Why You Need a Website Today and How COVID-19 Can Help!
If you are a traditional (brick & mortar) business or are looking to start a new business, you may be thinking to yourself that the coronavirus is, or is going to be, the death of your dreams. Though many businesses (especially our beloved local mom-and-pop business) are taking a big hit and are lucky if they are still able to hang on this far, there is ACTUAL HOPE if you can find the right people to help you out. If you keep on reading, I will give you some helpful tips and great ideas that may just give you the boost you need!
The decision is your! If you wait for one day, it may never come. Make TODAY your day one and never look back.
It's time to get creative!
Here's the great thing about having an online business, even as the social-distancing mandates are just beginning to relax and people are starting to venture out, many folks are still going to have anxiety, have valid health concerns to stay away, and are still going to limit their physical engagements. Providing an online interface to your services and products will be much more appealing in general, not just those who prefer to stay home anyway. You have now forever opened up an expanded market, increased your accessibility, and are potentially reaching out to
new clients and buyers.
More than ever, with so many of us being at home, where are we spending MOST of our time? ONLINE!! Having a website is vital to your business because you are giving your clients another way to reach out to you at their convenience.
It really is all about communication. Offering a way for anyone to view your products and services and place orders or schedule appointments at their convenience is a great service you can provide. They (can) learn more about your business and build relationships and loyalty with your brand.
They need to know what you can do for them during this COVID-19 crisis and of any updates that your business is providing to accommodate their needs.
Look at Amazon, who doesn't shop there? How many things have you tried to order but have been told delivery is delayed a couple weeks because of the overwhelmingly increase in demand? What if you could offer something faster than Amazon could? How would people know about it? If you send a mailer, it can take a couple weeks before is appears in the mailbox. People have already moved on.
People have problems and they want a solution now. That is what your website does. It is a potential solution to filling the needs of what your customers are looking for. They need you, and they need you now!
You've got a website, great! How is it performing?
The big key to a successful website is CONVERSION. You get a website up, but no one is visiting, and you've don't the social media marketing to boot. Guess what? This is common. Currently, Google has only indexed .003% of all the website available. It can take a year before you even get shown in search results, if you know what you are doing.
Marketing on social media is only part of the key - but can be very helpful in getting the word out that your site even exists, if done right. How you market online, the imagery you use, the words you say, must all be considered when you need to make the impact on the conversion of someone even making the click to check you out.
Once you've got people coming to your site, now what? Your site content needs to have a story, a visual flow. If it is organized, concise, and even entertaining, you have already a big hurdle crossed in getting that click to trust your business.
Think about the people you are trying to reach out to. Let them know there are people behind your website! Be personable, relatable, approachable, and especially adaptable.
First off, keep your customers informed! Let them know what you can provide for them, when you can provide it, and how quickly. Are your hours different now? Do you deliver, ship, or offer video-based services? What kind of time frame can they expect?
Are you offering discounts or promo codes? If you are - don't make them centered around the virus - it can be seen as very insensitive. Instead provide something like "stayathome" or "healthyvibes." Offering thoughtful promo codes and discounts can also engage trust.
Have you thought about a you-tube channel? Create videos about you, your service or your products being used in creative ways the solve problems. Blast them on social media, but be sure to include them on your website!
We have the tools to run analytics on your site and run user test to determine what is working and what isn't.
Don't underestimate the power of a great bundle! Your customers will thank you for making it easier for them!
You're going to want to create packages or bundles
Have you thought about bundling your products or services? As a shopper on a site, I usually know what I want and its something pretty specific. I am unaware that there are other great items that I might love. When I am looking for gifts, it can be challenging to to put something together from various web sites, let alone time consuming, and often multiple shipping charges.
By offering bundled packages, you make the job easier for your potential client to make a purchase, and even purchase more.
Say you make and sell handmade soap. You can offer a create a summer scents collection of a dozen soaps and offer at a slightly less price than each one purchased individually. This way, you potentially could end up selling more than you would on the single purchases and have made someone's life a lot easier than having to worry about going out and purchasing soap for the rest of the year. Maybe you could in your summer-escape-scented bundle offers a free sample of a new soap you just created. Who doesn't love free?
You could also offer a special, like purchase the summer-escape scent package for $50 and you can purchase the island-berries scent package for only $10 - that way you aren't giving away something for free, but your customer feels special knowing they got a great deal and they still spent more than they were initially planning to. Enticements like this are a great way to share your product, get more of it purchased, and keep people coming back for more!
These are just some of the ways to make your website work for you and motivate your buyers to do business with you!
Try this! Start a charity campaign!
Another way to build conversion on your site is to show social awareness. There is no better way than to say "though we are apart, we are better together!"
Make a goal and show a graphic on your website! People love to see the progress and will help you reach your goals - it is instant gratification in knowing you helped make the world a better place.
For example, as a soap store owner, you could say "For every $50 of soap we sell, we give away a bundle of soap to the homeless, or the women's shelter, or to the children's hospital for families that are away from home."
When people feel like they can help in giving back to the community, their motivation to purchase increases dramatically. Be sure to include a thank you note and how much you have appreciated their support in your business and just how much their purchase was able to provide relief to others.
Don't forget to use social media to campaign and let your clients participate in sharing the word!
This all sounds good, but what's the catch?
But here's the catch - there is always a catch, isn't there? Remember my talk about conversion? Conversion doesn't happen without trust - that their money is safe, their identity is safe, and they are going to get exactly what they purchase.
Your website needs to provide all the opportunities for your clients to trust you. You may be thinking about showing all your glowing reviews you already have on Yelp and how to get more of them - that should be enough, right? This can be helpful, but is only a small percentage and all the great reviews won't help if product photos are dark and blurry, information is lacking, people are confused or frustrated or just down-right bored.
To build trust on your website, it needs to be professional, it needs to be responsive (meaning accessible on all devices, especially phones and tablets - not many people are sitting at a desk looking for something to kill time until the work day is over).
Your site also needs to be well-designed with meaningful imagery (but not too many), provide information that can be related to, and allow a person to feel that they can reach out to you and know that if they have questions or concerns, that someone will get back to them. Your website also needs to show that you care about your business and that you care about your visitors - it needs to be dependable, run-smoothly, secure and don't forget about people with disabilities!
And that is a lot to think about!
If you slap up a web-page in a day, chances are, you are going miss about 95% of what your site really needs for successful conversion. And then you will be left wondering what went wrong, why aren't there as many visitors as you would like, and your lack of sales will leave you wondering why you tried this in the first place.
But don't despair! You don't have to know it all. That's what we are here for. We understand the ins and outs of a successful website and together, we can make it happen!
You're not in this by yourself. Together, we can get the job done right!
And that is exactly what I help with at Sites That Spark. With over 15 years of experience, I have been helping to build websites that help create conversion by telling a story, anticipating questions and providing the answers, engaging users creatively to learn about the products or services, and by giving the business a little extra something that makes their visitors feel impressed and ready to shake hands.
It is all about balance, knowing your market and target audience, why they are visiting and what you can provide solutions for and then communicating in a way they understand and believe you are the answer.
Right now, with the large increase of online use because of "Safer At Home" restrictions, this is the perfect time to get your slice of the pie and start building your online customer base and we can certainly help with that! Invest in your website and others will invest in you!
Reach out to us today for your FREE consultation. We would love to see how we can get your business boosted to the next level!