10 Free things you can do to help your retail business during the COVID-19 shutdown

As featured in Furniture Today. Joe Walter, a furniture retailer for 20 years and the founder of SearchWurx, which promotes furniture store websites, offers this advice for furniture retailers. “If you can do these now — some will start paying off right away, and some will pay off over time — and most should cost nothing more than your time,” Walter says.

  1. Visit your own website like a potential customer, from your desktop and phone. Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? If not, talk to your webmaster about fixing it.
  2. Update your pictures on Yelp and Google My Business
  3. Update your list of products and services on Google My Business
  4. Ask customers, friends, and family for reviews on Google
  5. Rewrite the descriptions of your top 10 items in each category on your website
    a. Add more photos
    b. Make sure the item is packaged the way people want to buy it (i.e. dining table, 2 arm chairs, 4 side chairs, or bed, dresser, 2 nightstands)
    c. Name them something different and change the item numbers to make comparison shopping more difficult
  6. Think about whether your business name or product label fully tells people what you do/sell in their language. Matching the phrases on your website to the phrases your customers search can help your organic SEO. Here are some examples (there are tons more based on your region/products)
    Industry term vs. consumer term:

    • Motion vs. reclining
    • Recliner vs. La-Z-Boy, Barcalounger, easy chair, recliner
    • Upholstered vs. fabric
    • Sofa vs. couch
    • Price vs. cost
    • Mattress vs. bed
    • Bed vs. bed (I know, confusing right)
    • Showroom vs. store
    • Dinette vs. kitchen set
  7. Write a book
    a. It doesn’t have to be long or good
    b. Focus on the title and cover
    c. Just having a book can make you an authority on your business
  8. Offer to trade with other local businesses — maybe the local painter needs a new desk and you need a fresh coat
  9. Make sure anything you offer that makes working from home easier is prominently displayed on your website
  10. Answer questions on your website that people are often asking you over the phone or in person. Other people want to know, too, and it can improve your SEO. Examples:
    • When do mattresses go on sale?
    • Do furniture stores pick up old furniture?
    • What’s the best way to store furniture?
    • How do you tell a good couch from a cheap couch?
    • Why does one mattress cost more than another mattress?
    • What’s the best bed for lower back pain?
  11. BONUS: Can you offer anything that’s FREE and/or EASY, both are powerful words and we can all use a little free and easy right now

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