We’re all looking for ways to pivot our business strategy considering the changing landscape of commerce. People aren’t coming into stores — whether by choice or government mandate — as the COVID crisis continues to expand. So, what are small businesses to do?
Well, first things first, just because the customers aren’t physically at your door doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for you! They’ve moved online, from the safety of their homes, and you should join them!
Now is the time to improve your digital presence so that you can continue providing your products and services to your customers. Here are the top three ways you can improve your company’s online presence — and the reasons why you should!
Optimize Your Website
Your website is the face of your business just as much (if not more so) than your storefront is. Your site is what tells the story of your company, engages potential customers, and convinces them to buy your products or services. And an under-optimized website could be costing you more than you realize!
There’s nothing worse than looking for a product or service and coming across a company that you think has the perfect solution, but being unable to navigate their website due to outdated development, poor user-interface/user-experience (UI/UX), or miserably slow load times.
Right now, with so many customers relying on online storefronts and websites to meet their needs because of lockdowns and safer-at-home orders, your website is more important than it’s ever been. Your site sells (or doesn’t sell!) your services before you ever come in contact with a customer. A well-developed, custom, growth-driven website will not only grow with your company but also easily provide a high ROI.
If you’re considering optimizing your website, here are the top five areas you should focus on right now:
- SEO — Customers can’t buy from you if they can’t find you! Make sure your site is optimized for the keywords you are trying to reach.
- Compelling Content — Just seeing the keyword they searched, won’t lead a person to buy your product. They need to be engaged and compelled by the story your content creates.
- Engaging UX — As I said above, the worst experience a customer can have is a poorly developed site that doesn’t perform as expected!
- Mobile Optimization — I don’t have to tell you the stats, you know as well as I do how many people have cell phones and tablets and use them to look for goods and services. If you aren’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
- Visuals — They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? A well-chosen image or video will sell your product or service faster than an essay.
Optimize Social Media
I’m probably not saying anything new to you here, but social media really is a great marketing tool, especially for small businesses. It’s a free outlet in which you can quickly communicate any messages you want to your audience. Especially during times of crisis or natural disaster, the value of social media as a means of communication can’t be measured.
Consider this, as an example: Let’s imagine you suddenly have to close your business because of an accident, like a burst pipe, or inclement weather, like a snowstorm. How do you communicate that with your customers?
Well, you could hang a hand-drawn sign in your window that says you’ve closed, but then you risk the frustration and confusion of customers that have come all the way to your store only to be turned away for reasons they don’t fully understand. This is an easy way to lose business, too, if people misunderstand the message and think you are closed for good.
On the other hand, you could just explain the situation on social media and let your guests see from the comfort of their own homes, offices, etc. that you are closed for a brief period of time and will let them know when you’re open again!
Invest in PPC/Digital Advertising
We just talked about social media as an underutilized tool for communication, but it also has another perk: it’s a great ad platform for many businesses! Your audience is already spending their time on their favorite social platforms, so meet them where they are. Combined with Google, advertising on social media is a great way to target your buyer personas and reach more qualified leads.
The best way to reach new audiences is also through advertising on the platforms they are most likely to use. Of course, you want repeat business from your loyal customers, but you also want to be building an even larger client-base. And the best way to achieve that is by getting your business, products, and services in front of their faces.
Advertising also gives you a wonderful opportunity to explain exactly what problem your product or service solves and why it is different from your competitors at a quick glance. This is your chance to win potential clients over and answer their questions immediately.
The only thing to keep in mind is that ads are often the first impression of your company before new potential customers. And you know the old saying: the first impression is the one that sticks. That’s why it’s very important to make sure you are using a data-driven strategy with researched, SEO-backed content.
Do you need help optimizing your website, setting up your social media platforms, or investing in advertising — or anything else? We are here to help you improve your digital presence in any way that we can! Schedule a free brainstorming session now with one of our talented representatives and let us show you how an award-winning team of developers and strategists can help you weather this storm!