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3 Tips on how your website can serve you in times of rapid change

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the economic landscape as we know it. As a business owner, it’s critical to quickly update and pivot as your audience is looking online first to check the state of your business. This event is changing how consumers engage with businesses, and the behaviour and expectations we’re seeing now will remain after the pandemic is over.

To communicate effectively with your audience, it’s important to have full control of your website while still being mindful of scalability, and that starts with having a strong foundation for your website. Here are the three tips on how to get the most out of your website during the current situation.

1. Less is more

Templates allow you to scale your website quickly and easily. These building blocks range from single widgets and sections to entire pages. We can use the “header” and “footer” template as a perfect example – if we want to make changes to our website’s header and footer, we simply modify the template and the changes are immediately applied across our website.

Re-working your website to leverage the utility of templates is a great example of how COVID-19 can push you to make lasting improvements that benefit your business and your customers. Consider that, right now, having a small notice about your company’s COVID-19 response on each page of your website is considered to be a best practice.

Manually adding that notice to each page might not sound like a big deal if your website only has three or four pages, but if you’ve got tens or even hundreds of pages in your website, what should be a simple task quickly turns into tedious drudgery – which makes it more likely to be be put off or not completed at all.

The simplicity and ease of site management that templates offer is why they’re such an integral part of how we build client websites here at ElementIQ. Consider how templates were used in the following projects:

Solus Decor manages nearly 30 products without any stress.

Solus Decor has close to 30 products that they manage. Their website needs to be scalable to accommodate this expansive range of products, and carefully planned website architecture has helped it to achieve that.

ElementIQ uses section template to simultaneously update our services across the website.

Here’s the template we use to outline our services. This section is repeated on each of our website’s service pages. If we add or modify a service, we can simply edit this section and the changes will be applied across the website.

2. Communication is key

People come to your website to get information. With all the uncertainty and changing regulations that COVID-19 has brought, people want to find out if your business is open and whether you’ve adjusted your hours.

There’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution, but generally a top banner message above the fold, a popup, and a dedicated COVID-19 page are helpfully informative additions to a site. Make sure to have a call-to-action that precisely guides your audience on how they can continue to be engaged with your business.

Lawson Dentistry entry page pop-up enables the business to communicate important information about the change in the business operation due to COVID-19.

3. Pivot to serve your audience

Many people are sitting on the sidelines waiting for this pandemic to be over so that they can get back to their pre-pandemic routines. The reality, though, is that things will be different, and that includes the ways in which people engage with businesses.

Human beings are adaptable creatures, and we’re already adjusting how we consume and connect with others. In response, businesses need to keep pace with these adjustments instead of idly waiting for a return to normality. It’s not as difficult as it sounds: just step back and look at your business from the perspective of your customers, then start working on a plan that pivots your business to better serve their needs.

Since your customers are confined to their homes, your website needs to be an integral part of your pivot. That could be in the form of a major shift in the buying process, like adding e-commerce capabilities, or something equally important but less extensive, like providing information bulletins and online scheduling.

As so many businesses find themselves jumping into the world of online-based digital service for the first time, there’s an opportunity for savvy business owners to win over customers and seize market share by simply doing a better job of giving customers what they want. Here’s how we’ve helped some of our clients to pivot:

We helped Lombardo’s Pizzeria to implement an online order platform as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown began.

Within days of the pandemic lockdown in Vancouver, we were able to set up an online ordering system for Lomdardo’s Pizzeria. Not only did we visit the client’s restaurant to help their staff implement the new workflow, but we also made sure that we took plenty of high-quality photos that we could use to create compelling social content and display advertisements.

The upshot? Customers are now well-aware that Lombardo’s is open and accepting online orders, and Lombardo’s now enjoys a direct method of serving customers that saves them from paying transaction fees to delivery apps.

We helped LA Dental Clinic to implement virtual consultation to service their existing patients and get new patients.

The dental industry has suffered tremendously due to the COVID-19 lockdown, with countless clinics being forced to close or limit themselves to non-elective procedures. Hoping to ease the burden on hospitals and other primary care centres, LA Dental Clinic bravely chose to continue providing their communities with emergency dental treatment.

By adding clear and prominent messaging to their websites and online profiles, we helped patients understand what services were available and how to access those services. This has allowed LA Dental Clinic to build stronger rapport with their existing patients and develop new relationships with patients who came in for emergency procedures, all while projecting an image of selflessness and service to the broader community.

Has your business been impacted by COVID-19? We can help.

It’s a difficult time, especially for small to medium-sized businesses, but people are more supportive of local businesses than ever before. At the same time, pandemic restrictions have given many quarantined people the impression that a sizable number of businesses have shut down, which simply isn’t true.

Businesses are starting to find creative ways to serve their customers, and an increasing number of people are seeking – and expecting to find – information and service online. That’s precisely why it’s now crucial for businesses to focus on all their online customer interactions – the bar has been raised when it comes to digital service, and businesses that don’t take heed are going to lose out.

If your business has been impacted by the pandemic and needs to improve its digital presence, send us a message below. We’ll work with you to develop a solution that satisfies the needs of your customers and your business.

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