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Adapting your Digital Presence in 2020

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The pandemic just made having a digital presence even more important.

Covid-19 forced us online in ways we weren’t used to. The numbers of people searching and ordering products online skyrocketed. Many services switched online for the first time. From gym classes and meetings to lessons, weddings, and health appointments – people signed up and logged on.

To communicate effectively with your customers during this period, you’ll need to adapt your digital presence.

Your target market’s needs are continually shifting, so it is important to stay up to date with trends and modify your business strategies accordingly. One way to reach your customers during this unstable time is by adapting your marketing plan to meet their needs.

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Here are the key considerations for reviewing your digital presence:

Website

For many brands, your website will be the most important online asset. Customers will use it to find out how you’re tackling the crisis – don’t rely solely on email or social.

Most of the brands we know have already made changes needed to survive. These include updates to available services, deliveries and returns policies. Where possible, they’re building in e-commerce functionality. And they’re highlighting health precautions to help customers feel comfortable ordering online.

Brands are also using their websites to entertain and inform audiences. Nike’s created a page to support their Play Inside campaign and engage customers. This includes useful articles for customers, an invitation to compete in the “Living Room Cup” and links to relevant products. Offering free courses is another popular tactic – and of course, removing content that’s out of step with the current times.

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SEO

Search engines are an important part of your customer’s journey. Ranking in first place on a Google results page will earn you around a third of clicks. Once you drop onto page two, it’s just 1%.

Recognizing this, Google’s released a swathe of new features and recommendations to help businesses keep customers informed during the coronavirus period. It’s worth taking advantage of these, as well as updating your title tags and meta descriptions to reflect changes to your business.

86% of UK marketers are pausing or reviewing their marketing campaigns. Marketers around the world are facing the same situation. This unexpected downtime could be a good opportunity to review the (often overlooked) technical elements of your SEO strategy. As it can take several months for SEO efforts to bear fruit, it could put you in a stronger position once the crisis has passed.

An SEO audit is a good place to start. This will help you boost your organic rankings by identifying technical and on-page factors that are holding you back. Fixing technical issues (like missing certain tags) makes your site easier for Google to index, and your content easier to find. And correcting on-SERP factors like missing meta descriptions eases your customer’s journey to the site.

For international websites, simply translating keywords is a false economy. International keyword research is a much better investment because it digs deep into user intent to target your audience more effectively. For practical examples, read our explainer blog here.

International SEO is a medium-term investment in your site. It won’t bring in sales overnight. But building (or strengthening) your foundation now will ensure your brand voice is heard as the crisis continues – and beyond.

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PPC

As SEO takes time to bear fruit, it’s tempting to turn to PPC as a quick fix for getting your digital presence off the ground. But there’s a catch.

PPC ad volume is down by over 50%. This may present an opportunity to quickly bring in leads at below-average cost, although the devil’s in the data. Competition for high-demand keywords (like “bread maker”) remains high, while Google’s restricted ads around outbreak-related keywords. You’ll need to look carefully to find the opportunity.

Taking a more long-term view, some marketers are also using PPC to build (or maintain) customer awareness. This means that when restrictions ease, they won’t be starting to fill their upper sales funnel from scratch.

However you approach PPC in your markets, remember to review and update your ads so they’re in line with changes to your services and tone. And make full use of ad extensions to maximize the amount of copy at your disposal.

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Top tips for refining your online strategy in 2020

Take a blended approach

Create digital spaces and virtual connections that work alongside the physical world – define what worked for your business in lockdown and develop it into a longer-term strategy for your business. Whether that was online sales, Zoom events or virtual tours.

Think mobile, not just online

Make sure your website is optimised for mobile and bear in mind that mobile is increasingly taking over from desktop, including mobile searches and mobile payments. At Vindicta Digital,  we make sure to design only those sites which will work flawlessly on every platform. Thus, with the mobile generation always in our minds. It’s important that each section you have as a company is designed to be responsive to both the desktop and the mobile.

Content is king

Develop a content marketing strategy that’s relevant to your customers – focus on their needs and interests and be present in the right places, whether that’s your website, a third-party website or social media. Use your content to share your brand purpose, connect with your customers, provide high quality, value-added support and even monetise your expertise. Drive your audience to the content with an SEO strategy.

Love your data

Use the wealth of data provided by your website, social media and online campaigns to understand your customers, improve the customer experience and target your online marketing. Alongside this, you can use online to collect customer data, for example, by inviting users to sign up for email alerts or to download valuable content. Another great way of collecting data is to survey your buyers or website visitors.

There’s so much more to social media

Explore how you can use social media to connect with your customers. For example, by hosting a Q&A, sharing ‘how-to’ video tutorials or inviting them ‘behind the scenes’. Social listening is also a good way to understand your customers and how they experience your business.

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Final Thoughts

The global picture continues to shift rapidly. Adapting your digital presence will help you realize short-term wins and set yourself up for long-term success. It’ll also allow you to stay connected to your customers and refine your strategy as things progress.

At Vindicta Digital, we can help you out with digital strategies that will skyrocket your business, and hopefully help you to prevail these uncertain times.

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