In uncertain times it can be necessary to identify and cut costs to try and stay viable. Generally there are some key activities that fall under this, but your website costs shouldn’t be one of them. Our advice may seem akin to a one eyed all blacks fan refereeing the home team but hear me out as there are some important implications to consider rather than just turning out the lights for a while.
I’m going to lay out some key reasons as to why you should continue to keep a web presence, even if you can’t trade.
The running costs are low relative to the benefit
The running costs of a website will be a relatively low investment for your business relative to the benefits which we’ll outline below. It may be tempting to think about shutting down your online presence while you're unable to conduct normal business if you weigh up the potential benefits it is likely to be a sensible investment.
The internet is still going and business is being done
Digital marketing guru, Quentin Weber from Unbound Digital Marketing tells me that although businesses are facing extraordinary challenges, people are still conducting ordinary business. Now is the time to cultivate and nurture leads for when operations can commence. Adding extra functionality to your website to help with producing online quotes is a strategy worth approaching. Our friends at Quotient have a great online quoting tool which is worth a look.
Google is still watching
Google crawls your site regularly, checking your content and your metadata. If you’ve built up years of Google goodwill with your site, turning it off could bring all that hard work crashing down. This will impact on your search rankings because Google doesn't necessarily want to send the user to a website that they know has been down, because it provides the user with a poor user experience. We’ve seen first hand when someone closes a site that it doesn’t take long for a site to disappear from Google.
Even if you decide to turn it on again, Google will take some time to reindex your site, limiting it’s immediate impact to generate leads for your business again. Let’s also imagine that your competitors haven’t turned their site off. You now have to not only fight Google to climb back up the rankings, but the businesses that have taken your spots.
Your website is an important communication tool
Even if you’ve had to pause your business completely at present your website is a great way to stay connected with your customers. People will check a website first before calling or emailing with an enquiry. They will want to know what you are doing to respond to the current crisis and what you can offer them going forward. It’s also a way to nurture new leads. Create a contact form connected to Mailchimp to obtain email addresses and stay in contact with those people.
We’ve observed a lot of sympathy and goodwill towards businesses that have had to temporarily close their doors due to the lock down and if you can maintain a connection with your customers you will maintain a good foundation for when you open the doors again.
Talk to us
Please don’t hesitate to talk to us about how we can help you maximise your website’s potential at this challenging time.
If keeping a website live on a full plan is simply not possible you might consider going onto a one page website plan so you can at least maintain some presence for your business name. One page websites simply don’t rank as well but if the only other option is no web presence the one pager is a good alternative.