In life and in business, we often face uncertainty. However it is rare that we all face the same level of uncertainty at the same time.
Corona Virus or COVID-19 has played havoc with businesses across Australia. This disruption has not only been implemented through government lockdowns, causing retailers, bars and restaurants to close, but also due to people’s instinct to redirect household income to other areas during times of crisis, such as medicine, groceries and protective clothing/equipment.
How might Coronavirus Affect Your Business?
Nielsen has claimed that social distancing (implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19) will lead to a 60% increase in media consumption as individuals stay at home and look to entertain themselves, whilst keeping up with the latest news on the virus.
While at first glance this seems highly positive for businesses, it is worth noting that the majority of these cases focus on activities such as watching tv, browsing social media and playing online games. However, both Marketing Land and eMarketer have highlighted that in later stages of this pandemic, customers will likely look to make more purchases online to not only avoid going into stores, but to also supply themselves with other amenities to make their stay at home more enjoyable: games, books, candles, food etc.
So, what does this mean for businesses in general?
Companies are going to have to fight harder to attract consumers and find new and innovative ways to turn cold leads into loyal customers. Unfortunately, while some industries will see spikes in search volumes, others won’t. But it is important to note that overall, the opportunity to reach new customers online is at a historical high for many businesses. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses use every weapon at their disposal to attract new prospects.
Preparing Your Online Business
Businesses can sometimes neglect websites once they’re built. But with more people moving online amid this pandemic, it is vital that your website is running at optimum capacity. This includes things like:
- Adding a message to your website reassuring your customers that buying from you or using your services is safe and all is still business as usual
- Plugins and security measures on your website are using the latest versions where possible
- Design and usability are inline with industry best practice (individuals form opinions within 50 milliseconds of viewing a webpage – make sure it is a positive one). If a customer can’t easily navigate it, they will leave
- All forms and contact methods are submitting and working as they should, and be tracked correctly.
SEO & Google Ads
With so many businesses trying to capitalise online, SEO will become an even more challenging environment, with competitors looking to employ various tactics to push themselves higher in SERP results. It is especially important to maintain your SEO strategy during this time, which might include:
- Posting relevant, specific content on your website, in the form of blog posts, videos, content on your product or service pages etc. If there are any changes to your product usage in relation to COVID-19 for example this would be relevant to potential customers.
- Linking other mediums to your website to drive traffic (social media, emails, ads, articles on external websites, etc)
- Continuing to build internal and external links
While Google Ads can be highly effective in driving traffic to a website, with more businesses now using the same medium, the cost per click and likelihood of ads producing an effective ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) could be reduced. Therefore, it’s important to be smart with how you invest your time and money here.
Social media allows for companies to connect with their audience on a more personal level than other mediums. It is also a common source of entertainment for many people; as the coronavirus continues to take hold, people are looking for an escape. This is where businesses should look to employ soft marketing tactics, to build bonds with customers. Sharing funny videos/photos, running competitions and interacting more with customers are just some examples of creating a memorable, lasting impact making them more willing to explore your brand, products and services.
Updating Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) provides customers with current details of your business such as trading hours, contact numbers and addresses. As businesses have been forced to close, it is important to update your GMB to reflect these new circumstances and avoid dissatisfied customers. However, if your business is still operational from home, be sure to update your GMB account with any new contact information and trading hours.
Google Analytics should be reviewed and benchmarked regularly, as it allows for businesses to garner an understanding of website traffic and how to optimise your website and marketing efforts. Making sure Google Analytics is set up correctly when predicting or aiming for a particularly large traffic growth is critical, and in addition your paths to conversion are set up and tracked correctly.
During this troubling time, it is important that we all come together to help one another. If you would like to find out more about setting up digital marketing activities or require assistance with website updates, contact the team at Redline Digital today.