person doing home shopping with her laptop and credit card on the kitchen table

Keeping online businesses alive during COVID

By The Branding Agency

Little did any of us know in early 2020, all of our collective futures would take such an unprecedented turn. Many of us buckled down for what we thought would be a somewhat short disruption to our day-to-day lives and modifications to how we run our businesses. But, as the weeks turned to months—and the months have now passed the one-year mark—we’re beginning to understand the impacts this global pandemic will have on the future of doing business.

To stay afloat during these uncertain times, we as business owners will need to make some changes. Especially with the ongoing closures or restrictions on their physical stores!

Although it may feel overwhelming, there are some simple things you can do now to save money, strengthen your online business, and build greater success. The root of it all lies in creating and maintaining a stronger online presence. For even the most traditional business owners, this is doable—if you have a website, you’re already on the right track.

So the pressure is now on retailers’ new primary stores — their e-commerce sites — to not only sell inventory and generate revenue, but also to support, inform, and reassure customers along the way.

To help grow and evolve with today’s changing business landscape, there are several simple strategies you can employ to keep you on track and moving in the right direction. Here’s how to get started.

Do an internal audit


How has it been going these past few months? What business changes have you already put into action? What’s working for your business and what’s not?

These are hard questions to ask, but by doing so you can get some important info: Specifically, insight into your online businesses’ priorities and pain points.

Next, take a look at your branding: Look at how you're portraying yourself and your services to potential clients. Are there any messages that could be negatively impacting your business or customer experience? If so, prioritize rebranding into your game plan. This might mean adjusting your client messaging to include a reference to COVID-safe business practices, or newly updated online services (like video conferencing or enhanced web services).

Assess and optimize your services


Another important area to explore is how your current site is servicing clients. Is it fast enough? And are you offering the best possible client experience?

This can be especially difficult if you aren’t well-versed in online marketing. Partnering with a good agency can help you get the information you need to figure out if your site needs just a few minor tweaks or if a more robust overhaul is necessary. Skilled pros can help you figure out what work you might need to ensure your site is running smoothly—and reaching customers. Additionally, finding an agency with an in-house Wordpress web developer with strong SEO (search engine optimization) services is key. They can help you properly:

  • Review your site content or structure for any potential negative issues
  • Offer technical advice on website development (and if you may have any error pages)
  • Ensure you’re hitting key markets and geographies
  • Assess how your brand is performing
  • Figure out the best and most economical ways to optimize and boost your site metrics
  • Review your customer service experience and/or online shop experience

Think about your creative and media campaign strategies


You may have a great website and spot-on messaging, but if no one is getting to your site, no one is seeing your business. As you review your online assets, you’ll also need to look at how your ad creative and media campaigns are performing.

Today, more than ever, it is important that your messaging be consistent and trustworthy—and meet your clients wherever they are. You may need to revisit and update your media messaging to ensure language matches current times.

Additionally, you should consider prioritizing where and when your messages are being delivered. Hone in on where you’ll have the most impact and find more customers needing your services and streamline your campaigns to hit those targets. This may not be the best time for testing new markets. Instead, start by prioritizing efforts and funds into online marketing campaigns that can make the most impact.

Make sure your content delivery and client services are running smoothly


Tech and client support go hand in hand. Without good tech, your site can’t reach and best support your customers. As you’re reviewing your site, make sure you’re able to handle existing or increased volume. Without it, you’re setting yourself up to fail. The following checklist can help make sure you are running effectively and efficiently.

  • Make sure your content delivery network (CDN), like Google Cloud, has settings that allow for faster requests.
  • Consider adopting http-caching to improve page load times (this helps your return users and reduce server load)
  • Boost your site speed. How? Compress images and text. Go a step further and use a font-display swap, so customers can read your site content—even if the font doesn’t load quickly.
  • Give your website regular speed check-ups. You can do this with Google tools like Test My Site or PageSpeed Insights.
Need more information and support your online business?

If you have questions or need help—please give The Branding Agency, Charlotte NC a call at 704-800-7413. Our long-standing experience with online and digital marketing can help you through these challenging times and find effective and budget-friendly ways to boost your business. We invite you to reach out for a persoanlized phone consultation!