With most countries going under lockdown, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to survive. Small, medium and even large businesses have financial burdens on them. The human race has faced pandemics before, but have never encountered a pandemic that does affect not only human health but also the global economy.
Since only essential shops such as pharmacies and grocery stores are open, it has become difficult for businesses in different sectors or niches to operate. Getting your business through the Covid-19 pandemic is not going to be easy, and it can be very stressful to entrepreneurs and employees, but not everything is dull and gloom, you can use the time this pandemic has given you to improve the digital side of your business.
In this article, you are going to find many tips on how you can improve your online business, so please continue reading as this will not only help your business survive the pandemic but help it grow.
Improving Your Online Business During Covid-19
There are many ways you can improve the digital side of your business, and we plan to cover all of them. We are going to provide you with tips on how you can increase your online business during a global pandemic. These tips can be used for businesses of all sizes; it does not matter in which sector you are as long as your business does not involve heavy-duty manual labour such as construction. But even professionals such as constructors, architects, interior designers etc. can improve their businesses online presence. Improving your businesses online presence now might not help your business during the pandemic, but it will definitely help you once we get through this.
1. Creating A Website
By creating a website, you give your business an online presence, instead of your business just reacting to a few hundred people, it will interact with thousands, and in some cases, millions of people. A lot of people have started to spend their time online because of Covid-19, the numbers were pretty high even before the virus, but the virus has made that number grow even more.
Especially since there is little to no physical interaction because of the lockdown, it makes it crucial for your business to interact with their client and prospective clients online.
Step 1: Choose And Register Your Domain Name
The first thing you would have to do is obviously to create your own business website, if you already have an active website, please proceed to the next tip. The domain name you choose will be the website’s name and URL (link), for example, our domain name is www.ozias.com. Users on Google or other search engines and browsers can then use this link to visit your website.
You can register these domain names on popular websites such as GoDaddy and other Domain registration websites. The cost of the domain would vary on the type of domain you buy, for example, .com domains and costlier than .in websites.
Step 2: Choose Your Web Hosting Service
Once you have chosen a domain name and registered it, the next step is to select your web hosting service. Web hosting services store and host your website’s data on a secure server and make it available to a user whenever he or she visits your website. It is essential to choose a good web hosting service as selecting a bad one would affect the quality of your website and affect the visitor’s experience, such an experience is not only bad for the visitor, but for the website as well. A website that provides a bad user experience is likely to rank really low on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page). You will learn more about this in the SEO section.
Whichever hosting service you choose, ensure that they have the following features:
- Domain Name With SSL
- Custom Email Accounts
- High Bandwidth
- Easy WordPress Installation
Step 3: Create A WordPress Account
WordPress is one of the easiest tools you can use to create and personalize your website. There are other tools available as well, but we would recommend using WordPress. WordPress, for the most part, is free, but there are a few things you would need to pay for, for example, a premium theme or tool.
The procedure to set up WordPress in any hosting service is similar, but since a lot of people use Bluehost, we will provide a step by step guide for Bluehost users.
- Log in to Bluehost
- Click on “my sites” followed by “create site”
- Add your details, after which WordPress would start to install.
- Once WordPress is installed, it will provide you with your login detail which you can use whenever you want to use WordPress.
- Once you have the details, you would want to ensure that your website is working correctly, for this just enter your URL to the address bar of the browser and press enter.
- Besides the URL, you will find a lock icon; the icon indicates that your website is safe to visit and that visiting this website would not harm the computer. Most users do not visit websites that do not have an SSL certificate.
Step 4: Personalize Your Website
Once you have set up WordPress, you can use it to customize your website. You can add a theme to your website, an icon, and design how a page looks. If you find it a little confusing, you can also add a premade design and format it until you get the hang of the website editing tool. WordPress also provides you with the option of adding plugins which you can use to enhance the user experience, improve your website and improve other factors of the website.
Once you are happy with the way your website looks, you can start adding content to it, whether that content is about a particular topic for the blog on your website or just simple content about your website’s products or services. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you are adding content; you can find all of these factors in the SEO section.
