February 9, 2021

How To Communicate COVID-Related Updates To Your Customers

Businesses have had to adapt to the economic difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic wrought, rushing to modify their offerings and meet people's needs in a changing landscape. As such, brands must make prompt, timely marketing campaigns to convert searchers looking for new favorites or exploring options. 

Adapting your services shows people that you're willing to grow and change with the times. If you want to increase your Google ranking, you should always evaluate your relevance to your target audience. Part of that is ensuring that you adapt to changes like those that COVID-19 is bringing. Here are questions you should think about when you're publicizing COVID-related store policy adjustments.


Are We Conveying How Our Services Have Changed?

Remove the friction from the information-gathering process. When you make changes to products and services, especially popular ones, you have to clarify to your audience what and how things have changed.

Update the attributes on your website. An SEO expert can help you with this; it is a structured way of presenting information that search engines can easily read. Details like whether you offer online or in-person appointments, deliveries, services for picking up parcels, and the like. Publishing additional hours sets helps to surface the supplemental offerings you have. These include senior hours, online operating hours, drive through hours, pickup hours, and more.


Are The Materials Visually Appealing Or Prominent?

Publish your updated services on social media and your Google Posts. Introduce new services and products, share information on temporary closures, and inform customers of promotions, gift card options, and other announcements. If your packaging has changed, you can upload photos of it to your pages as well, as a heads-up to returning customers.


Where Have We Posted Our New Information?

Then, you should ensure that searchers know how to contact you. All of your core location data and communication channels should be updated. Your operating hours should be on your Google My Business profile, your social media page, and anywhere you have a channel for your business. 

Make it easy for searchers to find you for questions. Don't just put your contact information up; ensure that you can reply quickly. Enable messaging on your social pages and always have someone monitoring your GMB's Q&A section. If you show that you're connected, it will encourage people to convert and purchase.


Are We Clear On Our Safety Precautions?

Searchers want to ensure their health and safety, especially when deciding whether to buy a new item. As a business, it is on you to prominently feature your safety standards in your website or your social pages, so customers see how you value them.

Anyone who wants to engage with your business should know the safety precautions and health protocols you have onsite, when dealing with products, or when shipping or delivering items to customers. Social distancing measures, mask requirements, wait times for orders, and payment options should all be on your digital channels. It also helps to publish infographics and publicity materials that explain your new policies.


Industry-Specific Points To Consider

All industries would benefit from responding to the questions in the previous paragraphs. However, there are industry-specific matters that affect certain types of businesses. Let us look at some of these below.


Healthcare

One of the most affected industries during this pandemic is healthcare. Whether you're someone seeking emergency help or are due for an elective procedure soon, you would likely have to undergo slightly modified processes at your local medical facility.

A healthcare provider or organization needs to implement extensive adjustments to accommodate their patients. For one, most organizations have shifted to telehealth appointments for therapy, internal medicine, and other specialties that could manage the setup.

In April 2020, Google rolled out a telehealth link for healthcare organizations, enabling them to surface and convert patients with non-emergency needs. Some people might not feel comfortable visiting a healthcare facility in-person, and telehealth capabilities allow them to speak with their doctors even during physical distancing.

Besides telehealth support, Google rolled out a COVID-19 layer for Maps, allowing people to view infection rates in certain areas. This feature allowed users to plan their trips and avoid hotspots. Google My Business also introduced coronavirus testing facility information, partnering with third-party governmental and healthcare sources to produce these testing sites' data. Besides your GMB profile, these attributes can help you improve SEO for your website. You can gain insights from these features for your future posts or videos' content.


Retail

One of the most significant considerations for retail businesses is the fluctuation in inventory, especially during the start of the pandemic. In response, businesses have started to integrate product shopping features, live inventory, and shipping times on their listings. While they cannot guarantee consistent supplies of all items, they can inform customers right away if something is in stock.

Retailers must also consider if they can support the different methods of delivering items to customers. Enabling e-commerce, curbside pickup, drive-thru pickup, or contactless delivery have their pros and cons. Whatever you choose for your business, though, you need to document it through Google's attributes. Businesses need to highlight the options on their official channels.


Financial services

The regulations and heavy security that banks and financial services providers undergo mean their operations have slowed down considerably because of the pandemic. Besides onsite safety measures, they must provide robust systems for supporting alternatives like online or drive-up banking. These types of businesses might also need to launch apps and websites supporting these features.

When an organization leverages drive-through or online appointment attributes on Google, they open more avenues for customers to interact with them, which means greater trust in their capabilities and more transactions in the future. Of course, this comes with the responsibility of ensuring that these avenues provide the services advertised.


Conclusion

The pandemic has changed a lot about how we do business. All industries have felt the effects of the lockdowns and the spread of infections. Unfortunately, the ripple effects are likely to continue in the coming years, so businesses need to devise ways to keep growing amid these very challenging times. Updating online channels regularly and responding to customers are also ways to nurture your business.

Keep your business growing through uncertain times when you team up with Ranked. With more than 2,500 clients and agency partners in 40 countries, we know a thing or two about SEO for your website and driving traffic to businesses online. Get in touch with our team to learn more, or activate your account today!


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