Many businesses have been thrown into the realization of the importance of their online presence during COVID-19. The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continue to contribute to stress and uncertainty for businesses of all kinds. Despite the confusion and consistently changing rules and guidelines, one thing remains certain-the growing importance of a website. Also, of critical importance is how the businesses website performs on search engines. Today, more than ever before, customers new and old are turning to the internet to connect with businesses, and a business needs to stand out among the competition.

Some companies are experiencing a significant rise in business, whereas others may have found the last few months to be a struggle. Regardless of which side of the pendulum a company falls, it is now the best time ever to review its website content and ensure it is optimized for the best SEO results. Below are seven things businesses can do to ensure their website content is up to date.

Ensure Your Homepage is Fresh

For better or worse, the homepage of a business website will be the first impression customers have. If a business is trying to attract new customers, it can be challenging to do so with out-of-date, stale company product and service information. Statistics show that almost forty percent of users will move on to another website if the content or layout of a business homepage is unattractive or challenging to navigate. Remember, giving a business website a fresh look does not require a complete redesign. Simple steps such as changing photos or a call-to-action, updating blog posts, or presenting a new promotion can work wonders. You can try adding new content, or changing banners as well.  Make sure you double check you links and keep your contact information up to date. If a business is new to updating their site, consulting a website design professional like Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage, Alaska can help provide direction and steps as to what can and should be updated or improved.

Remove Old and Outdated Content

If a site still contains old promotional material from several months ago or alludes to a “spring cleaning” sale that has long since ended, now is the time to remove old clutter. Clearing out past events, products, or services no longer offered and shutting down promotions that have ended help to alleviate confusion for customers. Customers may even mistakenly think that you have gone out of business during the pandemic if they notice your last updates are pre-COVID-19. Also, offering something that is no longer valid to a customer only causes frustration and difficulties for customers and business owners alike.

Update SEO Titles and Descriptions

Search engine optimization (SEO) is pivotal to business recognition in search engine results. If SEO is out of date, a business is unlikely to show up when a customer searches for specific products or services. SEO is not a “one-time thing” when it comes to business websites. It requires ongoing effort to maintain search ranking and outperform competitors in the market. The importance of high quality SEO keywords can not be overstated. Now is a great time to sort through a business website and add relevant keywords to the metadata. Not sure how to find relevant keywords? Contact Bianca Frank Design, and we can help!

Evaluate Website Navigation

If website users feel uncomfortable or adversely challenged when trying to navigate a website, they will go elsewhere. The simpler it is to navigate your site, the more likely a potential customer is to trust you and buy from your site. Presenting potential clients with clean, well-organized navigation will help streamline their experience and likely create a repeat (happy) customer. When adjusting site content, it is essential to keep “key” content easily accessible. Do not make the customer have to search for the information they are looking for. Key material should support essential business objectives and/or fulfill a users’ need. If content doesn’t meet one of these requirements, it may not be necessary to keep front and center on a website.

Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Multiple Content Delivery Options

During these strange times, many businesses are working to find new normal for business operations. This may mean having to think of new ways to engage their audience to stay relevant among competitors. If a business relied heavily on the face to face meetings or conferences, incorporating video content and virtual engagement may be an adequate new direction. You will need to learn the skills to create this content or hire professionals who can help you.Similarly, if a retail store is no longer receiving foot traffic due to stay at home orders, e-commerce is an excellent alternative option. There  are many ways to increase web traffic and use it to boost sales in much the same way that foot traffic could once help to boost brick and mortar sales.

Update Your Google My Business Local Profile

Google my business is imperative to grow your visual presence during COVID19 and beyond. The juice received from GMB pushes not only on-page SEO but also Google Maps. Also, GMB is a great way to obtain customer reviews which again gain trust from locals looking for your services. In fact, a majority of people polled say they have used google alone to decide on a purchase or service.

Online Reviews

Whether it’s GMB or Facebook, online reviews are a great way to build trust through the digital marketplace. The best way to gain reviews is to simply ask your clients directly. GMB has a short link that you can generate from your profile and send to your customers. People are sometimes nervous about asking for client feedback but these reviews are online gold. It’s worth pushing yourself to obtain these from clients.

If you have reviews online that are less than stellar, you need to take action. It is best to face it head on and address the directly. Try to resolve whatever complaints and issues you can. Be sure to mention if your business is under new management or ownership. New positive reviews will push the old ones further down and make them less likely to be seen, so focus on getting new, positive reviews.

Incorporate Calls-to-Action

Without a clearly defined call to action, website users are unlikely to engage in the way businesses want them to. Many small businesses, some data shows as high as 70%, lack a call to action on their home page. Companies looking for leads should add a form with a downloadable reward to inspire customers to provide contact information. Businesses looking for phone calls should add a “call now” button so users can quickly and easily call from their mobile devices. Make sure you are asking for the users business and giving them a reason to contact you.

Optimize Historical Content

Historical content on a website can serve a fresh new purpose with simple updates. Previously created blog posts can become relevant again with a fresh lead image, an updated date, and accurate updated information. Optimizing historical blog posts is a great way to link relevant external sources, which provides increased credibility to a business’s website. It also offers the opportunity to fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may have been missed the first time around.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to seek new ways to communicate with customers and continue to conduct business. Many companies have turned to online platforms as a means to continue to move products and maintain contact with their customer base. For this reason, companies need to keep their websites modernized, up-to-date, and easy to use. Businesses looking for ways to improve their digital presence during COVID-19 should start by looking at their websites. The simple but effective ideas presented above can help put a business website in a better position to receive higher search rankings and improve user experience. Business owners who are unsure of their next step should always look into a professional website design company like Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage, Alaska. Our years of web design experience can help ensure that a business website remains valuable and viable during these challenging business times. Is it time for a website redesign? If so, contact the best web designer in Anchorage for your web design needs.