With potential buyers likely to scope you out online before driving to your yard, and with current customers seeking a 24/7 resource, a sharp-looking and informative website is a must. But sometimes creating a new site or pages can get so complicated that you end up forgetting to include vital data. Check your website against our list to make sure you’re getting the most from this online sales tool.

A - About

Who runs the place? How long have you been there? Do you have a mission statement or corporate goal? Some dealers include FAQs here to answer customer queries upfront.

B - Products and Services

Product categories are essential; available brands and dimensions are even better. Remember to include the services you offer—takeoffs, installed sales, kitchen and bath design, and a showroom if you have one. Include pricing or deals information where applicable.

C - Locations and Contact Us

Post your phone number (local and toll-free, with area code), street and P.O. addresses (if they differ), and a fax number for all of your locations as well as the name and contact information for each facility’s manager. Risk spam potential and post your e-mail address directly to the site, rather than as an image—that way, visitors can e-mail you simply by clicking on your address. Set up an e-mail address for your website domain and route it so that it forwards to your location’s best contact for general inquiries.

Tie in an interactive map from Google or a related site to let visitors find directions from their location. If you’re in a really remote area, consider including latitude and longitude.

D - Social media boxes

Including links to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will drive traffic to those platforms, improve your chances of being picked up by search engines, and integrate your social marketing portfolio.

Across the Site

E - Behind the Scenes: SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is techspeak for hints and cues that tell search services like Google and Bing how to “read” your site—that is, match up potential search terms with what your site talks about and who that talk targets. It’s too big a topic for one chart and we think these guys do good job of explaining it: http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo.

F - Consistent Branding

No matter your location count, make sure your website follows the same scheme as the rest of the company, particularly with regard to logos, colors, and name spellings.

G - Keep it Simple

Keep any writing on the page concise and relevant to the products and services you offer. Focus on what you can do for the customer rather than boasting about how old you are. Limit videos and huge graphics: They can bog down some systems, and they often make the page difficult to navigate even for those who can access it.