Minimising the effects of the challenges of the Coronavirus
Updated: 13 April 2020
The Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak is having a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. From the worry concerning vulnerable loved ones, to the worry about the financial stability of our businesses, we are ALL facing incredible challenges and stresses.
Whilst I broadly support the action of the government, I do have concerns the financial support being offered by the Chancellor will end up feeling hollow, with many of the soundbite headlines not living up to the help they imply is coming.
A good example would be the offer of a government backed loan. Whilst this helps a business short-term, perhaps paying wages, the reality is a loan will burden a business in the coming months. Many businesses already have high fixed costs, and adding to those fixed costs with a loan repayment plan may be too much for some.
We all have to hold on to the hope that ‘someday’ the virus pandemic will pass, and normality (whatever that may be) will return. So what can we do to ensure our businesses are best placed in a post COVID-19 world?
With a downturn in trade, many businesses now have spare capacity within their teams, make effective use of this. Task your team to think ahead about what can be done to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 to the business.
Your website is a great area to work on, to help put your business in the best possible shape to bounce back.
The virus lockdown has seen the evolution of the internet speeding-up incredibly quickly. Working from home is becoming the new norm, the use of video calls is rising sharply, and even online networking has become a ‘thing’.
It’s now vitally important to ensure YOUR online presence is the BEST it can possibly be.
I come across many business owners who complacently say ‘we have a website’, but when I take a look at what they have, I can see many, many areas that could be improved. I cannot stress enough the importance of revisiting your website and checking that it’s really delivering for your business.
Here are three key areas to work on...
We all want to be Page One on Google. However, the reality is that many businesses I work with should have been on page one, but their old website was not built correctly for search engines to understand their business properly.
I’m sure your inbox will regularly get an email from 'Peter', the SEO specialist based in India guaranteeing he’ll get you the Number 1 ranking on Google. Beware, these companies usually adopt some pretty dubious practices. The reality is yes, you will be Number 1 for a week or so, but then Google will catch-up and ‘blacklist’ your company for breaching its rules. You’ll want to go back to 'Peter' and complain, but the problem is your emails to 'Peter' are bouncing back, and Peter has moved on to scamming other companies using a new name.
I’m currently working with a Rugby based client who was paying £290 a month for an 'SEO Expert', but I can honestly say their website had virtually no SEO inside it at all. I was genuinely shocked how poorly their old website had been built, it was no wonder my clients were fed-up not getting any business from their old website.
Make sure you use local experts to check over your website to see if there are things that should be done to help give your business a boost up the search rankings. A bit of expert tweaking, and re-indexing to Google Search Console can see dramatic results.
If your team has the time to work on this area now, your business will be in a much stronger position, once the virus outbreak is over.
TIP: Search results are personalised. Therefore it is important to check your search rankings in 'incognito mode', otherwise you are not seeing a true picture.
A common mistake is to think that once you have a website, you can sit back and wait for the enquiries. Your website needs constant tweaking and improving to be ahead of the rest. Working on your content (known as page optimisation) can really see improvements in conversion rates.
Make sure that your website messages resonate with your target customer - Clarity is key.
Question: “If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you, and not your competitor?
Your answer to the above question should resonate throughout your website content. If you cannot communicate your VP effectively, how can you expect your website visitors to understand why they should use your service?
Everybody takes our marketing messages with a pinch of salt. However, research shows they are far more likely to trust and believe what customers have said about us.
Include Social Proof, such as Google, Tripadvisor or Facebook reviews on your website. Always be open and transparent, including links to those external review websites.
Your website should look modern, fresh and ready to do business.
First impressions are everything. If your website looks dated, your visitors will quickly form a negative opinion about your business. Once formed, those negative thoughts will rarely change and in most cases the end result will be a click to your competitor’s website.
Take a look at at your competitors and other similar business across the UK.
Be the very best you can be online. You have a matter of seconds to capture the attention of your visitor. It's vital that those who land on your site stay long enough for you to convince them to be your next customer.
If your team has time to work on this during the virus crisis, your business can be in a far stronger position when things finally improve.
If you have read this far, thank you. I wish everyone across the county the very best during these unprecedented times. If you need a chat or some friendly advice about your website or marketing, just pick up the phone, I'm always here and genuinely happy to help.
Rugby Web Design