While the coronavirus may not entirely be in our rearview mirror, stay-at-home orders are slowly being lifted as we speak. The play button has been hit, and businesses around the world are starting to strategically open as the consuming public finally venture out. What does this mean for your online business?
It’s no secret that many industries were hit hard by this pandemic, but the latest research notes a steady uptick in eCommerce conversion rates for this quarter leading into the next. This is good news for online business owners! While non-essential and travel-related industries are still reeling from the pandemic and are in hibernation mode, other ecomm stores might find this is a perfect time to restructure and improve their website and marketing for life after COVID.
To help prepare you for the impending flood of virtual customers, these website hacks will get you off the starting blocks in no time. Read on!
1. Conduct an SEO audit
Using our free SEO Audit Tool, you can revitalize your ecomm store by checking your website’s health to identify any technical or SEO related issues possibly dragging your search rankings. Identifying and resolving any issues from the generated report will contribute to improved traffic and conversion rates.
A site audit will also identify any site structure and internal link issues that can plague the desktop and mobile versions of your website. If pages with internal 404 errors are found, either fix them with a site crawler or, simply remove them if they are no longer relevant.
Another benefit of this health check is identifying pages that need to be restructured or reorganized due to heavy content and/or large inventory being showcased. Keep it simple for increased user experience and flow.
2. Build and invest in a community with content
Right off the bat, you should know that relevancy is your top priority during this unusual time we’re living. Whatever you do, don’t stop advertising or updating your content as we weather this pandemic storm! This can do more harm to your brand than you think. We encourage you to read up on how to preserve your brand and stretch your digital marketing dollars during a crisis here.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, your online store will garner higher search rankings and click-through-rates when you have a steady flow of relevant and interesting content that your audience is craving. While most of us are still on the COVID-19 content bandwagon, this may not necessarily be appropriate for your business/industry content-wise. Use tools such as SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Planner to target relevant keywords or phrases that speak to your ideal customer. Be cognizant of most consumers possibly being worn out by COVID-19 messaging at this stage.
Yes, we’ve advised you to continue marketing your business as things slowly return to normal, but this does not mean that your content should be super focused on selling. Read the room. Disposable incomes for many households dipped to unfathomable levels over the last three months, this is a fact. Armed with this information, your online store should focus on building trust and brand awareness at this time. Show yourself as an industry leader or source of valuable information that will interest your reader and keep them coming back. You’re playing the long game here. While your conversion rates may have been declining during this period, once an economic rebound happens, you’ll be in a better position than most thanks to your curated audience.
Lastly, ensure your ecommerce site is optimized for mobile-first indexing. This is especially important as Google recently announced that from September 2020, they will be switching to this indexing and ranking by default. With an incredible upsurge in mobile searches over the last quarter, now is the time to prioritize your site’s performance on mobile devices. Make all the necessary tweaks to allow the Googlebot to properly access all your content using the same meta tags on both your desktop and mobile website.
3. Drive free, qualified traffic to your store with an email list
A healthy email subscriber list is borne from fresh, relevant content and an engaged audience. You cannot have one without the other. To get the biggest bang from your marketing buck, the aforementioned informational content that keeps your brand top of mind needs to pack a punch in order for it to be a selling point for your subscribers. Email content that provides value beyond a sales pitch or promotion is sure to garner more subscribers. It should be captivating enough to get users to sign up to your weekly blasts, follow the calls-to-action, fill up their carts, or simply want to learn more about your brand.
An added advantage of building an email community is that you can use your curated list on Facebook to build a custom audience for your ads. What you’re essentially telling Facebook to do is find people who are similar to those on your email list as they’ve expressed an interest in your business. Having this list will go a long way in building and capitalizing on your online presence.
4. Consider a website redesign
While a website redesign is a large undertaking that you might have been putting off for a while, now may be the time to pull the trigger. Refresh your ecomm site and/or layout to give your online store a fresh new look post-pandemic. Like most things, appearance matters, and can have a huge impact on how your brand is perceived. Along with investing in inspired content to drive traffic to your online store, consider making slight tweaks to your website to enhance the user experience and conversion rates. Despite having run a site audit and attended to all the errors found, an outdated or clunky website may still be the reason visitors are not taken by your online business. If your website metrics are showing that certain parts of your site need to be reworked, let us look into this for you to get you out of the starting blocks right away.
A sleek, more modern web design might just be what the doctor ordered!
The last few months have been nothing but difficult for a number of businesses. This might just be the understatement of the year. While many brick and mortar stores are still boarded up or considering their reopening options, online businesses have fared a little better given the circumstances. With an unfair advantage of being able to safely operate online, your business can continue to ride the anticipated wave of increased engagement and conversion rates if you plan your comeback accordingly. Plan and execute your website and content marketing strategies with a resurgence in mind. Your new normal starts now.