home page should feature a short blurb piece of text that accurately describes your business and main service. As soon as someone lands on your website, they should be able to identify exactly ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’ without any confusion.
A banner image (also called a “hero” image) is that big picture you typically see when opening up a website. It is usually located at the top of the page (behind the short blurb of text), but its location can vary if your website has a unique design. A banner image is a visual way to instantly communicate ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’ . The image should be able to give website visitors a sense of what your business is about, just by looking at the image itself.
Call to action button
For any home-automation business website, it is mandatory to have a few different call-to-action buttons which encourage your visitors to ‘act’ — meaning get in touch or contact you. Some good example call to action phrases might be “Request a Custom Quote”, or simply “Call Now” with a click-to-call link which immediately dials your business phone number from the website visitors device.
Your Core Services
Your homepage should always feature a brief outline of your core home-automation services, and highlight the main selling points of your offers. You want your website visitors to have a good overview of all of the services you provide — without having to ‘dig’ through multiple pages of your website to find the information they need.
A quote form gives your customers an easy way to make inquiries about your home-automation services and how much they cost. Instead of having a basic ‘contact form’ which only requires a person to enter in their name, email and message in order to get in touch — try using a more detailed form which can help extract more information from your potential customer. This will help you qualify your leads (to determine which stage of their unique buyers journey they are currently at), so you can provide the most effective response.
Copywriting is more than simply writing words on a page. It is content written with the specific purpose of selling and/or promoting your smart-home installation services. Effective copywriting is when you strategically create, optimize, and publish content on your website that is designed to guide website visitors towards conversion — so they take further action and either get in touch for a quote, or straight-out choose to use your services. Copywriting is needed in different types of content. From email marketing and paid advertising to blog posts and all of the main pages of your website, effective copywriting is needed across all your online marketing campaigns.
Easily readable font
Being user friendly is ultimately the most important asset of any site. This means your text needs to be appropriately sized for your most common and frequent type of website visitor. Always use clear, easy to read fonts and make sure it’s consistent on every page.
Before getting in touch with you or making any final decisions, a smart-home customer is going to want to make sure you can deliver on what you promise. Testimonials (or positive feedback) from past customers is still one of the most effective ways to help convince a potential customer to choose your home-automation services. Make sure to highlight your previous success with past clients and ensure new website visitors will actually see what they have to say. Always try to include any testimonials (or positive feedback) on your homepage, or somewhere on your website where they are easily identifiable and accessible.
Newsletter signup form
Newsletters are a great way to capture lead information, build relationships with potential customers and nurture them through your sales process. Lead nurturing is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. The smart-home industry is forever changing, with new smart-home devices and home-automation capabilities being released on a regular basis. This gives you the perfect opportunity as the local ‘smart-home professional’ to consistently communicate useful information to your target audience via your newsletters. Also, try to ‘mix up’ your newsletters with a variety of different content and topics — such as sending subscribers your latest case-studies, blog articles, special offers, or the best updates from your latest social media posts. to your subscribers.
Having contact details on your website is an absolute must. Your name, address and phone number (or NAP), plus your email address and a contact form, should all be in an easy-to-find place on every page of your website. It’s also a good idea to leave links to your social media profiles in case people prefer to contact you there. A good place to put all of your contact information is in the footer (bottom section of your website) AND on a separate contact page in the main menu of your website.[Want your website to be re-designed, upgraded and fully optimized to capture lead information from website visitors? CLICK HERE]
To help your home-automation business rank higher in search engine results, every page of your business website should have a readable and relevant URL. For example, the URL of a service page should read something like domain.com.uk/services instead of something like domain.com.uk?p=64723.
Link to other pages
Links to other pages from the body text are called internal text links. These internal text links help with search engine optimization, as they send various signals to search engines that help identify and connect all of your website’s pages and content. They also assist your website visitors to navigate around your site.
Child Service pages
Child service pages are located underneath the parent (or main) pages listed in your website’s main menus. These child service pages should contain more details on the specific home-automation services that your business offers.
