Latest posts by Joel (see all)
- Stay the Course: Coronavirus Tips & Advice for Your Business - April 8, 2020
- Is it a Mistake to Include Your Email Address on Your Website? - February 2, 2020
- Christmas New Year Office Closure and Opening Hours at Mr Search - December 12, 2019
FIRSTLY, just to confirm, Mr Search remains open: We’re not going anywhere and are here to help you get through this, and come out strong on the other side.
Wow. What a start to the year. In managing a multi-million dollar managed spend for our clients, we get an ‘inside glimpse’ into how COVID-19 is impacting Australian businesses big and small, and across dozens of different industries. Bottom line: so many businesses are hurting right now and wondering how best to ‘ride out the storm’.
What to do with your online exposure?
We’re not gonna be shy about it. Sales are the lifeblood of every business. Times are tough, so do you keep Google advertising at full speed, or scale back? The answer depends on what’s going on in your industry. Most businesses are seeing below average search volumes meaning less people searching, less people clicking, and less people buying — plus a lower investment in Google Ads as a natural flow on effect. However, something is better than nothing right!? Absolutely, just as long as you’re continuing to see clicks converting into enquiries and sales at a reasonable level, meaning you can continue to generate a positive (or even neutral) ROI from your investment in advertising. This being the case, it’s probably best not to scale down your advertising. Doing so would likely only make things worse. Any business you can get will help to get through this challenging time, and decreased numbers of people searching in many industries will translate into decreased investment in Google clicks anyway.
We’ve seen many examples of clicks/enquires taking a dip for a couple of weeks while everyone is adjusting to the ‘new normal’, and then returning to somewhere near normal levels. Had advertising been scaled down, things would be much worse and would remain that way! If in doubt, ask us, we’re here to help and will be happy to have a chat about your specific situation.
If you’re no longer able to carry on normal business, or if the quality of traffic/enquiries has really taken a big dive (due to market uncertainty) and remains consistently low for a period of weeks, that’s when things might be different. In this situation it would be best to have a chat with us to see if there is anything that can be done to adjust messaging and perhaps try and drum up demand with a special offer on your website.
If necessary, there is also the option of scaling back campaigns to reduce your ongoing investment and ensure we’re focussing on any priority areas of your business to help you ‘ride out the storm’. If that’s something you’re seriously considering, be sure to have a chat with our experienced team to look at options, as we want to try and avoid making the situation worse.
If your business is being heavily impacted, wherever possible, you may need to consider adjusting your product/service offering and messaging. For example:
- Are you able to offer virtual meetings / tele health appointments (using FaceTime / Zoom / Skype etc) in place of normal in-person meetings? If so, be sure to prominently promote this as an option on your website.
- Are you able to place more emphasis on e-commerce or home deliveries?
- If customers keep asking if you’re still trading as normal, it might be worth popping a notice on your website making it clear that your services are still on offer, and that additional safety measures are in place.
- Can you sharpen up your ‘offer’, or trial a compelling ‘ever-green’ offer/bonus on your website to help maximise enquiries even during uncertain times?
The most important thing is to use this time to take REAL ACTION to help turbocharge your recovery on the other side:
Who would start a business during uncertain times!? How about during a recision? General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, HP Disney, Apple, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Uber, Slack and Square are just a few examples.
Now is the perfect time to take real action and do the things you normally might not have a chance to. While your competitors are paralysed and panicking, you can be propelling your business forward. What will you do? Here are a few ideas:
- FINALLY FIX YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY: Good photography (team shots, head shots, product shots etc) makes a world of difference when it comes to building instant credibility on your website. If your website doesn’t give a strong first impression and come across as being genuine and trustworthy within the first few seconds, prospective customers will simply hit the back button and move on to one of your competitors, it’s that simple. This is really important stuff that tends to have a real and substantial impact on how efficiently your website converts clicks into enquiries and sales, and therefore on ROI. A shot that often works really well is getting your whole team in uniform standing in front of your company vehicles/signage/office/a completed job, SMILING, arms crossed and looking at the camera. Simple, but very effective. Make sure your shots are nice and ‘wide’ and not cropped in too close, that way your website designer can crop in as needed, and these sorts of ‘wide’ shots often work really well on your website banner.
- MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT MISSING CALLS: We get it. You can’t always get to every single call. Why not put in place a system to automatically forward unanswered calls to a professional Australian based call answering service? That way you’ll get a text message with call back details, and will never miss business as a result of missed calls, you can read more about it here. At an absolute minimum, make sure you have a compelling and professional voicemail message in place reassuring prospective customers that their call is important to you, and that you’ll typically return their call within 2 business hours (for example). More tips here.
- CONSIDER MAKING PLANS TO EXPAND YOUR SERVICE AREA: Why not grow future revenues and profits by expanding your footprint? If you service Melbourne, why not expand into Geelong as well? If you’re based in Brisbane, why not expand to service the Gold Coast / Sunshine Coast as well? If you service Sydney, why not consider expanding into Wollongong, the Central Coast and Newcastle? If you currently service all of Australia, why not look at the New Zealand market?
- PERFECT YOUR BUSINESS SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES: Email templates, checklists, FAQs, training, follow up procedures, deliverables and so on. This one might sound boring, but this is essentially what your business does. So if you can do it better and more efficiently, that will not only help put a smile on customers faces, but it will also help improve business efficiency and business profits.
- STAFF TRAINING: Having the best team with the best training will help you offer better service than anyone else. Aim to maximise customer satisfaction, repeat customers, referrals, and business returns.
- FRESHEN UP YOUR EMAIL STATIONARY: Perception is everything. If you look the part people will likely take you more seriously. And communicating important contact details, opening hours and social media channels makes it easier for customers to know how best to reach you.
- PLAY SECRET SHOPPER: Check to see what your competitors are up to, and make sure your product/service offering remains competitive, and the most compelling choice for customers.
- GET MORE REVIEWS: When prospective customers are researching your business and search for your business name, what reviews and star rating do they see? People tend to take reviews really seriously in today’s world — this is so important. We recommend making it a standard part of your business process to ask happy customers to take a quick minute to leave you a review. That way you can continually grow your number of positive reviews and make sure people get an excellent first impression of your business. We can even help you out with an email template to send to happy customers at the end of every job. Get in contact with us, and we’ll be happy to tailor this to your business.
Above all, stay POSITIVE. When this health crisis subsides, people will still absolutely have a need for your services. Yes, we need to ride out the storm (and that might not be easy), but if you can use this time to get ahead and take some positive steps forward for your business, that will really help position your business for a strong recovery. We’re here to help. If you’d like to have a chat, please reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to have a chat and offer some expert ideas and advice specific to your business.
We hope you found this to be a helpful read. If so, we’d love it if you left us a thumbs up or comment below!