As a business owner, we are all looking for ways to push through the challenges we’re all facing right now.
We’re all feeling the sting of the Coronavirus. We’d both would be lying if we said our business and personal lives haven’t taken a hit–they have. Most of us are working from home and some of us with our kids.
The harsh truth is that some business categories are hurting way worse than others.
But, during this time, we’ve seen the true colors of some people and businesses alike.
It’s always important to help those who are suffering, but now more people are hurting. We all need to step up, show initiative, and use this as an opportunity to help out and to stand out. We urge you, even if your business is struggling, to do the same.
In this post, we’ll touch on a few points to help market your business from home and hopefully grow your business during this terrible pandemic.
Re-Connect Your Customers
Your customers are on social media more than they usually are. They’re scanning Facebook and Instagram to see what everyone else is doing (and also receiving reminders that their house isn’t the only one that looks like a million Pinterest fails, piling up). You could always post a TikTok dance…
Make sure you’re leveraging social media to remind your customers of critical information, even if you think it’s common sense. If you’ve had to close your brick and mortar location, post about it. Make sure you use the opportunity to point to your website, if you’re offering services there.
We know this was not an easy decision for you. Let your customers know that. And, let them know that you’re doing it to protect your employees and to comply with regulations. This isn’t the time to be overly formal, be real.
If you’re still open and taking extra precautions during this time, let your customers know this.
Many business owners are encouraging their customers to shop online and offering incentives. This is a great idea.
Want to know what isn’t? Using the discount code “coronavirus” or “COVID19”.
Instead, try to use something uplifting, such as “IN IT TOGETHER” or “City Name Strong”.
Another great way to encourage sales and make your brand stand out is to donate a portion of sales to relief efforts or help your community. We know, money is tight right now, and this isn’t always an option. However, if you can, especially during times like this, customers will notice.
Even better than social media, pick up the phone and call them.
Make Sure People Can Find Your Business
Search traffic has increased drastically over the past few weeks. We’re all glued to the computer, constantly checking for updates. We’re also trying to pass the time by learning or finding various forms of new entertainment. For those who are working from home, this means shopping.
This isn’t the time for your business to be hidden. If you aren’t utilizing SEO practices, now is the time to dig in and learn (or hire a SEO professional).
Some business models are evolving. Attorneys are communicating via phone and hosting video meetings. Courts are moving to video. Physicians are diagnosing through telemedicine, and plastic surgeons are doing video consults.
All businesses are adapting right now, and this is a time for innovation. If you aren’t rethinking your business strategy and online marketing strategy during this time, you can bet your competition is.
Write Content On Your Website for Organic Traffic
One of the easiest and FREE ways to rank your business’s website on Google is by writing content around topics and questions your potential customers are searching for on Google.
This idea isn’t original, but we can tell you, it is a very powerful one. We encourage reading the book: They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan (see it on Amazon).
The premise is this: Marcus owned a pool company that was about to go under. He needed a way to get web traffic and customers. He wrote a list of all the questions customers previously asked and started writing content on his website answering those questions. His traffic grew tremendously and he saved his company.
Simple enough, right?
When you search for anything on Google, it really doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the best mattresses for sale, the best bbq chicken recipes, or if you’re looking for the best local attorneys in town, the vast majority of the search results are answers to questions that people are asking.
It’s not always easy to start a blog. It takes a bit of work and some planning.
First, you’ll need to decide what topics would be the most helpful to your customer base. You then organize your content in a way that’s easy for your customers to digest and learn from.
So, yes, give them free information without them paying you. Kind of like we’re doing for you.
Some business owners don’t like the idea of giving away for free, what most people charge for. However, this shows your character and willingness to help–something that will stretch further than this Coronavirus crisis, for sure.
Be Confident Enough to Provide Free Information
You’re a professional for a reason. You do your job, day in and day out. Nobody can do your job as good as you can. So, don’t be scared to give your customers the keys to the kingdom. We have several posts explaining how we do what we do. But, at the end of the day, we’re experienced professionals, and some things only experience can teach.
They’ll read your content and either:
- Do it themselves. Realize they don’t have the time to devote to doing what you do. And hire you.
- Try to do it themselves and see that your product or service is in fact, worth the money.
- See that your company cares and is worth the investment without trying it themselves.
For example, we published a 10,000-word blog post about plastic surgery marketing. But, we don’t expect plastic surgeons who read it to do everything on their own, right?
They are going to skim through it, realize it’s a ton of information, and ask us to help.
Weird right? Not really.
Most people do not want to become experts in the things you do. They just want it to get done.
They need your help. You are the guide, and people trust the guide.
