Are you are a business owner, self-employed or planning on starting your business ???
You are probably sitting at home infuriated about the national COVID-19 Lockdown, trust me its affected all of us. Although it is important to note that although we cannot prevent COVID-19 Lockdown from happening we can, however, reduce its spread by staying home (YES, it’s the right thing to do), avoiding contact, practicing social distancing and preparing for the impact that this will have on your business.
We’ll let you in on a little secret… These 21 days COVID-19 Lockdown could be the best thing that has happened to your business! How? Well as a business owner you have probably thought to yourself a million times over… I will concentrate on my business’ online marketing as soon as I find time. Well this is the best time.
Now you have the time. So, let’s talk online marketing…
Starting with the most important aspect, does your business have an optimised, functioning, mobile friendly website that clearly illustrates the products and service that you have to offer.
Why are those 3 aspects important, to be found online?
Let us start with the first one optimisation- in order to be found online you would have to ensure that your business is adequately optimised using SEO (search engine optimisation) strategies. Confused? What is this SEO we speak of! SEO is the method of using specific keywords, tags, meta data, sitemap, etc that is related to your business, its products or services and not forgetting location. It is usually the words or phrases that the average user will type into a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) when they are looking for a product, service or business (eg: “Best Place to purchase great running shoes” or “Best Accountant in Durban” or “Bizzexpose”). The aim here is to have the user directed to your website above your competitors and those who aren’t within proximity to the user.
Do you see its importance in ensuring your business’ virtual visibility in this time of COVID-19 Lockdown? It is basically there to confirm your business’ existence. While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, most online traffic is driven by search engines. Organic search results (which is your SEO strategies) cover more digital real estate, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive way more clicks than paid advertisements.
Next on the list is functionality – What is the purpose of having a website if it isn’t a functioning one, what does this mean? Basically you want to make the users experience on your website as easy is possible so that they are able to find what they are looking for (in less than 3 clicks), and hopefully make a decision to use your services or even better make a purchase (that is if you have an e-commerce website in place) from the time they enter your website to the time they exit. Functionality can refer to many aspects of the website, however, let’s focus on the 3 main ones for now: design, functionality, and speed.
The design of a website is as good as your store front you want it to look as neat, and appealing as you would want for your office front desk or exterior of your business building. You have probably heard the phrase first impressions count; this is also the case for a business website. You want your business website to stand out with clear, readable text, appropriate use of images and colour, that makes it clear to the use what you have to offer, sell or display.
The functionality, users generally use a website to gain information about the business, answer a few of their questions, its products or services. As an insight into the company, or to make a purchase. To ensure that these goals are met, a website must clearly indicate what it has to offer, display its products in a way that makes searching for it and processing with payment smoothly. The average user takes approximately 15 seconds on a website, if you haven’t gained the users interest, trust or encouraged them to make a purchase, then you should reconsider your websites functionality.
Speed – Don’t we all just love those loading signs that have us waiting hours for a site to load? No! No one appreciates a website that loads slowly or a page that generates information slowly, missing images or pages that don’t load (the evil 404 error – page not found). Which is why website speed is of optimal importance, as we mentioned above in functionality, you have 15 seconds to gain user interest you do not want the whole 15 seconds to be loading time of your website.
What does it matter if my website isn’t mobile friendly? If you don’t mind losing out on business! You have probably come across a website that isn’t mobile friendly, which resulted in you having to pinch and zoom out just to navigate your way around the website. With over 60% of users accessing the internet through their mobile devices, by not having a mobile friendly site you are cutting yourself short of 60% of customers. Not forgetting Google penalises websites that are not mobile friendly. You don’t want to be on the bad side of Google.
Now that you are well versed on the importance of your business having a website that works in your favour and is properly optimised to ensure that your presence is noted! Let’s discuss avenues that will boost your credibility and help you connect directly with your audience/customers.
In this time of social distancing, social media should be your best friend! Why? Simply because your majority of your audience is currently sitting home, idle, or browsing social media frequently, you always want to be where your audience is! If you haven’t already developed a social presence now is the best time to. Social Media sites like Facebook and Instagram allows for great website integration, this comes in handy if you have an e-commerce or products to sell. Using social media has many advantages, so why not benefit from them. If you currently have an eCommerce store, why not create another source of revenue and integrate it with a Facebook or Instagram store. These channels build credibility through reviews, recommendations and likes and following, naturally you would trust a business with 5000 likes versus a business with 5 likes. We said it once and we say it again you need to be where you target audience is. If not you going to be left behind.
Recap – We now understand the importance of having a business website that is optimised, has great functionality and is mobile friendly, it is an insight to the business itself and acts as an online salesman advertising the business’ products and services 24/7. We know now that this is the best time to engage in our social media channels and see the benefit that it has in building credibility with your audience.
This still does not answer the question of why this COVID-19 Lockdown is the best time to invest in your business. Because this is the best time to be online! With so many people at home away from business’ that aren’t regarded as essential services, it is the most accurate time to emerge with a strong online presence. Although you may not be able to deliver your products or services currently it is important to still engage with your audience to ensure that you maintain the relationship and trust that they have invested in your business. It is time you invested in your business’ online marketing without the staff knocking on your door or phones ringing. Take the time to plan, research and execute like A BOSS
If you find yourself scratching your heading and wondering who is my target audience? What do I need to start my business website? What online marketing strategies should I implement? Relax! Online marketing is not everyone’s forte, luckily for you it is something that we are quite equipped to handle. If you considering tackling your online marketing during this time email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or book a time slot with one of our consultants, we’d be happy to put your mind at ease.