With the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic pushing many organisations to their limits, this is a critical time to establish and develop relationships with your key audiences.
There are many ways to do this, such as earning press coverage, paying for advertising and dialing up your social media activity. But if there’s one platform that cannot be ignored in 2021, it’s your website.
You simply cannot afford to let dust gather on your digital shop window.
Digital challenges and opportunities
Lockdown has posed huge and varying challenges for us all. The public sector and ecommerce organisations have struggled to keep up with a huge rise in demand while many other sectors have been hit by restrictions that have limited or ceased operations altogether.
In fact, Ofcom has found that UK adults are spending an average of four hours online each day in lockdown, up from three-and-a-half in September 2019 – this means that if your brand is not maintaining a visible presence online, you’re potentially missing out on a quarter of the average adult’s waking day.
So it is vital to keep your key audiences informed regarding your business’ current situation and how you are responding to rapidly changing circumstances.
And ultimately, it is your website that communicates your messages. This is where people go to find out about your organisation or business and enquire about your products and services. This makes your website the perfect channel to publish information about how your business is responding to the latest developments post-lockdown.
But aside from simply keeping audiences informed and engaged with your brand, lockdown also provides an opportunity for growth.
Sadly, many businesses have not fared so well – either ending up in the hands of administrators or failing to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and take advantage of remote working, the new digital culture and potential new audiences.
However, by boosting your online visibility, for example through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and online advertising, will not just allow your business to take advantage of newly emerging gaps in the market but will also provide an effective starting point for your revamped online presence.
Our top 4 website tips for businesses
Use your website to keep your stakeholders informed – communication is key to business success, and that is certainly the case in 2021. Use your website’s news or blog features to maintain communication with the people that matter most.
Fully utilise your website and other online channels to communicate business updates, new products or services, and simply the fact you are still around and able to support your loyal customers. Many things have stopped, but your customers’ or stakeholders’ perception of your brand is more important than ever.
Innovate to make your business thrive – your online presence is not just a way of promoting your products and services but is also an opportunity to expand them. Many businesses have found new ways to succeed.
Consider home meal kits which have allowed hospitality businesses to maintain an income and interaction with their consumers which will undoubtedly outlast any closures. Can your organisation utilise ecommerce to deliver services in new ways?
Identify gaps in the market – your competitors are struggling in the current climate too. This is a lamentable situation, but your sympathy should not dampen your growth mindset. This is a great opportunity to position your brand as a desirable alternative.
Compare the decline of gyms to the emergence of home-based fitness brands like Peloton, or the closure of cinemas coinciding with the continued rise of streaming platforms. Identifying these gaps is one of the most difficult parts of formulating a strategy, so at a time where these are becoming more regular and prominent, it’s a golden opportunity to take full advantage and extend your website to promote any new offering.
Always look ahead – When we no doubt enter the new digital world post-Covid, how will your business’ online activity look?
Use this opportunity to develop what your website can deliver for you – maybe you need to improve your technical SEO to get found via search engines?
Perhaps you should tweak your website’s interface and user experience to help users find the information they need more easily? Maybe reconsider your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) strategy to encourage them to take an action such as make an enquiry or place an order? Maybe an entirely new website will deliver the rejuvenation your brand needs online and provide a fresh look and feel.
Don’t be short-sighted
It is short-sighted to assume the pause button has been hit and to put digital marketing on the back burner – when your competitors are quite possibly driving ahead here.
While strategies should be adjusted to account for the current situation, it is important that they are not simply abandoned. 2021 is a year where online innovation will remain fundamental to business success in lockdown and beyond.
Genesis has a proven track record of delivering brilliant new websites or giving existing ones a new lease of life. To fire up your online presence with a new strategy in 2021, please get in touch with us.