Do you work for or run an energy company? We’re certain you are very proud of promoting the resources people need to live more comfortably. However, does your company have a website? If the answer is “Yes, but…” stop right there. Usually the ‘but’ following the ‘yes’ means you have a website, but it’s been a while since you looked at it, and that’s not good.
Did you know that ten years equals 10,000 years in Internet time? This is how fast we are progressing as a society. If 10 years is how old your website is, and you haven’t touched it since, consider it to be ancient…and far less secure than it ought to be, but we’ll get to that in a bit. So, not only will you need a website, but also a more up-to-date one. If it needs improvement, here is what we suggest.
Check on the security
The best websites contain secure SSL addresses with up-to-date information about energy; this should be what your website looks like. If it does not possess an ‘s’ in the http part of the site’s URL, or the site has not been maintained for some time, that spells danger for your company. A website that has had its design, framework, and plugins updated will perform better on search engines because they contribute to online trustworthiness. This sense of trust, in addition to search engine optimization (SEO) and proper security measures against viruses and malware are beneficial and essential to getting on Google’s first page.
Note that we didn’t say it’s essential to reaching #1 on Google in that last sentence. That’s because it’s impossible to do overnight, nor is it a quick job (read here to find some other falsities we’ve picked up on regarding SEO). Improving your energy company website’s security, however, is a great first step toward that goal.
Ditch the jargon
Just because you are an expert at understanding the science behind energy does not mean your customers are! This improvement of getting rid of the jargon aligns with your website’s content—which, yes, is incredibly important if you want to see any long-term success for your company (more on that later).
Think of it this way: you’re trying to sell your service to your customers. To do that, you need to explain to them what you can offer that the next energy company they look up online can’t. Using jargon and not explaining the science (or over-explaining it) will only drive would-be customers away, because it won’t help them understand the choice they need to make, leading to frustration and their inevitable departure.
This tip brings us to our next, very important point:
Tell the customers whythey need your service
It’s one thing to explain to your customers they need your service; for some reason most energy companies don’t explain whythough. Again, we have to ask: what makes your service so different from others?
A good way to start describing is by stating exactly which energy solutions you supply assistance with the most, and then make that a consistent idea throughout your company’s brand and website content. For example, if you promote and know how to help people use solar energy, make that part of your brand and stick with it. If you contribute a ton to your local community, align those values with your brand too. These are good ideas not only for designing your website, but also for developing content.
What not to do is give people false information about your services. For example, don’t go around saying you provide hydro energy services on your blog but then only offer wind; another idea would be to suggest you offer all energy solutions, but then only cater to the one. This is an easy way to drive away customers!
Speed it up
Your website should be fast to load and use, not slow and sluggish. One of the key culprits of a slow website are way too big images being used, whether in the slider or as a background. The other is the server or hosting service you may be using. Either way, with mobile websites becoming increasingly important to a company’s long-term success, your website should load fast and be readily accessible across more devices than one. If it doesn’t load right, speed things up. If the site doesn’t exist, then at least now you know what’s needed before moving forward.
Have a blog
A website that features an active blog and social media can generate more traffic and sales in the long-term than a website that remains stoic. Lots of people are interested in learning how to conserve energy, or save money on their utility bills. These would be good starting points if you are beginning to feature a blog on your website.
If you already have a lot of blog content but it’s been a while since you last looked at it, consider recycling the posts by updating them. If there are a lot of shorter articles and some of them have a common theme, try combining them and rewriting them to create a new post. The rule of thumb should be to write for your audience, not for yourself (hence our first tip of ditching the jargon).
A blog doesn’t have to be strictly written articles either. Think of it as where your videos, case studies, and update reports can be posted and shared with your audience too. Having a blog and adding new content or recycling it can also contribute to an e-mail newsletter campaign or social media marketing. Depending on which distribution channels your customers tend to use and engage with the most, having one or both of these are ideal for your energy company’s website too.
Be in touch with your customers
Some of the worst websites we’ve seen have little no to means of contacting the actual owners of the website they’re visiting (either that, or it’s in a hard-to-find place). Being in touch with your customers is one of the best ways to build trust and convince them you’re their right choice for energy solutions, whether it’s installing solar panels or providing energy audits. Your contact information should be visible, easy to access, and available across several channels such as social media, in addition to phone and e-mail.
Another way to get in touch with your customers is to distribute e-mail newsletters. This could help people get engaged with your company, especially if you want to offer promotional discounts on their energy costs, for example, or share the latest tips and information about energy. This is also why we recommend using a blog; you can add the newest posts you’ve published from your blog to your e-mail newsletter and share them that way. Be sure signing up for this is easy to do on your website, and make the option visible as well.
Have a website in the first place
This one’s a no-brainer! If you want any chance of gaining new or returning customers to your energy company, you’re going to have to have a website that’s beautifully designed, easy to use, and provides more to the customer experience than just asking them to give you a call.
So, ready to provide energy solutions with a great website? Give us a shout at V3 Media and we can build you a beautiful website if you need a brand new one. If you’re stumped on where else your current website may need improvement, we can provide one-on-one consultation with you (and even travel to you, rather than vice versa—less energy usage that way on your part!).