Coronavirus continues wreaking havoc around the globe economically. With social distancing, lockdowns, and other measures being implemented, more and more people have started working from home.
During this period, many businesses have closed their bricks and mortar stores. As a result, consumers have turned to online shopping.
We are in a time when SEO is beneficial, not just to eCommerce companies, but to every business with a website. It is your chance to get ahead of the curve.
Are you taking advantage?
Numbers Do Not Lie
This survey by the Conductor showed that the economic downturn is not the time to stop your SEO efforts. About 317 people from different industries, including retail, healthcare, media, and B2B, participated in the survey.
More than half of the respondents agreed that maintaining a steady presence in the digital world is one of the most significant steps to take.
Meanwhile, another survey demonstrated the impact of COVID-19 on marketing budgets. It is expected that this crisis could have a more significant impact on funds spent on ads and other marketing platforms. However, respondents did verify their budgets stayed the same with less than half saying theirs decreased only slightly.
The same survey also echoed the Conductor’s assessment, with 63% of the respondents believing that SEO will remain important. About 29% said that it would be even more significant in the coming months. Only 5% had a different opinion.
Most of the growth is taking place on mobile devices, where there was about a 50% increase in usage between March 2019 and March 2020.
Despite the effects of COVID-19, marketers are keen on focusing on their goals in terms of financing digital ads and targeting customers. Budget goals remain the same, while others even decided to increase them during these hard times.
Marketing goals are difficult to attain with restricted resources. This is why reducing budgets may not be the answer.
Predicting Supply and Demand
One great thing about Search Engine Optimisation is that it lets you estimate the change in demand for your products or services due to the pandemic.
I recommend using Google Trends. Here, you can identify the potential decrease or increase in traffic and sales.
By comparing data from previous years, you will have a better insight into the coming weeks or months.
How is Organic Search Performing?
Last year, organic search occupied the top spot of marketing channels based on performance. Paid search and email followed, respectively. Quite surprisingly, social media, which is often viewed as the most influential channel, performed poorly in comparison.
As part of your SEO efforts, creating content remains a solid way to maintain good rankings. It will also give you benefits that you can continue reaping in the coming years. You will notice that many websites have turned to generate evergreen content (meaning non-time-sensitive content).
For example, if you write a piece about travel, readers will pick it up once the pandemic is eradicated. Brands should focus on writing high-quality content, while providing excellent digital experiences on their websites.
These changes can improve how customers engage with businesses, especially in the online world. If you have trouble maintaining visitors on your site for at least three minutes, it is now the perfect time to fix the problem.
Also, writing content for your website can give you short-term wins. With more people staying in their homes reading online blogs and articles, they could stumble upon your piece and learn more about your business.
Tips on How to Survive with SEO and Digital Marketing during COVID-19
There are a few things that you can do to help maximise your sales potential today. At the same time, you can benefit from laying the foundation now, which will give you the benefits of conversions in the future.
The following can aid in preserving your business’ status (or even improve it) while the pandemic continues:
1. Create Targeted Content for Potential Customers
Consumers have turned to online resources, whether for shopping or gaining information. One of the top methods to gain their attention is to create content geared towards potential customers.
You can take this opportunity to learn more about their concerns and interests, especially with ongoing isolation and social distancing. Focus on developing material that keeps them fascinated and engaged.
2. Stay Updated on Relevant Trends
Building an organic strategy is wise, but you should also remember how everything can rapidly change. From the news to the ongoing situation, you will see how quickly trends come and go.
When you know what trends are on the rise and those that are falling, you can plan how to attract and maintain your users.
3. Guide Your Customers Into Thinking About the Future
Many of your customers may have started working from home. Others are just stuck inside, waiting for their lives to go back to normal. You can use your content to let them think about what the future holds.
For instance, you can provide tips or advice on what they can do once the pandemic ends. Always give them hope and positive things to look forward to.
Let us say that your customers are mostly in the travel industry. You can create content that will inspire them to plan their trips for the next few months. You can also promote events that will be held after the pandemic. These simple things can drive anticipation and provide optimistic thoughts towards the future.
4. Provide Useful Information
Your main objective is to gain more customers to increase sales. But it is not always easy to do. The best way for new users to choose your brand is to gain their trust. How can you achieve it? Be a credible source of information. Provide them with real data and facts.
Also, if the crisis gives opportunities to your target users, you can present them with their current options.
For instance, market fluctuations may be an excellent investment opportunity for your customers if you are in the finance industry. You can give them useful advice, such as ways on how they can make the most out of the situation.
Why Should You Care?
Right now, your goal is to maintain your business. If lowering your budget is your only option, the best thing you can do is to ensure that you are spending it on the right avenue. Investing more in SEO will help raise your return on investment, particularly with other marketing decisions.
The top performance of organic search in surveys proves that SEO is critical during this challenge. SEO is a marketing channel that offers growth over the long-term.
Businesses do not see the positive effect on their rankings right away – and you should not either. Results are typically evident four to six months (or even more). However, the power that you get when you reach your website’s potential will continue growing.
As a long-term channel, you will see that you are continually moving ahead. Your SEO efforts will bear fruit, which lets you take the required steps towards acquiring better ranking in the search results pages.
When users do not search for your product or service, it does not mean you do not benefit from SEO. As a pull marketing channel, you can still attract potential customers.
Think about such an advantage. You do not have to push your products at the incorrect time and to the wrong users. After all, your products may not be in high demand due to the pandemic. Doing so will only be a waste of your budget, which may be limited at the moment.
It is recommended that you analyse which products or services to pay more attention to. For these items, you can use SEO to “push” them to your potential customers. At the same time, you also use SEO to prepare other products you sell or services you provide once the pandemic starts to settle down.
SEO is Not Just About Acquisition
For most businesses, SEO is used to acquire more customers. However, it is more than that. A properly executed holistic approach helps you improve the experience of users when they visit your website. SEO can optimise speed and content as well. All these improvements can boost your overall search campaign.
Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus, SEO will help you drive your business forward towards your goals. It is one of the best ways to remain relevant to your target customers.