During this uncertain and tumultuous time, we are all experiencing some form of anxiety. As a small business owner, you may feel that pressure immensely. You may be wondering where the silver lining can be found in this situation. As a small business owner, I have also asked this question.
There are resources available to business owners that can help you navigate the situation at hand. I will be sharing some of these resources and how they can benefit your business. I am confident that as we weather this storm together and take the necessary steps to protect our business, we will be able to come out the other side with an opportunity for growth and prosperity.
Google: COVID-19 Information & Resources
Google has developed a website that provides resources for business and individuals as they navigate this uncertain time. Google’s website provides educational resources, prevention tips and local resources.
Google’s website is divided into several sections that allows a user to easily navigate to the information that they require. These sections are as follows:
- Health information
- Safety and prevention tips
- Data and insights
- Resources (educational and local)
- Links to donate to relief efforts
- Latest news from Google’s blog
Accessing Google’s COVID-19 updates is as easy as searching Google’s COVID-19 website in Google.
Google Search Trends
As people are self-isolating and working from home, you can expect that search trends for e-commerce websites are increasing. This unique situation presents an opportunity for growth into the e-commerce space.
Amazon is the 5th most searched term in the US; according to ABC News. If you can sell a product that people will need (i.e. bedding, furniture etc.), or are willing to spend money on (i.e. convenience products) right now. This your opportunity to expand.
Business Resources from Scaling Up
As a small business owner, I have read many sources of knowledge that have helped me in my business ventures. One of the resources that I have used throughout my 14 years in business is “Scaling Up” from author Verne Harnish and his team.
The team at Scaling up have outlined sources that will be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. As you learn to navigate this new world consider reading up on these resources:
Leading During A Crisis
As a business owner, you are at the forefront of the company, the way you react to this crisis will ultimately affect your business and employees. You can take this opportunity to learn better ways to lead your team and prosper your business.
Providing your employees with all the resources necessary to make the transition from an office to working remotely is key to ensuring there is no disruption in the quality of your service. Implementing work from home strategies will put your business in the correct position for prosperity during this time.
Virtual meetings are essential during this time and there are tools at your disposal to make them better. Not only do virtual meetings connect you to your clients, they can also connect you to your employees. Daily meetings can help you connect easily with your employees, providing them with necessary information, while also keeping up office culture.
Support for Businesses
The Canadian government has provided small businesses with resources to help them navigate this difficult time. Take advantage of these resources at your disposal, they can help you stay afloat during this time.
The Government of Canada website outlines resources available to Canadian businesses; such as supports in place for employees and businesses. The Business Development Bank of Canada has outlines resources available for entrepreneurs such as the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).
Ultimately, you want to use all the tools available, to propel your business forward. Constantly learning and willingly shifting the direction of your business will put you in a better position at the end of this crisis.
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Google Ads
With everyone at home; self-isolating, there is going to be an increase in the search volume for certain keywords. There are 7 industries; according to WordStream, that are benefiting from everyone moving into an online world. The 7 industries are as follows:
- Non-profits and charities
- Health and medical
- Business management
- Remote working (office supplies)
- Packing and shipping supplies
- Beauty and personal care
- On-demand media
- Greetings, gifts and flowers
These 7 industries can take the opportunity to expand on their products and services online.
Other Industries that COVID-19 Has Impacted
Home improvement search volume is generally low in March, but the longer we stay indoors, the more likely we are to see flaws in our home and determine what is necessary to make the home more enjoyable. This can eventually cause a surge in home improvement searches. Take this time to improve your website, make it user friendly so when potential clients do come searching for home improvement ideas, they turn to you.
Home furniture is also seeing a surge in search volume. As people are indoors, they want to ensure their home is as comfortable as possible. This may be a great opportunity to develop an e-commerce website.
As people have more free time on their hands, they will also want to take the opportunity to learn. E-learning and training has seen an increase of 8-10%. If you are in the education industry take this time to ramp up your online courses and training programs.
What about the Rest of Us?
Other industries should not fret, take this time to work on your business. Work on your processes (i.e. efficiency, training etc.), online presence and customer service. Use this time to do research on your clients and what they may need now and in the future. When we all come out of this, we will be in a better position to meet the needs of our clients.
Should You Consider Stopping SEO?
As a digital marketing firm that provides SEO Services, we have received this question from many of our clients. The answer is no. SEO is not something that you can turn on and off at a whim. Being able to rank high on google depends on the continuous optimization of your website and content.
Here are 5 reasons why you should not stop your SEO:
- Search engine marketing (SEM) can produce cash
- SEM reaches the consumer when they are in need, therefore you can get leads
- Search is measurable
- You can easily see, where you are ranking in relation to other keywords
- When there is scarcity, people search
- People will search for the products and services that they need, use SEO to rank high
- People still need products and services
- Regardless of our situation we all need products and services
- Things will get back to Normal
- SEO is the easiest way to reach consumers regardless of their situation
You want to take this opportunity to increase your keyword research, so that you are in a better position at the end of this. Take this opportunity to create a campaign that will benefit you for years to come. At the end of this crisis, when people are searching for contemporary landscaping ideas, you want to show up as number one, and this can only be achieved by continuous optimization.
Updating Your Google My Business Page
As a business owner you may be wondering how you can communicate with your clients. This is when a resource like Google My Business comes in handy.
Using Google My Business correctly, will be an excellent source of information for your clients and potential clients, as it will be the first source of information that a client sees. Therefore, you want to keep this updated with all pertinent information.
Here are a few ways that you can use Google My Business to keep your clients informed.
- Update your business hours accordingly
- Updated your business hours as necessary.
- Update business description
- Take this opportunity to share with your clients what you are doing during this time.
- Inform clients of any precautions that you will implementing, changes to hours or locations of your services
- Create a post
- Create a post as a way of sharing more detailed information.
- Will your employees be working from home, but they will still have access to phones and computers? Let your clients know that you can still be reached. If you can help in any way, do so.
- Create a pop up on your website that directs people to a longer blog that informs clients about the steps that you are taking. Your Google My Business post can be linked to this blog so clients can get detailed information about what you are doing in the click of a button.
- Update contact information
- Update all contact information; including phone numbers and emails. This ensures that all clients can reach you.
Constantly communicate with your clients, using all the resources available to you to inform your clients of your products and services, hour changes, precautions the list goes on. All updated information will show up on your business profile when clients search for you. This will put your business in a better position as we emerge on the other end of this crisis.
We Are Here to Help!
If you need help setting up your Google My Business, we are here to help! Contact us at email@example.com, and we would be happy to help you set up your Google My Business, free of charge.
After all we are all in this together. When we help other small businesses, we all succeed.