Hello from the other side of the Zoom cam.
We’re here for you, bffs.
Only 3 months into 2020, our world finds itself officially in the midst of a pandemic, in the form of Covid-19. The last pandemic was declared 11 years ago, but times and people have changed. More than ever, the need to bring businesses and information online is evident and pressing. As your techie bffs, we take this urgency for an increasingly digital world seriously. In a time when everyone is looking exclusively to the World Wide Web for human connection and news updates — having an easy-to-use, accessible website is non-negotiable.
Disclaimer: As music soothes and calms me personally, I decided the best way to get through this time was through a myriad of pop references. Get ready to sing a lot of what you read.
So you're an old site, like it really slow site...
You’re a bad site, duh. Billie Eilish jokes aside, it’s crucial that you keep your website up-to-date and running smoothly — especially as of now. We’re entering a time of unknowns, so it’s never been more important to maintain your website and combat uncertainty with around-the-clock updates.
- For website content managers, make sure you have a CMS that’s quick and easy to navigate. You’ll definitely be expected to update your site daily, so make sure everything is streamlined and efficient in the back-end. We recommend Craft CMS, it’s full-proof and super easy to use. Need to see it to believe it? Here’s a demo.
- Spoiler Alert: Automated bots and silence are unacceptable responses to your customers’ concerns. Make sure all your loyal supporters have online access to you, whether that’s through a contact form, email hotline, or online chat system. Putting the extra care into your virtual customer service helps to not only provide comfort, but also preserve the vital relationship between you and your followers.
- New hours of operation on Google My Business: People are looking for you, so make sure your new digital storefront is updated with your new capabilities.
- If you’re in the hospitality industry, consider the capacity of your online ordering system. Is it equipped to handle mass amounts of activity? People are looking to support local businesses, so do everything in your power to optimize yourself accordingly.
- Does your site allow you to communicate high-priority news to visitors, front and center? Strive to have clear banners that appear at the top of your homepage or updated links that direct users to active social media accounts.
Why sites great til they gotta be great (on mobile)? Sheesh!
You just took a mobile site performance test, turns out you’re 100% not optimized.
Truth hurts, but your business depends on it. Just about everyone in the world will be tethered to their mobile devices for the next few months, awaiting news, major updates, and big announcements; so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile as of now — you betta work!
For years now, we’ve been trending towards powerhouse phones that do it all. They’re essentially mini computers, and with quarantine becoming our new normal, dependency on mobile devices will only escalate. This means it’s no longer just a suggestion to have a website fully optimized for mobile. People need information, and they need it in their hands now.
With social distancing, brands and businesses have found themselves either well-equipped or rushing to survive the shift to a mobile-friendly world. Are you prepared for a mass influx of users online and all at the same time? You can avoid site crashes, overloading your server, and slow loading times by optimizing all of your site content. To make sure everything works seamlessly, regardless of device, consider all file sizes and compress images accordingly.
You found my site? Gee, thanks, just optimized it.
Yes friends, I’m talking about SEO. It’s the marketing buzzword you’ve heard about a thousand times in about a thousand meetings, but why does it matter now more than ever? Swarms of people will be searching to see how you and your business are reacting to the mandated precautions, whether you’re open, doing take-out and delivery, or even in need of some help. You need to be searchable by location, name, category, and by every keyword that resonates with your devoted customers. People have a heart to help, so just make sure you show up!
Here are some quick-fire strategies to stay “woke” and visible during this scary time:
- Keep a well-updated blog. Not only will it be a valuable resource for your followers, but it’s also great for SEO. Weave keywords into each blogpost to stay relevant and relatable.
- With the major influx of news and media outlets covering the impact of Coronavirus, it’s your duty to stay on top of what it means for your local community. Cross-link to external sites to drive more traffic and connect with everyone in your city.
- Dedicate a specific area on your site to address all the news regarding this pandemic. Whether your strategy of choice involves a few informative blog posts like this or a whole new targeted landing page of consistent updates, devoting a specific area demonstrates your care and helps with SEO. This will also help users understand how you offer your service digitally during times of emergency.
If you’re reading this, it’s not too late.
Although we’re currently shrouded in the mystery and fear of the unknown, there are solid steps we can take to bring the detail and heart of our physical storefronts to the digital world. The internet was always intended to be a place of real connection, so it’s finally time to utilize it to the best of our abilities. Times of crisis, although horrible, force us to refocus our energy on what matters. Fake news and online hate is replaced with influencers using their platforms to spotlight smaller businesses in need and share helpful resources. Everyone is banding together to sift through the noise of internet trolls to instead post valuable information and facts. We’re singing a different tune. We’re connecting.
Even before the chaos of Coronavirus, our world was moving everything online. It’s time to help everyone catch up and truly make the internet a happier, helpful place for all.
So let’s get digital, digital!