Preparing your website for the New Economy

April 21, 2020
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The ways we do business are always evolving, but the recent Covid-19 virus has accelerated this dramatically. In the last few weeks new habits have been forced upon us – working from home, flexible hours, video and conference calls, webinars and social distancing have become the new normal. Many businesses are having to adapt quickly to face the challenges ahead. How customers interact may be different to how it was before. I’m not just talking about retail, tourism or hospitality here – all businesses will be affected and here’s what you can do to mitigate your situation and gain an advantage.

An obvious example of this would be to add an ecommerce area to your website for products previously sold within a retail environment. If your original website simply served as a ‘shop window’ which showcased products or services, this could be converted into an online shop. A more subtle change would be how a professional service firm adapts the way it does business – less face-to-face meetings and more introductions using tools such as Zoom. Maybe there’s a service you offer now which you could take digital – such as advice or training. You may find that doing online becomes far more cost-effective anyway.

We have been designing brands and building websites for professional service firms for nearly 20 years and most of our clients under-utilise their websites, describing them as, ‘it needs to be there to add credibility for potential clients so we look good if they check us out’. They don’t see their website as a sales tool. That thinking has to change. I believe that, post-Covid-19, more people will be doing business together without the need to meet in person. In fact, some prospective customers may actually prefer to not meet you! However, people buy from people, so your personal profile will become increasingly important.

Prospective clients will still do their ‘due diligence’ before getting in contact with you (read your profile on LinkedIn, look at your biography on your company’s website or ask other people about you) so all the touch-points of your personal brand need to be up-to-date and cover off what people are looking for. When they are satisfied that you might be a good fit, the email will come in or the phone will ring.

So is your business’s website wired to work for in post-Covid-19 society? What needs to change?

Well, to start with, the way we think needs to change. When we launch a brand/website, most clients think ‘Great. That’s done. Now I can move on to the next issue’. To some extent this true, but brands/website are never really completed, as the role they perform is a moving target.

Small changes can sometimes make a big difference. The next step is to upgrade your website from a ‘passive credibility’ site to a source of business. There are three parts to website performance and they all need to work together. I’ll keep this brief, but having the best website in the world won’t bring you business if you are not driving traffic to it.

Traffic

All websites need visitors. Driving traffic to websites can be done in several ways. SEO (search engine optimisation) is one string to your bow. It may be that some simple, regular updates to your site can increase the chances of being found by Google. Paid advertising, where you pay per click for people to your site, works better for some businesses than others. It can be very cost-effective or expensive depending on who manages this for you. Social Media has had a huge impact on our lives over the last few weeks. It can have a big influence on decision-making and can also work well to drive traffic to websites, but it can also be time-consuming. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning your Google Business Page – the box that comes up next to your address on Google search results pages. Optimising this is free so do it now.

Engagement

Remember press advertising? The same rules also apply to when people visit your website. You have less than 10 seconds to inform people who you are, what you do and why they should choose you or hit the back button. This is where your brand is so important. I’m not talking logo, I’m saying that the overall combination of images, colours, fonts and tone of copy all need to work together and deliver in the correct hierarchy, in order to draw your viewer into the website. Chances are that if they get the right gut-feeling they’ll stay and dig deeper.

Calls to action

So you’ve increased your visitors and they are looking at your pages – what’s next? Good copy cannot be underestimated. Well written, seductive copy sells. How it’s written can elicit the response you want. Making sure you have enough calls to action and in the right places can make a big difference to whether or not people contact you.

Get all three of these gears in sync and that’s the difference between a passive website and a business asset that works without looking overtly like a sales tool.

It may be that this can be achieved with only minor and inexpensive adjustments, as some brands  and websites are more durable than others. Doing this now means that, as we move out of lockdown and into new business practices, you can be assured that your brand and website are working well to optimise your potential.

Brands and websites need to be reviewed every now and then to ensure they are performing at their best. For the business owner, this is not always easy as they are often too close to the problem to notice it. It’s easier for someone outside looking in to identify issues and see the big picture. At Brand Counsel, we’ve developed an online Brand Audit tool to assist business owners assess how well their brand/website is working. By just answering a few simple questions you can check how your brand/website is tracking, then take steps to improve things. Take our free Brand Audit now by clicking here .

Please get in touch with Richard to organise an appointment for a telephone/video conference on 021 0311 294.

