Yes, you can! There are several actions you can take to manage, improve, and grow your business from home during the COVID-19 business shut down.
During the current COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses are closed and/or not able to perform their daily operations as normal. This obviously makes it quite difficult for small businesses to continue doing business as usual. However, this could be a good opportunity for businesses to focus on important areas of their business that may be neglected when operations are in full swing. Generally, small businesses have too much work and not enough time or personnel to accomplish everything. Taking advantage of this time to make improvements to your business online will surly benefit your business and your customers.
Customer Engagement on Social Media
Just about everyone is spending more time at home during the current crisis, so what are they doing? They’re getting on the internet. This presents the perfect opportunity for your business to engage your customers on social media.
There are various ways to engage your customers through social media. If you are offering online orders or curb-side service, you can offer a sales promo. You can run a contest asking for your customers to post a picture or video of themselves engaged with your product and offer an incentive for doing so. Posting consistent updates to social media and replying to each comment establishes your brand personality and makes it easier for customers to make a connection with your brand. In the fast-food industry, Wendy’s does an excellent job of creating a fun and playful personality by making witty comments and jabs at other fast-food restaurants.
If you have a service based business and unable to operate at this time, such as interior designing, hair salon, photography, etc., social media can still prove to be a valuable tool during this time to engage with your customers. You can post instructional, or how-to, videos on quick room decorating ideas, maintaining your hair coloring, utilizing natural lighting for photos, etc. These types of videos can be very beneficial for potential customers and could make them more inclined to choose your brand in the future. Eventually, you will be able to continue your business as usual. Interacting with customers during this down time will build a relationship with them and keep your business at top-of-mind for when your services are available once again.
Update your Website
Small businesses often create their website and don’t make regular changes or updates because they simply don’t have the time. Now is the perfect opportunity to update your website and improve your users’ experience. This is especially important since most purchases and interactions with your business are done online. You should ensure that the navigation of your website is user-friendly and it’s easy for customers to find what they are looking for. It’s also a good idea to consider new design features. Website design trends are constantly changing, and outdated designs are unappealing to customers. Update your website design to appeal to the current trends and your customers will have a better experience on your site.
Take a gander at our Above the Fold blog to learn more about current web design trends.
Improve your SEO
While you’re updating your website, you should keep search engine optimization in mind. Optimizing your website for search engines will improve your website’s visibility and make it easier for potential customers to find your products and services.
To optimize your site there are several things to consider. Popular keywords can change frequently based on what people are searching for on search engines. Updating the keywords in your page titles and in the content of your pages will allow your website to appear more frequently in search engine results. Updating the meta descriptions on your website pages is also a good idea. This is the description that will appear on a search engine results page (SERP) and gives the viewer an idea of what your page is about. Google only allows a certain amount of space, based on pixels, to show a description. Since the amount of space is measured in pixels, it is difficult to determine exactly how many characters Google will show (some characters take up more pixels than others). This means that to ensure your most important information and keywords are visible to your viewers, they should be written in the beginning of your descriptions.
BONUS: Free SEO Report
Learn from your Customers
Learning from your customers is another great way to improve your business and customer service. Customer reviews are the best means of learning from your customers. If you haven’t had the time to look at your business’s customer reviews, now is the time to do so.
From reviews, you can learn what your business has been doing well and where you could make improvements. Customer service is very important for small businesses, because generally they see a much smaller customer base than large corporations and depend on returning customers. Looking at your reviews, you may notice a common problem that many of your customers are experiencing. If the problem can be fixed, your customers will be more satisfied with your business and more likely to make a purchase. Even if the problem isn’t fixed immediately or can’t be fixed it’s best to respond to all reviews to show other potential customers reading the reviews that you are making an attempt to improve and satisfy your customers.
Learn more about increasing your website’s visibility with customer reviews.
Explore New Tools
There are numerous free tools available that can help improve your business. The problem with many of these tools, however, is that there is a bit of a learning curve to use them effectively. Many of these tools are ignored because business owners don’t have the time to learn them.
Social media is one tool that all businesses should know and understand. There are various channels of social media to choose from, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your business may already have a Facebook page but nothing else. You now have the opportunity to explore and expand to new social media channels and increase your reach to a new audience. Many social media channels also offer paid advertising for businesses. This feature is also often overlooked by small businesses that are short on time but could be worthwhile to explore the possibilities and opportunities of social media marketing.
There are also various free analytics tools that can help you improve your website SEO and digital marketing strategy. Google Analytics is a free tool for businesses and provides helpful data about your website traffic, target audiences and can even be used to monitor ad campaigns. Getting to know and understand these analytics will help you make improvements to your website for usability, target specific audiences more effectively, and get the most out of your ad campaigns.
Visit our Free Tools blog for more free tools that can help you improve your website.
Although this time of business closures and social distancing is challenging, it can be a great opportunity for small businesses to improve and update their operations. Eventually, everything will return to normal, but for now, it is best to make as many improvements to your business as possible and connect with your customers.