Adding a Health Notification Popup Banner to Your WordPress Website During COVID-19 Panic

Customers are totally freaked out during the current economic health crisis and the coronavirus (COVID-19) panic, and many of them are cutting down on or canceling services with small businesses across the country.

The question becomes, “How do we protect our business revenue during a time when people are scared to spend, and scared to see other people?”

That’s a big question! Especially because in some parts of the country (at the time of writing this post) there are partial lockdowns in place with governments strongly encouraging social distancing. Retail, restaurants and the service industries are getting hammered right now.

In life, there are some things you can control, and many that you simply cannot. The coronavirus is one of them. So let’s look at something you can control:

Communicating positive, helpful, and reassuring messaging to your customers and prospective customers.

Adding a Health Notification Popup Addressing Coronavirus Concerns to a WordPress Website

This easy to install communication tool is only available on WordPress, although I’m sure there are similar options available on other platforms.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to use and install the Cookie Notice plugin on WordPress to create a simple, free banner that sits at the top of your website to communicate directly to your website visitors.

Here’s an example of what we did for one of our clients, Superior Tailoring & Alterations:

(Home page of Superior Tailoring & Alterations with COVID-19 Notice at Top)

Cookie Notice Plugin Tutorial

The Cookie Notice plugin was originally created to help with GDPR website compliance laws in Europe to notify you of their privacy policies.

Even though we’re using it to create a health notice, it’s functionality is perfect for this purpose.

Click the video below to watch us install the plugin step-by-step, or simply follow along with the rest of the instructions on this page.

Downloading Cookie Notice for WordPress

Login to your websites’ WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins”, then click “Add New”.

On the following screen type in “cookie notice” in the search bar. Then select the plugin that says “Cookie Notice for GDPR & CCPA”. You’ll notice it has more than 1 million active downloads and over 2,400 five-star reviews.

Click “Install Now” and then “Activate”.

Customize Your Health Notification Banner

From the WordPress Dashboard click on “Settings” and then “Cookie Notice”.

Your Health Notification Banner Message

Next to “Message” you can write whatever notification you deem appropriate for your business and your area. You may also add a call to action that will tell them to click through the banner . For example, we wrote:

We’re working on new ways to help our clients survive and thrive during the current health crisis and major shutdowns. Click ‘Learn More’ to see what we’re doing.

Choosing Your Button Text

You can customize the text on the button that will make your notification disappear. We chose to label it ‘Dismiss’ because psychologically people have to think twice before clicking it. This is the button they’ll click to make your banner disappear.

Adding ‘Learn More’ or ‘More Info’ Button to the Banner

You can click “Enable Privacy Policy Link” if you want to redirect users to another page on your website. (Remember? This plugin was originally made for GDPR purposes.)

Many local businesses have created new pages on their websites that go into detail explaining what they have done in response to the COVID-19 threat. You can see what we did for Superior Tailoring & Alterations, here.

Updating the Script Placement

We think this is another important step to take with this plugin. Updating the script plugin to ‘Footer’ means that your website will load FIRST before it loads the health notification banner. That’s critical for the overall conversion rate of your site.

Changing the Position of the Health Notification Popup

Our eyes are naturally trained to read our screens starting in the top left more often than not. Therefore, we want our banner popup to display at the top of our site instead of the bottom.

Changing and Updating Colors

On the bottom of the Cookie Notice settings page, you’ll see options to change the Text Color and Bar Color of your notification.

We recommend a strong color like red that will stand out against your website background and scream for the attention it deserves.

Click “Save Changes” and you’re done!

When you visit your website in a new tab, you should see the notification banner at the top of the window. If it’s not there right away, just give it a few minutes and try again. Sometimes it takes a minute to update.

You can see the finished changes below on our site:

(Screenshot of the home page of DigitalHarvest.io)

Going the Extra Mile and Over-Communicating

This is your chance to really explain what your company is doing right now in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Are you providing extra sanitization beyond normal?
Are you providing daycare for your employee’s children?
Are you moving to delivery only?

What are you doing to keep up with the changes and government mandates in your area? Address those issues in detail.

Finally, let people know that we’re in this together. That this too shall pass, and that you’re going to continue with business as usual while being cautious and communicative during uncertainty.

Here are two examples of this idea in action:

1. Digital Harvest Response to COVID-19

2. Superior Tailoring & Alterations Response to COVID-19

Hopefully, you can see from our examples that you can still be serious while keeping the tone lighter and in a more conversational manner.

Do it Yourself vs. Done for You

If you follow along with the steps on this page and in the video tutorial posted on YouTube, you can get the Health Notification popup banner set up with Cookie Notice plugin in a matter of 10-15 minutes.

That’s our gift to you and we hope you share this blog post with others who need it right now.

If you need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to us through our contact forms on this page, in the comments below or via social media. We know in times of need every little bit counts.

That’s why we’re offering to help you set up the health notification popup on your website, and craft the health notice post for your website and link everything together. We’ll help you get it set up at cost (just pay our writer’s hourly wage) and I’ll donate my personal time to hook you up.

Simply reach out – we’re here for you!

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