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5 Ways to Prepare Your Website for Post-COVID-19

As Churchill once said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and COVID-19 has certainly been the perfect storm for eCommerce. It is suddenly a reality for millions of businesses who may not have had online selling on their radar prior to the pandemic. In short, the world is going through a digital transformation.

While many businesses (particularly tourism and travel companies) have been negatively affected, the eCommerce industry has received exponential growth while people are purchasing their essentials and other goods online. Buyers have completely changed priorities in what they buy, what they stock, and what purchases they de-prioritise.

Although things will return to a “new normal” soon enough, there will most likely be a few long-term changes too, including a shift towards working from home, food delivery, and eCommerce in general.

While South Africa is still in the thick of the pandemic, now is the perfect time to restructure and improve your site’s SEO and content for an impending influx of customers. We take a look at how businesses need to prepare and adapt their e-Commerce and SEO strategy to succeed post-COVID-19.

1. Technical SEO Audit

Think of a technical SEO audit as your ‘home improvement’ during lockdown; it’s just on your website and not your actual house. It’s one of the best ways to ensure your website is optimised for when your traffic rate increases again.

What is a technical audit? It requires going through your entire site to pinpoint current errors and make improvements. We look into the current structure, site mapping, tags, 404 link errors and any other content issues you might have.

2. Optimise for Mobile 

Did you know that most users interact on their smartphones? As a result, Google has announced it will now prioritise your site’s performance on mobile devices before desktops. So, if your site is not yet optimised for mobile, now is a great time to do this. It might mean that you’ll need a different design and layout, but it’s a very important step considering that this is where Google will index you first.

3. Consider a Website Redesign

Take a look at your website design and consider if it needs an update to improve the UX and keep your site looking fresh. Your website is your ‘storefront’ and creates an immediate and lasting impression on your customers, so it’s extremely important to have a professionally designed website to create trust from the beginning.

4. Continue Content Marketing

Even if business is slow at the moment, keep investing in content marketing to reap the rewards later.  It’s crucial to consider a long-term strategy so that once our country manages to overcome this hurdle, your company has a solid foundation and is ready and waiting to welcome new customers. This is bound to give you an advantage against your competitors.

Continuous, fresh and relevant content will boost your SEO, website traffic, click-through-rates, and higher rankings thanks to Google’s Freshness Algorithm.

A hard sales push might be overlooked by customers who have been hard-hit financially during these tough economic times. Use this time to build brand trust, awareness and loyalty, and they will come to you once things return to normal.

5. Build Your Database 

Focus on building your database and email subscriber list, which will help generate leads in the future. You can keep your customers engaged by sending regular newsletters. Keep in mind that your newsletter should always provide value that extends beyond sales and promotions. “How to” content is particularly effective. For example, if your business is a coffee shop, and your doors are currently closed due to COVID-19, you can give your customers advice on how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home. This positions you as an expert in your industry and keeps your brand top of mind so that they will return to your shop once it opens again.

Use this ‘down time’ to your advantage

There’s no better time to improve your website or online store, and come out even stronger on the other side. If you’re not sure where to start, or maybe you just want some advice on where your site can improve, give us a call. We are very happy to help, whether you’re looking for a once-off small business SEO package or all the bells and whistles with our full range of  digital marketing services.