Let us remember the pre-COVID world, digitalization was growing, businesses were all geared-up for 2020 and were ready with their highly-invested digital marketing ships to sail through the high tides. Seems quite an old story now!
COVID-19 has hit businesses differently, many businesses have slashed their paid marketing investments, and search ads lost 7% of all impressions between Jan to March. The same effect was witnessed across other paid marketing channels.
But, thankfully SEO didn’t feel that steep bump, instead some businesses increased their efforts in SEO and were able to feel a growth in some specific search queries.
So, this article discusses:
- Why COVID-19 is the best time to invest in professional SEO services?
- What should be your SEO strategies during this phase?
- The Road Ahead
Why COVID-19 is the best time to pick up your SEO?
1. Some industries have witnessed an increase in search traffic
As in France, Statistica reported increased traffic rates for some sectors since March. Online supermarkets witnessed a growth of 4% in traffic rates, while the stats were 6.1% and 15% for online fashion merchants and online pharmacies respectively.
2. SEO accounts for the majority of traffic to your website
A survey reports that search accounts for 53.3% of the total traffic on a website and 83% of this traffic is through organic search (SEO) while paid search accounts for 17%. This can be the best time to evaluate your SEO and content marketing strategies. Many businesses have been harnessing this phase to develop great content strategies both online and offline.
3. It is the best time to attract ‘highly qualified’ leads
COVID-19 times have shaped the search trends differently and people have started searching for things with a more resolute buying intent. It can be the best time to outdistance your competitors, and gain some highly qualified leads. Seek help from some professional SEO service experts.
4. Google isn’t going anywhere and search will be more ingrained in our lives post COVID-19
Google and the other search engines will only encounter an increase in the search volume with every passing day and digital search practice is just proliferating. You cannot afford to drain all the previous SEO efforts in vain.
Businesses are using the COVID-19 times to plan long-term SEO strategies aligned with professional SEO services.
5. Best time to prepare for long-term SEO returns
For businesses who are thinking of minimizing their SEO efforts, an analogy by Uptick Marketing states why you might be wrong – “SEO is like sowing the seeds and cultivating the crops before harvesting what you can eventually eat. If you stop harvesting now, you may still have some crops to last you, but six months down the road, you’re going to be kicking yourself for losing out.” Marketers believe it can be the best time to establish and optimize new SEO strategies, so they can reap benefits in the long run.
What should be your SEO Strategy During COVID-19?
1. Plan for the Short-term and Long-term SEO Strategies
COVID-19 pandemic will fade eventually, but its impact will surely change the search trends for at least the coming 5 years. And therefore, you need to plan for present (short-term) SEO strategies along with the future (long-term) SEO strategies.
Short-term SEO Strategy
Your present or short-term SEO strategy is more likely to help you escape the heat of COVID-19 pandemic and utilize the changing search trends to your gain. This could include – posting COVID-19 specific content, utilizing the keywords trending in this pandemic and updating your listings for local search.
For example: A media platform creates a special tab named, “COVID-19 Updates” and actively posts news updates on this listing page to attract the readers.
Long-term SEO Strategy
This includes your business-specific SEO tactics that are less likely to change in a short-run. These would include creating content and SEO strategies for promoting your brand and business offerings. The long-term SEO implementations would continue to offer returns post-COVID and can be more precisely termed as the non-pandemic strategy. It is the right time to hire professional SEO services and create the right establishments for your long-term SEO strategy.
2. Incorporate some Trending Themes in your SEO Strategy
If not COVID-specific keywords, you can pick from more widely used trends like “remote,” “virtual,” “in-home,” “online,” etc. This can help you customize your content a little according to the search trends. For example, when someone searches for “online interior design,” some local interior design firms shows up in the search:
3. Update your GMB Listing
It is time to focus on your local SEO strategies as it is the first thing that will help customers check and stay updated with the real-time status of your business. Your GMB listing goes on the bulletin board here. It should be updated with – the working hours, if you are offering COVID-19 compliant services, and is your store open or closed, etc.
If a user is searching for a business near them in the COVID-19 times, he should know that you are up and working through your GMB listing, because he isn’t likely to double check.
Update your special hours or add the ‘temporarily closed’ mark on your GMB listing, to avoid such an off-putting label –
Similarly, if you had scheduled an event cancel it or you might find another off-putting label like this-
Other than the GMB listing, update your information on various other popular free listing websites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, etc. Create new listings on the platforms that are trending in these times and draw some relevant traffic to your website. The information across all your listings should be updated and should be the same, so as to create a brand authority.
4. Reoptimize Old Content for Newly Relevant Trends
Your old content can start ranking again if it is optimized for some newly relevant trends. For example, a content post related to ‘virtual teams’ can be optimised to rank with the growing ‘remote working’ search trend.
SEO allows you to change (optimize) and republish the old content and reap returns from your previous efforts. Some of the ways to reoptimize your old content would include-
- Search for old content that is newly relevant to the audience in these COVID-19 times
- Update the stats, trends and other information
- Optimize and sprinkle new trending keywords
- Add relevant screenshots and images
- Add high-quality outbound links
- Find trending promotion channels
- Modify for the most relevant audience
Discuss this with your professional SEO service partner and start reaping gains.
5. Improve the Visibility of your Product Offerings
According to an update on 21st April, 2020 Google announced that all businesses can list their products on Google for free. This allows you to sell your products through Google’s Shopping Tab. You just need to update your product SKUs into Surfaces Across Google. Your professional search engine optimization partner can help you update your product feed through Product Schema as well.
To know more about the free product listing on Google, you can click here.
The Road Ahead
COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in a declined search traffic, but there are ways in which you can modify and plan your SEO strategies to pivot the COVID-19 impact. You can seek help from professional SEO services and focus on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
Though it might be hard to draw high traffic to your site, the visitors who are still visiting your site in the COVID-19 times are more likely to have a clear search intent. This can be the right chance to optimise your website’s conversion potential. New landing pages, CTA pop-ups, newly relevant content, and optimized meta data are some steps that can help you draw better conversions.
Believe it or not, search will go more deep-rooted in our lives in the coming years and SEO will be synonymous to digital success!