In a Crisis: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website By Improving User Experience and Content

2020-09-21T04:17:24+01:00September 18th, 2020|
  • How to Drive Traffic to Your Website By Improving User Experience and Content

Will the current crisis affect your online traffic and sales? Well, this will depend on your particular industry. At the moment, people are queuing in lines and fighting over toilet rolls. Meanwhile, online stores that sell essential times are enjoying a boost in their revenue. So, what if your website doesn’t offer products and services that are considered critical? Here is some advice on what you can do.

Businesses that sell essential items

Online shops that sell “essential items” are experiencing huge spikes in their online traffic and sales. Websites that sell goods such as hand sanitizers, toilet paper, personal care products and cleaning items are extremely popular in the current climate.

E-commerce sites are certainly noticing a significant demand for their products and services. In fact, the majority of these products are needed in times of severe health risks. Therefore, if you sell items that are in high demand, you should consider creating a separate web page to display them.

Even if you are not in this category, it is important to remember that non-essential goods are also being sold in large quantities. For example:

  • As people aren’t allowed to go to the gym at the moment, they have started purchasing indoor fitness equipment, such as Ring Fits
  • Many employees are now working at home, which is naturally driving up sales of office furniture such as chairs and desks
  • As families are having to stay at home, there has been an increased online demand for baby-care items and toys
  • Surprisingly, car sales have also risen. Chinese carmakers allow customers to buy a car online and have it delivered to their doorstep
  • Couriers and delivery services are extremely busy during the pandemic due to the surge in online shopping

Unlike physical stores, most online platforms can remain open. However, you will need to make sure you can overcome any logistical challenges due to the quarantines and lockdown.

Health and wellness sites

Websites that offer health and wellness products and services are used to experiencing volatile sales. However, the search engine giant Google is now critical of articles that tackle medical issues. This has resulted in an upsurge in online traffic covering topics regarding health and wellness.

So, when you are writing a blog for your website, you need to ensure that the content is:

  • Authoritative
  • Based on expertise
  • Trustworthy

These three elements are essential as people are dependent on search engines to obtain answers to their medical questions. As a result, it is your responsibility to produce accurate and authoritative advice. Indeed, there are numerous websites that contain inaccurate information about certain illnesses so you should only link official sources and government sites, such as the NHS. You should never post news articles or make claims that cannot be verified. Instead, write posts that will encourage your readers to take a more proactive approach.

Sites that offer recipes

As the pandemic is resulting in people cooking at home more often, recipe websites are experiencing an increase in the number of visitors. It is likely that this trend will continue as restaurants are either closed or operating at reduced capacity.

If you are in this industry, you can increase your online traffic by promoting or publishing recipes that only require a few ingredients or are simple to prepare.

Travel websites

You may think that travel websites are suffering from low traffic due to the restrictions that have been put in place. Surprisingly, their online traffic numbers are up and this can be attributed to:

  • Cancellations
  • Rescheduling
  • Refunds

However, the situation is a little more complex. Many of the current search queries relate to ‘cheap flights’. In fact, this is not unexpected as people are hoping to buy an airline seat at a knock-down price due to the recent cancellations.

To be precise, queries about hotels and cruises are trending down. SEO experts have observed that many of the online questions are now focused on support and reputation.

As a consequence, it is better to create or modify your FAQ page or create a blog topic. Use this content to answer your customers’ enquiries and concerns, especially with regard to the crisis. This will not only reassure your customers but it will also help them remember your company when it becomes safe to travel again.

Publishing websites

Publishing websites are enjoying a rise in online traffic during these troubling times. People have more time due to the current circumstances so they are now able to read e-books and listen to audio books. There has also been an increase in demand for information regarding health issues and wellness. You could include these types of books in your digital library.

You could also emulate what Scribd is doing and offer free e-books and audio books for a limited period of time in exchange for a customer’s registration or contact details.

Restaurants 

Most restaurants are now either closed or operating at minimum capacity. However, your business could still benefit from delivery services.

If your restaurant has been forced to close due to a crisis, use your GMB (Google My Business) page to inform your customers that you are closed instead of removing your store hours. One SEO expert explains that removing the operating hours will mark your business as ‘Open Now’ which can lead to confusion.

Also, in your GMB page’s Q&A section, consider adding a segment on your restaurant’s status while the crisis is still ongoing.

How to use your website to advocate social distancing

You can also use images to help people during this pandemic. For example, social distancing is critical right now. However, you don’t have to stir fear or panic to get your message across. You can instead offer the following subtle designs.

People staying at home 

You can adopt a calming manner to encourage people to stay at home. Consider sharing imagery that will remind people to stay inside and to avoid being outdoors if at all possible. Make sure that these images are designed in a fun but supportive way to persuade readers that they can still experience pleasant and joyful emotions.

Taking care of each other and staying safe

The elderly are the most vulnerable to illness during these worrying times. Therefore, think about creating images of happy people who are staying safe and caring for their loved ones and older relatives and friends.

You could also use pictures for information campaigns, both online and offline. Remember, the goal is to encourage a feeling of safety and to give people a reminder that they should take care of one another.

Social distancing can be a challenge for many people, especially those used to face-to-face interactions. Fortunately, technology can help you overcome this sense of isolation.

Video conferencing 

With shops and offices closed, video communication tools can make it possible for you to reach out to your customers. For example, Zoom can help you connect or socialise remotely. It doesn’t have to be a product promotion; simple safety tips or words of encouragement will suffice.

Conclusion

These are uncertain and troubling times. However, it is also an opportunity for you to check your customers’ needs and determine whether you are meeting their expectations. Although companies are reducing their digital spending, there is one channel that won’t affect the budget – organic search. Despite the current situation, you still need to implement your SEO campaigns. Experts believe that businesses that survive this current crisis are likely to climb up the SERPs. You can also make a positive contribution during a crisis. Incorporating images that encourage people to take decisive action is an excellent way of helping them during this pandemic.