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From our friends at Answer Media

How has the Coronavirus Pandemic Affected Web Marketing?

Suddenly, traditional brick and mortar businesses can’t rely on foot traffic. The COVID-19 outbreak means that small businesses must use online tools to focus on their target audiences, who will be spending more time online in the weeks and months to come, and who will want to do business with those companies that are able to most quickly and flexibly adapt to the “new normal”.

Now’s the time to get your web presence in order, and to start enabling more contacts through your website and social media networks.

Here are the five web-building activities we recommend during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Launch a simple website

Your website is the  foundation of your online presence. Your small business doesn’t need to have a complex website, and you can create a basic one in just a few hours using WordPress or other website builders. A web agency can help you source and adapts an advanced WordPress theme for a ew thousand dollars, a huge savings over larger, custom-designed websites.

Key is to make sure you have a page for each service that you provide, to allow for keyword optimization of pages on the site, so you can get found in search.

2. Claim or build your Google My Business profile

Potential customers are relying on web search now more than ever to find local business. By creating a Google My Business account, you can display your business hours, address, posts, photos, and even reviews across Google search and Google Maps. This is also the best way to ensure that all your data is correct in Google search.

If you’re already running Google My Business for your business, be sure to update any of your business operations if they’re changed by  the coronavirus outbreak. That includes updating your business hours and phone number, and posting a notice about any changes your customers should know about your business’s operations with respect to COVID-19.

3. Be social

Some prospects will turn to Google and eventually to your website for matched search results, but many others may try to find your most recent posts on Facebook or Twitter. If they can’t find you on social media, they’re less likely to trust your business, or to understand your current business policies. Be sure to create a business page on Facebook and give your customers a periodic update so that they know your business is still open.

4. Market products using Google Merchant Center

Traditional retail is struggling now, with fewer retail visits than at any time in our history. But online sales channels are alive and well. To start selling your products online, create a Google Merchant Center account and upload your first products online. Google allows you to maintain your product inventory, and to use an automated product feed to help keep your products, prices, and other product information updated on Google.

Once your first products are online, be sure to regularly optimize your Google shopping feed by following simple best practices for product titles, descriptions, images, and taxonomy to ensure that searchers can easily find your products online.

5. Online Advertising – More Affordable Than Ever

Online advertising through the Google network and other channels is the most direct and expedient way to build qualified leads and generate prospects and sales online.

  • Google Ads: Reach customers as they search online for your keywords and pay only when interested customers click on your ads! Additionally, you can reach your ideal audiences across Google Maps, display ads, Gmail, and YouTube.
  • Microsoft Advertising: Expand your reach to the second largest search engine in the United States, with 36% of the desktop market share. Many advertisers see even cheaper clicks on Microsoft Advertising than on Google.
  • Facebook ads: With over 70% of the US online population on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook ads is the largest opportunity to get reach your audiences on social media. Facebook advertisers can wide, diverse audiences at low costs.
  • A great local directory for Hinesburg, VT-area businesses. Any local directory can be a good source of “backlinks that validate your website for WHAT YOU DO and WHERE YOU DO IT.

All of the above steps to getting your business online and effectively marketing your company during the COVID-19 pandemic are things you can do on your own, but, as with everything, we at Answer Media have the expertise to consult with you on these tactics and to develop a strategy that works especially for you. We can help with the heavy lifting and the nitty-gritty marketing details. Contact us today for more information.