As the world continues to adapt to the impact of COVID-19, businesses are facing new challenges that could actually be opportunities to get closer to their customers. 
Keeping clients informed, providing timely updates, optimizing digital properties, and updating websites/apps in real-time should be the top priorities for companies that aspire to connect with their customers more. 
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for digital businesses to keep up with the rapid shifts in consumer behavior during this period. 
Users are interested in information about product availability, working hours, and FAQs, which are all rapidly changing. Business owners have to answer questions that weren’t previously asked, and the best way to do that is from the first touchpoint with the customer. 
This is why Google Optimize released a new series of features designed to help businesses adapt quickly to the new business reality. 
Optimize allows businesses to test variants of web pages to see how they perform against specific objectives. Optimize monitors the results of the experiment and tells business owners or managers which variant is the best. 

What’s New in Google Optimize

Last week, Optimize introduced a new way for businesses to quickly add an informational banner at the top of their website. 
This enables companies to easily let their customers know if the business hours or services have changed, or simply reinforce that they are still open to serve them – and where they can find more information.
According to Google, once you log into your Optimize account, you can add a message to the top of your site by clicking “Add a banner.” 
You can select which pages of your site the banner should be shown, for example, on only the homepage or on every page of your site. You can use Google’s template banner or customize it by editing the color, size, and text. 
Google recommends using a color that stands out from the other content on your page. 

Image Source: Google Optimize
 You can also tailor your message by location. Businesses can use geo-targeting to reach users from a particular geographic area. For example, you might invite users from a specific city to attend an in-person event or to visit your on-site location.
Another feature is a customized banner that highlights free delivery for users located in specific areas. For example, if a restaurant in Raleigh, NC would like to offer free delivery to customers located within the city, then this can be added. 
Another personalization feature offered by Optimize is to temporarily display a different version of your website to people when they visit. 
This can be beneficial if you want to update your store hours or services available, or if you want to display a different product palette. You can end the personalization whenever you like and your site will go back to displaying its original version.
This is helpful if you want to inform customers of new ways they can purchase from your business. For example, an electronics-store that is now accepting orders over the phone can add the phone number to the home page or make it more visible on the site. A different scenario would be a clothing retailer that is now only accepting online orders and they can rapidly update their FAQ page to include a new shipping and return policy.

What Should Website Owners Do?

During this period, website managers should focus specifically on the user experience. It is important to adapt their messages not only to the new reality and business landscape but also to users’ devices when browsing through the digital property. 
For example, long messages could be displayed properly on desktop but improperly on mobile devices. 
Organizations should also make sure their capabilities are up to the challenge when it comes to the new data influx they are experiencing. This means everything from proper data collection, servers, data warehousing, and staff (e.g., data engineers, analysts) need to be utilized to leverage data and generate insights. Here’s a great list of resources to help your business leverage data and effectively serve your customers.
You can also contact us if you have any questions or need assistance. By working together, we can help boost the momentum of your business and adapt your digital property to the new business reality.

About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

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