Practical On-Line Tips
The COVID-19 pandemic means that pretty much nothing is business as usual. Customers are concerned about how businesses are adapting to the situation — wondering if you’re open, have product available, if those products are safe, etc.
For all the doom and gloom media, there are buyers still seeking normality and now is not the time to ignore or lessen your on-line and digital presence. In fact, much more time is now being spent online whilst quarantines are in play!
There are several steps you should be taking now to ensure your customers can get answers when they’re searching online.
Be sure to update your Google My Business listing to highlight how your business operations have changed during this time. Google have implimented some changes (all most likely temporary) you should also be aware of:
– Review functionality has been disabled.
– New reviews will not be published. (Update 27th April 2020: Some reviews are now being published again)
– Business owners cannot respond to reviews. (Update 27th April 2020: Some reviews are now being published and can be responded to)
– Questions & Answers have been temporarily removed.
– Critical health-related businesses get priority.
– Other top priorities for business edits go to open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions and attributes.
– New listings and verifications are delayed.
– Restaurants, cafe’s, grocery stores, and breweries are now allowed to add “Delivery Available” or “Take Away” to their business name.
Utilise your Google My Business listing Feature Posts facility to keep customers informed on the status of your business. These should be updated weekly.
Update your website including messaging regarding what you’re doing about COVID-19, including such things as changes in how clients can contact you (Skype etc).
Update your website including FAQ pages. Many brands, and especially local businesses such as restaurants and cafes need to address common questions regarding how their business practices are adapting to restrictions due to COVID-19.
Update your website including the creation of dedicated pages for COVID-19. For businesses that are significantly impacted by the crisis, it may be necessary to explain how you’re adapting on a dedicated page or right on your homepage.
Utilise your Social Media, to keep customers informed on the status of your business, changes in hours, new ways you can be contacted, answer common questions regarding how your business is adapting to restrictions due to COVID-19.
Send your customers weekly/monthly e-newsletters, so they know you are still there. Let them know how your services will be available during the time of crises. If your database is a bit sparse, now is a great time to build your database. People are soaking up information as quickly as possible and so it is a great time to start getting people engaged and signed up for your business e-communications and newsletters.
Consider implementing Google Adwords if you can afford it, there may be some significantly cheaper keyword options when potentially some of your competitors stop competing or advertising.
Marketing can turn out to be a great return on investment in the long term.
We don’t pretend all of the above is the solution. It’s just a starting point. Sadly, many businesses will struggle to survive. But there is also opportunity in this market. Those who adapt early, are best placed for the future. Finally think outside the box as once this is over, there will be a lot of new
customers waiting to be served on the other side of COVID-19.
For Clark Marketing & Design we have been in recent days inundated with on-line and digital works, changes to websites and other web-related activities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and currently prioritising works for those businesses that are being impacted greatest.
If we can HELP you – please contact us via phone, email and now skype (ernie.clark2)