With very, very few exceptions, your entire audience is online right now. So the very first question around supporting business right now has to be : do you already have an online presence? I’m hoping the answer is yes and that most of you are already in this position. (This post is being written specifically for business that already have an online presence but if you don’t happen to have a website yet, I will be following up with a second post full of recommendations for that scenario as well.)
So you do have a website. The first thing we are going to do a very quick health check on your website. It is critical that your site is showing up in searches, reaching the largest audience possible, performing well, and meeting your client’s needs. These are very simple checks so let’s run through them quickly.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR WEBSITE HAS AN SSL CERTIFICATE
If you already know what an SSL Certificate is and know that your site has one, go ahead and skip to the next header. For the people still here, having an SSL Certificate is absolutely critical to your website because without one, Google basically ignores your site and you won’t be showing up in organic searches. Without an SSL Certificate you’re likely only getting traffic from direct links and we can all agree that we all need a broader audience than that. Luckily it’s easy to find out if you have one or not. (Quite a few website builders include them by default these days. For example, a Shopify websites are automatically setup with an SSL Certificates.)
To check for an SSL Certificate : Type your website into a browser and check to see that the lock symbol shows up to the left of your domain.
If you see a small i in a circle instead of a lock, you might have one but your site might have some link or image issues keeping your site from being secure. That is usually a relatively easy fix.
If you don’t currently have an SSL Certificate, contact Ess Effect Design for advice on how to get that up and running quickly.
IS YOUR WEBSITE SETUP WITH GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE?
This one is important because this provides real insight into how your site is (or isn’t) performing—which in turn gives you an educated opportunity to make meaningful adjustments.
Do you have Google Analytics and Search Console setup already? If you’re not sure, you can do a quick check for Google Analytics as well. Go to your webpage and do a right click anywhere on the page. A pop-up menu will appear. From that option choose ‘View Page Source’.
It will take you to a page full of pure code, but don’t panic. Just do ⌘F and then put the text ‘UA-‘ in the search box. If there’s a match in the code that has a long number after the UA- (for example ‘UA-1332918380’ then you do have Google Analytics on your website.
As with the SSL Certificate, hopefully you’ve already got Google Analytics. If you do, hop in and take a look at your traffic, paying particular attention to how much you’re getting from direct, social, and organic search clicks.
If you don’t have Google Analytics and need help setting it up, or, if you do and you’d like a free consultation on actionable takeaways from your current analytics, contact Ess Effect Design. These analytics are so powerful in informing business decisions and showing you where you could make improvements.
Google Search Console is a different login but also highly recommended as it gives you more detailed insight into the keywords people are using to come to your site. It’s very simple to setup but does require access to your domain’s DNS records.
HOW ARE YOUR PAGE LOAD SPEEDS?
There is a LOT that goes into good SEO but one check that you can do yourself if you don’t know how your SEO is (or if you’ve never set it up) is to go to the site gtmetrix.com and analyze the performance of your website. This will give you an idea of if slow page loads are hurting your Google ranking.
There’s so much more to write about how businesses can handle the coronavirus crisis and this post is intended to help you establish a basic set of foundational items to build on. Up next will be a post on how to leverage what you’ve learned from this post as well as one for where / how to start if you don’t currently have an online presence.