The COVID-19 public health crisis is dramatically impacting online search behavior and media consumption habits. If you want to strategically alleviate risk, then it’s time to adjust your SEO and your online marketing strategies overall.
Here’s the most noteworthy trend to keep in mind as you plan: Organic search is more important than ever.
Many companies have reduced their budget for PPC and other paid marketing channels. In fact, impressions on Google search ads declined by 7%. In contrast, SEO is showing sharp upticks, with many brands seeing a significant increase in their organic search visibility.
These shifts are indicating that there are huge opportunities in creating SEO content that doesn’t just drive conversions now but also builds brands value over the long term. And savvy marketers know this—which is why they are investing more on SEO. Google Trends recently reported that there has been a marked spike in interest on the search term “SEO” and phrases related to it.
SEO: A cost-efficient marketing investment during the pandemic
With people searching online more than ever before, SEO has become a smart investment even in an uncertain economic climate. It can keep your brand top of mind as searchers make a buying decision.
Tips on strengthening your SEO during COVID-19
Like many companies, you are probably trying to hold on to as much cash as possible while weathering this storm. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your SEO strategy without spending a lot.
1. Create content that wins trust.
According to a recent Forrester report on how COVID-19 has affected consumer sentiment, people are generally less optimistic that companies can or will make good on the promises they make.
This is why right now, it’s important to create reassuring content as opposed to sales pitches that try to rush people into a purchasing decision.
Try to focus on competent and educational messages to counter feelings of skepticism. Educational content has the power to make your company more trustworthy. It can strengthen trust and ultimately drive conversions. In fact, customers are 48% likelier to buy from brands whose educational content they read and enjoyed.
2. Be proactive in managing your web presence.
Get rid of any dated or inaccurate online information about your company. They can confuse consumers and make you lose a sale. Be sure to do the following:
- Update your schema so that Google can show accurate details about your business. Update your product availability schema if you run an ecommerce website so that customers have access to real-time information.
- Go to your Google My Business page and update it, especially if your operating hours and other such details have changed due to the pandemic.
- Use Google Search Console to assess the demand for your products and services. Watch out for any traffic spikes or declines to determine what information your customers are looking for, so you can respond accordingly.
3. Audit your campaigns and content.
If you planned your content calendar before the pandemic hit, your messages run the risk of being tone-deaf. Adjust it to show compassion and empathy to your audience during this crisis. Take it from big brands like KFC, which suspended its signature ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ campaign for something more appropriate.
4. Improve security.
Hackers and cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of the panic with malicious malware that promotes so called coronavirus specials and discount codes. They are also ramping up phishing attacks.
This is why it’s important to make security a top priority. Monitor your log files for any crawl errors. It’s a good way to tell if there are spambots trying to infiltrate your website. Implement SSO. Secure your website with SSL. Lastly, update any apps or plugins you use. Hackers are known to use the vulnerabilities of old plugins to launch their attacks.
SEOValley can help you strengthen your SEO strategy during these challenging times. Contact us for a site audit so we can discuss the most cost-effective ways to boost your online presence for the new normal.