2 Apr, 2020

COVID-19 and Your Online Business: Practical Brand and Website Improvements

With the fight to contain coronavirus now a global battle, the world looks very different from what it did just a few weeks ago. 

There’s no doubt that these are strange times to be surviving in, let alone thriving in. And for those of us with an online business, you might feel lost and uncertain about what to do. This is where the Oberlo team is hoping to add some guidance.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be putting together resources designed to guide you during this period. We’ll be offering advice for practical things you can do right now to help grow your business and reach more potential customers. To get you started, we’ve gathered tips on cheap and easy ways you can improve your business and brand with simple steps. Let’s get to it.

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Focus on Brand

While it’s easy to get hyper-focused on launching your store, building a business for long-term means thinking about branding. 

Compare your business to those such as All Birds and Chubbies. Scrolling the home page of these stores, their brands are unmistakable – it’s clear what they believe in, the type of person they’re targeting, and what they’re offering. Is it as evident in your store?

An easy way to think about your brand is by imagining the sort of personality your store would have if it were a person. Would they be fun and playful, dependable and stable, or helpful and reliable? Use your store design, logo, social media presence, and the unique selling point (USP) of your products to express what your brand is.

Read up about brand awareness, jot down some ideas, and get started.

Improve Your Social Channels

Tight on cash? No problem. Growing and building your social media presence is one thing that doesn’t require money but can sure generate a lot of it. If you have a business in 2020, it’s expected that you have a social media presence, and frankly, it does nothing for brand credibility if you don’t.

If your follower count could use a little boosting, start by planning out what you want your social media feed to look like. Think about what you want your page or feed to be filled with and try to change things up for different platforms. Don’t just auto-post your Instagram content onto Facebook or Twitter, really think about what suits which network. 

If you’re unsure where to start, check out how your competitors are doing it and take inspiration from them. Then, figure out where your competitors are falling flat and try and fill that gap with your content.

No, organically growing a social media profile won’t happen overnight, but if you’re targeting the right audience with your posts, it could result in free sales and a more robust brand. Win-win.

Fix Your Product Photos

Got product photos that, deep in your heart, you know aren’t convincing anyone to buy your product? Now is the time to fix that. Whether you’ve physically got the item to take photos of or are working from AliExpress supplier photos, there are things you can do to polish your product photos.

First, check out some of your competitors, see how their product photos look, then take a look at brands that you admire and see what they’re doing. 

Next, make a plan for your images and try to keep them all looking similar, remember you want to build a consistent brand, and your pictures are part of that. Maybe you want all your images on a bright white background, or perhaps you want to dress the background with items that complement your product. Read up on some tips and tricks beforehand to make sure you know how you want the finished product to look.

Finally, you’ll either want to take and edit your product photos or edit those available on your supplier’s page. Once that’s done, why not go to the next level and start making product videos.

Get Emails Sequences Sorted

Email marketing might seem old school, but it’s stuck around this long because of one thing: It works. While you might have a few automated emails already set up on your store, now is the perfect time to invest in gaining email subscribers and creating persuasive email sequences.

Start by looking at how you’re currently getting people to subscribe to your email list. Is it a small box at the bottom of your site, or a pop up that offers a tempting discount code? One of these tactics will gain more subscribers than the other. Think about why you’ve signed up for email newsletters in the past and apply that to your store.

Then move on to making your abandoned cart emails more branded. Rewrite the content, add exclusive email deals, and let it reflect your brand. It doesn’t even need to be super fancy – start by tailoring the subject line to your store and using your store’s colors and logo.

After that, you should start exploring more elaborate email sequences. These are a series of emails that get sent to potential customers after a particular event is triggered. To do this, you may need to explore different apps.

For example, you could have a sequence for people who sign up for your newsletter, a different one for people who abandon their carts, and another for people who already purchased something. All of these customers are at various stages of the sales funnel, so they require different tactics to convert them into customers.

Optimize Your Pages

You’ve probably heard a lot about SEO over the years, but maybe you’ve never really gotten a full grasp of what it is and what it can do for your store. The short story is, if your store is optimized correctly, you can get customers to your site for free thanks to the magic of search engines.

If you don’t have much cash to spend on advertising, optimizing your website is an excellent way to start selling, build up your visitor numbers, and gather data. By the time you do want to start spending on ads, you might be able to launch straight into Lookalike audiences. However, it does take time. It might be two or three months before you start seeing results.

You optimize your pages through working relevant keywords into the text you already have on your home page and product pages. To do this, you need to find SEO tools – such as Ubersuggest – to help you. Keywords don’t just have to be one word. Usually, they’re two or three words or even a longer phrase. When you start searching for keywords, you’ll notice they have a ‘search volume’ attached – this is how many people are searching for that term every month. If your store is brand new, start by targeting keywords that have lower search volumes because they will be easier to rank for. 

Once you’ve optimized your home page and product page, start writing blog articles. This is where you can really start getting your website ranking. You can try to rank for one main keyword and several secondary keywords (these will be phrases with lower search volumes than your main keyword) per post.

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Allanah Faherty: Allanah Faherty is a content marketer at Oberlo. Allanah is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs through useful and interesting content, as well as movie trivia and cats.