As of this moment, May 6th 2020, 175 Countries have reported cases of COVID-19.
These cases have much in common, including that worldwide, researchers and people alike have yet to understand what the apex of a COVID-19 curve will look like. As a result, social distancing has become the new norm, with those refraining being shamed – and while in 2019 you may have been looked at strangely for wearing a face mask out and about, today folks will avoid even walking on the same sidewalk with you if you lack a mask.
Needless to say, the social and economic topography has shifted like tectonic plates redefining their boundaries, and taking on a new personality altogether. But what about web, tech, and all things digital?
Organizations are doing the tango, and pivoting to maintain value for their customers online in a tonne of phenomenally creative ways. In fact, if you’re a company that’s flexible and agile enough to adapt quickly, there’s a great piece here about unleashing potential and bringing your business remote. But what if bringing things into a more online world isn’t possible? What about your current digital processes, workflows, strategy, and web development both on the front and back end? What about the upcoming projects your team was geared up for?
Front End Development Shifts Gears
Priorities are Shifting: In Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” there’s this incredible BCG Matrix that explains company focus. While not always intuitive, it’s crucial to understand when you’re considering all of the complexities and future opportunities.
While we’re seeing less of an emphasis on redesigning entire sites, there’s more onus on patching up broken links, cleaning up visual tweaks that have been neglected, and really taking a closer look at stand-out competitor practices in order to design a long-term strategy. Sometimes, that much wanted and possibly needed redesign can wait.
COVID-19 Page or Article Design: Staying at the helm of communications is key to maintaining a consistent flow of traffic to your site, thus preserving your domain authority and rankings, as well as audience interest. Relevancy is paramount in a world that has recently and dramatically taken to online like an influencer chasing fame.
While nobody wants to be part of the “clutter,” businesses are struggling to gain attention. What an opportune time to stay ahead of the message, get creative as an organization, and use your good community deeds as an online tool to push others to do the same. And in turn, this will strengthen the relationships you have with your digital audience.
Back End Development Takes Center Stage
Organizations are now shifting gears to focus in on what’s been neglected over the years. This is a time for web development spring cleaning, and reassessing workflows/processes from a backend perspective. We’re seeing a huge influx of companies looking for a hand with support and maintenance projects that have always just “been on the back burner.”
Though cautious with budgetary constraints, it’s important to stay proactive, as your competitors are also planning and strategizing for the light at the end of this dark COVID-19 tunnel. While we’re seeing Front End development decrease by about 30%, Back End has in fact increased by about 50% and can tip the scale in your favour for when opportunities abound when economic conditions recover.
Here are the top 3 web support fixes we’re getting asked to help out with:
- Streamlining systems so that content management and entry gets more effective, and helps eliminate unnecessary admin time.
- Performance: Here’s a great (FREE) Google tool called Page Speed Insights, which allows companies to get a fairly good sense of their web health, both from a desktop and mobile perspective. And by now, we all know that if your site isn’t optimized for responsiveness from a mobile perspective, it’s about as effective as eating a carrot without teeth!
- Broken Link fixes: Here’s another gem of a FREE tool called Broken Link Checker that will likely be able to bring up more errors than you’d ever recognize yourself. This is a great tool for either redirecting links to more relevant pages to lower bounce rates, or to delete them entirely to speed up your site. Kind of like what mitochondria does to human cells – start getting rid of waste, and reduce the dead weight!
Enhancing Digital Marketing
It’s important in this time to maintain social channels. Sharing, telling stories, keeping up on the latest news, and translating that all into bite-sized pieces of content for your viewers is paramount. Your target audience will love this, and it’s good to know that you’re supporting the movement. In fact, we work with organizations that have gained new clients through this health pandemic in creating live, streaming content in such creative ways that it’s hard to look away.
Keeping videos short, to the point, concise, and on-brand is key to maintaining effectiveness. And don’t overdo it! We can all get a little carried away when it gets fun, but remember that there should be a purpose and cleverly designed goals that go into every video you create.
Digital marketing is also a fundamental part of attracting new clients. The COVID-19 pandemic is a horrifying situation, and the reality is that some businesses will not survive the economic drought. Inevitably, there will be an influx of customers across the planet that lose their supplier. Vast numbers of companies will be looking for help throughout this time, and it is important that your company voice concern with empathy, and lend a helping hand when new clients turn to you.
Support and Cleanup: Take Down the Cobwebs
We too are in a state of fluctuation. Uncertainties abound everywhere, though we also understand that storms will pass, and crystal clear weather awaits at some point down the line. We are committed as a team to making it there. Because our voice is mimicking our desire to keep grinding, we are supporting our clients at all cost, and helping THEM get through things with us.
What we see however are organizations taking a step back to better understand and realign both their short and long-term goals. Having weathered the Y2K blip, and been through the recession of 2008, North Studio is well-poised to help direct companies digitally and will continue to offer our advice and digital expertise.