How to Optimize your Business for COVID-19

The “new-norm” in the age of COVID-19 has tested businesses across all different industries and one thing we’ve taken note of is how essential it is to stay agile and adaptable during these times. The initial shock and panic that the onset of the pandemic sparked has begun to subside and a reimagined reality has now emerged.

Shrewd marketers and businesses are finding ways to make the best of this situation, by taking advantage of less competition in digital ad buy. Decreased cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion paired with an increase in online audience usage has created a unique opportunity for businesses to get ahead of competitors and increase ROI. Deciding on spending or pausing digital ad buy all comes down to identifying opportunities for a business specifically.

Getting more aggressive on ad buy, of course, means aiming to get more traffic to a website. Once that traffic comes in, we have our clients seal the deal by making sure their digital interactions are as seamless and effective as possible. Even if increasing digital ad buy turns out to not be the best plan of action for a business, or if the best option is actually to cut some budgets, reallocating our clients’ newly freed funds towards adapting their onsite assets has proven to be effective to staying proactive and setting the businesses up for success during and post COVID times. We’ve noted that a businesses’ ability to pivot, adapt and leverage the tools at their disposal is the best way to strategize a new plan for success.

For years, we’ve been helping clients spanning a wide range of industries adapt to the times, overcome and work through any challenges they’ve faced and give them a new edge on their competition. Given the current circumstances, this is how we advise our clients and other businesses out there to optimize their marketing stacks and campaigns in ways that could give them an upper hand by implementing some of the following adjustments:

Website and Landing Page Optimizations

When running website and landing page optimizations for our clients, we start by helping them run a business goals audit. We work with them to help them examine where they’ve identified decreases in lead generation and revenue. We then identify where they can align available tools and assets with new conversion processes. We review the clients’ website, conducting a business dataflow assessment to help them optimize landing page sales funnels.

For example, in the current times, there is no need to throw a huge chunk of your budget out the window to revamp an entire site. Instead, opting to create a section, landing page or pop-up on how the company is handling COVID-19 could have just the right impact. Our clients have implemented this on their own websites, announcing new safety and cleanliness measures for brick and mortars, to updates on shipping times for e-commerce sites, to updates on wait times at customer call centers, and so on.

Creating clear calls to actions and appropriate conversion paths are crucial right now.

Technology Integrations

Next, it’s important to identify the right tech to help optimize conversion paths. Technology partners are more important now than they ever have been, since they help us create efficiency with day to day operations. From advanced work using the ZOOM API to convert client’s businesses and acclimate teams to a remote environment, to onsite food delivery optimization using OLO’s API, we continue to help our clients find innovative new ways to adapt to the current market. As a full-service marketing agency, we know what tools and technologies are available to suit our clients’ needs. We understand how to best leverage the tech for this new environment. The right partners can help businesses re-work their sales and support funnels, ultimately saving time and money.


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Web Copy and Content Optimization

Adjusting web copy and content is also key to staying up to date with all that’s going on. A website’s copy should reflect any changes in how the organization is handling operations and conducting business. Having the right tone that speaks to the situation and adds value for audiences is also important to maintain the organization’s essence and brand reputation.

We start with a COVID-19 adaptation audit, identifying areas in a site’s web copy where mentioning the current state of affairs is relevant. We search for ways where our clients can provide value to their clients and audiences via pertinent, helpful information. Since search including COVID-19 issues and related terms is up at the moment, this also helps clients tap into the search traffic generated by these types of trending queries.

Marketing Stack & Adapting to COVID-19

Re-evaluating your current marketing program with your agency is crucial to realigning your strategy in the most successful way possible. With our clients, we run a marketing stack audit and identify what efforts can be doubled down on and where there is room to pull back and reallocate. This is done routinely with our clients to help them assess what is the best use of their marketing dollars each month, quarter and year. Making key digital strategy optimizations is always how we help them stay ahead of the curve time and time again.

Google Announces Mobile-First Indexing Across the Entire Web by September 2020

At the top of March 2020, Google announced that by September of this year, it will have made the switch to mobile-first indexing for all websites across the web. The gradual movement towards mobile-first indexing has been taking place for a few years now, dating back as far as November 2016 when Google first announced they would be experimenting with making the index mobile first. By 2017, it began evaluating sites for readiness and notifications to site owners about the mobile-first indexing moves began in 2018. Since then, updates and announcements have continued, with Google’s smartphone Googlebot continuously crawling the web.

Google’s aim has always been to continue improving the interactions between users and online content and they’ve acknowledged the successful work webmasters have done to facilitate the transition from desktop to mobile-first indexing. They’ve stated that a majority of the sites that are shown in search results – about 70% –  have already made the shift and are ready for mobile-first indexing. In the meantime, as more and more sites make the switch, Google’s smartphone bots will be continuing to crawl the web, moving sites to mobile-first indexing when it is detected that they are ready.

As a full-stack marketing agency, we’ve monitored all of Google’s updates and guidelines closely, keeping our clients abreast of any and all changes. We’ve worked on making many of our clients’ websites responsive over the years and implemented changes that have kept them ahead of the quickly evolving requirements.

With the switch being made official, that means it’s more important now than ever for webmasters and content creators to check for mobile-first indexing. One way Google has cited is to use their Search Console to check the status. This is one of the many ways we help our clients assess their website’s capacity for mobile. We inspect individual URL’s and review information about Google’s indexed version of any specific page. We also identify structured data errors, AMP errors and indexing issues and formulate a plan to correct these.

Our team checks the status of a URL’s index, inspect live URLs, request indexing for URLs and view rendered versions of the pages to help us better understand the status of a clients’ site. We also take a look at a loaded resource list and JavaScript output, among other information.

Google’s Recommended Optimization Guidelines for Mobile-First Indexing

Google has recommended users stick to these guidelines when implementing mobile-first indexing optimization:

  1. Content such as images, links, text and videos should be the same from desktop to mobile.
  2. Metadata such as robots meta tags, titles, alternative text and descriptions on mobile should match what’s on desktop.
  3. If the website was recently launched or redesigned, Google recommends users carry out checks in regards to content and metadata.
  4. Allow Google to crawl your resources. Some resources feature different URLs on the mobile site and the desktop site. Be sure you’re not blocking the URL with the disallow directive if you want Google to crawl your URLs.

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In addition to these guidelines, Google also encourages the use of responsive web design for new websites and discourages the use of mobile URLs, sometimes known as m-dot, due to various issues and confusion these URLs have created for both search engines and users.

Our team has been helping clients optimize their sites for mobile for years. If you’re in need of making the switch or aren’t sure about your site’s readiness for the transition, contact us to help you evaluate your site and get your site ready if need be.