Because of the increasing cases of COVID-19 around the world, every government has implemented strict guidelines that are starting to cripple many businesses. Business owners are asking a very important question “Is it worth continuing with my website’s SEO and online marketing activity?” YES! In fact, as of today (7th April 2020), we’re seeing clients with eCommerce businesses with huge movement in organic and paid search traffic/conversions. Also, the #1 traffic source is mobile, being up 20% on average month on month via mobile traffic.
Here at Digital Search we believe there are two routes to take as a business owner during this highly troublesome time. You can either stop all your paid marketing expenditure and cease all organic SEO services, social and other activity all together during the coronavirus pandemic, OR you can continue to market your business through digital marketing channels to combat this COVID-19 generated business crisis head on.
Here are a couple of good reasons to continue and perhaps try something new like our local SEO services or content marketing strategy:
Let Your Website Become Your Shop Window
If you are considering closing down physical locations to cut costs, moving your business to operate solely online can be a viable option. With good SEO and online marketing advice which can identify areas of focus within your industry which are still viable during the COVID-19 lockdown period. By taking this route your business could suddenly be transformed into becoming a lot more efficient, cost effective and even stronger once we come through the other side of this coronavirus pandemic. Let your website become your shop window.
Use The Coronavirus Downtime to Learn or Invest In Organic Search & Digital Marketing
In times like these it really does come down to the survival of the fittest. If you don’t invest in online marketing during times like these your business will be potentially overtaken by competitors who do decide to continue to invest in SEO and other digital marketing channels. If you are currently reliant on website traffic for sales, leads and enquires turning everything now off right now could potentially be commercial suicide in the long run. Those few valuable SEO leads, sales and enquiries which can be generated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown could make the difference to holding your head above water or not during this unprecedented time.
The COVID-19 situation is dominating all aspects of our lives in a negative way both on personal and business levels right now. However, this lockdown period we are all experiencing can be a very useful thing for both your business and mental health, as it gives you the opportunity to focus on improving your websites SEO and making sure your business is ready to shine with an increase in traffic and enquires when we come out of this very difficult time. We have put together some SEO related tips below, which we hope you will find useful.
Do Not Cut Down Your SEO Budget During the Coronavirus Lockdown, Increase It
During this downtime we are all experiencing due to the COVID-19 lockdown, now is the best time for your business to evaluate and work on your digital marketing strategy. As there are many businesses cutting off their marketing budget, advertising costs are coming down and there’s a higher chance for your business to show up in search results. Now is the best time to invest in an effective digital marketing strategy because your relative spending increases while your actual spending stays the same. The search engine losses and gains you are experiencing are directly related to the losses and gains of your competitors.
If you cut your SEO services budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, brand awareness, search rankings and overall brand awareness/loyalty decreases. Think about it. This is the worst thing a business can do. Your revenue will be affected when you stop marketing now and try to advertise again when the economy is on the rise. By that time, the fight becomes more aggressive, increasing advertising costs. You’ll realise that you’re spending a lot and gaining less.
The US Small Business Administration said you should be allocating around 7% to 8% of gross revenue to marketing and SEO, which is just to keep your current market position. To outshine the competition, you might need to go beyond 10%. Most of your competitors may have stopped spending on marketing during this coronavirus lockdown situation, giving you an opportunity to outrank them, at a lesser marketing cost.
Keep the following SEO tips in mind for your business to come out as a powerhouse in your market and emerge unscathed when the coronavirus is no longer affecting the world of business and things return to normal.
1. Gather Information from Customers and Employees During COVID-19 Lockdowns
Interviewing your customers and employees will give you an insight on how to improve your products and services. These will come in handy for company updates and future blog posts. And it’s a great way of staying in contact with clients during the COVID-19 lockdown and keeping your business at the forefront of their minds.
2. Evaluate Your Website and Fix Any Outstanding SEO Issues
As you go through your content, make improvements to your CTAs and keywords. Update outdated content and add internal links to relevant blogs and service pages. You might also want to analyse the types of content that attracted the most social likes, shares and backlinks, and then determine what types of content drive the most traffic to your website.
Then you’ll be ready to bounce back in full force when the pandemic is over.
3. Plan to Host Future Webinars
Webinars are especially crucial for B2B businesses, as 91% of professionals prefer to learn from webinars over any other form of content.
You might want to host a webinar providing answers to most frequently asked questions. Even those in the travel industry, who are the most badly hit right now from the COVID-19 restrictions on travel, can inspire future bookings by discussing possible discounts and giving company updates. Use the free time you have on your hands now to think about the kind of webinar you can host to help you outshine your competition.
4. Get Your Affairs in Order During this Coronavirus Downtime
Now is the best time to tidy up administration.
With lots of time on your hands due to the coronavirus situation, get your business documents in order now, so you will be ready to go straight into attack mode when the pandemic lets up.
5. Maximise Visibility Create New Optimised Landing Pages
To maximise your opportunity to widen the net on different search engine results pages, you should do research on a variety of keywords and not just high-traffic search terms that directly relate to your services. Think about creating content that targets prospects and dig deeper into the different types of content you can publish to drive people to your website.
If you’re lucky, you could see your site in position zero on the search engine results pages, whether you appear in video carousels, paragraph snippets or bullet points.
6. Attract Reviews from Current Clients and Engage with existing Reviews
Encouraging people to speak positively about their experience with you is imperative. However, some companies neglect to respond to customer reviews, which doesn’t reflect very well on your customer service skills. As lots of people have time on their hands due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, now is a good time to post thoughtful responses to all recently posted reviews, positive or negative feedback. You might want to use this time to train your employees on how to respond to reviews quickly in future. Create a framework so that the task can be handled efficiently, and always remember to monitor your review activity so that you can optimise your strategy as necessary.
7. Optimise Google My Business Profile
To attract local customers, Google My Business (GMB) is an especially useful tool in the current climate. You can update many details about your company on your GMB profile, which can be seen by search engine users. You can also use Google Posts to share news of updates and offers to generate sales and brand awareness.
8. Give Your Website Some TLC
Now’s the time to give your website a make-over and transform it into the lead magnet it needs and deserves to be.
9. Dig Out & Remove or Disavow Unnatural Links
Do a backlink audit to remove or disavow unnatural links as these can seriously harm your website’s search ranking. Once removed, it is highly possible for your website to earn first-page positions on the search engine results pages.
10. Sift Through First-Party Data
Now’s the perfect time to go over first-party data to get to know your customers. You should also look at why you missed opportunities and what you can do to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Whatever data analysis you haven’t had time for in the past, you might have the time for it now.
SEO and Online Marketing Should Go on During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Economic Crisis
During an economic crisis, it’s vital to stay visible and memorable to your target audience. This is where SEO and online marketing can help you. Marketing shouldn’t be one of the things to worry about when rumours about recession surface. With a good marketing strategy, you can perform better and recover easily afterward. Every business owner should look at this Coronavirus (COVID-19) generated economic crisis as an opportunity for their business to grow. If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you will not only survive, but will flourish.
If you are trying to figure things out during an economic downturn or need help with your marketing strategy, we will be happy to assist you. Contact us ASAP and let’s work on your digital marketing strategy.
Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.