Suddenly, we’re all thinking about our health and the health of our businesses. We’re nervous, and understandably so, about what’s to come. We may even be considering pulling back on our marketing campaigns or ad budgets, and for some types of business that makes perfect sense. But for many — including some restaurants, home service providers, landscapers, retailers, and contactors — now could be a great time to stick with (or step up) your digital marketing efforts. Here are six reasons why.
Be Sure Your Business Can Be Found Online During & After the COVID-19 Crisis
More people are online right now than are out in public or on the streets or highways. Search traffic has increased significantly over the past week and will continue to climb as we hunker down. We’re all glued to our computers and phones looking for updates within our community. We’re also looking for entertainment and ways to pass the time, and for many, that includes shopping online.
Any basic or staple items for sale online right now will be consumed more than ever before. You should be using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to climb to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) so your business can be easily found. A lot of people still contact companies during work hours, and that is not going to change just because they are home.
A great place to start is with your Google My Business Profile.
Online Advertising is More Affordable During Economic Crises
With many hospitality, retail, and large businesses shutting their doors and pulling back on advertising as a result, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to use digital advertising on social networks and the Google PPC network to gain a competitive advantage. And now is a great time to save some money on your digital marketing budget. On average, cost-per-clicks have decreased by more than 5% in just the past week, and costs are likely to continue to decrease in the coming week, reducing the amount of money an advertiser pays for clicks.
More importantly, though, sticking with advertising keeps you active online and positions you for good exposure when the economy does improve. You’ll want to use digital tools to tightly manage your budget, but the good news is that it’s possible to do so with today’s advanced ad planning tools.
Use Long-Term SEO Strategies to Beat Your Competitors in Online Search
SEO helps your business increase organic traffic to your website and move past your competition. The goal is to be on the top of the first page of Google search result pages (SERPs) for keywords that are critical to your business so that people can find you based on WHAT YOU DO and WHERE YOU DO IT. When web users search for those keywords, the business getting consistent top-of-page results is the one that gets the calls and appointments.
Another goal of SEO is to maintain your rankings. If you don’t continue to optimize your website and content daily, you lose valuable ground in the search results and your freefall could cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
The work we do today on SEO will affect the results months from now. Press ahead now while others are letting up. The results will be in your favor when the surge comes at the end of this crisis.
Adapt to the Market and Help Customers by Developing Special Coronavirus / COVID-19 Promotions
Certainly, as people spend more time at home and potentially work less, they’ll get around to those home maintenance or home repair projects they’ve been unable to attend to for months or years (or decades!). Home services businesses may be able to adapt with delivery or scheduled service. Professional services providers can quickly offer online conferencing to facilitate in-person meetings and interviews.
We are already working with clients on creative promotions like curbside and “no touch” service, create a delivery plan for businesses whose retail outlets are shittered, or create discounts and promotions for products that will make life easier for folks over the coming weeks and months. Use social media and ads to communicate your sensitivity to your customers’ issues surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, and to offer them ways to continue to do business with you.
Be flexible. It’s a good rule to follow in business in good times and bad, and it’s rule #1 for digital marketing plans.
Local SEO is More Important During a Pandemic
As we reduce our travel and stay close to home, people need local services and supplies to minimize their time in public spaces. Folks are looking for nearby destinations for stocking up or emergency needs, so ensuring your local SEO is in good order is critical to getting found online for “near me” and “in ____” searches. Customers in your local area must be able to easily find you online so they can do business with you, now.
There has been a massive uptick of consumers shopping online in recent days, causing businesses such as Amazon to hire nearly 100,000 new employees to prepare for the increase in business. Utilize local SEO now to stand out against national search for those products and services that you can still deliver to your customers, locally.
For our locally-based customers, our local business directory partner, DiscoverHinesburg.com, is a great resource to get your Local SEO kickstarted.
Check off Those Digital To-Do Lists
Just as we expect home projects to get more attention in the coming weeks, so do we anticipate that schedules are being freed up for marketing managers and business executives to attend to those long lists of “digital to-dos” that they’ve neglected for months. Blog posts, content planning, design refreshes… investing now on your digital marketing presence may make more sense than ever before, because you have the time!
Several weeks of social separation is a perfect time for self-improvement, — and for business improvement. It is a great time to revise your digital marketing plans, prioritize website design and development projects, create new content, and plan for the coming year.