It’s easy to say that COVID-19 has changed virtually every aspect of life in the past nine months. However, while some temporary measures—like social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding public gatherings—will probably fade away, some other changes will be permanent.
In our business, it’s easy to see how the pandemic emphasized the importance of having a strong website. Even though some entrepreneurs will be anxiously waiting for things to go back to “normal,” we think many of the shifts are irreversible. In other words, all the reasons your website was critically important to your company in 2020 will continue into the future. That’s because we were already moving towards a digital-first business landscape.
As a full-service agency, we deal with everything: print ads, branding, package design, and digital strategies. But this year has been all about online business. The internet has been critically important to marketers for years, of course, but current circumstances have shown what is possible and accelerated a trend that was already in motion.
What does this mean for you and your business going forward? Let’s look at a few things that are already becoming apparent…
Your Website is the Primary Point of Contact for Your Business
In many ways, your website is your most important piece of real estate, your best employee, and your biggest source of referrals all in one. That’s because it can be seen and interacted with by many times more visitors than you, your building, or all of your employees combined. That’s especially true if you’re using search engine optimization and social media to their fullest powers.
When you have a strong website in place it enhances your credibility. It’s easier for people to trust you, and to understand the unique advantages of your products or services. In order to gain these benefits, though, your website has to actually be impressive. It also helps if you can use interactive tools—like online chat and real-time social media feeds—to engage visitors from the first moment they arrive.
It’s Not Just about Looks Anymore
Although we are in the “business web design” industry, we recognize that term has become something of a misnomer. That’s because the design (or aesthetics) of a website are no longer the primary or only consideration. What you can do with your pages is just as important as the way they look.
We’ve already mentioned the big benefits that come with using online chat to engage with visitors directly in real-time. What we have also seen this year is that ecommerce plugins, online scheduling tools, and video training modules—to name just a few—can all make a website more valuable. These kinds of features boost revenue, save money, and make it more convenient for customers to do business with you.
COVID-19 Will Pass but Digital Business is Here to Stay
Speaking of decreased costs and increased revenue, it’s important to remember that bottom-line considerations have been driving business website upgrades for many years. There are a lot of business owners out there who only made changes to their websites out of necessity in 2020. Now that they’ve seen the benefits, though, they won’t be going back.
There aren’t many silver linings to the struggles we have seen in 2020. However, it’s never a bad thing when entrepreneurs and executives can discover lasting ways to find customers or save money. That’s why it’s a safe bet that the “new normal” of relying on business websites is going to be with us even as the pandemic stops being an ongoing concern.