Want to thrive after the COVID-19? Move your business online

At some point, the current coronavirus pandemic will end. Is your business set up to thrive in the post-COVID-19 business landscape?

The reality is, the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has upended life for people all over the world. One of the most significant changes that has affected businesses is social distancing. Whether communities are on lockdown, under quarantine, or told to stay at home, the bottom line is, people aren’t going out.

This is impacting businesses across the board right now.

  • People are using food delivery services instead of going out to eat at restaurants.
  • They’re stocking up through ecommerce sites to limit essential trips to the grocery store.
  • With offices closed, business consultations, financial services, fitness coaching, counseling services, and even a lot of health care appointments – they’re all moving online.
  • Brick and mortar shops have shut their doors, leaving the consumer world to buy everything from hand sanitizer to books and dried beans online.

What’s even more important to realize is, the changes now will also influence the landscape once the virus and the restrictions are gone.

The Best Way Businesses Can Respond to COVID-19 Is to Move Online

Experts were already predicting the acceleration of ecommerce and online shopping months before COVID-19 became a pandemic. The latest growth forecast from eMarketer showed that ecommerce sales were set to increase by 19 percent from 2019 to 2020.

As consumers – and businesses – grow accustomed to the efficiency of online commerce, that number could skyrocket.

Here’s the crazy thing – in 2019, only 60 percent of small businesses had a website. Post-coronavirus, having an online presence will be essential. And having a strong digital presence with an SEO optimized website, active social media channels, and a long-term content marketing plan will be the marker of a thriving business once the world reboots after COVID-19.

Store visits are plummeting. They’ve dropped by 90 percent in one month.
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Whether your business already operates online somewhat or not, now you have the opportunity to develop and perfect your digital business presence. Here’s how you can get started.

5 Steps Businesses Can Take Now to Build a Strong Online Presence

1 Create a website

If you’re one of the businesses that doesn’t already have a published website, create one now. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you use a website builder platform such as WordPress, Tilda, or Wix, you can create a website in less than a day.

If you want to create an ecommerce website, you can use platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce to get started, or simply start with a Google Merchant Account.

For those businesses that already have a website, now is the perfect time to do a site audit. Look over your webpages, blog posts, photos, and other content. See what you can update, improve, or add in order to make your website more relevant to your customers and easier to navigate.

2 Perfect your Google My Business profile

Every local business should have a Google My Business (GMB) account set up. You can use your Google My Business profile to share photos, offer promotions, and to make sure your business stands out when people search on Google.

If your business is slower than usual right now, use this extra time to your advantage. Claim your GMB account, make sure everything looks good, and manage your profile to ensure all your contact info is correct.

3 Build customer relationships on social media

Most businesses already at least have a Facebook page and maybe some other type of social media account. But, the reality is, the world’s going to be even more digital-heavy than it is already after COVID-19.

So, it’s important to have a solid presence on social media. Let customers know what deals you have to offer during the pandemic. Share helpful tips or advice. Stay connected and let your target audience know you’re here for them.

The world’s going to be even more digital-heavy than it is already after COVID-19.
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To get started, choose one or two social media sites that are most relevant to your target audience. For most businesses, this will be Facebook and Instagram or Twitter, or maybe LinkedIn for B2B companies.

Make sure you are posting regularly on these sites, giving your audience useful and relevant content – you can use tools such as Hootsuite to automate your posts.

Engage with your customers when they leave comments or feedback. You can also use social media to promote your blog posts and other content, helping to drive your audience to your website.

4 Promote your business online with sponsored ads

To give your online presence a boost right now, online ads are a great option. Used in conjunction with your other online content, sponsored ads can help to increase web traffic, build brand awareness, and generate more leads for your business.

The reality is, right now, store visits are plummeting. They’ve dropped by 90 percent in one month. With almost zero foot traffic, you’ll need to attract as many online buyers as possible. You can do this with Google Ads, Facebook ads, and Microsoft Advertising.

5 Make your website easy for your audience to find with SEO

Paid ads are one way to draw people to your website. Another way is through organic search. In order to attract buyers to your site organically, you’ll need to make sure your website is optimized for search engines.

Working on search engine optimization, or SEO, is more important now than ever. With everyone online, businesses are going to be competing for online attention. Instead of adding SEO to your list of things to worry about during the coronavirus pandemic, you can boil it down to one thing – quality content.

Build your site with plenty of helpful, well-written content, and search engines will recognize your site as useful to searchers. Over time, this will improve your site’s search engine ranking.

Use Content as Your Post-Coronavirus Business Foundation

Content marketing is key to engaging your audience right now. By consistently publishing blog posts and other content, you’ll help your business stand out online. You’ll also be able to build stronger relationships with your audience because they’ll view your brand as a go-to source for information, helpful advice, and inspiration.

If you aren’t sure what type of content to create, you can use this list of prompts to get started:

  • What are your target buyers worried about right now and what can your business do to make their life easier?
  • What issues do they have, and how can your product or service solve those problems?
  • What would be useful to help your customers during COVID-19, and in the months after the pandemic? Consider checklists, how-to videos, guides, even entertainment – what content can your business offer that will bring a smile to your customer’s face?

Content marketing is key to engaging your audience right now.
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Developing Your Online Marketing Will Give Your Business an Edge

Here’s the thing – after the coronavirus crisis, a good chunk of our lives will have migrated to the online world. From shopping to business meetings and even virtual learning, our day-to-day interactions are going to be more digital post-COVID-19.

That’s why it’s so important to focus on boosting your online marketing right now.

If you don’t, it’s going to be more challenging to survive as a business. Online marketing is only going to get more competitive, which will make it harder to get your business going online in the future.

However, if you’re like a lot of businesses, you don’t have the time to do it all yourself. And, let’s face it, few business owners are also great writers.

Don’t worry. We can help. We’re specialists in creating great content for websites. We can give you the SEO optimized content that will attract online searchers, engage your audience, and support your business’s survival.

We’re all in this together. And, we understand how critical it is to have efficient, cost-effective solutions to keep your business going strong now and after COVID-19.

You can count on us for fast, consistent, and high-quality content. At Get A Copywriter, we provide end-to-end content writing services, including customer support and professional editing. We can even help with ideation and keyword research.

Start working on your content marketing now.

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Written by Brenna C
Brenna has over 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in personal finance content and business and personal growth. She has been editing for 4 years and is currently a senior editor for Get A Copywriter.