Gallery of local work/portfolio
A gallery (or work portfolio) should display professional looking images of your previous home-automation projects. It’s also a good idea to create case-studies based around all of the images in your gallery of work, which highlights and details the actual work (and smart-home solutions) you were able to deliver for your clients.
The contact form (or chat-box) is an essential website feature for all types of businesses. It’s much easier for website visitors to send you a quick message using a chat-box or website contact form — than it is for them to open up their email service provider and send you an email. Depending on the layout of your website, most contact forms are typically positioned towards the end of any web page. And a chat-box is typically positioned in one of the bottom corners of a web page.
Optimized title tags and meta-descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are used on the search engine result pages. How they are written can determine which page of your website will show up in search engine results and and how many clicks it actually gets. The title tag is considered to be one of the strongest onsite ranking factors and the meta description helps both web crawlers and the searcher understand what the page is all about. All of your pages’ title tags and meta-descriptions, should be optimized to target specific keywords related to your home-automation services.
URL with service area name
A home-automation business is generally tied to a broad location which covers a few different service areas. When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), it is extremely helpful to have a page for each one of your main service area locations. For example: If one of your service areas in Sydney is Maroubra, the location page URL could be something like domain.com.au/home-automation/maroubra.
Maps / Directions
Embedding a Google map that shows the direct location of your main office or workshop is not only helpful for potential customers who may prefer to visit and talk with you in person, it also helps with SEO. You don’t necessarily need to include a map on every single page of your website to help with search engine optimization, although you may choose to do so by placing a small map in the footer section. However, you should have at least one Google map embedded somewhere on your website, such as on your homepage, location service pages, contact or about us pages.
OTHER INNER PAGES
Personalised about us pages
Personalized ‘about us’ pages are a great place to tell your business’ story. Try to be creative here and include more than just a basic ‘about us’ story about who you are. Delve deep into your company’s history to highlight your origins (and experience) with smart-home system installations. Talk in-depth about your specific project management processes. Brag about any awards you may have won for your previous work. List any significant brands or partners you may work with. Link to any publications or websites which have featured your business or your work.
As a home-automation business, you will find there are some common questions that every potential customer is going to ask. Having a dedicated FAQ page is the perfect place to answer some of these most frequently asked questions.
The sidebar of a blog page is a good place to showcase your most popular, most relevant or most recent blog posts. You may also want to include other features in your blog sidebar, such as a contact form, search bar function, or a widget which displays links to your latest social media posts.
It’s important to include a contextual call-to-action at the end of each blog post. For example, if your website visitor has just finished reading a detailed article about ‘How to convert your house into a smart-home’ and this is a home-automation service which you provide, try to leave a contextual call-to-action which says something like “Are you interested in converting your house into a smart-home? Contact us now to speak to a thoughtful home automation expert about converting your house into a smart home today!”.
Social media share buttons
Make it easy for website visitors to share one of your blog posts on their own social media pages. Social media share buttons will enable this with one simple click.[Want to check your website’s online visibility compared to your competitors? CLICK HERE]
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
More and more people are accessing the internet using a range of different devices (e.g. smartphone, tablets, PC, Smart-TV, etc. A business website that doesn’t show up and display information properly on screens of all sizes is going to lose website visitors immediately. Having a responsive website design that is able to function properly on all devices is also a key factor to enhance your search engine rankings and improve overall user experience for website visitors.
Hamburger menu on mobile
On most mobile devices, it is not possible to show the full main menu because the screen size is so small. A hamburger menu function hides the main menu content in a small box in the top corner of a mobile device screen, allowing users to bring up the entire main menu by clicking on the three small horizontal bars when they want to navigate to a different page.
Google Analytics integration
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools for collecting and analysing web traffic — and how people are interacting with your website (i.e. which pages they visit, how long they stay on certain pages, which page do they visit next, etc). Website analytics is an extremely important element of any digital marketing campaign because the reports generated can help guide you when making important decisions about your overall digital marketing strategy.
