The recent effects of the pandemic have hit all of us in different ways as we try to comply with new required policies and procedures. Like it or not we’re all learning to adapt and communicate with people online in new ways to stay connected.
The most helpful thing you can do right now is provide accurate information to your community while things are constantly changing. Here are some proactive ways to interact and keep people engaged.
Review your Google My Business profile
As your hours and operations change, make sure these are reflected on your Google My Business profile so people are receiving the most up-to-date information. In your Google My Business profile you can edit your hours or mark the newly created temporarily closed option, which will not effect your SEO ranking. You should also update any services that have been added or changed.
In response to recent events, Google has created a COVID-19 post section in every Google Business profile. In this area you can post updates and any information about temporary operation procedures.
Update your website
Your website should be your central hub with the most up-to-date information and messaging. Provide valuable content for people by making new policies front and center on your website. Developing timely information that’s easy for them to find will help your organization evolve as things change.
There are several effective ways to update your website with new content as your organization adapts to new regulations. Including a banner on your homepage and a dedicated landing page are great ways to convey new information as needed. Developing an FAQ section can also be a helpful way to address questions as they come up so people can find the answers they are looking for right away.
As you are updating your website, ensure your location, hours and phone numbers are all updated to reflect any changes. You should provide the most complete information about how your organization has been affected and how you are moving forward.
Work on your SEO
Using SEO best practices is more important than ever since people are exclusively searching online. Now is a good time to audit the content on your site to ensure it’s properly optimized so people can easily find you. Keyword research is the basis of an SEO strategy. Start by going through your key landing pages and identify keywords and phrases that you want those pages to rank for. Ensure the information on these pages coincides with the keywords you are trying to rank for in a natural way for readers.
It’s also important to refine your Metadata, which includes title tags and Meta descriptions on your site. Metadata allows search engines define what each page on your website portrays and are used as descriptions in search results. Each page should have unique Metadata that describes the purpose of that page using specific keywords and content from within the page.
Develop Google Ads campaigns
Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that can help you reach people while they are searching online. You can choose from a variety of ad setups including search ads, display network, shopping ads and video ads on YouTube. Google Ads helps boost your ranking through targeted campaigns based on your organization’s goals.
Because of recent events Google is offering ad credits for small and medium-sized businesses to help them stay in touch with people while we are spending more time at home. These credits can be used towards future ad spend until the end of 2020 and will be rolled out starting late May. The ad credit amount is dependent on past Google Ad spend and can be used across all Google platforms.
Reach out by email
Reach out to your community directly to provide information and drive people to your website to learn more about any changes. Use your emails as a way to stay in touch with helpful updates. Use caution when sending an email to ensure you are not sending irrelevant or sales heavy messaging. Your content should be carefully curated to provide value and support.
Focus your messaging on any updates you need to give your audience and approach topics with sensitivity. Be transparent with people about how you will continue to operate and how these changes will affect them. Include timely content or articles to help educate people on new policies as they develop.
Engage with social media
Let your followers know how you will continue to support them by outlining any changes and additional services on social media. This will in-turn allow people to support you as we all navigate our way through this situation. Use your current social media platforms as instant channels of communication and guide your audience to more resources on your website. Use social media to actively engage by also sharing relevant community news and updates.
Facebook has developed a grants program to provide some financial support to organizations that have been disrupted by recent events. They are currently offering cash grants and ad credits to eligible businesses that apply to the program. Facebook has also launched a resource hub with helpful tips and trainings to keep organizations moving forward.
At Greenleaf Media, we’re here to support you navigate digital marketing and develop online communication strategies.