Businesses are looking for ways to cut back and save money during these difficult times and many may consider their website fair game for cuts. Before you, as a business owner or manager, jump in to slash costs at the expense of your lifeline to your customers, consider these smart ways to reduce your website expenses without sacrificing short or long-term search optimization or frustrate your customers by going dark. 


Limit Site Functions 

If you’ll be closing your doors temporarily, it makes sense for you to review some your site functions and considering taking some offline as opposed to taking the entire site offline. For example, you may reduce your inventory, restrict cart access or limit checkout functions. This will keep your products and site in the index but still offer them to view, comment and review. 

Best Practices According to Google 

Disable the cart functionalityDisabling the cart functionality is the simplest approach and doesn’t change anything for your site’s visibility in search. 

Tell your customers what’s going on. Display a banner or popup with appropriate information for your users, so that they’re aware of the business’s status. Mention any known and unusual delays, shipping times, check-in or service limitations, etc. upfront, so that users continue with the right expectations.  

Update your structured data or tell your web developer toIf your site uses structured data (such as products, books, events), make sure to adjust it appropriately (reflecting the current product availability, or changing events to cancelled). If your business has a physical storefront, update local business structured data to reflect current opening hours. 

Check your merchant center feedIf you use Merchant Center, follow the best practices for the availability attribute. 

Tell Google about your updatesTo ask Google to recrawl a limited number of pages (for example, the homepage), use your Google search console. For a larger number of pages (for example, all of your product pages), use site maps. 

There is a way to strike a happy balance between saving money and preserving your all-important website for a smooth return to normalcy! 

How can I help? 

Write to me at [email protected].