February 24, 2021

7 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Life after COVID-19

All businesses have been affected in one way or another as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If your business was fortunate enough to survive the economic impact that plummeted the progress of many businesses, then now is the time to prepare yourself and your business for a gradual and stable return to business “as usual.” However, referring to it as “NOT as usual” seems more appropriate.

If you are wondering about how to prepare your business for the “new normal,” then this article is the right pick for you as we explore the easiest ways to make your business’ progress sustainable and help you grow.

    The impact of renovating/upcycling your website can be quite substantial. When a potential customer visits your website, their experience of navigating through your website has a big impact on their first impression of your brand. Redesigning your website can be an expensive and time consuming endeavor, requiring much strategy, planning and effort.

    However, a website renovation (or upcycle) can achieve a similar impact at a fraction of the cost and effort. One thing to keep in mind is that when you are renovating your website, you should always make sure you don’t dilute the overall focus of your business. The main goal when renovating your website should be to boost user value, improve traffic and to make your site more accessible and user friendly. If your business has evolved, if you offer new services, if the overall landscape of your industry has shifted recently then you should most certainly consider a website update to better reflect your business.

    On average, most sites get 1 or 2 customers from every 100 visits. This is called your conversion rate. Strengthening your “Calls to Action” (CTAs) and including social proof notices can enhance your site’s credibility and help to improve your conversion rate. Here are a few things to consider adding to your website: pop-ups, social proof notifications (e.g., customer feedback, reviews and replies, live chat, countdowns for promotional offers and a point of purchase upsells. All of this will encourage customers to engage more. The additional promotion and notifications should certainly help to catch your site visitors’ attention.
    The rate at which your website responds can make or break your relationship with the customer. Despite the efforts that you’ve put into your product, if your website lags or has a slow loading speed then there is a greater chance that  the customer will move on to a better alternative.

    Let’s look into what you can do to increase your server speed.

    The first step would be to opt for a reliable and fast web hosting service that will resolve any errors and issues immediately. Using a commercial “Content Delivery Network” (CDN) can also help to provide faster service as their data centers and proxy servers are spread out globally for better responsiveness.

    Within your website, you can optimize your images and database to yield faster responses. Monitor your PHP scripts, if you are using them, and make sure they aren’t carrying out any irrelevant tasks that might slow down your website. Page caching ensures faster delivery which is why it is essential to configure proper caching of your static pages. Tightening your code will also reduce the load time of your website and improve usability.

    We cannot stress enough the importance of making sure your website is SEO optimized and your SEO tools are up-to-date. Your search engine ranking plays a major role in the traffic that is directed towards your website. If your website gets lost in the sea of clutter and competitor websites then you can say goodbye to website conversions and sales. Going forward, it will be a good idea to communicate how your company is evolving with the changing times. You should consider incorporating keywords related to a renewed focus on the health and safety of your customers and employees once the COVID-19 pandemic allows for more in-person meetings and commerce.

    Due to the pandemic, people have started to avoid travelling long distances just to make a purchase, therefore, if you have physical “Brick and Mortar” locations, make sure you update your ‘Google my business’ (GMB) listings on google so people can find you in Google’s local listings.

    If you want to gain the trust of your customers, make sure you tighten your security protocols. This will also assist you in cases where data gets lost or becomes corrupted through a virus, malware or hardware failures. Make sure your site utilizes a valid and current SSL certificate.

    Other options include using stronger authentication methods, securing your desktops, segmenting your Local Area Networks (LANs), plug information leaks, pay attention to the anonymous activity on your site and monitor your site for misuse. There are some freely available website utilities that help to automate a lot of these security procedures. Feel free to contact us for more information on this.

    Improving communication can be seen as an effective marketing strategy which makes the customer feel more valued. All businesses make attempts to expand their consumer base but sometimes the existing customers feel neglected as they receive the same amount of attention as potential customers. Send out personalized emails to your existing customers updating them about your business’ policy changes due to the pandemic, updated contact details, refund and exchange policies implemented in the wake of COVID 19 and other relevant information.

    You can also send them emails or messages about upcoming sales, offers, seasons greetings and other exciting events. Another way to ensure customer loyalty would be to introduce badges and other rewards for customers after they make purchases of a certain amount. Engaging blog posts are also another way to make your customers feel like you are communicating with them effectively.

    Since people aren’t always willing to step out of their houses for entertainment purposes, many have retreated to social media. You can look at this as an opportunity to increase your audience. Hold contests like giveaways that encourage contestants to tag others and use hashtags related to your website, this can help to promote your brand by word-of-mouth.

    Make sure your posts aren’t mundane; add visuals to give your audience a better idea of what you are trying to convey. Respond to the comments of your audience and add elements to your website that reflect the most popular trends. Tailor your content according to the social media site you are posting it on otherwise your content will seem too redundant and people will only follow you on one of your social media accounts. Collaborate with other brands to introduce your brand to their followers.

    Creating contests where customers upload pictures of your products or post captions relevant to your services can create a hype about your business.

Make sure you announce that your business is still operational so people do not get the impression that it was closed down during the lockdown. There is no doubt that you would have made some changes to your policies in order to adapt to the new normal. Keep your clients informed about these changes and tell them why they are relevant. Provide incentives to the people who visit your website. This can be in the form of promo codes, gift vouchers, loyalty programs, etc.

Our last bit of advice is to future-proof your business for the business interruptions that are certainly to occur in the future. Embrace the cultural changes that come from such natural (and manmade) disasters. Do not bury your head in the sand and hope that things will improve on their own.

The pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities in our ‘business as usual’ way of doing business. The world has become a smaller place as we’ve found out the hard way that we can be negatively impacted by the actions (or inactions) of people next door and/or on the other side of the world. We encourage you to be as transparent as possible about your challenges, business goals and plans for the future. You can build trust with your customer base by being honest and tackling problems head-on.

Take the time now to improve the agility of your business and your business website and make sure your overall message is clear and adaptable. Design your business in such a way that it is equipped with the latest technology so if there is a need to make a complete virtual shift again, you will be better able to pivot and make a smooth transition without major technology hurdles to address.

The overall shift to a virtual workplace has opened the door to many opportunities to those firms who embrace emerging technology and the new digital frontier. This shift toward remote workplaces and virtual communications has affected one aspect of the economy more than the rest. e-Commerce and subscription software (SAAS) are both experiencing tremendous growth fueled by a massive influx of new interest. The shift to these virtual workplaces will continue to expand as more and more people enjoy the comfort and security available only via virtual marketplaces as opposed to brick-and-mortar destinations. The comfort of shopping from home comes with the additional benefit of being able to research and explore different options before making a final purchase.

The ease of setting up an online business has allowed more and more players to enter the market. This means more competition, which is why optimizing your website has become more essential now than ever. By applying some (or all) of strategies outlined above, we can’t guarantee results, but we can guarantee that you’ll be better prepared to meet the challenges of the future!<

We hope this article gives you some insight into what you can do to better equip you and your business for the world that will be revealed to us in the coming months. Feel free to reach out to us directly if you would like our assistance with any of these strategies.

Don't hesitate to reach out to us via phone, email, contact form or social media. We monitor all channels and will do our best to get back to you within 24 hours or less.
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