Internet usage is spiking as more and more customers and businesses are relying on online information and services due to COVID-19.
With so much attention online, a strong web presence is more important than ever before. During this difficult time, small steps can help your business to better serve your customers as you navigate this difficult time – and prepare your business for the bounce back after COVID-19.
5 Steps to Build a Stronger Web Presence
1. Convert a Higher Percentage of Web Visitors
In the past few months, internet usage has jumped by 70%, perhaps not surprisingly as more people than ever are working from home and spending more leisure time online. With more reliance on the internet, more potential customers’ first impressions of your business will be from viewing your website.
Your goal is to convert & engage as many of those website visitors as possible. Depending on your current website situation, you may be able to increase your website conversion rate by:
- Improving your website user experience (UX) and quality with small design tweaks or even a homepage redesign.
- Reviewing your site for any issues that could be deterring conversions, such as form errors, broken links or slow page load times.
- Adding live chat and online forms to make it easier for visitors to contact your business.
If your current website design is extremely outdated or it’s difficult to make changes, you may need to consider a full redesign rather than the small steps above.
Even if the majority of your business comes from referrals, it’s likely for potential customers to view your website (and judge it based on modern websites) before contacting your team and deciding to work with you.
2. Focus on Educating Web Visitors
With so many changes happening in every industry, this is a great time to be a resource to your customers and find ways to support them.
You can educate visitors on your website by:
- Providing resources, such as blog articles and industry news
- Answering Frequently Asked Questions related to your business and how your business is operating with regards to COVID-19
- Using video content to engage & educate
- Adding a learning management system if you are ready to educate visitors with structured online classes
If your business held in-person events in the past for your partners and customers, look for digital alternatives with webinars and online workshops. You can invest your event budgets for the next few months into online resources and adjustments to your website.
The businesses that are connecting and communicating with customers right now will most likely keep those customers’ loyalty once COVID-19 passes.
3. Make Strategic Digital Marketing Choices
Due to COVID-19, your traditional marketing efforts may not be as effective and your business may need to look to digital marketing strategies.
One mistake that many businesses make is trying to switch all of their marketing budget to digital channels. While there’s great opportunities with paid search and online advertising, a diversified marketing plan can be less risky and produce better results.
Consider the following questions as you assess your marketing budget & website:
- What are the best performing marketing channels for our business?
- Is our website performing well and delivering results from those campaigns?
- Are there digital marketing opportunities for our business?
The businesses that make smart marketing choices during this time will come out stronger in the months to come.
4. Pivot to the Most Timely Services & Products
Some services and products perform better during economic downturns. If your business has such a service, pivot as quickly as possible.
You can adjust your website to promote a specific service/product by:
- Creating a new page or even a separate website to promote it.
- Adding a section on the home page that guides visitors to a key service or page.
- Promoting special offers with unique calls to action on your website.
For example, many investment firms and financial advisors are now offering consulting services for the small business relief funds and are updating their finance website designs to include these offerings.
Related to the topic of marketing, you may also want to shift more of your marketing budget toward these products and services for a short period of time.
5. Support Your Sales Team
Whether you have a B2B website design or run a B2C business, your website plays a critical role in your sales process.
During the foreseeable future, a lot of outside sales teams will need to forgo in-person presentations and opt for video or phone calls instead. If this is the case for you, a professional website can be an amazing closing tool.
You can support your sales team in a few ways:
- Keep your website content updated with the latest information on your services or products.
- Make an effort to get as many online reviews from past clients as possible.
- Add case studies or a portfolio to the website that highlight your experience & past clients.
Online reviews in particular can make a big difference in the sales process. A survey by Bright Local found that seeing positive reviews made 91% of consumers more likely to use a business.
While testimonials on your website can be helpful, consumers tend to trust third party review sites more. Look for popular directories in your industry where you can get client reviews and also consider gathering Google reviews on your Google My Business account.
Changes Today Benefit Tomorrow
While this is a challenging time for all business owners, it won’t last. The strategic decisions that you make today with your website and digital marketing may impact your business for the next several years.