“The role of the consumer has changed,” says Michele Neary, public relations director for United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL). “They want to educate themselves on the products they use. They want to read reviews, talk to their neighbors and visit blogs. When they walk into a store, they often know what product they want or have already narrowed down their choices.”
But, after UGL analyzed its previous website about a year ago, Neary says it was falling short of meeting these needs of today’s information-savvy DIYers. Instead of being a springboard to motivate and inspire customers about the company’s line of DIY friendly paints, stains, coatings and maintenance products, Neary says UGL’s previous website was more of a technical platform that helped dealers answer customer questions.
“We were getting great traffic to our website, but our drop rate was high,” Neary says. “Customers were finding what they wanted and leaving, not staying to explore.”
It was time, Neary admits, for a complete website overhaul. And that’s precisely what UGL has now done with its new website redesign, which officially launched on May 2. While the revamped UGL.com will continue to supply dealers with the resources they need to help customers, it also is custom-tailored to help inspire, motivate and educate DIYers in the following seven ways.
1. Watch more instructional videos on the new “How To” page.
“Nothing tells a story better than a video,” Neary says. So, to that end, UGL now is offering a variety of do-it-yourself instructional videos on its YouTube channel through its website “How To” page. You can learn tips and techniques from both homeowners and professionals on topics ranging from selecting the best UGL products for a job, to proper preparation and application procedures for waterproofing, staining, finishing a deck or floor or applying faux finishes. You’ll also learn how to avoid common mistakes while getting projects done efficiently and within budget.
“We’re monitoring through our direct sales force, social media channels and trade shows what people are looking for, content wise, and we’ll be producing videos around those requests,” Neary says.
2. See inspiring projects.
Another feature of the new website — UGL’s “Inspiration” page — provides a gallery of completed project photos with keys underneath that identify products used to create that finished look. Whether you’re planning to stain a desk, coat your home’s foundation or come up with a way to make a basement laundry area drier or more inviting, the Inspiration Page is designed to get your creative juices flowing.
“People are hungry for ideas; just look at the success of Pinterest,” Neary says. “We’ve hired professional designers to mix and match various room designs and style ideas to help consumers get (project) ideas. We’ll continue to expand these ideas to help inspire and motivate our customers.”
3. Get “social” and meet like-minded folks.
UGL’s previous homepage had a blog, but Neary says the posts were standalone entries with no push/pull strategy. That was about the extent of its social media outreach. Now, the new website has an omnichannel plan with touchpoints to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter. Once there, you can post photos of projects, offer project or product advice, upload your DIY videos and share your success stories with other DIYers using whatever media channel you prefer.
4. Explore the retooled UGL blog.
The company’s blog has expanded, too. Posts from both UGL experts and customers, Neary says, are being dissected into pieces for each of its social media channels. They also are serving as topical concepts for new YouTube videos. If you’re looking for craft ideas, decorative solutions for finishing concrete or, perhaps, how to stain fiberglass to look like wood, UGL’s blog can help.
“Many of our blogs are ideas and photos from our customers, which we always love to receive,” Neary adds.
5. Access detailed product information.
Like any good website, UGL.com enables you to do product-specific searches, if you already know what you’re looking for. But, what if you don’t know exactly what you need? “Many times our customers know they are working with concrete or decking, but they … don’t know what products they can use,” Neary says.
To make searches more consumer-friendly, the updated website now enables you to also search by “surface” or “project.” If you’re finishing wood, masonry, faux wood, metal, plastic or fiberglass, clicking on any of these surface options takes you to a UGL grouping of recommended products suitable for that surface. Or, if you’d prefer to start by what type of project you have in mind — such as floors, waterproofing, decks and siding, caulking or furniture finishing — search that way instead, for UGL products that can meet the project need.
6. Identify environmentally friendly solutions.
Latex-based, low VOC products have always been a focus for UGL, Neary says. These days, some homeowners and contractors only want to work with environmentally friendly products. To make the selection process easier, UGL has created a “UGL Green Products Standard of Excellence” icon, noted on the website, for those products that have earned Green Wise® certification. They include DRYLOK® Extreme Masonry Waterproofer, UGL® EcoLok® Primer Sealer, DRYLOK® Latex Concrete Floor Paint, ZAR® ULTRA Max Wood Stain, ZAR® Clear Wood Sealer & Natural Toner Base.
7. Find a UGL dealer more easily near you.
UGL’s updated website now uses metro locator software that allows for easier mapping than the previous basic store locator feature. “It’s also mobile-friendly,” Neary adds, “so customers can press the store website to see what they have to offer or press the phone number to contact the store immediately.”
Neary hopes the mobile-friendly aspect of the new website, plus its inspirational photos and rich colors, will engage customers most. And, she’s certain its retooled features will better deliver UGL’s 85 years of experience with its audience.
“We want to be the ‘Who, what, when, where and why of DIY’,” she adds. “We want our customers to feel comfortable tackling a project, not just using our products but also in terms of their overall success, from A to Z.”
Learn more about UGL’s product family and explore the new website by clicking here.