It is a very worrying time for a lot of companies in Ireland and around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many have closed their physical stores to comply with stay-at-home protocols and the nationwide lockdown. Meanwhile, online shops, especially those offering non-essential items, have seen a significant decline in traffic and conversions as people only purchased things they need.
Due to the bleak business climate, a lot of companies had to make changes to stay financially stable. A number of them opted to shelve marketing plans to cut down on expenses. While this decision is understandable, it is not a smart one.
Every business should have a recovery plan that’s going to help them operate during the pandemic. Marketing, especially SEO and content marketing, is an integral part of this plan.
It’s now important more than ever for companies to have a good digital presence if they want to overcome the effects of the pandemic. During the nationwide lockdown, people spent a lot of time on the Internet not just to gather information but also to make purchases.
Even if the Government is now slowly easing lockdown measures, the shift from offline to online is still expected to go on with the continued implementation of social distancing. Moreover, experts are anticipating that more consumers would become accustomed to transacting online.
What does this mean for businesses?
Companies, especially small and mid-sized enterprises, need to be visible online and be digitally relevant. They need to ensure that they continue to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The Government is making the same call, urging SMEs to enhance their Internet presence. In fact, they’re even offering financial assistance to small businesses via the expanded LEO Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Eligible companies can use the voucher to build their digital presence – be able to trade on their website and widen their reach.
The question now is how to adjust your SEO and content strategies to maintain or enhance your digital relevance as well as to pivot and prepare your business for post-COVID-19 success. Below are two of the most important things you should do:
During the lockdown, consumers turned to local businesses for their needs. This behaviour is not changing for as long as mobility is limited and the virus continues to be a threat.
Failing to rank high on local SERPs means losing numerous opportunities to convert. You see, prior to COVID-19, many consumers who make local searches already have the intent to buy.
You can improve your business performance as well as your sales during the pandemic if you are able to reach customers near you. This means investing more in local SEO.
You can start by claiming your local online business listing. See to it that your company is listed on top online business directories like Google My Business and Yelp as well as reputable local directories.
If you’ve already done this, ensure that your profiles are updated. It is imperative that all details on the listings are accurate.
Regularly publishing fresh content can help you stay on top of organic search rankings. So, it is not a good idea to completely stop your content marketing efforts.
The truth is that putting out more content now is the strategic move.
People are spending more time on the Internet. While they are not buying right now, they are still doing Internet research on products and services. It is beneficial if you end up on the list of providers they are considering to buy from when they are able to.
How do you make this happen?
Stay relevant – continue producing fresh content. But please do not just publish for the sake of having something new on your website. It is vital that you only put out high-quality content.
There is so much content being produced already. If you want yours to stand out, it should be useful and trustworthy. By useful, we mean materials that are not solely focused on selling.
People are not buying at the moment. What they are doing is looking for answers to their queries. Being able to provide relevant information for their queries can inspire confidence in your brand. Trust is necessary if you want to convert visitors into customers.
One proven way of earning the trust of online users is through educational content. According to a study, businesses that publish educational materials are deemed more trustworthy by consumers than businesses that do not.
In summary, companies that continue to invest in SEO and content marketing are best positioned to succeed during and after the pandemic. Make sure your business is one of them!
We understand that it is a difficult time for SMEs, but now is not the time to slack off on your SEO campaigns and content marketing. Give us a call on 019609023 or visit our website so we can talk about how we can help keep your business digitally relevant with the budget you have.