Your website is your online ‘shop-window’ – it always was, but now it matters like never before – so you need to make sure it’s ‘sparkly clean’ and lets visitors get a clear view of what your company can do for them. Just like a traditional window display, it needs to entice them with the promise of exciting things within. Don’t be the dusty old window on your industry high street!
But as we emerge from lockdown, does your website feel ‘right’, or is it somehow not quite appropriate after what we’ve all been through? As we said, it needs to be ‘sparkly clean’; but in the right way. And it should be working hard to help you out of lockdown too.
Here are just six adaptations for a post-lockdown website…
1. Don’t ignore Covid-19, address it head-on!
What many customers want to know right now is whether you’re open and operating, what your practices and procedures are, and what they can expect as a customer going forward. Gaining their confidence is key, so why not explain what you’re doing to safeguard your staff, customers and visitors; how you’re handling goods in and out; maybe your plans to make further adaptations over time, if that’s relevant?
What you’ve done during lockdown matters too. If your company has helped out, supported staff, championed causes, why not highlight it in a ‘proud to do our bit’ way? Companies which can do this are seeing a positive boost to their image and reputation, which leads us on to…
2. It’s all about customer trust
People are looking to buy from suppliers they feel they can trust; ones which demonstrate reliability, integrity, and share an ethical approach. This is where first impressions really count. Credibility is key and professionalism shines through.
Think about the design and layout of your website pages: do they ‘ooze’ expertise and instil confidence? Make sure your messages hit the right note, especially on your home page. Check the quality of your images: do they look good; are they up-to-date? And don’t forget the detail. Your language, spelling, grammar, consistency, navigation, links and more: they all help build (or break) your reputation (yes, really!)
3. Now is a good time to build your local customer base
One, perhaps unexpected, outcome of the pandemic is a noticeable surge in ‘buying local’; and the trend towards favouring and supporting local businesses reaches beyond High Street shops and services. Many commercial and industrial companies are also seeing a rise in local custom.
Most of this new custom comes via a Google search, and there are things you can do to optimise your website for local search:
- Having a mobile-friendly website, easily accessible and fast on all of today’s device types, is essential for your local search results.About 30%*of all Google mobile searches relate to location*. 30% may not seem a lot, but worldwide that’s over 1 billion* people looking for local products and services every day. And 88% of them will call or connect with the business they find within 24 hours*, because they have an immediate need.
- Include testimonials on your website, and use reviews to boost your visibility. Not only because people really do check the online reviews these days, but also because Google puts the user first*, so its algorithms place businesses with good reviews higher in the local search results. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave you a positive review is a great way to boost your local ranking. There are loads of review platforms out there now. Think Google Maps / Google My Business, Trustpilot, Feefo, Yelp; or industry-specific options such as TripAdvisor, GoodFirms, FinancesOnline, and more. And if you use Facebook, there’s always its Reviews & Ratings facility.
- And remember: word of mouth is great for growing your local customer base too. If you’ve got a good website which customers find useful, then it will get more shares; and sharing is easy: just send a link and voila!
4. Integrate your website with your other marketing
As we said at the start, your website is your ‘shop window’; the repository of all the messages and information which persuade people to buy from you. So it makes sense to drive people to if from all your other marketing… and to capture their details when they get there too!
Promote your website through your blog and in all your social media posts, including local groups, pages and forums. Encourage sign-ups to a newsletter or subscriptions to your blog, to help you build your contact list and keep in touch.
Use website landing pages for specific campaigns, offers and promotions, advertisements, direct marketing, even your PR… they’re ideal for highly targeted, focused messages and they help you analyse response too. You could even add QR codes to printed or scan-able materials, directing users back to a landing page to buy or claim a special offer.
5. Make the most of digital; it’s where your customers are browsing right now!
Why not refresh and reinvigorate your website by adding new features and plug-ins? It can be relatively easy and inexpensive. Think Instagram gallery, live social feeds, video, vlog, blog… the options are practically endless!
If it would work for your business, you can add a direct sales facility to your website; but it’s worth noting that an eCommerce site requires considerable technical development and substantial investment in terms of time and budget.
6. Be more personal
People buy from people: always have, always will. And right now, people are looking for contact and connection, albeit digitally or at a distance.
It’s a good time to check your website words and make sure they’re welcoming, friendly, even chatty. ‘Talk’ to your website visitors as you would if they walked through your door: it’s so much more engaging than stilted corporate speak or third-person formality.
And add your people to your website. Putting a face to a name is important; it brings your business to life.
There’s such a lot to think about when it comes to making sure your website is right for this new, post-lockdown world, whilst still working hard for you, too. And that’s where we can help! Our web team digs deep, takes so many more factors into consideration, and has the most amazing skills, knowledge and creativity (yeah, we would say that; but more importantly, we’re lucky our clients say it too!)
So whether you’re looking for a complete overhaul or just a few tweaks here and there, let’s work together to build you a Covid-considerate, high-performing website.
Start right now with a professional website review… from us to you with our compliments… yes, it’s totally free (we must be mad!)
Your website matters, now more than ever before… don’t ‘make do’ with one which lets you down; make it count instead.
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