We are currently living in unprecedented times, with company closures, school closures, cancellations of just about every public event in existence, national lockdowns, self-isolation, quarantines and seemingly unending media noise about Covid-19. It’s a lot, and it’s okay to feel nervous and overwhelmed (at least, this is what we’ve been telling ourselves).
The truth is we know we’ll make it through this, united separately together in our own homes, and all the social distancing will work. In the meantime, can we ask the question that is nagging us–even if it’s selfish?
What do we do about our business?
Uncertainty is haunting us as employers, employees, CEOs, founders, managers and supervisors continue to communicate and support teams and deliverables to the best of our abilities. But as offices shutter in solidarity and we hunker down from home, at kitchen tables, back patios or home offices, it’s worth considering if these forced new perspectives on our work harbor any hidden opportunities.
Like some metaphorical reset button, this could be the time we need to take stock of our digital ROI, and what we could focus on improving for better results. Let’s run through some aspects of doing business online and see what may deserve a closer look during our global downtime.
Website Design & Functionality
It can be hard to want to spend more time and energy on something you’ve invested a lot of time and energy on already. We get it, and we felt the same way when we decided to redesign our website in 2019.
But the truth is, ensuring your website acts as your best employee, day in and day out without fail, is one of the surest ways to build a bigger audience. This means taking a look at your website with fresh eyes and ignoring all your industry jargon and expertise and the knowledge of how much work you’ve already spent building the damn thing. It’s time to visit as if you’d never heard of your company or organization and check the following:
- Glitches in usability – from navigation to calls-to-action, your site should not bottleneck or hinder your audience on their journey through your sales funnels to obtain the info, services or products they need
- Issues with checkout/shipping – can your online shopping experience be better?
- Broken links – are there any dead ends and 404s on your site that need updating?
- Scope of services – is all the information on your website updated and current and is the language as clear for new visitors as it is for those returning?
- Images & branding – do you need to revisit your logo or develop the imagery for your website?
- Digital Marketing initiatives – maybe it’s time to set up that newsletter sign-up form or booking widget you’ve been wanting to incorporate
Brand Development & Refreshes
Is your email signature still not multi-platform compatible, or are you using a logo that was initially a placeholder and doesn’t adequately represent your company today?
Focusing on brand development can help breathe fresh air into your existing, successful business. We emphasize “successful” because brand development isn’t just for new businesses or businesses in crisis. An updated logo, for instance, doesn’t mean things aren’t working, it just means that this visual element associated with your company or organization needs a renovation.
Brand renos can also include:
- Email signatures
- Online newsletters
- Agreements & Applications
One thriving pizza business in Nanaimo had been using the same logo for 25 years until they decided to celebrate their milestone anniversary with a refreshed look.
Search Engine Optimization
Not every website is built with search engine optimization in mind, but it’s never too late to create more channels for visitors to your site, whether you’re hoping to attract audiences from around the world or those within your local community. There are specific back-end strategies and on-page optimization techniques required for both website crawlers and humans to find you. This includes:
- Web traffic & user behaviour analytics
- Keyword research
- Competitor research
- Meta data implementation
- Google Search Console set-up
- Local SEO
All of this can be implemented through SEO content writing/editing. Focusing on SEO will increase the organic traffic to your website, and the more you can target your primary audience the more chance you have of drawing them back to visit you.
At this point, you likely have some—if not all—employees working from home, including yourself. Are you positioned for business-as-usual in this new virtual environment?
Now is a key time to digitize your office not just for today, but for security tomorrow. Conducting business online during this uncertain time of social isolation is an opportunity to develop ways that will encourage virtual communications and efficient workflows.
There is a wide range of technical integrations you can make to your office that will enhance your individual business needs through digital communication, secure file sharing, team accountability and organizational solutions. These include:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
- Accounting software
- Employee time tracking
- Project management and forecasting
- Data and file storage
- Apps for onsite communications
Not Sure Where to Start?
The word “audit” is both terrifying and groan-inducing. Who wants to spend their self-isolation in audit mode? And do we really want to discover that all the time and energy we put into our business was wasted, or ineffective? No! Do we need to make these discoveries if we want to grow as entrepreneurs? Yes!
A website audit will evaluate:
- Analytics & statistics – the current progress and metrics of a site including traffic and audience behaviour
- Information Architecture – the efficiency and performance of existing menus and navigation, page structure, and URLs
- Content – identifies gaps or errors in keyword structure, title tags, meta data, calls-to-action, image optimization and internal/external link strategies
Audits are designed to help you know what you don’t currently know. We can only ever fix problems if we have an understanding of what those problems are (even if we don’t necessarily want to know about them).
Analyzing your digital presence, whether by audit or a run-through of your existing website functionality, content, SEO and digital workflow strategies, will keep you and your team on your toes and help you refine your brand’s identity. Taking an inwards look at your business will help you tweak weaknesses to reinforce better communications and engagement with your audience in the thriving digital marketplace. Meanwhile, make sure to check the Government of Canada website to see how your small business could receive support during this extraordinary time.
Alpha Strategy wishes everyone good health in the coming days and we join in the applause for our tireless and heroic health care workers around the world. We are currently out of the office but working from our homes. Curious about who we are? Meet our team.