April 22 2020
Whether you are a manufacturer that has been able to continue operating or a local business who is having to pivot to continue to meet your customers’ needs, communicating with your audience through your online channels has never been more important. Below, we’ve included ideas & examples of ways to do just that using content, SEO and paid search strategies.
Be Prepared to Optimize Content Quickly
Changes in the marketplace can come on suddenly. That’s why it’s important to be prepared to update your website and social media with quick, effective changes. While social media shouldn’t be your only avenue of publishing information, it can be a fast and effective way to get messages out to those most interested in what you have to say. It also allows for a lot of flexibility as it can include a video announcement, text, images or a link to more information.
In the example below, Leitelt Brothers, a foundry located in Chicago, used social media to showcase a new hands-free door handle it was tasked with creating by a Doctor at the University of Chicago.
While they have also included information on their website, the post above was a fast and efficient way to get the word out about their ability to create a potentially lifesaving bracket for door handles.
Other good ways of communicating time-sensitive information on your website include press releases, blog posts or a letter from the President (or another executive) of your company. These types of communication tactics are quick, but also produce reliable information that your customers will have trust in.
Make sure your website allows for flexibility & expansion
Having templates (text and graphics) prepared for announcing information can also expedite the process. This can be something as simple as a banner message added to the top of your website that is shown regardless of what page a user lands on (see examples below).
The examples above were added by creating a quick piece of code to our clients’ Content Management Systems that can be edited, removed or adjusted at any time.
If you have a static website that isn’t built in a Content Management System, another option is using Google Optimize to add a banner announcement like the ones above to your site.
Speak to the Industries you can serve
Having an industries served section is an important part of any website strategy. It’s a great place to speak directly to any unique applications or services you provide for different industries, which is what your users are expecting. In fact, in a recent survey, we found that 97% of surveyed customers believe it is important that the businesses they are considering have content that specifically addresses their industry’s needs when sourcing a new vendor/supplier. (Source: TechValidate. TVID: CD2-80F-7D2)
This is even more important now as many businesses are looking for critical items at a quick turnaround. If you already have an Industries Served section, making sure it addresses the current needs of your users is an important step in communicating with your key customers. If you do not, it may be time to add one.
A precision machine shop added an Industries Served section to their site after it was called on by a large multinational firm to help with the production of much need specialty medical equipment. This company, which focused primarily on custom machining, added an Industries Served section to their website, with content created specifically to address the medical industry. The page has been live for less than a month and has already been viewed over 2500 times and driven additional medical-related inquiries for the business.
If you already have pages dedicated to industries and applications relevant to what’s going on in the world today, providing a quick way to find these pages can be a great addition as well. Below is an example of a commercial tent provider who added a banner image & corresponding application links on their homepage, making it easier for users to find exactly the type of information they need.
Great, Timely Content
You already know that having great content is important. One way to make sure your content is getting your point across is to tell a story. Storytelling in content is nothing new. However, it is particularly effective when you want your customer to know that you empathize with the situation they are experiencing.
At a time when the economic downturn could crush an entire industry, a restaurant point-of-sale provider has stepped in to help. Their products became even more relevant as the restaurant industry began to shift their focus from dining in to online ordering capabilities. However, they didn’t stop there. They also created a guide, and related webinar, to help those most affected by the current crisis. This kind of educational content is always helpful but is particularly helpful right now. It also helps to establish trust with potential new customers when the industry begins to recover.
Sometimes, however, a new page is all you need as long as you can get it up in a timely manner. For example, a bio-hazard cleaning company quickly created and published a new page focused on virus sterilization and disinfection services. Paid search ads were also created and sent to the newly optimized landing page. Since going live, the page has seen traffic growth and quality leads that have generated new business for the service provider.
In addition to online leads, the bio-hazard company has seen a large increase in phone calls regarding their new service.
Utilizing PPC & SEO to Communicate
Whether it’s a new product or service that was just added or if you’re expanding on an offering you’ve had for a while, paid search is the fastest way to pivot your online strategies. It can also quickly provide information regarding the needs of your users to help identify new areas of opportunity.
For instance, the company whose Google Ads data is shown below sells a product that has increased in demand over the past several weeks. After tweaking their paid search program just slightly to focus on products that were in high demand, they were able to help many businesses in need of their products that may not have found them otherwise.
Local SEO efforts often include optimizing your Google My Business Listing, but you can also optimize it for new products or special announcements. Your Google My Business listing can be edited to include messages and other relevant information for your customers. Below is an example of a plastics company featuring a few of their new (and most requested) products directly on their Google My Business listing.
What Does This Mean for Me?
While it’s unclear what our new normal will be as we move forward, using the suggestions above that make sense for your business can help to keep the lines of communication open and your business top of mind with current and future customers.