Hey, friend. How are you? Are you holding in there? We find ourselves in really crazy times and I want to start by saying the Swim team is wishing you and yours health and safety right now.
We’re doing everything we can to try to help our community right now. Especially small businesses. This includes things like shopping local when we can and offering advice to help businesses reach their consumer.
Now more than ever, people are searching for updated information on your company. They have questions that need answers. Is your business open? Have the hours changed? Who can I call with questions? The list goes on and on. In the last few days, the answers to these questions have changed daily if not hourly.
Here are three free things you can do right now to help customers connect with your business and get the most up-to-date information easily.
1. Update your Google My Business listing
First off, is your listing claimed? If not, do that. Right now. The benefits of having a claimed listing include showing up on Google Map searches, an increase in traffic, a higher rank in SERPs (search engine result page, like Google or Bing), and earned trust from customers.
A claimed listing also allows you to keep your customers up-to-date with how you’re operating your business in these uncertain times (especially crucial for our friends in the service industry). You can update your hours and let your audience know of any changes in your operation that they can easily find within a search results page. For example, here’s what Swim’s looks like. You can see if and when we’re open, contact information and even a post about how we’re responding to COVID-19:
If you’re wondering what best practices are for your listing during this time, Google has plenty of resources for you to use to make sure your online presence is optimized for your customers right now.
2. Increase your social media presence
Customers are online more than ever right now. I know I, for one, am scared to see my weekly report on screen time these days. This presents an opportunity. Now is the time for you to step up your social game. Post news updates about your company’s operations, reach out to your community, and get playful. Think of creative ways to engage with your community.
In Duluth, for example, a Facebook group was created called Virtual Duluth and it’s a place for individuals and businesses to post helpful information and share virtual events that anyone can tune into. The virtual events have ranged from Harry Potter trivia to yoga classes, crafting and tons more. It has been inspiring to see our community come together and offer each other resources to help stay sane while we practice social distancing.
3. Keep your website up-to-date
Chances are your customers are wondering if you’re open, if you’re still offering any sort of services, and what precautions you’re taking right now. This information should all be accessible on your website. Whether it be a pop-up, a blog post (hello!), or a banner on your homepage, make it easy for your customers to access all this information quickly and stay on it so that it’s up-to-date and accurate.
Lastly, we want to say thank you to the healthcare professionals, grocery store workers, EMS workers, and all the other essential service worker heroes that are going to work so that the world can stay home while still accessing essentials and crucial healthcare services during this time. We see you and we are so grateful for you. Thank you.
Stay safe, friends. We hope to see you soon.