Does your company have a COVID-19 advisory notice on your website?

  1. Who needs an advisory notice.
  2. Why you should be posting your notice and policy.
  3. Examples of advisory notices and announcements.
  4. Where you should post your notice.

 

These are crazy times. People are scared, the stock market has tanked and there is no toilet paper anywhere.

But despite there being no tp, you still have to operate your business. However, some things will probably have to change for a few weeks to a few months. Some of these changes affect your customers and because of that, it’s a good idea to have a notice on your website and social media to keep them updated.

Who needs a COVID-19/Corona advisory notice?

COVID-19 affects different businesses in different ways. For instance, if you’re running a doctor’s office or clinic you may not be seeing certain patients for a set amount of time. You may be doing more conference calls when you would have had in-person meetings. Or you may not be shaking hands anymore.

There are a whole range of changes that you may be making to help keep your staff and customers safe and your business operating. If COVID-19 is affecting how you do business in any way perceivable by your clients you should post a notice or advisory statement.

Why you should be posting a notice.

Posting your notice lets people know you are on top of the situation and whether you are still operating or not. It keeps everyone on the same page.

No one likes to be surprised by a sudden change. So if how you do business has changed because of a crisis or emergency a notice keeps everyone in the loop and lets them know what to expect.

Examples of COVID-19 Notices.

These are just examples and range from huge corporate franchises to smaller businesses. Not all of them will be right for you, but can give you an idea of what needs to be covered by a notice.

Starbucks
Hubspot
AlixPartners
Appliance Repair Company

As you can see there are different types. From just letting everyone know it’s business as usual with some precautions taken to “We won’t touch you”.

The type of notice will depend on your situation but you should be letting people know:

  • Nothing has changed and you’re monitoring the situation
  • Who to contact with questions.
  • Changes in hours
  • Changes in staff locations “so don’t bother stopping by our office, everyone is at home”
  • Any changes in your procedures and processes
  • Delays or postponement of services
  • Discontinuations of services
  • Or anything else that may affect how your customers do business with you.

The reasoning behind any of the changes can also go along way toward putting people’s minds at ease and get ahead of questions people may have.

Where should you post your notice?

These notices don’t help anyone if no one sees them.

We recommend you put them up in the following places.

  1. Your website. Having a pop-up or bar at the top or bottom of your site linking to your post is a great way to make finding the post easy without disrupting your whole site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Email your customer list. Chances are no one is visiting your site every day. So an email is a great way to reach those people.

3. Post a link to your policy on your social media accounts. Just like everyone isn’t visiting your website every day, people aren’t looking for your email either. Posting to your social media accounts is another way to get people’s attention and let them know what’s going on.

There may be other places you could post your notice like a newsletter. The goal is to get the word out and avoid unnecessary disruptions. So post wherever it makes sense to you.

 

Wrapping Up

This post is not legal advice, health care advice, or human resource advice. Just observations we’ve made as both a customer of businesses affected by the Corona Virus and an agency taking care of companies being affected.

So we’re here to help however we can. If you need help posting a notice or advisory statement feel free to contact us with a copy of your notice and we’ll do our best to get it posted for you, or refer you to someone who can help you get your notice added to your site.

HTTPS vs HTTP Why Your Website Needs an SSL

ssl encryption, SSL, site security, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Secured vs Unsecured

 

This is an oversimplification, but to get us started. If your site has HTTPS in front of your URL, then your website has an SSL/TSL certificate and the traffic between your server and the end-users browser is encrypted. If your address starts with HTTP, then it is not. Here is a much more exhaustive explanation of what an SSL is and why you need one.

Google Chrome and other browsers have started to warn users that the sites they are visiting are not secure. If your end-user (or yourself) transmits sensitive or private data between their computer and your server, that data can be grabbed by anyone between them and the server and stolen. The information will not be encrypted and can be read by whoever is intercepting that information.

This all sounds scary and it kind of is. Chances are you are not trying to get your customers identity stolen. You are probably just trying to take online orders for cakes, cards, or widgets of some kind. However, by asking for the data, you should know the risks and how to keep your customers safe.

 

Security is Important to Google

Now, why does that matter to you? (beyond the risks to your customers)

Google started “shaming” sites that do not use Encryption. The browser will call you out and give the user an explanation of what about your site is insecure. Whether it’s mixed content (a mixture of Secure and Insecure content) or you are missing an SSL altogether.

 

non encrypted site security

 

Motherboard has a great article on the coming “shaming” from Google and what it means for you.

Google made this announcement back in September 2016. You can read that here. There is a lot to digest in both of these articles, but if you have nothing better to do or you need something to put you to sleep they are great reading.

 

 

 

While above is the current examples of the treatment of HTTP pages with passwords or credit card form fields, and below is where they are moving to. As you can see your customers will know when their information is at risk. All the more reason to install an SSL and secure your site.

 

 

SSL Now Affects SEO

Ever since this announcement, encrypted sites have been gaining an edge over their nonencrypted competitors.  Neil Patel explains SSL and it’s implications for your site and traffic here.

If you had any doubts about securing your site those will be gone after reading Neils post. You don’t want all your hard work and money to go out the window. You need your efforts to be seen by search engines as safe so they can get in front of your audience.

We will go over installing an SSL in another post. Installing a certificate is not as simple as turning on a switch on your website. There are things to consider. Do you have a multisite network with subdomains were a wildcard certificate is required? What level of security do you need?

Need help making the transition? Not sure where to start? We would be happy to discuss your options with you. Just leave a comment below or reach out to us.

Have you already made the transition to a secure site? What issues did you encounter?

Update:

PixelPrivacy is a great company who wrote a guide on SSL and HTTPS. They have awesome guides for all types of web related security. Check out their guides and let them know what you think.