There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a colossally negative impact on the global economy. Many businesses have been forced to shut down for long periods of time, resulting in a great deal of revenue loss. With some parts of the world experiencing an inevitable second wave, it’s hard for a lot of businesses to forecast their financial futures, much less develop creative search engine marketing strategies geared toward growth and greater customer outreach.
Considering that most people have been forced to rethink their world perspectives while shifting their online behaviours, however, it’s pretty safe to assume that search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t necessarily a totally lost cause in the wake of COVID-19.
Although online purchases, brand research, and reviews were already on the rise long before the onset of the pandemic, there’s a lot to be said for the fact that these forums have seen significant growth in the past few months. The rate at which people are shopping online has grown more than it probably would have during a normal year—giving e-commerce brands something to think about.
While people are certainly being more careful with their spending during these tough times, they still need to eat, make bill payments, purchase household items, exercise, and continue living their lives to some degree.
The main difference is that now more people are doing these things online. Communication with family members and friends, above all else, has taken precedence and that means the market for digital video calling applications is expanding faster than ever before. But that’s just one of the many growth opportunities that online brands can and should take advantage of with a good SEO strategy.
Keep reading to learn more about both the positive and negative impact of COVID-19 on SEO and how you can ensure your business survives and thrives in the future.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted SEO?
According to an in-depth market research report conducted by Bulletin Line, the SEO software market is expected to see massive growth by the year 2026. A key contributing factor to that data is that more people are currently using online platforms both in their professional and personal lives than ever before. Part of that reality can be attributed to the natural progression of technological advancement in the digital age. But the rate at which this progress is being made can be attributed to the fact that more people are being forced to change their online behaviours and how they interact with the Internet.
Global online activity has increased significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in the online shopping sector. More and more people are purchasing items including clothing, groceries, and electronics online and opting for curbside pickup or direct delivery. This saves them from having to go out to do errands and reduces the risk of being exposed to the virus.
Another unexpected and positive impact of this pandemic is that it’s making people appreciate their personal relationships more. If there’s one thing COVID-19 has proven to us this year, it’s that distance really does make the heart grow fonder. More people are making a pointed effort to stay in contact with loved ones and check in on them regularly.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s important for brands to put more resources into creating, maintaining, and updating their SEO practices to align with growing and changing customer needs.
How Businesses Can Overcome the COVID-19 Crisis
The biggest challenges that brands face during these uncertain times is finding new and fresh ways to stay relevant while cutting costs and remaining worthy adversaries to their competitors. With the help of a great SEO strategy, you can make it happen.
Leverage Local SEO
Now, more than ever, customers are invested in supporting local businesses—small businesses in particular that may be struggling to stay afloat—in any way they can. Whether it’s ordering takeout from that restaurant up the street or virtually ordering their groceries, customers want to help keep the local economy going without potentially increasing their chances of exposure.
Working on your local SEO strategy and targeting customers in your area can help increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERP) while informing customers about your business. List your contact information, hours of operation, COVID-19-related protocols, products and services offered, your address, a description of your business, and all other pertinent information on your Google My Business profile so customers can find you more easily online.
Keep Posting New Content
Create timely and relevant content to keep your existing customers informed about your business and expand your local target audience at the same time. Update customers about operational and health and safety protocols, so they always know what to expect and have total peace of mind when shopping at or supporting your business.
Invest in Dynamic Visual Content
Visual content like pictures of happy customers and employees or video updates from store management are a great way to establish and maintain strong engagement with your online followers. Taking the time to reassure customers that you’re doing everything you can to keep your operations as safe and clean as possible for their safety is a great personal approach that they’ll appreciate.
Encourage Business Reviews from Happy Customers
More often than not, customers use online review platforms and websites as a means of exacting revenge on businesses in the form of airing their grievances in a very public manner for others to see. Unless your service or product is exceptionally good or bad, most people don’t bother taking the time to write detailed reviews. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to remind customers to leave positive reviews on Google and other platforms, so that you can attract more customers. Particularly in these trying times, providing top-notch customer service can certainly go a very long way and you should be rewarded for your efforts!
Do you need help navigating these difficult times and growing your online business?
Numero Uno Web Solutions is here for you. Our team of experienced web developers and content creators can help you boost your SEO efforts, online visibility, and SERP ranking by implementing tried and true online marketing strategies. Contact us today to learn more.