The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unusual effect on consumer internet use. While many people are spending significantly more time online than ever before, many business websites have experienced considerable losses in traffic.
If your company’s website is not attracting as many visitors as you would like it to, there is still hope. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) services could help you to recover any lost traffic and even improve upon your website’s past performance.
Why You Should Prioritize SEO during COVID-19
SEO offers small businesses a relatively easy and cost-effective way to get their website noticed online. With news of the financial toll this pandemic is taking on entrepreneurs being reported every day, consumers are eager to support independent businesses in their local community. Restrictions on shopping and gatherings make it difficult for them to do this in person, but they are still able to browse, shop, and learn more about these establishments online.
With some time and the expertise of a top digital agency offering SEO services, small businesses can bring their websites to the top of the search results. By targeting the right keywords and understanding search intent, they can attract vital consumer attention, boost sales, and secure additional revenue.
10 Ways to Redefine Your SEO Strategy during COVID-19
1. Find 0ut What Your Audience Needs
There has not been a public health crisis of this scale and magnitude in recent memory, so it is not easy to understand how people respond to it without going straight to the source. Social media provides a convenient channel for you to ask your customers how this pandemic is affecting them and what they need or want to see from you.
Depending on what information you would like, you can ask specific or open-ended questions. A specific question, such as ‘Do you walk your dog more often since the pandemic started?’ can give you insight into a particular need or experience your customer has. Open-ended questions like ‘How has your life changed during the pandemic?’ can provide you with information on various issues. The answers will give you a good starting point for new content that is relevant to your audience.
2. Investigate the Latest Google Updates
Google is constantly updating the algorithms that determine where a website ranks on their search engine results pages, or SERPs. Review their most recent guidelines to make sure that you understand exactly what they are looking for in a top-ranked website.
Some items on this list, such as schema and Google My Business listings, have not always affected rankings, but they now hold a lot of sway over SEO outcomes. Knowledge like this will help you understand the value of SEO services in achieving and maintaining the high ranks your business needs.
3. Use Trending Search Terms in Your Content
Many users are eager to learn as much as they can about COVID-19 and are searching the web for any information. Providing accurate information about the virus can help you capture this audience. Now that vaccines are being distributed worldwide, keywords like ‘COVID-19 vaccination’ and ‘COVID-19 immunity’ are likely to become more popular and may present an opportunity for a significant SEO boost. Be sure that you use these keywords in a way that makes sense for your brand.
4. Publish COVID-19 Content
COVID-related keywords are trending high on Google’s search results, reflecting the anxiety we have all been feeling since this situation began. Creating COVID-19 content for your website that naturally incorporates those hot-button keywords will help you get found in these searches.
Be sure to provide factual, helpful information about the virus in this content while keeping the overall topic relevant to your business.
If you are not sure what your company should write about, try discussing how the virus has affected your industry or what you are doing to keep your employees and customers safe during this crisis.
5. Focus on Quality Content Creation
COVID-19 is undoubtedly a hot topic right now, but that will not always be the case. In addition to capitalizing on the immediate SEO opportunities this event presents, you should also do what you can to set your website up for better long-term traffic numbers.
Creating informative blog posts, videos, infographics, and other content on evergreen topics that your business is knowledgeable about will continue to draw visitors in for years after the pandemic is finally over. If you are unable to take on this work yourself, many digital marketing agencies offer content services that can help you produce high-quality pieces that will continue to draw in traffic.
6. Set up a Google My Business (GMB) Page
Setting up a Google My Business page is one of the easiest ways to get your business noticed in general and local search results. Still, many companies that are new to online operations have not done this.
It takes just a few minutes to fill in the initial forms needed and submit your application for a new page. After this comes the verification process, which may take up to a few weeks. Once this is done, you will enjoy a permanent improvement to your website’s SEO. If you need help, an agency offering local SEO services can walk you through the process.
7. Update Your Website
COVID-19 has certainly affected the way almost every business or industry does things. Take this time to keep your customers informed about what is going on. Update your website with information such as:
- Any changes to your business hours
- Whether your business is affected by closures
- Any policy changes you have instituted, such as mandatory masks and sanitization
- Frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and your business
Users will appreciate having the information available, and you will have the opportunity to insert some new COVID-related keywords into your website copy to boost your search ranks.
8. Make Use of Schema Markup
Schema markup is a piece of code that lets Google and other search engines know what type of content is being displayed on a given webpage. This helps to clarify how relevant that page is to specific searches, giving it a significant SEO boost with users looking for that type of content. It is easy to implement schema markup, too. Google’s Structured Data Markup tool can help you get a schema markup in place in just a few clicks.
9. Keep Communicating with Your Customers
If you want to keep your website’s traffic steady and your search ranks high during this tumultuous time, you will need to reach out to your customers and remind them that you are still here.
Email marketing is a great way to do this, but it is essential to keep the right tone at such a sensitive time. Consider sending out a few emails that focus on how your brand is helping to combat COVID-19, any charitable efforts you have done for your community, and your plans moving forward.
10. Refresh Your Old Content
If you already have quality content marketing pieces, updating them can give them new life. Look for the articles that performed well previously and see what you can do to improve their SEO. You could research some updated statistics, incorporate more currently relevant keywords, or add links to new content you have created on your site. This is an easy way to drum up some new traffic that might help add a bit more revenue to your bottom line.
Leveraging SEO for Short- and Long-Term Success
Search engine optimization is the best way to overcome the unique challenges your business is facing right now. Keeping up to date with the situation will help your business keep climbing to the top of the search results as we navigate these unprecedented times. If you take the time to work toward high search ranks now, it will be easier to maintain them and give your business an indelible edge when normal life finally resumes.