A growing trend throughout this pandemic is companies starting to allocate fewer funds to the marketing side of their businesses.
Business owners are retreating into their shells, which in many cases is understandable, but it’s not smart.
The reality is, this is the time to be bold and plan new strategies, just because physical operations may have scaled back this is not to the time to sit tight and hope for the best, on the contrary, this is the time to jump ahead of your competitors and make your brand stand out.
The ‘new normal’ will be more heavily influenced by online businesses than ever before.
In this article, we will focus on why SEO is crucial to small businesses successes over the coming months and years, we will look at viable strategies to implement regardless of your business being classified as essential or not.
Firstly, we are looking at:
- Why SEO during a global pandemic?
- General SEO strategies Content SEO strategies
- Local SEO strategies
- Using an SEO company or SEO specialists to give SMB’s full exposure on Google.
Why SEO During COVID-19?
Current data on search trends show traffic – both organic and paid – is declining for many industries.
So why spend money on SEO during the pandemic, surely it is pointless? – Not at all! And here’s why:
SEO is a consistent practise while COVID-19 is trending. So this represents an opening where consumers are now searching for local businesses.
The first rule of SEO is there is never a bad time to publish evergreen content. Visitors that you pick up during the pandemic are likely to be more informed and not simply browsing, remember SEO is an investment and gains traction for the long-term.
After COVID has died down society as a whole are likely to naturally search online more as it has been ingrained in many peoples psyche this year.
So be prepared and get the right strategy in place now to get ahead of the competition.
General SEO Strategies
Firstly, let us focus on the broader themes:
Consistency, content, local Searches and planning.
SEO is continual, it requires manual work constantly. In the case of organic SEO, it’s is the same as planting a seed, you need to help it grow and eventually harvest it, if you give up halfway then there is no end yield.
Even if you can’t afford much marketing budget, do what you can, what you do now will have a great impact post-COVID-19.
With consumer search pace slowing it is a sign that they are drawn towards looking at products and services in more depth than last year. Current trends show a move away from more random scrolling of feeds.
So content is king again in the world of SEO, so focus on quality content as it has always been the staple of SEO success.
If you have noticed a vast drop off in searches for your keywords and products, use this time to start a strategy around long-form content, start to build it and have it ready to publish at different intervals moving forward to keep the search engines active on you.
Remember that long-form content is usually found on page-1 of Google.
Local SEO has always been a crucial factor for smaller local businesses to try to compete and take a piece of the online market from larger retailers. With many communities on lock-down and even post-lockdown the desire to travel far for products that people have now become accustomed to available locally won’t be strong.
This is an opportune time to push to make yourself part of the foundations of your local community for years to come.
As history has shown us, no matter how widespread and serious the virus is, mankind will overcome it and have control of it at some stage, like never before has the medical community been galvanised to find a solution.
Having said that, the impact economically will outlast the virus, so it’s best when discussing your strategy with an SEO company or SEO specialists to work with short and long-term goals in mind.
Short-term SEO can focus on COVID-relevant text and show how you are adjusting to the current environment and still delivering to your customers, use it to be as informative as you can as people are concerned the goods they pay for may not arrive, so reassure them and be clear with your message.
Be sure to update your listings and website at the same time.
Long-term SEO efforts can be tailored more towards the inevitable questions you will receive about how your services post-COVID-19 as well as your outlook for the future.
This will likely be a fluid process between short and long-term SEO and will undoubtedly vary and evolve, so be sure to keep everything up-to-date.
In reality on the short-term side you are looking to boost your traffic but using broad search terms such will equate to you going up against high authority ranking players such as Forbes, Reuters, the BBC and CNN to name just a few, however, long-tail keywords that combine a niche search related to the virus can set you apart and gain ranking success.
If this is something you are not confident about executing, understand this is the time to look at hiring an SEO company and SEO specialists as these companies will be as grateful of the work as you are of the help, this is an opportune time to get professional advice at a lower cost.
If you can see this is the time to overtake your competition who you been ahead of you on the searches for the past few years, go for it.
Laying the foundation now, creating content and working alongside an SEO company or SEO specialists, is worth the investment so start to work on a strategy, devote some time and hours to it and work smart, this is a window of opportunity for many SMB’s to push on to be more successful than previously thought.
Here’s a checklist so you don’t forget:
- Focus on long-form content
- Balance short- and long-term goals
- Target coronavirus keywords
- Modify for pandemic themes
- Re-optimize newly relevant content
- Target new terms
- Keep up your traditional keyword strategy
- Update top-performing content
- Update your Google My Business profile
- Conduct a local listing audit
Good luck for 2021.