COVID-19 Opening Hours / Instruction
Make sure that firstly your usual opening hours are on your website and then list COVID hours as you do for seasonal opening hours, so alongside. There’s a good example here from Ashley Farm Shop. They were straight on the ball in getting myself to update this information. We’ve also had Easter in the mix too!
Update Google My Business Opening Hours
This is a great support to your website anyway for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google have put some guess work into place to support this which is great. But please do log in and update yourself. Check out my GMB control panel and you will see what I mean.
You can Google your business name and your Google my Business should come up on the side of the screen. Check that you have one in the first place obviously! Keeping your customers informed here is key.
Up to date contact information – Is your phone number on every page
This is more of a general check. But customers and new clients will want to get in touch with you. Check that your contact info is right. Check that numbers are current. As above make sure that there is a phone number on every page. Delete anything that isn’t relevant / old landlines for example.
Please use a real postal address
There’s a debate here if and which address you should have on your website. My rule is that for any business you should have a full postal address on there. It adds authenticity.
For some business owners; they work from home (pre Covid-19) but don’t want the internet to know where they live. But then there is a cost involved for a service address just for this reason. I think it’s a worthwhile cost.
Your business is valid and reputable with a postal address on your website; and especially at this time where people can’t physically visit a location (service based or not) they need that structure. Make your business stand out in this way and be genuine.
I personally like the service and package that I receive from LCB Depot in Leicester (City Council). I use their (Leicester City Centre) address and my post goes into the main reception area.
Blog, blog and more for the blog
Blog about what you are up to, things for the future and stuff on the backlog list. Now is the time. Use this time also to plan your blog posts for the next 12 months too. You might even be able to prep a few new posts too. What do you want to be found for on Google Search – Not selling points, but for helpful things – What are your top tips? > Blog about that! If you have any industry specific updates, then these need to go on the blog. I was very busy for the first couple of weeks of lockdown getting local accountant websites up to date.
Work on your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The basic rule here is that you should have a bank of 15 key words (search terms). These should then be used on differing pages on your website with the terms worked into the title and text on the page. Map out what you need and what you have and work out where the gaps lie.
Use Yoast to help with on page optimisation. This will help to optimise your Meta Title, URL and Meta Description. Remember that anything you do update on the site will take 2 weeks to register with Google, so get optimising!
FYI: If you don’t have access to this information on your site (e.g. you have a WIX or a GoDaddy site, then you can’t “SEO” – There are many more issues to this, but you probably need a new site(!)).
Add Alt text on images during lockdown
Using the terms from above and other useful information about your images, go through your Media Library. Add in useful terms in the Alt Text field. This is great for SEO too and is a key part of your website’s upkeep. Images from here go into Google Image Search, so match with your business keywords.
Again these will take 2 weeks to update to Google, so it’s key to start on day 1.
Offer Online course content
Branch out during this time! I’ve found a great way of getting this onto your site for very little cost. You will need the content first e.g. PDF documents (worksheets, ebooklets, glossary of terms) and presented content uploaded to YouTube as Unlisted videos. You can screen record yourself presenting a PowerPoint using ScreencastOMatic.
You then have a secret page on your website which is password protected. Your website will need eCommerce if it doesn’t already to get selling passwords. Simples.
Have Online products to Sell
Add to these or start selling online! I’ve seen a few businesses diversify into online product options e.g. take away food, veg boxes and offering otherwise mortar shop only products online for home delivery (such as gardening equipment). What can you do differently in your business? How can you react? What were you offering before?
Service business should always be able to offer something when the business isn’t trading (or asleep!). For example, I sell eBooks online and have done for years. I get a couple of sales a month, so I can’t retire from this income stream yet, but every little helps!
Offer Gift Vouchers
These are a great way to be selling future business or bookings. Customers can buy them and spend later when shops and services are open again. A great investment and rather easy to set up. Again you need the PDF download or better still a real life card, ribbon and envelope version which you can post out at very little cost.
I have a pub client who have always done this very well. We even have a different product line for Christmas and design.
Offer a Discount code
Such a great way of connecting with your audience when you have an eCommerce site and online products to sell. Do a UK Lockdown special! Please see below for an example from a great client who is doing just that. Keep things simple. Ralph & Rose are doing this well, see my Canva below for the promo!
MailChimp download up to date
You can continue to build your mailing list during this time. People are after free information and how-to during lockdown. If you don’t already, you can offer a 5-page eBook (Word doc saved as a PDF) which is saved into MC. The sign-up form is then on your website and auto responds and captures potential clients email addresses. If you have an old issue download on there, you can update this or choose a new topic. Get writing!
Do you have a SSL Certificate on your site?
This goes without saying and is my final point. You should have one of these in this day and age. It’s the green padlock on the site and will say UNSECURED if you don’t have one. Ask your website host (me!).
If you like what you have read, or are abit confused, or now need some tea and cake – Then get in touch! Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll get right back to you!