If you’re one of the thousands of businesses across the UK required to close their doors for the next four weeks, you may well be feeling a little despondent. This year has been tough for companies in all industries, with people everywhere working incredibly hard to keep their businesses going through these turbulent times.
The best way to ensure your business comes back bouncing after lockdown – and make the most of a month without customers – is to take the opportunity to optimise your online output. From blogging to social media and web design to marketing, now is the time to reassess your digital development and bring your online identity up to date. Here, we take a closer look at how an online overhaul could help you make the most of lockdown.
Your website should be the linchpin of your online presence, the thing that holds it all together and helps customers and visitors really understand your business. If your current website is old fashioned, difficult to navigate or not fully optimised, it may be under performing. Redesigning or replacing it could help you to attract more visitors and reinvent your online identity.
These days, a website needs to be easy to navigate via a smartphone or tablet computer. It also needs to be attractive, contemporary and straightforward. If your existing site doesn’t meet the brief, you might want to think about an upgrade.
Your social media
Social media is now an incredibly important part of building an online presence. More personal and more immediate than a website, a social media profile can be updated at any time, by anyone. A lot of companies use their social media profiles as a way to connect with their customer base on a more informal level. Adding photos of recent events, people in the office or newly arrived merchandise helps make people feel like they know your business a little better. This can make them more likely to spend their money on your products and services and pass your details onto their friends.
If you’ve been ignoring your social media profiles, now is the perfect opportunity to give them a little TLC. Upload some fresh pictures, reply to comments and put some time into making the profile look active and cared for.
If possible, try to interact with customers and other people and companies that ‘like’ your business. This will help to ensure that they don’t forget you during the long, slow weeks of lockdown. If you want to be proactive, why not create a group for local businesses? This could be used as a space to promote local artisans, suppliers and retailers and give everyone in your area a boost when things reopen.
A lot of businesses have a blog as part of their website. However, all too often, the blog is ignored or its upkeep is delegated to the most junior person in the office because no one is quite sure what to write or why it’s so important.
Used properly, the blog is an incredibly powerful tool. Google likes to see websites being updated on a regular basis, and uploading a weekly blog is a great way to do this. What’s more, you can pack your posts with optimised photos, links to your products and keywords. You could also use it to write about other businesses and build some useful links.
With just a little effort, your blog could help to propel your website up the Google rankings. This will help to attract more customers to your site and could see you edge ahead of the competition.
Your online shop
This year has seen a significant increase in the number of small and medium sized businesses investing in ecommerce. An online shop allows you to sell your products even when the doors to your bricks and mortar premises are closed. This makes an ecommerce site an excellent investment for businesses that want to keep going no matter what.
If you don’t yet have an online shop, investing in one now could see you make the most of the run-up to Christmas. Being ready for the festive period will allow you to promote your products online and generate an income even if the lockdown is extended.
Building an online shop could well be easier than you think. If you hire a professional web design company, they’ll be able to either add an ecommerce function to your existing site or build a new site with an integrated online shop. You’ll then be able to take payment via the internet and ship your products straight to your customers.
Your marketing plan
Every business needs a comprehensive marketing plan. This will help you to stay focused on your goals and ensure your customers see cohesive and coordinated output from your business. If you don’t have a marketing plan, or if you’ve been so busy your existing plan is now out of date, this is the time to sit down and put some real thought into it.
Start by thinking about what you want to achieve. Try to quantify this in terms of metric marketing goals. This will make it easier to assess your progress and identify areas that need more attention. It’s also well worth taking a look at what your competitors are up to. Try to work out which of their marketing campaigns have been the most successful and why.
You’ll then need to create a realistic, actionable marketing strategy to help your business achieve its goals. If you’re not sure where to start with this, or if you want some expert advice, it’s worth calling in the professionals to give your business a boost.
If you think now could be the perfect time to give your online presence a facelift, we can help. We’re currently offering FREE website reports to potential customers. This will show you where your current site is lacking and demonstrate how we can help you optimise your digital dealings. Get in touch with a member of our team to find out more.