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Andrea Hill

Now’s The Time To Build The Website You Wish You’d Had

Here’s how to put the digital resources in place to rise from the ashes of the pandemic.




IN PSYCHOLOGY, WHEN a person avoids responsibility for his or her life by investing heavily in another person’s problems, it’s called codependence. Today, I’m sounding the early warning system: Don’t get codependent on coronavirus as an escape hatch from dealing with the challenges of your business. Natural disasters and recessions provide an excellent excuse for not marketing. We’re human, so we get to freak out and mourn when things go wrong. That’s OK … for a bit. But then, it’s time to turn our focus to getting better, which happens to be an excellent form of therapy.

As I write this article, I have no idea what will happen in the next five weeks. But we don’t have to predict the future. We just have to look to the past. Specifically: What could I have done differently in the past that would have better prepared me for the reality of today? Create the plan now you wish you’d made in the past, and you will start improving even before consumers return to stores.

Was your website ready to support you when foot-traffic died? The consumer commitment to online shopping just picked up a strong tailwind, and you need to keep up. Your website should include a full catalog of your product with prices, an easy shopping cart and checkout functionality. But don’t stop there! Your website should also include:

  • Online chat, including the ability to take messages during off hours. Even better, implement a chat system that also helps your visitors navigate to personalized answers. The option to answer yes/no questions at the click of a mouse or touch of a finger and quickly land on the “right” page or product is very appealing to consumers. Make sure they have the option to speak with a live person at any point, and you’ve covered all the bases.
  • Dynamic content. It’s easier (and more affordable) than ever to tailor the content your website visitors see to the things most likely to suit their interests.
  • Rich search snippets. Implement the organic SEO disciplines on your website that ensure your links are the ones that get clicked.
  • Video conferencing. Yes, it’s gone mainstream. Continue to offer “virtual presentations” to your customers. It’s convenient and can expand your geographic footprint.
  • Video content. Once you get beyond being camera-shy, you realize that it’s fun to share quick video moments with your customers — and they really appreciate it. Incorporate more “you” in your social media and less product, and you’ll actually end up selling more product.
  • Testimonials and reviews. These trust-building features help you convert prospects into customers. Aggregate your Yelp, Facebook, Google, and paper/email reviews into one powerful collection. Display these endorsements on your website and social channels, and use them to inspire more testimonials.

A codependent’s issues don’t go away when their dysfunctional mate becomes well. This downturn will end, and you don’t want to find yourself still playing the “blame game” when it does! Take control now of your marketing plans, and get ready for a brighter future. Because it’s right around the corner.

Andrea Hill is owner of Hill Management Group, with three brands serving the jewelry industry. Learn more at



Time to Do What You've Always Wanted? Time to Call Wilkerson.

It was time. Teri Allen and her brother, Nick Pavlich, Jr., had been at the helm of Dearborn Jewelers of Plymouth in Plymouth, Mich., for decades. Their father, Nick Pavlich, Sr., had founded the store in 1950, but after so many wonderful years helping families around Michigan celebrate their most important moments, it was time to get some “moments” of their own. Teri says Wilkerson was the logical choice to run their retirement sale. “They’re the only company that specializes in closing jewelry stores,” she says. During the sale, Teri says a highlight was seeing so many generations of customers who wanted to buy “that one last piece of jewelry from us.” Would she recommend Wilkerson? Absolutely. “There is no way that I would have been able to do this by myself.”

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