As more of us spend time at home and away from the outside world for a bit, it’s increasingly obvious how important the internet is in our daily lives. It’s how we’re staying informed, connected, and entertained. For many of us, it’s how we’re able to continue working from home and reaching out to loved ones.

And for many local businesses, it’s been a lifeline to customers and community members looking for ways to support them.

One thing we’ve learned during this pandemic is that your online presence is as essential as your storefront, and right now — even more so.

So, we wanted to explore the importance of your business’s web presence and what you need to improve it now.

Internet Usage is at an All-Time High

Everyone thought Kim Kardashian was going to break the internet, but that was nothing compared to what internet service providers have been experiencing since social distancing measures went into place in early-to-mid March.

AT&T reported that internet traffic has been up 31%, and streaming services are reporting increases as well. If you search for “internet usage coronavirus,” you’ll see a number of articles about whether or not coronavirus is going to break the internet.

It’s where people are spending their time now, and if your business isn’t visible there, you’re going to miss out.

What you need: Make sure you have a great SEO strategy in place so you’re showing up in search engines for relevant searches right now.

People are Searching for Business Updates Online

While I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to support local businesses in my area in whatever way I can. One way is through takeout. So, to find these businesses, I’ve been looking up what their local listings say as well as checking their website to find out their hours and delivery options. While many businesses around me have updated their sites to reflect any changes to hours, a few have been radio silent. This weekend, I tried calling my favorite breakfast spot to get takeout, and there was no answer, no information on their website, and no updates on their social media pages.

Obviously, I understand this is a hard time for a lot of businesses, so I know that it’s difficult to stay on top of all the places you need to update, but it’s still disappointing as a consumer to find out a business is closed by calling and leaving a message.

Consumers also understand that businesses have a lot to deal with right now, and even Google has held on new Google My Business reviews so businesses aren’t negatively impacted by reviews that have to do with incorrect hours or closings. But, right now, there’s an opportunity to connect with consumers and keep them updated on what’s going on with your business so you can build customer loyalty for when this eventually subsides.

What you need: Make sure your local listings and website are updated with your correct and adjusted hours of operation, any specials or delivery options, and more. It’s also a great time to ensure your website URL and phone number are correct on your local listing sites.

Consumers Want to Connect with Local Businesses

Many consumers are looking for ways to support local businesses right now. One way many businesses have been doing this is through social media. You can use social media to let consumers know about ways they can support you, any delivery or curbside pick-up options, or just what you’re doing to pass the time.

We put together seven ideas for social media posts here.

What you need: We’re all craving a little connection. A robust social media strategy that includes regular organic posts can help you build that connection with your community, keep them informed on what’s going on with your business, and stand out right now.

As we navigate this pandemic together, we know that it can be overwhelming for business owners and marketers looking to get new customers (or keep existing ones) while we’re in a different situation. We’re here to help you keep your web presence in tip-top shape so you can connect with consumers now while setting you up for success in the future. Reach out today to learn more.

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