Following its initial launch in August 2012, BehrPro has upped the ante on its Web-Enabled Business (WEB) program. Available free of charge to registered Behr professional users, the online tool lets users easily customize their own business web site using templates and features pre-designed by Behr and its partners. The newest version of the program also lets users tap into search engine optimization (SEO), Google+ local registration, customizable direct mail, and social media integration, all for free, plus optional paid search features with Google Adwords. "We found that a lot of larger contractors had websites, but the smaller businesses either didn’t have their own sites, or those who had tried building a site weren't able to get any traction with them," says Mika Carter, senior pro marketing manager for Behr Pro's eBusiness channel. "Now, the WEB program lets them tap into the power of online marketing with no design or hosting costs. We wanted to create something to help our professionals expand their reach by being online and showcasing their work, and by offering templates to help them get started."
Click to Create
Carter gave our editors a tour of the online tool to show just how easy it is to create a website start to finish. No experience with HTML and website programming? No problem. Just log onto their "WEB Central" page and the program walks users through each step of customizing the template, from adding the contractor's own pictures, to choosing available features, such as an image gallery or a link to Behr's online color tool.
"This tool will not let you mess up your website design," Carter says. Easy-to-use selection buttons and fill-in fields for copy and captions make site creation easy. Captions are required for each photo entered on the site to help improve SEO. If the contractor opts to turn on the image gallery feature, a link to the gallery appears on each page of the site. Users can also enter testimonials; links to their social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; and their Google location information, for which Behr handles the registration. "All of the sites are registered to make sure they're ranked competitively in search results," Carter says. Moreover, sites are all mobile-responsive, so they're easily viewed on smartphones and tablets.
As users make selections for their web site, they can track their progress in real time. The tool features selection options on the left side of the screen and shows a visualization of the site design on the right. Contractors get the same click-to-create benefits when designing their direct mail marketing materials through WEB. BehrPro offers several templates that contractors can customize with their information. Carter says Behr is able to offer all of these services for free thanks to its ability to "leverage the power of our brands and the power of our vast network." Beyond the design tools, WEB users can opt for Google Adwords pay-per-click features and easily create marketing campaigns with a weekly or monthly budget. Along with the boosted search results, site users get a vanity URL.
Upgrades Meet with Approval
The initial launch of the Behr Pro Web-Enabled Business platform had 230 contractors in the pilot program. The sites they created are all in the process of being transitioned to the new version, and Carter says the response has been positive.
"The people who initially were on the first version have switched to the new version and told us, 'we thought it was awesome before!'" she says. "They're thrilled, and it makes us feel good to know we're taking it to the next level. After WEB debuted, we listened to our users’ feedback and dedicated time to enhancing the service. The new features provide our pro customers with simplified access to leading online tools that will help their businesses thrive.”
Behr customers can take advantage of Web-Enabled Business and other BehrPro services by registering for free at behrpro.com