Safety measures that have been implemented to help combat the coronavirus outbreak, such as social distancing and lockdowns, have had a significant impact on the day-to-day running of many local businesses. Any changes that have taken place may have caught customers off-guard, especially in the early days.
As part of Live with Search Engine Land, which took place last Friday, members of the search community shared their tips, advice and strategies for business owners about how they can keep their customers up-to-date and informed.
Use your website
The first port of call should be to update your website. Most people have access to the internet and should be able to find your website. Google has recommended that businesses should display a pop-up message or distinct banner that informs visitors about any COVID-19 announcements and the effects it is having on everyday operations, such as whether the business is still operating, delivery options, opening times and delays to orders. This will help to both keep customers informed and set the right expectations.
Further to these announcements, business owners can add any prominent updates to their FAQ pages and should continue to monitor product availability statuses, and update any events or sales taking place.
In the early days of lockdown, many consumers were being inundated with a wave of coronavirus emails from businesses explaining their stance on the pandemic. Search experts recommend that businesses should resist sending messages to customers with irrelevant and bland updates and should take a more creative approach to break the chain of dry emails. This can help to humanise communications and stand out against the rest.
Update Google My Business Listings
Google has created a coronavirus post category on its Google My Business service that enables businesses to make changes to how they are operating during the pandemic, including whether they are open, temporary closures, updated opening hours and any safety updates.
Take to social media
With more people spending time at home instead of out and about, this has translated to people spending more time on social media sites. Facebook has reported that it has had a spike in use of its Live streaming service. Businesses should take note that social media is being even more heavily used these days and they should use this to their advantage. Product giveaways and competitions, meme creation and customer interaction through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be ways to keep in contact with clientele while bolstering your online presence and brand image, yet still keeping to social distancing rules.
For help with your online strategy in these unprecedented times, why not get in touch with Engage Web and see how we can turn a negative situation into positive results?