Builders have many choices these days in terms of where they purchase their lumber. Add in DIY homeowners who may be searching for a dealer for the first time, and you need to make sure that you can set yourself apart from the crowd.
Every business today needs to have a website, whether you sell products through it, list what you sell, or simply want to get your name into circulation. For lumber dealers, that means that you need to be able to reach your target audience, and both identify and meet their online needs.
Whether you want to allow established customers to place orders online, highlight your offerings, or increase your web presence, there are five things every lumber dealer’s website needs. Make sure that yours is up to date to get the biggest results.
You don’t need to tell the story of your company or put the picture of every employee on there, but you should have a clear, easy-to-find page that tells people who you are and what you do. Why should someone choose your company over any of the others doing business in the area? This is your chance to sell yourself. Are you the only authorized dealer for a specific material or part? This is the place to mention it.
Likewise, if you have guarantees, or have a specific exceptional service that you provide, you need a page dedicated to getting the word out. People want to know who they’re dealing with, so make sure that your About Us page is clear, easy to read, and above all, easy to find on your website.
Some people are willing to take you at your word, while others will simply be interested in what you have to offer, but there are always going to be a large number of customers who want to know what others thought of you first.
You don’t need to publish every review or letter that was sent your way but have a space dedicated to showing off some of the better testimonials or reviews. Let other customers know that your business is legitimate, and help them get to know you better. Testimonials often say things that you can’t self-promote, such as how timely deliveries are, how friendly your drivers are, or how helpful your customer service reps can be.
Let your previous customers do some of the promoting for you and publish any testimonials that set your business apart and gain the trust of new customers at the same time.
Do you carry lumber or products that are hard to come by? Do you deliver large shipments? Are you strictly a cash and carry operation? You need to detail what it is that your company offers if someone were to stop in. List some of the types of lumber you carry or things that you specialize in. Give people a rundown of what they can expect if they use your service.
People don’t like surprises and they don’t like to be disappointed, so before they make the journey to your physical location, they are going to want to see if you meet their needs.
You do not need to list every item or have an online catalog, but it is helpful if people can get a glimpse of what it’s going to be like when they pay you a visit.
People are more likely to do business with a company they can trust. The more helpful information you can put on your website, the more likely people will feel they can trust you and your services.
Some companies will have a blog that helps attract views and they can use to offer helpful advice and articles. You can also have a page explaining different wood species and what makes one lumber better for a specific job than another, or you can provide a plans page with projects that DIY homeowners can do with the lumber or material you sell. This type of evergreen content can make your page a destination site for people looking for answers, and it can help you gain the trust of your customers.
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Show your location with Google Maps, offer directions if you’re difficult to find, and have your phone number, fax number, and email address displayed prominently, along with a contact field for quick questions.
If you offer orders through your website, perhaps have a dedicated login page for returning customers to make it easier for them to reach you and get the service they need. If people are visiting your site, it’s for a reason. One of those reasons could be to get the information they need to find you, so make sure it’s easy to find, easy to read, and has everything they’ll need.
While lumber isn’t something that people are ordering over the internet every day, you do need to have a web presence to stay relevant in this day and age. Make sure your website has these five must-haves included in the content to help your customers get more from the services you offer.