COVID-19 has changed the world completely and has impacted the way we do business.
Businesses are now forced to change their marketing tactics to match the time we are in. What worked a couple of months ago may not work now.
Your website is more important now than ever before – a recent study by Akamai shows that web usage is up 50% compared to the same period last year.
This provides a huge opportunity for many businesses that are willing to adapt their marketing and web strategies to meet the moment.
A recent study by Global Web Index showed exactly what people are spending their time doing online and where opportunities exist for businesses to support these demands.
From webinars to blog post to offering discounts, just about any business can capitalize on these current demands.
Below are some ways you might want to adapt your website strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Update Your Website Messaging
With many people now working from home, websites are experiencing a sharp increase in traffic. It’s important that you update your website content to speak to the changes in your business and how your products or services can help people through this time and the steps you are taking.
- Try to strike a more sympathetic tone. This is not the time for hard sells as consumers are paying attention and the brands that get their messaging right will be rewarded. This is the time to be helpful and show empathy.
- Let your visitors know how you can help them specifically during this time; for example, an accounting firm could update their website content to reflect how they can help businesses navigate the new stimulus loans and grants.
- Include a coronavirus advisory notice; for example, Petri Plumbing, a local plumbing company in Brooklyn, has a pop-up on their website that encourages potential customers to reach out to learn how they can service their needs without any contact.
- If you are a restaurant that has switched to delivery, update your website to let visitors know. Remove messaging that relates to in-person dining or change it to “we hope to serve you soon.” Let visitors know what apps or platforms they can use to place orders. This is so critical, because I have seen so many restaurants who are offering delivery and takeout options but have still not updated their website to get the word out.
2. Publish COVID-19 Related Content
This is the time to share more educational content, as it can increase brand awareness and create a positive impression of your company.
If you can offer solutions or guidance for helping others navigate through this time, create content that provides solutions and advice.
For example, one P.R. firm is using this as an opportunity to let their audience know how to pitch the media specifically during a crisis; local spas are providing guides and tutorials on how to practice self-care while at home.
In addition, this very article is an example of COVID related content, as we seek to help businesses adapt to this new environment.
3. Publish Online Videos
If your business relies on presentations, trade shows and personal demos to market your products, then you will need to adapt to an online environment.
Some solutions are to upload videos, tutorials and presentations to your website.
Alternatively, you can obtain video conferencing tools and promote upcoming webinars that you might be hosting on your website to help you reach out to prospects and customers.
4. Tailor Products or Service to the New Reality
Many businesses are forced to operate differently during this time.
What was in demand a couple of months ago may not be in such high demand right now.
For example, most people aren’t going to the dentist right now, so a New York dentist has shifted his services to online consultations.
Other dentists are focusing on selling their in-home whitening kits and teeth straightening kits.
Many retailers are focusing on what people need while they are at home: more comfy clothing instead of suits and ties, games and coloring books, home goods for cooking and baking are just a few examples.
5. Update Your Terms of Service, Return & Exchange Policies
This is especially important for e-commerce websites, as more and more consumers rely on the Internet to get the products and/or services that they need.
One concern may be your typical return and exchange policy; since most states are under a stay at home order, it may be difficult for consumers to do returns.
If you have extended your return policy, be sure to update it and add a prominent notice on your website.
For example, Zara, a retail store, has a prominent notice on their homepage that, in addition to encouraging social distancing, returns will be extended to thirty days after stores open.
This provides peace of mind to online shoppers.
6. Offer Incentives
Many consumers are looking for ways to contribute and help during this crisis. Businesses that provide an added incentive to buy can earn good will and win more sales.
For example, Revolve, an online store, recently offered an online incentive where with each order, 10 masks would be donated.
Other brands are offering to donate a percentage of sales to organizations like Feeding America or No Kid Go Hungry.
7. Update Your Frequently Asked Question Page or Create One
Many businesses are experiencing record customer calls, support calls and more.
One way to alleviate wait times for customers is to update your frequently asked questions and answer as many questions as possible so that you can cut down on the need for a phone call.
It can be the difference between someone taking the next step or leaving your website.
For example, Kettle & Fire, a company that specializes in bone broths, updated their website messaging to reflect the current circumstances but also made it a point to answer, “how long will this soup last?”
An Everlane, a clothing retailer, created an in-depth FAQs section specifically related to COVID-19 questions consumer might have.
8. Update Operating Hours
If your operating hours have changed as a result of the pandemic, be sure to update your website to reflect your new hours.
In addition, if you have a Google My Business listing, ensure that you update your operating hours there as well.
9. Pay Attention to Your Analytics & Site Search Data
With consumer behavior and demands changing rapidly, now is the time to rely on data more than ever before. It’s a good idea to review your website analytics on a daily basis to get insight into what your audience needs.
Pay close attention to your website site search to see what people are looking for.
It will provide good insight into what products or services you need to highlight or what type of content you need to create or place at the forefront of your website.
For example, Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, recently spoke about shifting consumer trends. “People are starting to need a haircut,” the CEO said. “You see more beard trimmers and hair color and things like that. It’s interesting to watch the dynamic play out.” A number of other items have also experienced periods of added demand. An increase in at-home baking led to a scarcity of yeast. In addition, it has been challenging to find seeds, as people are using their time at home to start gardens.
10. Grab Attention with Website Pop-Ups
Although you may not need to change all of your website content, you can utilize website pop-ups to communicate timely and relevant information to visitors so that they can access it easily and be informed.
Pop-ups are a great way to do that.
For example, Magnolia Bakery has made it a point to let website visitors know all the different ways they can do business with them.
11. Review Your Online Campaigns
While we are not sure when this coronavirus pandemic will end, one thing for certain is that the buying patterns will change – or at least have begun to change.
For this reason, some of your campaigns will work and others will not.
So, examine your online advertising strategies and make the necessary changes.
Pause the online campaigns that aren’t yielding results and invest in the ones that show positive returns.
Increase Your Rankings.