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Keeping Up with Your Business Competitors in the Covid Era

By Lily Temmer February 01, 2022 Lifestyle

Perhaps one day in the near future, Covid will peter out through vaccinations and less virulent strains. However, the way we do business has been forever altered. We have realized that remote work and e-Commerce stores are not only less dangerous to public health but save valuable time that we can apply to more rewarding endeavors.

Upgrading Your Website and Google Business Profile in 2022

Websites have been around since 1991, but 40% of businesses in the United States don’t have websites or have websites that are outdated and dysfunctional. Right now ,as a business owner, the most important thing you can do for your business is to optimize your Google business profile and upgrade your website.

Where Should You Begin When Upgrading Your Online Profile?

Begin with your Google Business Page. These days, it functions more or less as your home page. Furthermore, it’s the cheapest and easiest way to drive traffic to your website. Google now allows digital businesses to create profiles as well.

Google My Business Drives Traffic to Your Website

You can create a free account on Google my Business. From there, you can add essential information, such as:

  • Your contact number
  • A link to your website
  • Your business hours
  • Health and safety measures
  • Directions (automatic)

You can also share:

  • High quality photos of your space, your team, your goods, or services.
  • Your logo
  • Posts which are relevant to your business or informative to your customers or clients
  • Special offers or discounts
  • Events which your business is hosting
  • Excerpts from your blog with links back to your website

Additionally, you can list and showcase your:

  • Products
  • Services
  • Attributes: LGBTQ+ friendly; Transgender safe space; Black, Latino, Woman, Veteran owned
  • Reviews – it’s ok to ask your customers or clients for reviews. Google even provides a link you can email to them.

You can also:

  • Respond to reviews to show engagement and that you care about your customers
  • Post answers to frequently asked questions
  • Send and receive direct messages
  • Depending on your business, you can add special features. For example, restaurants and event spaces can add featured menus, take online food orders, and let customers make reservations.

Pro Tips

Make certain that you expand your geographical area of service to neighboring towns and cities whenever possible.

Ask your past customers or clients to write reviews. Reviews are critically important to have on your business pages, since people will want to vet your business before initiating contact. Here are instructions for how to create a link for customer reviews. Once you have the link, cut and paste it into an email and send it out.

Upgrading Your Website

When Covid broke out, I had a call from a local accountant who wanted me to get more engagement for her business on social media. She prefaced the conversation by saying she got no leads from her website. She did not have phone number or address listed, so that may have been part of the problem.

When updating your site, stay relevant and don’t make obvious mistakes. Instead, take action to adjust several things right away:

  • List your phone number and make it so that the consumer can dial it by pressing a button.
  • If you have a street location, list your address.
  • If you have an online store, there must be some way to contact customer service.
  • Include a map if you have a physical location.
  • Make sure you have a security certificate. That’s https and a little lock – not http.
  • Have mobile first design or responsive design for your website. It’s likely that 60% of your clients will be coming to you from a phone initially.
  • Page speed. No one is going to wait around for your pages to load. If necessary, upgrade your hosting plan to achieve better results.

What Else Should You Do to Upgrade Your Website?

Branding is critical to your success. Branding makes your business recognizable and stand out from your competitors. Done correctly, it inspires trust and builds loyalty. You will want to understand your targeted demographics and what appeals to them visually. Colors, fonts, images, your brand voice, along with other factors all go into your branding. To learn about branding and how to begin, start here.

What are other important features to have on your website?

  • The menu should be clear and easy to navigate.
  • Is it clear what your business is about? Use your tagline to tell users what you do.
  • Content must be integrated and flow together logically and in a way that the user can intuitively follow .
  • The user must be able to complete actions logically and quickly. Do you have call to action buttons that prompt the user to take the desired action on your website?
  • Are the fonts legible and properly spaced? Are they appropriate for the site and do they work well together?
  • Are the images you are using eye catching and appropriate?
  • Is the website informative? Does it solve the users’ problems?

Additionally, you should consider the purpose of your site. Which one of the following best describes your objectives?

  • Sales
  • Lead generation
  • Building your reputation
  • Describing your expertise
  • A combination of the above

In most cases, you will be looking to turn browsers into buyers by tapping into their needs and demonstrating your value by solving their dilemmas. Learn how to create a great page with all the features listed above. If you aren’t sure which information to feature on your pages, scroll to the What information to feature on each of your pages section for guidance.

You Must Be Transparent

When writing the content on your pages, be authentic and use real photos of your business, team, and yourself. I have a client who uses a 20-year-old photo of herself on her website, although I often tell her to refresh it. If clients or customers are going to see you at some point, you need to look like yourself. Trust is dependent on transparency.

Write about your business with transparency as well. People want to know whether your business aligns with their values, so be honest, and highlight any special features that separate you from your competition.

Your Website Is Not Written in Stone

You need to add updated content regularly, whether in a blog or on your pages. It will be good for your search engine optimization and for your potential clients/customers periodically to see fresh, up to date information, text, or images on your website.

If you take basic steps to upgrade your online presence, you will be better prepared for doing business in the Covid and post-Covid era. If you are hiring a website designer or content writer, you will want them to have an understanding of the principles above so that your website will offer a great user experience that will stimulate engagement and lead to conversions.

When was the last time you updated your business website? Did you follow certain principles? Which ones were most important to you? What was the result?

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The Author

Lily Temmer is a website designer, content creator, and marketer. Previously, Lily was an award winning Realtor on Chicago’s Gold Coast. She has written four novels and four collections of short stories, and her prose was deemed “flawless” by Kirkus Reviews. Lily loves teaching people how to brand their businesses and stand out from their competition.

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