In these uncertain times, its important to keep on top of your website to help customers understand your businesses status during operating restrictions and prevent your website from losing customers and falling down in search results.

With any anxiety and worry that may be causing you to focus on other issues in your life, what simple measures can you take to ensure your website doesn’t get neglected and forgotten about by customers and Google alike?

If you need assistance updating your website to include any of the measures mentioned below, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Don’t fade away

If your business relies on new customers finding you on Google, its worth remembering that a website which hasn’t been updated for some while can begin to drop down in search results. At the very least, try to update some of your websites content so Google doesn’t think you’ve given up on it.

If you make any updates to your website, remember to re-submit to Google via Webmaster Tools so Google knows you’ve made changes sooner.

Keep people informed

Whatever your intentions are during times of restriction, be up-front and let people know. If you are to remain open, closed or operate limited hours, its important you say so. Its far better to tell customers you are closed intentionally, than let them assume maybe you have gone out of business for good. Or ofcourse, its just as bad for someone to assume your closed, when in fact you are open!

Update your website and your social media accounts with a message confirming if you are open or not. If you are open, what hours? If you usually operate from a premises that may remain closed, is there any way for people to get in touch such as a dedicated email address or phone number?

Don’t lose that enquiry

Even though you may not physically be able to offer your service at the moment, you can at least let a potential customer know that you are grateful for their enquiry and will be in touch as soon as possible.

As most of us will appreciate, there is nothing worse than leaving a message or sending an email and never hearing back for a month of Sundays.

If you cannot personally answer emails or phone calls, update your answer phone or email responder to thank someone for their message and remind them of your businesses operating hours and that you will reply as quickly as possible.

You should ensure your website GDPR Privacy Policy permits you to retain customer details with a view to contact them at a later date. If it doesn’t, update it to say so.

Store all enquiries in line with GDPR guidelines , and contact customers as soon as you are able to assist them.

Above all, make sure your website has a clear and obvious way for people to email you with an enquiry. The wording may vary depending on your operational status, but for example a business that is temporarily closed might have this message at the top of the home page;

“While we are temporarily closed, we are still looking forward to hearing from you. Please click here to get in touch and we’ll reply just as soon as we can”.

Update your Google Maps result

For many potential new customers, their first point of contact for your website or business online will be your Google Maps result. As standard, this will display your usual contact phone number and email, together with your normal opening hours.

Sign in to your Google account and edit your business details to reflect any new contact details and hours that you are operating.

This will alert customers to your current trading restrictions and prevent unnecessary trips to a closed premises or contacting a telephone number that may not currently be manned, thus avoiding any negative feedback or assumption your business is no longer trading.

Keep customers interest

Even though your business may not be trading currently or maybe just at a reduced level, you can still interact with your customers through a blog on your website, or posting on social media.

This keeps interest in your business alive, and reminds people that you are still ‘there’ with intentions to open again as soon as possible.

Post news on changes you are making or pictures of previous events or related subjects to keep momentum going.

Show you care

If you provide a service that involves interacting with customers or clients in any way, or a premises your customers may visit, update your website and social media to explain how you will be protecting staff and customers from risk of infection.

Explain about social distancing measures, sanitising procedures and any PPE you may be using. This will re-assure customers who may be worried about using your services and exposing themselves to any risks.

Re-opening? Shout it from the roof tops!

When the time comes for you to start up your business normally again, make sure you make it known.

Update your website and social media accounts as soon as possible prior to opening so your customers can prepare for contacting or visiting you.

Perhaps even run an offer to encourage people back.

A quirky post on social media with news you are opening again with some form of incentive will encourage others to like, share and comment on your post and help your message reach a new audience far and wide.

Remember to re-assure people of any measures you are taking to protect staff and customers or if your opening hours will be any different.

If you need any assistance updating your website to include any of the measures mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Wishing your business the very best of success and a positive future!