It’s time to take your business onto the digital high street
The impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has been felt around the world. It has been a unifying moment. And one of profound change to society and business alike. We are living our personal and professional lives online like never before.
Whether it is holding Google Hangout meetings with colleagues and customers or having virtual pub quiz nights with family, there has never been more people online. Even Netflix had to reduce their streaming quality in Europe to reduce the strain on internet providers.
Businesses are evolving. As the doors to their bricks and mortar shops temporarily closed, increasing numbers are adapting to rremain open online.
So, the question is… are you online? And, if you are online, are you using your digital platforms to their full potential?
CORONAVIRUS AND THE NEW ‘NORMAL’
There can be little doubt that social distancing is going to become our ‘new normal’ and that although your doors may be opening, the reality is that you could be asked to close them again at any time. So, the best thing you can do for your business is to build a strong digital foundation.
So with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of digital essentials to get you started.
Now is the time to adapt and take your business onto the digital high street.
If you don’t already have a website. Get one. Seriously, get one. Not next week, not even tomorrow, today.
We can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you have previously relied on passing foot traffic to sell your products and/or services, that isn’t going to work right now. Your buyers are now online and they are looking for you, so it’s important that they can find you.
Depending on your business circumstances your website should either be a fully-fledged e-commerce site which allows your customers to access your products much as they would in real life, or be an informational site that gives your customers and prospects the lowdown on where you’re at and most importantly gives them a gateway to contacting you.
If you already have a website, is it running smoothly and does it give your buyers all the information they will need to make a buying decision? If not, now is the time to iron out any problems.
Your website is a great platform to tell your customers how your business is dealing with the pandemic. How you’re protecting your staff and your customers, and how you’re currently operating. Are you business as usual or are you having to restrict some services?
Communication is key at a time like this.
Your site needs to be easy to navigate both on mobile and desktop, look awesome and be full of content that is both informative and engaging. If you can, create relevant blog content. Tons of it, as much as you are able to. This, along with ensuring your website is as optimised as possible will help the search engines and therefore your buyers find you.
Speaking of optimising your website, now is the time to get all your SEO ducks in a row. Does each page have appropriate H tags? Are your images optimised? Have you completed all the SEO descriptions and page titles? Take a look. Make sure your site is working as effectively as possible.
We know that launching and maintaining a website can be daunting, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. This is what we do, and we do it well. We are more than happy to share our knowledge with you and help you get your website off the ground or whip your existing website into shape.
#2 SOCIAL MEDIA
Even without a global pandemic effectively shutting down the world, social media should be a key part of any business’s digital presence.
Now isn’t the time to social (media) distance.
Social media is keeping us all connected right now. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% rise in usage due to the pandemic. So there can be no doubt that your customers are getting social, which makes it the perfect place for you to engage with them.
Buyers want to know who you are and what you do and social media is a great way to demonstrate your business’s ethos and personality.
Start a meaningful dialogue with your audience, get to know them, let them get to know you. Post pictures, ask questions, make videos and host Facebook Live events.
There is so much you can do on social to make sure that your brand stays in people’s mind during this time and to direct people back to your website.
You can use social media to advertise your products and services. Even if you can’t actually provide them right now you will be able to at some point, so get the information out there.
People want to look to the future and make plans, so make sure that their future includes you.
#3 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
SEO doesn’t begin and end with your website. In addition to a physical shop front you can set up a virtual one on Google in the form of a Google My Business listing. Google provides every business with a free listing for the life of the business.
The listing will appear when potential buyers make a relevant search for a product and/or service related to your business using either Google or Google maps.
You can list key information, like your contact details and opening hours, as well as share photos, respond to reviews, and even exchange messages with users in real-time.
To get started, visit the Google My Business website to create your profile, then verify your business by post, email, phone or by using your Google Search Console account.
According to research from Google, complete profiles are:
- Twice as likely to be considered reputable
- 38% more likely to attract location visits (outside of lockdown)
- 29% more likely to lead to a purchase
So, as you can see completing a Google My Business listing for your business really is worthwhile, pandemic or no pandemic.
GET READY TO EMBRACE THE NEW NORMAL
We know that this is a difficult time for businesses and although you know that marketing is necessary, it may be at the end of a very long list. So don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help getting your business online.
You take care of your business. We’ll take care of your marketing.