SEO The Effects of Covid-19 on Search
SEO: The Effects of COVID-19 on Search
April 30, 2020
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SEO in the Time of COVID-19: Key Things to Focus On

SEO in the Time of Covid-19 Key Things to Focus On

It cannot be denied that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many things, including the way you run your business. You need to make some changes to keep up with what’s happening and prepare for the future.

This includes making adjustments to your overall marketing plan, especially your SEO approach. This is not just for businesses that are earning good profits during this time but also for those that are struggling.

Adjusting Your SEO Strategy – Smart Response to Covid-19

You see, while it can be tempting to completely stop SEO efforts due to the current business climate, this may further hurt your company in the long run.

Keep in mind:

People may not be getting your product or service now, but this does not mean that they have completely lost interest. Many of them are spending more time on the Internet searching and browsing. Who knows, one day, they might be entering queries related to your business?

As some experts are saying, search behaviours are currently erratic – changes can happen any time. What may not be “essential” for consumers now may have a different status in a week or two.

Simply put:

You need to prepare for these things. You have to retain organic visibility if you want your business to get visits now or when demand for what you’re offering surges.

What’s more?

Things may be volatile now, but you have to realise that this is going to eventually end. People are going to go back to what they like doing, but perhaps, with a few modifications. You have to be ready for the so-called new normal.

SEO in the Time of Covid-19 Key Things to Focus On 2

A good example here are airline companies. While interest in travelling and queries for flights have undoubtedly decreased, spikes have been noted on several occasions for specific terms like “cheap flights”.

Thinking that airlines would want to recoup their losses due to cancellations, people may be anticipating flights to go on sale.

This is a testament that, while they’ve currently shelved travel plans, consumers are not saying no to it permanently. Many of them are still thinking about going places this year.

SEO – What Aspects Should You Focus On?

Given the facts mentioned earlier, what should you do now? Below, we talk about some of the things you need to do to ensure that your company continues to be on organic search results.

Monitor Search Trends

Pay attention to consumer behaviours and search trends relevant to your business, so you can craft an effective recovery plan and SEO strategy.

To be more specific, regularly check query data to understand where the demand is shifting and to know what type of content you need to produce.

In line with content creation, do not forget about searcher intent. Now more than ever, having content that accurately answers user queries is of high importance.

Take note:

Google is focused on giving their search users an excellent experience. This has been their priority as evidenced by the shift from answers to journeys and the introduction of BERT.

Hence, you can expect the search engine giant to tweak its algorithms to ensure that its users get the best answers to their queries, especially during this pandemic.

Don’t Forget Local SEO

Currently, people are relying on businesses near them to meet their needs. You are going to lose these potential clients if your company is ranking poorly on local search results.

So, review your local SEO strategy and make adjustments based on the current situation and search behaviour.

In addition, leverage your Google My Business (GMB) page. Ensure that it contains pertinent, up-to-date information about your company. For example, if you have shortened your business hours, make sure that the new schedule is on your page.

Furthermore, it is important that you provide accurate information. If you are temporarily closed because of COVID-19, explicitly state this on your page or use the holiday hours. Do not simply delete your business hours as the system is going to automatically mark your company as “Open”.

Putting up wrong information, especially during this difficult time, can make potential customers feel frustrated which can be bad for your reputation.

Take this time as well to build your GMB content. Add a Question & Answer section about how your company is navigating the pandemic.

Alternatively, for business updates, you can use Google Posts to immediately reach your customers. Your content is going to appear on the Google’s local panel for search result as well as Google Maps.

Check the Technical Aspect of Your Website

The recommendations above are applicable for both types of companies these days – those that are booming and on a slump.

However, for companies that are having significant gains, there are other noteworthy adjustments you should do.

For one, you have to conduct regular technical inspections like checking your website speed. A slow website, defined as one that doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less, drives customers away.

It is also a wise idea to create new pages, particularly for high-demand products. Again, put a premium on quality content to maximise the chances of getting more traffic.

Lastly, ensure that the pages are crawlable and error-free, especially the new ones. There is no point in having new content if search bots are unable to crawl it. You need this new content to appear on search results, and this would not happen if they are not crawled and indexed.

Meanwhile, errors like 404 or “Page Not Found” should be addressed immediately as this can taint user experience. If visitors are unable to access the information they need, they might leave your site. This can translate to lost opportunity and earnings.

To conclude, please do not forget that SEO is a long-term strategy. You cannot achieve results overnight. So, abandoning all optimisation plans now can pull down your current and future rankings. It is like throwing away the work and progress you’ve done the past months or years.

If you are currently on a tight budget, what you can do is to pursue campaigns which wouldn’t require you to spend much. For example, maintaining your GMB page is something you can do on your own. Alternatively, you can talk to your SEO company about your partnership, specifically steps you can take to continue making your site SEO-friendly without breaking the bank.

Don’t let the significant SEO gains you’ve made go to waste. Let us help you keep your company’s online presence strong! Call us today on 019609023 or visit our website for a free SEO consultation.

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