COVID-19: What to do with your business’s website

With the growing concerns of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK, business owners up and down the country are worried about how this will impact their business, staff and livelihoods. Businesses may be unable to trade, unable to supply their products and services and some are literally not set up for anything like what we’ve all seen in the last few weeks. Many business owners don’t have a contingency plan, and many are in a panic.

We’ve been contacted by many of our clients, who've asked what they should do with their websites, how they can improve it to keep customers up to date or otherwise protect their business from danger. Here are our 3 top tips with what to do during the outbreak of COVID-19 with your business website.

Leave Your Website Where It Is – Don’t Take It Offline To Save Money

Even if you are self-isolating at home and unable to trade, our advice is to leave your website where it is.

You’ve spent years building your business and your online brand with customers knowing where to look for your products or services. You’ve planted seeds in the internet which will have well and truly started to grow firm roots out there in Google and other search engines.

By taking your website down, you will be effectively digging up the seeds and losing the valuable roots that those seeds will have grown in the soil allowing the space in the earth to be filled by someone else, namely a competitor. Alongside this, you’ll will lose your Google rankings that you’ve worked so hard to achieve over the years, so our advice is don’t take your website offline to save money, leave it where it is.

Are You Displaying A COVID-19 Statement On Your Website?

More than ever, your customers and potential new clients will be looking for an update of what is happening with your products and services as well as your own business. Customers are also looking for reassurance that you are still trading or prepared to open again when we are given the go ahead to open our doors again. They will be intrigued about how you’ve adapted as a business to continue supplying your products or services, so our advice is to tell them and to replicate this message on your company social media pages. They will also have more comfort that you are still trading which builds credibility which strengthens trust with your customers.

Open Up To New Markets Online

Let’s face it, the outbreak of COVID-19 has happened so quickly, and we’ve all had to adapt very fast indeed to a change in our lives but has your business moved with the times or are you having to adapt how you operate.

We’ve been working with a client recently who held regular face to face meetings with their clients and due to their own self-isolation and now the lock down that we’ve seen announced this week, they’ve had to adapt very fast and take their business online to offer their services via video conferencing. Of course, their customers have bought into their product or service, so they will naturally follow them and, given that other people will be potentially looking for new opportunities to explore hobbies or interests, they could be recommended very easily by their existing customers.

Is there a way that you could trade online and open yourselves up to explore new business opportunities further afield? There is a big wide world out there and by moving online, you could expand your business further. You could consider adding a shop to sell online via your website, adding a membership area for your customers to offer them an online portal to give them more value for money, offer online courses or classes. There are many ways businesses can expand their digital presence to bring in an income whilst they cannot trade physically face to face.

Whatever happens over the next few weeks, it’s key that you are seen online and don’t cut back on your marketing, even if you are tempted to do so.

By Simon Cox, Marketing Manager, Poppy Design Studio

Founded in June 2015, Poppy Design Studio are a website and graphic design agency based in the East Midlands, specialising in WordPress websites and graphic design. Director and Lead Designer Marie Baker has over 15 years of WordPress and graphic design experience and now oversees a team of seven in her growing business.