Google Search Console integration
Google search console is a tool to supervise and analyze you website’s overall performance in search engine results. Here you will be able to determine your average position in search engine results for the keywords which you are targeting. You will also be able to identify the exact match keywords people are using to find your website pages. If your site has any malware or SEO based issues, Google search console will help you to identify and resolve that too.
Page speed optimization
Page speed optimization is extremely important. Research by Google has found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a web-page if it doesn’t load within three seconds. Having properly optimized html code and an efficient content management system is the key improving website page speed. You can test your website’s current page speed here.
Conversion tracking software
Conversion tracking software can help you determine which digital marketing activities are driving the most conversions/sales for your home-automation business. Conversion tracking tools can be used to monitor and record phone calls, count how many people filled out a specific contact form, etc.
Local Business Schema
When users search for businesses on Google Search or Google Maps, search results may display a prominent Google knowledge panel with details about a business that best matches the original search query. Local business schema is a type of structured data markup code you can add to your business’s website to make it easier for search engines to identify what type of business you are and what it is you do. With Local Business structured data, you can tell Google about your business hours, different departments within a business, reviews for your business, and more. If you want to help users to make a reservation or place an order directly in Search results, you can also use the Maps Booking API to enable bookings, payments, and other actions.
The hosting service you use for your home-automation business website should always be fast and reliable. Poor website hosting will affect the loading speeds for all of your website pages. This will have negative results for your search engine rankings, user experience and overall conversion rates.
Any flaw in website security can seriously harm your overall business. Your site must be well-protected from hacking attempts, data leaks, spyware and viruses. Using a distributed domain, secure protocols and proper virus protection is mandatory. The easiest way to protect your website and be confident about your security is by using a web application firewall (WAF). A WAF is a specific form of application firewall that filters, monitors, inspects and blocks traffic to and from a web service. Doing so can prevent attacks exploiting a web application’s known vulnerabilities. In short, a website application firewall blocks all malicious traffic before it even reaches your website.
Easy to manage CMS
Your business website should use a content management system (CMS) that is easily modifiable and maintainable. A reliable CMS like WordPress makes it very easy to manage and categorize all of your content and main website pages. It also allows you to update the look (or design) of your website with very little effort.[Want us to check your website’s core web vitals for technical issues that might prevent you from ranking high in search engine results? CLICK HERE]
THINGS YOU SHOULD AVOID
Outdated or unfinished website
Make sure you always use a modern looking theme (or design) for your company website. An outdated website design gives a really bad first impression for new website visitors — and can affect their motivation to read through your pages and view your entire website. And NEVER launch a website or make it live with sections that are still incomplete.
Automatic music in the background
No one wants to hear background music that plays automatically after they open a new website page. This is known to be extremely annoying for users and will cause people to click off your website immediately in attempt to shut off the unexpected sounds.
Again, nobody wants to hear background music of a video that automatically plays after opening a new website page. However, videos on your website are still very effective. Encourage your website visitors to press play and watch your videos using call-to-actions — never force them into doing so.
Avoid moving sliders that display a series of images (or other contents). Though many websites use this, sliders are generally annoying or distracting.
There should be no page in your site from where you can’t navigate to other pages. Pages like this are called dead-end pages and they tend to annoy visitors.
Analyze your website using this checklist
Use this article as your complete checklist to make sure your website will consistently attract new customers, look great on all devices, rank high in search engines and is able to convert traffic into actual leads for your business.
Conduct a technical SEO audit
Use SEO tools to check the health of your website and make sure your website doesn’t have any technical SEO errors that will ultimately prevent it from ranking high in Google search engine results for targeted keywords. CLICK HERE TO GET A FREE TECHNICAL SEO AUDIT OF YOUR WEBSITE
Re-build or re-design your website
If your website is not generating quality smart-home leads on a consistent basis like it should be — contact us below and we’ll make sure your website consistently attracts new customers, looks great on all devices, ranks high in search engines and is able to convert website traffic into actual leads for your business.
This includes a completely new website design/re-design (if needed) to improve appearance, user experience and conversion rates. Plus compelling copywriting for all main pages and consistent uploading of new SEO content to the blog.