2. Performing Search Engine Optimization
I may have mentioned SEO a lot of times in this article already, but that is because a website without SEO is as good as not having a website. You have put in a lot of effort into creating your website, and it would be a shame if a lot of people did not visit it. This is where SEO or Search Engine Optimization comes in. In SEO, we optimize the website to help it rank on search engines such as Google. Your website will be shown on Google and other search engines when a user searches for a query that is similar to the content of the website.
When you search for something on Google, it takes you to a page where you will find a list of 10 websites that show content similar to the keyword you inserted on Google. For example, when you search for Covid-19 updates on Google, you would receive a list of news websites that are providing you with updates on the virus. This page is known as the SERP or the Search engine Results Page, and the results change based on your location. To make your website rank for a particular keyword, you have to keep a few things in mind.
A. Keywords Research
Before you start writing content for your website, ensure that you have researched the keywords for the content. Target Keywords that are very relevant to your website and keywords that have a high search volume. There are a lot of people who add content to their blog without doing any keywords research. They later get disappointed when nobody visits their website because of which they quit.
Besides targeting keywords that have a high volume, it is also essential to target long-tail keywords and keywords that have low volume. Why do you ask? This is because a lot of websites target keywords with large volumes which makes it very difficult to rank for that particular keyword. On the other hand, long-tail keywords and keywords with lower volume are more comfortable to rank for comparatively. This is because not a lot of people target keywords that are long or have low volume.
This is the most essential part of the website. Content is important because this is where a lot of people spend most of their time reading. Your content should be simple to understand, yet it should be able to capture the mind of the reader. Your content should not be concise, yet it should not be extremely long and tedious. The most crucial part is that your content should be relevant to the keywords you are targeting. The relevancy of the content to the keyword plays an essential role in how high up your website ranks.
You should also check the keyword density of the content you have written. Keyword density is the number of times you have mentioned the keyword divided by the number of words you have written in the article multiplied by 100. The keyword density should be around 0.5 to 1.5, that means, on average, you should mention the keyword once every 100 words. Keeping all of this mind just ensure that your content is helpful to the user.
Nobody likes to read plain text when they are reading an article. I still remember how I enjoyed reading school books when compared to college books. The lack of pictures in most college books just made it very dull to read. Images give the reader a break from reading continuously and change the scenario a little bit. The only type of content where I would suggest to avoid a lot of images is when the topic is something serious. If you were writing an article on law or crime, you would like a more serious tone to the article and avoid adding a lot of images unless it is necessary to add the photos.
Also to make it a point to add alt text or alternate text to the images. You can add the alt text on WordPress, when you are in the editor, click on the image, once you have done that you should be able to find an alt text box on the right side of your screen. Alt text helps the images you use to rank for a particular keyword, which is another way your website might get visitors.
D. Page URL
The page URL is your domain name + the title of your page. For our blog page’s URL is ozias.co/blog. You can edit the name URL of your page by clicking on the permalink section on WordPress. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you are editing the pages URL.
- Your primary keyword should be present in the URL.
- Try to keep your URL as short as possible.
Another thing to keep in mind when you add content is to interlink the pages. When you create content, try linking it to similar content. Why is interlinking important? We have something known as the link juice in SEO; link juice helps your website rank higher. So when you interlink all your pages, you are passing on that link juice to all your pages and therefore helping those pages rank.
SEO keeps changing weekly, yearly, monthly you could look at some of the significant changes that are taking place in SEO in 2020.
3. Social Profile Optimization
I believe that optimizing your companies social profiles will be of more significant help during this pandemic than SEO, but that does not mean that you should ignore SEO. The reason I say this is because SEO is a long term project, while social profiles don’t take as long, and you can speed the process up by placing social media ads. Another reason why I believe optimizing social profiles is the way to go ahead is because of the amount of time spent by individuals on social media during the lockdown.
This gives you a high chance of interacting with people and growing your social media and online presence. Optimizing your social profiles will also help your businesses growth during the pandemic. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are managing your social media accounts.
