So, you’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm (congratulations!) and you’re about to reopen for business. You and your staff are raring to go, and you see plenty of opportunities for those who move fast.
But how’s your website looking? A little rough perhaps? This is your chance. A golden opportunity to make your website ready for the year ahead. Customers are already starting to return. Are they going to come out of isolation to find your website professional and reassuring?
Here are our top picks for easy website improvements. It’s time to get ready for the post-Coronavirus business world.
Quickly fix those niggling problems
Have you really looked at your website lately? It’s a bit like your home. You get used to it, and tend to gloss over those messy zones. But your visitors’ eyes quickly latch onto the grime you didn’t notice.
Even a well-maintained website needs a good hard look once in a while. Problems you haven’t even noticed can leave an unprofessional impression. What does that say about you and how you think of your clients?
Good news: many website bloopers are quick to take care of. Here’s our mini checklist of website problems that are simple to fix – but important to get right:
- Slow speed – Check if images are too large or consider better web hosting
- Broken links – Scan your website with this free tool to find any links on your site that aren’t working, then fix them
- Outdated contact details – Check your address, phone number and opening hours are all present and correct
- Menu errors – Ensure all important pages are clearly labelled and present in your main menu
It’s time to put your best digital foot forward right now. Business is picking up post-isolation. Take the opportunity to show your customers your professionalism.
Make website accessibility your post-Coronavirus business promise
An accessible website is one that’s designed to be easy to use for everyone. And as business reawakens, now is the time to make sure your website is useful for all.
Think about it for a moment. A huge segment of the population relies on the internet for business or shopping. This includes your potential customers.
But many of these potential customers live with a disability – be it visual, physical, cognitive or otherwise. In fact, they may rely on the internet even more than the general population.
So, if your website is hard for people with disabilities to use, you risk alienating some of your potential customer base.
What’s the solution? Just this: Adjust your website to make it easy to use. Make sure everybody feels welcome and comfortable.
Granted, website accessibility is a specialist field. There are technical guidelines to follow. You probably have to hire a consultant to help you out. But a lot of accessible design is just common sense. Most of the changes you’ll need are likely to be quite inexpensive and fast to put in place.
You could even land in legal hot water if you don’t ensure accessibility. Equality of access is a legal and human right in Australia, covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. Businesses that fail to make accommodations have faced penalties.
So make the effort. Show your customers that you have their interests at heart. Give them a good experience and they’ll want to come back next time, through isolation and beyond.
Tackle COVID-19 head on
Q: What’s at the front of your customers’ minds when they think about interacting with you?
A: “Is this safe?”
Bricks and mortar businesses are doing a fantastic job of responding to Coronavirus. They’re directing foot traffic, minimising contact and cleaning regularly.
But too few business websites are addressing COVID-19 directly. Judging by what they (don’t) say online, you might think it was business as usual.
Potential customers want to know: how are you dealing with the pandemic? They need to know how you’re keeping them safe, and how you’re treating your staff. They want reassurance and they want specifics.
Here’s what to say in your website Coronavirus statement:
- Acknowledge how difficult the situation is
- Thank your customers for their support
- Explain how you are keeping your customers safe in-store, by stating the specific actions you are taking
- Show how you are keeping your staff safe and prioritising their mental health
- Explain any business disruptions, such as changes to hours or delivery timeframes
If your business website has a prominent Coronavirus statement, it will stand out. It will send the message that you take health and safety seriously. Show how you are answering the question “Is this safe?”.
As people get ready to spend money again, it’s time to get your website ready for post isolation business. If you need help, reach out to TCC. We’d love to come alongside.