The ways we do business are always evolving, but the recent Covid-19 virus has accelerated this dramatically. In the last few weeks new habits have been forced upon us – working from home, flexible hours, video and conference calls, webinars and social distancing have become the new normal. Many businesses are having to adapt quickly to face the challenges ahead. How customers interact may be different to how it was before. I’m not just talking about retail, tourism or hospitality here – all businesses will be affected and here’s what you can do to mitigate your situation and gain an advantage.

An obvious example of this would be to add an ecommerce area to your website for products previously sold within a retail environment. If your original website simply served as a ‘shop window’ which showcased products or services, this could be converted into an online shop. A more subtle change would be how a professional service firm adapts the way it does business – less face-to-face meetings and more introductions using tools such as Zoom. Maybe there’s a service you offer now which you could take digital – such as advice or training. You may find that doing online becomes far more cost-effective anyway.

We have been designing brands and building websites for professional service firms for nearly 20 years and most of our clients under-utilise their websites, describing them as, ‘it needs to be there to add credibility for potential clients so we look good if they check us out’. They don’t see their website as a sales tool. That thinking has to change. I believe that, post-Covid-19, more people will be doing business together without the need to meet in person. In fact, some prospective customers may actually prefer to not meet you! However, people buy from people, so your personal profile will become increasingly important.

Prospective clients will still do their ‘due diligence’ before getting in contact with you (read your profile on LinkedIn, look at your biography on your company’s website or ask other people about you) so all the touch-points of your personal brand need to be up-to-date and cover off what people are looking for. When they are satisfied that you might be a good fit, the email will come in or the phone will ring.

So is your business’s website wired to work for in post-Covid-19 society? What needs to change?

Well, to start with, the way we think needs to change. When we launch a brand/website, most clients think ‘Great. That’s done. Now I can move on to the next issue’. To some extent this true, but brands/website are never really completed, as the role they perform is a moving target.

Small changes can sometimes make a big difference. The next step is to upgrade your website from a ‘passive credibility’ site to a source of business. There are three parts to website performance and they all need to work together. I’ll keep this brief, but having the best website in the world won’t bring you business if you are not driving traffic to it.

Traffic

All websites need visitors. Driving traffic to websites can be done in several ways. SEO (search engine optimisation) is one string to your bow. It may be that some simple, regular updates to your site can increase the chances of being found by Google. Paid advertising, where you pay per click for people to your site, works better for some businesses than others. It can be very cost-effective or expensive depending on who manages this for you. Social Media has had a huge impact on our lives over the last few weeks. It can have a big influence on decision-making and can also work well to drive traffic to websites, but it can also be time-consuming. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning your Google Business Page – the box that comes up next to your address on Google search results pages. Optimising this is free so do it now.

Engagement

Remember press advertising? The same rules also apply to when people visit your website. You have less than 10 seconds to inform people who you are, what you do and why they should choose you or hit the back button. This is where your brand is so important. I’m not talking logo, I’m saying that the overall combination of images, colours, fonts and tone of copy all need to work together and deliver in the correct hierarchy, in order to draw your viewer into the website. Chances are that if they get the right gut-feeling they’ll stay and dig deeper.

Calls to action

So you’ve increased your visitors and they are looking at your pages – what’s next? Good copy cannot be underestimated. Well written, seductive copy sells. How it’s written can elicit the response you want. Making sure you have enough calls to action and in the right places can make a big difference to whether or not people contact you.

Get all three of these gears in sync and that’s the difference between a passive website and a business asset that works without looking overtly like a sales tool.

It may be that this can be achieved with only minor and inexpensive adjustments, as some brands  and websites are more durable than others. Doing this now means that, as we move out of lockdown and into new business practices, you can be assured that your brand and website are working well to optimise your potential.

Brands and websites need to be reviewed every now and then to ensure they are performing at their best. For the business owner, this is not always easy as they are often too close to the problem to notice it. It’s easier for someone outside looking in to identify issues and see the big picture. At Brand Counsel, we’ve developed an online Brand Audit tool to assist business owners assess how well their brand/website is working. By just answering a few simple questions you can check how your brand/website is tracking, then take steps to improve things. Take our free Brand Audit now by clicking here .

Please get in touch with Richard to organise an appointment for a telephone/video conference on 021 0311 294.