This is the fourth blog of a four-part series from Alkaloid Networks member, Matt Schwartz of Inspry, a digital web design agency specializing in web site design, web development, and e-Commerce in Joomla, WordPress, and Shopify. Matt and his team develop and maintain the sites for many Alkaloids including Alkaloid Networks, ArtsATL, and the Atlanta Coworking Alliance to name just a few. In an effort to help other Alkaloid Networks members minimize disruption, we offer his tips to the broader community.
Coronavirus has set the world on its head. Millions of Americans work from home. Entire industries are deemed “non-essential”. We are in uncertain times. There’s a lot of speculation that things will be different on the other side of the Covid-19 shutdowns, but different doesn’t have to be a bad thing. For now, it’s important to remember that even when it feels like your business is stagnating, there are still steps you can take to cultivate growth.
Define Your Brand
While coronavirus has the economy on pause, it’s time to decide where you’d like to be when this is over. Envision how you’ll get there. Write a plan for long term company development and lay out your opportunities for growth over the next year. Take into account the things you’ve learned from this experience. Implement changes to help mitigate risks from future shutdowns. As you’re pivoting into new markets and utilizing new methods and technologies, explore strategies that can help you thrive in expanded digital spaces.
To define where you’re going, you’ll need to know where you’re at. With Google Analytics, you can monitor traffic, track campaigns and find out what converts. Learn more about your customers and gain insight into how they interact with your site. It’s a rich resource for first party data, and a beginner course makes it easy to get started on your own. Pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Learn the habits of your best customers and identify your place in the changing market. Leverage that data to come back more focused on your next steps.
Refine Your Presence
Make time for a bit of digital housekeeping and refine your online presence while things are slow. Ensure you are delivering consistent, refined messaging across social media and websites. Take advantage of what you learn from Analytics to micro-target your audience with content that converts. Stay on brand while making edits to your site pages to better highlight your successes. Implement any new strategies to cultivate growth, like expanded e-commerce options, new contact methods, or automated processes.
Mine the Gold: Reviews and Testimonials
Don’t forget about one of the best tools for building a solid reputation online: reviews, testimonials and case studies. Real customer feedback is a great way to showcase your strengths to customers who will be eager to start spending when the shutdown ends. Add a link to your site or reach out to satisfied customers through email for references. Don’t forget to explore popular channels like Facebook, Yelp, Houzz, Thumbtack, and other industry-specific review sites. You can personally gather and respond to ratings or automate a system to collect customer feedback. Put testimonials to use online and through promotional materials. Alkaloid Networks features members with profiles monthly while including a question about their experience in the space. With carefully curated stories, satisfied customers can do a lot of marketing work for you. (To learn more about creating powerful case studies, check out this article from HubSpot.)
You Look Mahvelous!
Finally, with everyone online these days and web traffic booming, your website really needs to shine. Run a technical audit to enhance performance for users and search engines. Check your Google search console for errors, mobile optimization issues, and link functionality. Alkaloid Networks member, Inspry, performs comprehensive site audits to maintain security, improve efficiency, maximize visibility, increase site traffic, and push user conversion (and takes care of the Alkaloid site). You can also use tools like My Web Audit to examine page performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
While the nation waits to resume business as usual, now is the time to cultivate growth for the future. Take advantage of the collective pause to rework your business plan, update your site pages, and solidify your reputation. With a powerful online presence, you can help your business sustain long term growth and convert more clicks into customers.