As stock markets plummet, businesses are suffering, and our marketing agency has been heavily involved in helping organisations communicate internally and externally through the issues they are facing.

While we deal with clients in sectors, such as online retail and media, who have experienced significant increases in website traffic, on average web traffic has fallen, as most industries experience a severe hit in terms of enquiries, sales and revenue.

However, there is an opportunity among the chaos. For example, Google AdWords cost-per-click has been dropping in those sectors not looking to directly capitalise upon the pandemic and cutting back or pausing their AdWords budgets. If, like us, COVID-19 has you remotely working from home, why not take this time to regroup, take a step back and look at ways of improving your business while you might have more headspace than usual?

Here are five areas to help you structure your thoughts and hopefully inspire you to take some positive steps:

Update your website content

One of the most important and useful ways to remote improve your business is reviewing your website. Look at ways to improve it, update the content, make it more effective in achieving its goals and boosting your Google rankings. The work you put into your website now will help you navigate this challenging period and come out the other side stronger.

Google rewards fresh content, so go through your Google Analytics and update your webpages in order of those that have been receiving the most traffic. Liven up the copy and cross-reference against potential search keywords to make real improvements.

Check the duration of dwell time on pages and get rid of pages that are receiving no traffic nor offering much in terms of the user experience or visitor journey. Some pages may even be acting as a distraction, creating a dead-end for your customers on their path to your goal.

Once upon a time you may have thrown your website up relatively quickly, duplicating messaging along the way, so now is the time to rectify this and put some effort into a rewrite. Wait for a moment when you are feeling creative, lock the kids or the partner out of the room and get typing.

The look and feel of your brand may have evolved and improved, leaving your website stuck in the past and badly in need of a redesign. If you require help, we have the right developer for every type of site and budget, with some able to completely refresh the site within only a few weeks. Also, we can evaluate your website performance and conversion potential, helping you to transform your sales and lead generation results.

Speed is one of the most critical metrics for your site. From the moment users connect to your website, you have around 3-5 seconds to capture their attention before they decide to either continue using your site or go with one of your competitors. Those 3-5 seconds can be one of the most crucial aspects of building and designing a website because they include the loading time of your site. If your website takes 5 seconds to load in the first place, you have already used up the potential attention span of your visitors, and you could be losing all of those customers who will not wait any longer.

Now may be the perfect time to add an e-commerce element to your website, offering a simple path for customers to find your business, learn about your products or services and make a purchase, all without any input from you. E-commerce websites can be an excellent method of creating a secondary revenue stream or passive income, and your web design company should be able to simply add e-commerce capabilities to your existing website or build a new purpose-built e-commerce website for you through an affordable creation solution.

Revisit your social media strategy

As more people are choosing to stay indoors, the visibility of your business’ social media feeds may be increasing. Social pages are seeing significant increases in traffic as people have more time to check feeds, create and share content. This presents the opportunity for you to re-establish your organisation’s investment in social media and consider how your business speaks to its audience and is perceived by others. It goes without saying, your content should be empathetic, but anything you can add to the conversation that can help others in some way should be considered at this time.

Discounts and offers perform particularly well during challenging periods, so show your support by offering savings to your customers while at the same time keeping things moving as many pull back on spending. These promotions can form a key element of your social media strategy until business gets back to normal.

Social media and video are the perfect partnership, so now is the time to create your organisation’s video marketing strategy. For more tips on video marketing, click here.

Research your business’ visibility

Get your Google My Business, Maps, Reviews and third-party listings up to date, increasing your organisation’s online visibility during this period. Online usage is going off the charts, and it has never been easier to optimise your search using neo-SEO methods.

Your online search performance is one of the key elements that elevates your brand above the competition, so you should be taking the journey on Google that your customers will take and looking at ways of making the path as clear and inviting as possible.

As Google constantly enhances its ability to ensure rankings are based on websites that invest resources into improving user experience, it makes it ever-tougher for traditional SEO agencies to confound the algorithms and bump their clients up the search rankings. This is bad news for traditional SEO agencies, but a huge opportunity for you.

Begin testing the water with Google AdWords

While there are more potential customers online at the same time many organisations are reducing or freezing their AdWords budgets, this could the perfect opportunity to finally put the time into setting up and dipping your toe into Google AdWords.

According to Jon Kettle, owner, Taxicode: “It’s difficult to understand why some businesses don’t use online advertising when it’s so clear it could improve their income almost immediately. Test the water, then increase the budget if and when you begin seeing the results. It could hardly be any simpler. Jon spends tens of thousands of pounds every month, driving customers to his taxi app because the returns are higher than the cost and are fully scalable. Like him, you can become an AdWords expert through trial and error, beginning with a small budget and building it up as your confidence grows.

The number of successful businesses we encounter as an agency that do not have any level of paid online advertising in place is astonishing. For many types of organisation, it is the cheapest, most manageable and scalable source of sales, leads and website traffic available. While some smaller businesses might think they don’t have a chance of cost-effectively competing with big-budget competitors Google ads, the world’s number one advertising platform has ensured no one is discouraged from signing up and sending them some money to promote their business. Google has algorithms in place to ensure that even modest budgets can generate some clicks and compete.

Develop an online crisis communications strategy

How you handle your communications during a crisis or turbulent time not only goes a long way to contributing towards the wellbeing of your employees and suppliers but can also be a decisive factor in whether your company survives and flourishes once the situation abates. Living in a digital age, we have never been better equipped to deal with such a crisis, with remote working and online communications allowing us to remain more connected to our crucial network and deliver messages to our customers, team and stakeholders with ease. Learn more about Crisis Communications by clicking here.

To recap:

  1. Update your website content
  2. Revisit your social media strategy
  3. Research your business’ visibility
  4. Begin testing the water with Google AdWords
  5. Develop an online crisis communications strategy

If you are interested in help with updating your website during the ‘quarantime’ period, mention this blog to receive 25% discount.

Ian Hainey is a best-selling author and CEO of the marketing agency, Integrated Holistic Communications (iHC) and can be reached at ian@ih-c.com or on telephone/WhatsApp: +971504661368

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