Website Best Practices for Covid-19 Notices

It’s crazy times, folks.  In a quickly changing world where businesses are struggling to adapt and survive, making sure your clients are fully aware of the measures you are taking in your business to be safe and comply with government regulations is key.

Here’s a handy checklist to make sure your website and online presence is up-to-date and reflecting the changes that are taking place for you.

1. Notices

Use a banner/bar notice (a thin section across the top of your website that appears on every page) that links to a blog post or page on your website with your information so that your clients will see it on every page.  It’s not enough to have it simply on the homepage, many clients will enter your website from an interior landing page, and you want to make sure the message is received.

2. Information to Include

Is it ‘business as usual’ or have you made changes? Are you offering new services because of social distancing? What has changed in your business? Have your hours changed, or the places where you can provide services? Are you taking particular safety precautions your clients should be aware of? Indicate these things clearly in your notice.

3. Your contact information

Look at your footer (the very bottom part of your website), your contact page, or any other place on your website where you have listed any opening or operation hours, or contact information.  Make sure these reflect your current reality.

4.  Your Bookings

If your business involves online bookings, consider the automated times you have set for your ‘availability’ – do these need to be changed? (perhaps opened up more, or extended farther into the future to facilitate bookings, or even closed off).  If you have your website linked to an online booking calendar like Calendly, Acuity, MindBody, etc make sure that your changed availability is synchronized here as well.

5.  Proof Read

There’s nothing worse than ‘tone deaf’ information on your website during a crisis.  Have a read through your website with an eye to this new reality. Are there any headings or information that needs to be changed?

6. FAQ

Consider if you need to add any information to a Frequently Asked Questions page, to help your clients understand what is happening with your business.  It may be the same information included on your Covid-19 notice page, but it never hurts to repeat the information.

7. Your Google My Business Listing

Outside of your website, make sure to update your Google My Business profile with changed hours, or even that you are temporarily closed. Don’t forget about Yelp, Bing Places, or TripAdvisor if any of these sites pertain to you.  Here’s a handy link to Google My Business updating

8.  Social Media Profiles

Don’t forget your social media profiles – do you need to ‘pin’ a notice to the top of your Facebook page, or change something in your Instagram or Twitter bio?  Does your LinkedIn profile contain contact information that needs to be updated? Have a quick scan of all of your profiles.

9.  Email Your List

I know, I know, you’ve received countless Covid-19 announcements in your inbox and it’s getting overwhelming – but email is still the #1 way to reach your clients.  If you have important information that affects how your clients can reach you, hire you, or interact with you, it’s important to get the word out.  Even a reassuring notice from a trusted source (you!) can go a long way to creating connections that will last into the future.

10.  Backup Your Website

It’s always been important to backup your website, but the sad truth is there’s been an increase in malware and phishing (email scam) attacks recently.  If your website was affected, could you easily and reliably restore it using a backup?  All of our clients have automatic daily backups created, so restoring a hacked website is easy and quick.  Ask your hosting provider or website security professional if you’re covered in this way.  If you’re using a backup plugin, check it to make sure everything is getting backed up properly – occasionally there are errors with transfers (especially if you have an image-heavy site) and you think your backups are working when they aren’t.  Here’s some more resources about backups for WordPress

A final note – Ask for Help!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Whether it’s help in updating your website, or help from your clients to keep you solvent during this pandemic, keeping silent about what you need is the wrong tactic.  People all over the world are joining together to lift eachother up – whether that’s by creating new offers, opening up availability and access, or just some old-fashioned solidarity and (virtual) companionship.

Reach out to your networks, your online groups, and your service providers and partners to get the help you need.  We are here for you!

 

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