Numbers Don’t Lie – Content Works
One of our clients is a Collision Repair Shop in Shreveport, LA. We started writing content and building links for them in August 2019. From August 2019 to Feb 2020, we took them from 557 monthly page users and visits to 2957. That’s a solid 531% increase in organic traffic in seven months.
How did we do this? By researched the top questions that people were asking. We started by asking the owner what questions people asked when they came in. We took these questions and researched similar questions.
Next, we prioritized a list of content topics based on search volume on Ahrefs.com. The questions that were searched for the most, we posted first. Right now the highest traffic page is for “how much does bumper repair cost?” This was pretty simple.
Here is another example of the impact of website page content and blog content. A criminal attorney in Phoenix Arizona hired us to build a website and do SEO for them for the past seven months.
Phoenix is a very competitive market, especially for Criminal Attorney related keywords, which can fetch over $100/click on Google Search ads. They asked us to help them grow their organic traffic to help offset some of the PPC charges. And, they are sure they glad they did.
This client has had tremendous success. Take a look at their snapshot SEO reports from Ahrefs. The traffic value report is what they would need to spend each month on Google Search Ads if they were not getting the traffic for free.
With this client, we took the same approach we mentioned before, based on what people were searching for in Arizona.
Local SEO is More Important than Ever
We’ve all drastically reduced our travel and are staying as close to home as possible. In the few instances that we do leave the headquarters (because ‘home’ just sounds so unofficial), we’re looking for nearby destinations. During this time, you really want to make sure that your business is set up for “near me” searches.
If you don’t have a Google Business account set up for your business, take the time to do so! If you think you may have done it at some point or another, now is a good time to make sure your information is accurate and up to date.
It wouldn’t hurt to add in a few pictures.
We may not judge books by their cover, but books without covers probably won’t be the first pick!
Invest in PPC Advertising
More people are online during the day than ever before, right now. Click prices on Google have gone down, and the majority of small business owners have decreased their online advertising spend.
Some local service categories can’t take new customers right this minute, but there is still a lot that can be done to prepare for the future. If you can still take on customers, you should be buying search ads on Google.
Now is a great time to get a leg up on the competition. Because of the widespread panic, many businesses are opting to eliminate PPC budgets, across the board.
What does that mean for those still pushing ads? Reduced prices. Supply and demand…
One positive trait of search ads is that you DON’T PAY unless someone clicks. One more time, just in case your kid was asking for snacks while you skimmed that part: YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY UNLESS YOU AD IS CLICKED ON.
People who search for products or services are already more likely to purchase. Furthermore, once they click on your ad, that person is already what we call a “qualified lead”, meaning they’re really in the market to buy.
Investing in PPC advertising right now, will provide you with one of the smallest cost per conversions we’ve seen, to date, and will probably continue to drop for a while.
With search ads, you’ll know exactly where your money is going. You can track how many calls that came in, how many sales you made, and how many forms were submitted. It’s easy to calculate ROI from search ads. (If you need help, call us! We’ll walk you through it!)
Prepare Your Business to Bounce Back from the Coronavirus
SEO will help your business increase online organic traffic and move past your competition. Since so many people are searching online right now, you want to make sure your found.
You want your business to be on the first page of Google’s search results. Climbing to the top takes time, expertise, and strategic optimization strategies. However, if you don’t continue to optimize your website and create new content, you will start to lose your position to those who are choosing to continue.
Pulling out of your SEO strategy is something we strongly encourage business owners NOT to do.
Think of it like car maintenance: as long as you continue to change your oil and take care of your vehicle, no problems really, right? But, if you decide to forgo this process, eventually, you’re going to have major problems that will cost more than the initial service charges you would have paid to regularly change your oil. Think of SEO as your website’s oil. When done correctly, you probably don’t notice it at all. Everything runs as it should. But, when you stop…..you get the point.
There is a quote in the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, which takes place during the great depression, and everyone is panicking:
“Mr. Potter isn’t selling, he’s buying, because the rest of us are panicking and he’s not.”
Amazon and Walmart are hiring an additional 250K people to keep up with demand. Most of the world is on lockdown, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop filling your business pipeline with new business and future business.
Now that you’re not commuting to the office.. or anywhere (trust us, we feel you), your schedule has some extra time freed up. Those marketing tasks that may have fallen through the cracks, you can now address.
It’s the perfect time to look at your website and make sure it’s running optimally. We don’t believe in selling you something you don’t need. We actually turn down a lot of customers, if we don’t think we can help, or it’s not a good fit.
We’re here to help. Hit us up if you have any questions– our chatbox is on the right. Now’s a great time to reach out for some free advice!
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