The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of small businesses across Australia, but those who already had a strong investment in online channels were able to adapt quickly and still provide products and services to customers when the disruption hit.
For retail businesses, online was a critical component of their ability to successfully navigate lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and public health vaccination laws.
A classic example of a retail business that rode the roller coaster, but has managed to survive, and thrive, is Tri To Swim. The company sells specialist swimwear for athletes, and training gear, like flippers, goggles, kickboards, and hand paddles.
In other words, it’s a store for serious swimming enthusiasts.
The impact of Covid
The company has a ‘bricks and mortar’ store as well as an online shop, powered by Shopify. When the pandemic hit, the company was faced with two serious negative impacts: the temporarily forced closure of its physical store, and also the temporary closure of public swimming pools, which meant that a significant number of its customers were not able to train, in particular, to swim the distances they’re used to swimming.
But, the Tri to Swim team swiftly shifted their focus online. They remained committed to their online presence and maintained a strong relationship with the customers on their database.
The fact that they had, in previous years, invested in SEO services, and building a loyal online customer base were key elements in their ability to survive the pandemic.
Long-term commitment leads to success
During the course of their four-year working relationship with SEO for Small Business Australia, their SEO strategy has focused on five key elements:
- Information Architecture & User Experience
- Content Strategy
- On-page enhancements
- Technical enhancements
- Off-page strategy
During that time, organic traffic has increased by up to 200% and organic conversions have increased by more than 100%.
The brand has also achieved high visibility across a wide range of relevant phrases including branded product phrases.
“Four years ago, we started from scratch, from zero visibility,” says Bill Vasiliadis, Founder of SEO for Small Business Australia. “But slow and steady commitment always wins the SEO race, and now Tri to Swim has a very strong online presence.
“In the period just prior to Covid, revenue tripled as a direct result of their SEO, and now the website is in a strong position to recover well,” explains Bill.
Typically, when a business is going through tough times financially — as so many have throughout the past 18 months — they automatically look to cut what they believe are ‘unnecessary overheads’
More often than not this means stopping digital marketing and SEO services altogether, which can be a mistake. While it may be necessary to ‘prune’ services in an effort to reduce SEO expenditure, it’s a much wiser strategy than ceasing the investment in SEO.
“When you do that, you risk the progress you’ve already made, and it can be harder to catch up, especially when your competitors are increasing their digital marketing investment” Bill explains.
Flexible strategies for small business
‘We’re really flexible with our clients. The small business space can be highly competitive and pretty turbulent at times, so we understand the need to be flexible and operate within the boundaries of the client’s budget. There are options to ‘cherry pick’ our services so you can still achieve a good outcome, with only a couple of areas of focus, and reduce your spend.”
“We’ve been fortunate to work with Bill,” says Marnie Fawns of Tri To Swim “He’s given us sound advice, good service, and great results. I’d highly recommend him, again and again.”