A. Fill Out All The Details Requires
This might seem like a stupid point, but there are a lot of companies and brands out there that do not fill in all of their details. By filling out all the details, you improve the brand association and add value to your follower’s experience. When you are filling in all the details, ensure that you don’t write gibberish. Make your sentences clear and concise. Explain what your brand does, mention your client’s feedback and add a call to action to make the profile a little more engaging.
When you are handling your social media account, ensure that your images are of the correct size. Images are a great source of adding content to your social media account. You see a lot of brands creating memes and making relevant images which makes the followers interact with the brand. The best scenario is when your followers like the image you have posted so much that they tag their friends and colleagues, increasing the number of interactions with the post.
You should use the same profile picture in all your social media accounts so that it becomes easier for your followers to find you on a social media platform. These are the preferred sizes of images that you use in social media accounts:
- Facebook profile picture: 170 X 170 pixels
- Facebook cover photo: 828 X 465 pixels
- LinkedIn profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels (minimum)
- LinkedIn custom background: 1584 X 396
- LinkedIn cover photo: 974 X 330 pixels
- LinkedIn banner image: 646 X 220 pixels
- Twitter profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels
- Twitter header image: 1,500 X 500 pixels
- Instagram profile picture: 110 X 110 pixels
- Pinterest profile picture: 150 X 150 pixels
- YouTube profile picture: 800 X 800 pixels
- YouTube cover photo: 2,560 X 1,440 pixels on desktop
- Google+ profile picture: 250 X 250 pixels (minimum)
- Google+ cover photo: 1080 X 608 pixels
Another essential thing you should keep in mind is to cross-link your accounts. For example, on your Facebook profile, you should mention that your followers can also follow you on Instagram, Linkedin and other social media platforms. Also, mention your website in your social profile. This will increase your followers on all the social media platforms. You could sometimes also create content that would only be available on one social media platform; for example, you could create an interactive video and ask your Facebook followers to see it on Instagram. If you are in a field where there is a lot of information, you could also have live sessions, and mention how this live section would only be available on Facebook or Youtube.
D. Get Verified
Ever noticed a blue tick next to certain social media accounts? The blue ticks mean that the social media platform has verified their accounts. The blue tick makes users trust your account instantly. There are a lot of people out there who might create fake accounts with similar names to your company to try and grab followers, but once you have that blue tick next to your account, you can expect to see a growth in the number of followers you have.
E. Consistent handles
All social media accounts have @ next to their names. Try keeping the names on all social media accounts. This makes it easier for users to find your account. There are times when users want to tag a brand, and the first few letters they will type when they want to tag your brand is “@” followed by the first few letters in your account. Keeping a consistent and straightforward handle makes it easier for your followers to tag and interact with you, which further enhances the reach of your brand.
4. Improving Brand Awareness
The best way to improve your brand awareness during the pandemic would be to promote your brand on social media and Google. You can do this using Google Ads and Facebook Ads. As I mentioned before, a lot of people are spending time on social media during the pandemic. This makes promoting your brand on social media one of the best ways. Whether you are doing SEO or optimizing your social profiles, these are methods that produce excellent results but take a lot of time and effort before they can show these results.
Using Ads on Google and Facebook, on the other hand, are more expensive, but they are faster. On youtube, an ad is shown before every video, on Facebook, an ad is shown after every 5-8 posts or 3-4 videos. Some of the ads on Youtube can’t be skipped, therefore improving the awareness of your brand. Even if the ads are skippable, the audience can remember the brand when the ads keep getting repeated. At some point, it may even irritate the user, but they will remember the name of your company and that is improving your brand awareness.
These are a few methods we believe will help your business get through this pandemic. Some of these methods may not necessarily show immediate results, but they will show results eventually. Times are hard, but it is essential to stay patient and believe in your plan. If you enjoyed reading this and found the article helpful, you could follow our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google, where we will update you with all our latest post and other exciting content. We will see you in our next post until then stay home and stay safe.