Lockdown Business Tips
As the business world adjusts to new ways of working remotely, you may find that you have more time on your hands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tackle that to do list or find ways of improving your business. We have a few ideas for you:
Your cashflow may be suffering so review your outgoings:
- If you aren’t using a particular service as much, ask them for a discount
- If you are about to enter into a new contract with supplier, see if they can do you a special offer
- Do you pay monthly bank fees? Time to look at some of the free alternatives including Starling Bank or Tide
- Ask your accountant for their opinion – they might be able to suggest other ways to save money
Social Media & Website Updates
Firstly, make sure that your website and social media clearly reflect your trading situation during this time. If you are operating reduced hours or telephone only service then put this information on a social media post and pin it to the top of your profiles.
If you have a website then include a clear message on the home page so again people are aware of your trading situation. If you are unable to do this yourself then either ask your web designer or if it is a WordPress website then we are able to help.
Potential and existing customers will be looking at the internet a lot more during lockdown so ensure that your Google Local entry is up-to-date, including the opening times. There is now an option under ‘posts’ on your Google Local entry to add a ‘Covid-19’ Update – do use this – it shows your business is being conscientious in the current climate and keeps your clients up to date.
If you have a newsletter, now is the time to communicate with your customers. Let them know how you are doing, ask how they are doing and most importantly how you will be trading during this difficult time.
Once you’ve addressed the immediate issues, it is time to focus on a more long-term plan.
- Local marketing – this is potentially the most effective way for a small business to promote themselves. Ensure your website, Google Local and social media are using geographical keywords and search terms ie “plumber in Muswell Hill”
- Digital marketing plan – follow our tips on promoting your business online:
- Use hashtags
- Use Twitter hours
- Use Keywords in your Website URL & in your Website Content
- Check your Insights & post at Optimum Times
- Make the most of your Google Local Entry
- Post in relevant Facebook Groups
- Website review – improve your website and ranking by
- Verifying your site with Google Analytics & Google Console
- Fix broken links using https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com
- Installing WordPress Classic Editor’ plugin
- Installing Yoast SEO plugin
- Optimising images – review the images on your website so that they are not only the right size but also improve file names and tags so they reflect keywords in your SEO strategy
If you have worked through these business ideas then think about how you can help your community? All businesses need our support at times like these. A few suggestions for you:
- Order a takeaway and help keep your local restaurants afloat, plus share your recommendations with friends, neighbours and local online groups
- Before ordering items from Amazon, see if a local business is able to deliver the item – many are finding inventive ways to still serve the community via their website/email/telephone/social media
- If you’ve had a particularly good experience from a local business recently, review them on Google. Good Google ratings will help improve their exposure on the internet
- Many areas have local traders groups and are collating directories of businesses which are delivering to customers. Help gather information for them (if you pass a notice in a shop window for example) and share widely on social media
- Does your business offer something that could be shared for free during lockdown? You’d not only be doing others a favour but it is a good promotion for you
As for Red Desk, we are still operating to support our clients remotely, offering suggestions on social media strategies and getting their businesses found online. Please get in touch if you need any help – firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Marketing and SEO: Website & Google Local
Local marketing is potentially the most effective way for a small business to promote themselves, they will usually supply to their geographical area so it is essential to work on getting your brand seen online to a local audience.
The important factor to bear in mind is that Local Marketing should be a constant & continuous process, unlike large nationwide brands that will launch short term campaigns, your local marketing needs to be continually working & building relationships with your local clients. Small businesses work far more on relationships & repeat customers so give some time & effort to your online presence in your local area.
In this article we take a look at how you can build your Local Marketing SEO strategy via your website and Google Local.
An important fact to know is that ranking highly in local searches is much more achievable than other searches, search engine algorithms are well set up for geographical searches & Google will bring up local businesses above those further afield. Therefore, you need to ensure that your website has the right keywords & searches that your local audience will use. Use geographical keywords & search terms such as ‘plumber in Muswell Hill’.
The more localised the keywords the greater chance of your ranking higher so if your company services all of North London you may want to add keywords for specific locations within that area as well as using North London in your SEO.
Create blogs and news articles which local customers might find of use to read. Are there other businesses in the area you can cross-promote? They could give you a little mention and you can mention them in return.
Double check your website is mobile-friendly. Local searches are more likely to happen from a phone to search for directions, reviews or contact information.
Finally, keep your website constantly updated with good information. Gone are the days when customers or clients will give you a call if they have a query, they are much more likely to search for you online.
Your Google Local entry is an essential part of Local Marketing. Make sure your profile is optimised with all the current information, such as opening times, telephone number etc.
Do check your location is marked correctly on Google Maps, you can move the marker if for some reason Google has your location wrong (this has happened with a few of our clients).
Add good images & ask for Google Reviews, you can add a link to your email encouraging reviews. You should also monitor your Google Reviews & respond. If by chance you get an unfavourable review if you act quickly you can get your reviewer to remove it or indeed approach Google if you feel the review is unfair.
Lastly, Google Local does now allow you to post to it, much like posting to your other social media, each post lasts a week & it’s a brilliant way of bringing more information & valuable keywords to your Google entry.
If you would like help with your Local Marketing then send us an email email@example.com
As part of our social media management, we carry out housekeeping on our clients’ social media accounts. For Twitter you are perceived to be an account worth following if you have more followers than you are following. In order to have a healthy ratio of followers to...
Recently we’ve partnered with LinkedIn trainers, Marshall Walker to widen our social media offering. As part of this relationship, we have co-created our own LinkedIn Group. One main reason is because of the change in the way social media is being used. Referral...
It has been predicted that freelancers and those working for themselves will outnumber traditional nine to five employees within the next decade. The freedom and control gained from a freelance lifestyle are major factors that motivate people to leave traditional...
Ever since Facebook changed their algorithm, small businesses have found it increasingly difficult to reach their customer base organically. Facebook’s aim was to share more, stay in touch and engage in meaningful interactions with friends, family and Facebook Groups...
We love working with small businesses & start-ups but in their very nature they have limited funds for Digital Marketing. We have therefore become experts at making the most of the free tools out there, of which there are many. Here are a few of our favourite,...
Every small business needs a helping hand at times and a start up business could probably do with more support than others. So what and how can a Virtual Assistant assist a start up?ResearchIf you are in the research phase of your business idea then a Virtual...
Some people just don’t get it and still don’t see the connection between maintaining a social media presence and an increase in traffic to their website or an increase in sales/enquiries.Social media is an important part of any business's Online Reputation and it is...
We were recently asked to help with some last minute social media promotion for an event. We would normally recommend at least 3 months lead up however we only had a few days, but with everyone focused on the goal and the fact that the client was able to supply us...
As part of our Business Support for Small Businesses we manage many of our clients’ websites. We work closely with web developers to ensure the site is well built and then we continue to work on improving the site with new content and optimisation. Websites should...
You are probably an expert at the key areas of your business but maybe there are some things that you put to one side as you have no interest or no time to tackle them… This is where a Red Desk Virtual comes in. You can hire a us to handle your social media and...