Published Oct 5, 2020 10:22:08 AM

5 Ways to Refresh and Optimize Your Web Presence

When the Coronavirus pandemic caused cities, states, and entire countries to stay home in an effort to curb the spread, the conversation about digital marketing and digital presence in general took on a new tone. “Going digital” was no longer a strategy to ensure success tomorrow, but a necessity to survive today. While businesses like ours will always rely on people on location, whether that’s contractors on building sites or employees building and shipping products, 2020 has made it apparent that the time to put digital first in the building materials industry has arrived. 

If you’re not ready for a huge investment in a new software or website right now, don’t worry. There are many incremental changes you can do to quickly boost your web presence without a large bill attached.  

Here are five examples to consider today: 

1. Do some research

First, start by refamiliarizing yourself with the digital landscape of your local area, market niche or competitor circle. Have your customers or competitors been turning their attention to their digital presence, or have they gone quiet? What changes have they made? While you never want to copy another business’s efforts, it’s a good practice to stay on top of what’s happening online in your space.  

You should also define your buyer personas if you haven’t already. They help focus your marketing and sales messaging across all channels, not just digital. Buyer personas should not only outline basic facts about your ideal customers such as age and salary, but also more detailed information about preferences and behaviors. 

We talk more about creating buyer personas in chapter 2 of our eBook, Getting Started with Email Marketing in the Building Materials Industry. Click here to get it. 

2. Update your website (regularly!)

Your website is the home base of your digital presence, but it can be so much more than that. With some creativity and careful planning, it can be an essential marketing, sales, and customer service team member. Start small—audit the information you have on your website, such as product information, team members and phone numbers for anything that’s out of date or incorrect. Update old pictures with newer ones, swap out PDFs of outdated literature and add new content based on the trends you see in your area. 

Search engines like to see new content published regularly, so in addition to your web visitors getting fresh information, you may see a bump in search engine rankings if you keep at it. Blogs can also help with this goal. 

ODL’s digital asset management system (DAM) and Partner Store can be resources for images, videos and literature PDFs. If you’re interested in obtaining those assets, your salesperson can get you started. 


3. Start a blog

Blogs can serve many purposes. You can use them to provide regular updates to your current customer base, bring in new leads, answer your prospects’ questions—as long as you’ve defined who you’re talking to with buyer personas, a blog can be a valuable platform to get your message out.

A good way to start coming up with blog content is to look at the questions that your sales and customer service teams get most frequently. Write up answers to these questions—try to shoot for a minimum of 200 words, but don’t be afraid to go long—and post them with a regular cadence. Publishing weekly is a good goal to start out. Then, you can adjust the frequency based on your team’s bandwidth and feedback from readers. As a bonus, regularly publishing blog content is a great way to generate unique and interesting content for your social media channels. Video blogs are very popular too, even if they are not high production. Today’s viewer understands our restraints right now, and if the video is clear from both picture and sound, as well as steady from too much movement, it’s an easy way to communicate a message quickly.


4. Manage reviews

While the content that you publish on your website, blog, and social media channels makes up a large portion of your digital presence, you should pay just as much, if not more, attention to content that people generate about you. Reviews, a type of user-generated content, are more highly trusted by B2B buyers than content that is published by the business, and when you factor in the fact that someone is 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one, chances are that you’ve got a few reviews that are less than glowing.

There is some good news, though: responding courteously to negative reviews can mitigate any damaging effects, with 45% of people reporting that they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to reviews. You can also have a big impact on the person who left the review. Check Google, Facebook, and other review sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau for reviews. Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews, as well! Letting your promoters know that you appreciate their business and feedback makes for an even happier customer. 


5. Try low-cost video

If you can only take away one thing from this list, this one is it. Video is the most valuable, most impactful, and one of the easiest forms of content that you can create. Business video calls to mind big-budget items like videographers and high-tech equipment, but as we mentioned earlier, you can create effective videos for your marketing, sales, and customer service processes with little more than a webcam or smartphone and a message. 

Try replacing a sales outreach email with a quick video of yourself to simulate a face-to-face meeting. Or, instead of posting a static picture of a product on social media, show it in action in a well-lit room. For Apple users, iMovie is an easy-to-use video editing software that’s available on any Apple device, and Windows users have similar low-cost options. It’s helpful, but not necessary, to invest in a light, a microphone, or a camera if your videos aren’t turning out clear. 


Having a robust web presence and a well-designed digital experience is a must for today’s businesses, and there’s no better time than the present to get started. For more resources, take a look at our digital marketing resources page, where you can download our email marketing guide and get more information on how ODL can help you enhance your digital presence.

An image link to the digital marketing resouces center for building materials industry professionals.

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