Why Your Website Will Make or Break Your Business this COVID-19 Season
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Singapore and the lockdown started, many businesses found themselves in a race to digitize in order to find new ways of earning revenue to survive.
In the first phase of the circuit breaker period from 7 April to 1 June, food delivery orders surged by a whopping 73 percent. Now, months into the second phase — Nielsen reports a significant shift in behaviour amongst Singaporeans, with 37% of consumers increasing their online shopping activities since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since digital has become the new normal, Singaporeans have turned to e-commerce to shop for everything from food to groceries, clothes, household tools, computer peripherals, exercise equipment and more.
Although online shopping activity has sharply increased, not everything is rosy for local retail brands. A 17 Sep Straits Times article reports that for every $100 spent on local brands, only $2 were transacted online. This is a far cry from the national retail average of $25 per $100. This highlights a significant lack of online presence as local brands are losing out much more intense competition on the internet. Now more than ever, a good website is key for your business to thrive.
Why is Your Business Website so Important?
It goes without saying that in the online world, your website is the equivalent of a physical shopfront. Despite the easy availability of e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Qoo10 or Shopee to conduct online operations, your website is still an important tool in your digital strategy that you need to pay attention to.
These days, consumers will be looking at your website to form first impressions and research on your business even before visiting your physical store. A well designed, informative and up-to-date website strengthens your credibility and helps establish trust in your brand. And if they are purchasing directly from your website, then the experience needs to be smooth as well.
Is Having a Website All You Need for Digital Success?
Up till this point, things might be sounding a little too easy to be true. Once you’ve designed a beautiful website, set it up and launch it online, you’re done, right? Not quite! See, online presence is more than just a simple website.
Everything from your digital communication to social media content, advertising and more should be used to drive potential customers to your website. However, if your website is not built from the ground up to manage and handle these customers once they visit, then you are potentially throwing away hundreds or thousands of warm leads.
What Makes a Website Great at Generating Leads?
A plain and simple website with basic company information will not cut it if you want a website that actually sells and generates revenue for your business.
A well-designed business website will have several elements that encourage lead generation. This can range from an attractive call-to-action on a large homepage banner, a live chat service, contact us forms, newsletter sign-ups as well as dynamic targeted content, on-page personalization and many, many more. Users who find websites that specifically target their interests are more likely to engage with the brand and start an interaction.
You might want to consult an e-commerce website design company who can advise you on best practices to optimise your website for lead generation that suits your business needs.
Increasing Your Website’s Visibility
Ok, so your brand-new lead-generation focused website is up and running. You’re ready to wow your visitors with its slick new features and smooth user experience. But nobody seems to be visiting and traffic still remains low!
In order for your website to be easily found online, you need to improve its visibility on search engines. There are two main ways you can do so.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic onto your website through organic (non-paid) search results. This means tweaking all the elements of your website so that they synergize and help you appear as relevant search results on specific keywords/phrases and rank as high as possible on search engines’ results.
SEO specialists and SEO agencies excel at helping you target lower-competition keywords so your website has more chances of appearing on the first page of Google, Bing or any other search engine. This is important because when your website first launches, it is unlikely to have built up enough authority in the eyes of the search engine to be considered a credible source.
For example, if you’re an F&B business selling burgers, your new website will have a harder time appearing on search results if you build your SEO using a general phrase like “best burgers in Singapore” due to higher competition from more established names. Agencies offering SEO packages in Singapore can help develop a strategy around alternative keywords/phrases to help you build up your SEO and improve visibility over time.
Search Engine Marketing
If you’ve ever searched for anything on Google, you’ve likely seen some highlighted results at the top, bottom and even at the side of your page. These are paid advertisements and listings known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Unlike SEO, which is free but takes time to build, SEM is a quick way to boost your visibility by paying to appear on search engine results. In SEM, advertisers bid on specific keywords that users might enter when looking for certain products or services. The ads work on a pay-per-click basis and are great because it puts your website in front of users who are already primed and interested. Just like SEO, much of the success in SEM comes from being able to research and target effective keywords.
An SEM agency will make use of tools to find keyword suggestions and alternatives, ranking them based on search volume and cost to give you a good idea of which to target. Check out some SEM packages here if you are interested.
In short, coming up with an online presence during this Covid-19 season isn’t a walk in the park. From having a visually appealing and user-friendly site, to optimising it for lead generation, and spending on either SEO and/or SEM, running an ecommerce business is definitely much harder during this period.
Luckily, companies that offer the whole range of web development and digital marketing services exist in Singapore, With FirstCom Solutions, you can establish your web presence from scratch even if you know nothing about running a site or how to optimise your digital marketing. Its digital specialists and other experienced team members will guide you every step of the way and help your business flourish during this Covid19 period. Contact them today!