The advent of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 has affected many businesses, and the idea of limiting operations or even close them altogether for months hasn’t happened for decades. So many businesses have to adapt by cutting their expenses, and more often than not, the marketing budget is the first one to get axed.
As a result, marketers have to be extra creative in their marketing efforts, and investing in SEO as a relatively low-cost marketing investment can be a strong ally in this time of new normal. At the same time, several changes in Google’s and other search engines’ algorithms, as well as the SERP would also mean that there are also changes in how SEO should be done post-COVID-19.
Here, we will discuss how SEO could be helpful during and after the pandemic COVID-19, and what you can do about it.
SEO As An Adaptable Resource
Why has SEO remained a relatively successful marketing effort throughout this COVID-19 pandemic? One of the strongest reasons is the fact that SEO by nature is one of the most adaptable digital marketing channels for a long time.
SEO is adaptable in a way that it can be implemented in various situations and digital environments. SEO is not just a way to attract people to your website, but you can, for example, implement SEO in your YouTube videos to rank higher when people search for certain topics. Local SEO in the form of optimizing your Google Maps/Google My Business listing is also very important for many brick-and-mortar local businesses that have to pivot to online-only sales during the pandemic.
Marketers can also target new keywords that are more relevant to the situation during and after the pandemic, which can create new opportunities and attract more attention when done right. Even if your business’s operational hours are reduced, SEO can be useful in informing your existing and new audience to improve the odds of generating conversions.
How SEO Could Be Helpful for Any Marketers During The Pandemic?
1) New Keyword Opportunities
SEO can be a great chance to let people discover your business by targeting new queries that have generated attention during the pandemic that is also relevant for your business.
For example, you can go to Google Trends here and see something like this
You can, for example, develop a content targeting “FDA hand sanitizers recalled list” if it is relevant to your business. There might also be certain queries and phrases that are now relevant for your business but weren’t there before the pandemic.
In short, do another keyword research, and redefine your target keywords to find new opportunities as well as to shift your focus from keywords that are no longer relevant.
2) Stay Up-To-Date With Search Demands
Unbeknownst to many SEO practitioners and digital marketers, Google has launched small algorithm updates and SERP changes during the lockdown period. These changes especially affected the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) niches like healthcare, food, and finance, however, there is a chance that your niche or your target keyword(s) might be affected by these changes.
So, monitor ranking changes for all your target keywords and also the keywords your competitors are targeting. Look for traffic drops and sudden spikes, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Create relevant content to target new opportunities, and you can also repurpose older content that is no longer relevant to target these new queries (we’ll discuss more of this below). If you can provide specific value related to the COVID-19 crisis and the new normal, then this is your opportunity to build a scalable content.
3) Reoptimize Your Local SEO
During the COVID-19 quarantine period, Google shut down the ability to leave reviews on Google Maps but has since reopened the feature along with the reopening of cities throughout the world. So, it’s time to reoptimize your Google My Business listing to ensure your local customers can find you.
Make sure to update whether your business is open or not, and accurately update your working hours. Also, in case you are operating from home, you can update your Google Maps listing with your residential address if it’s appropriate and necessary.
4) Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Your business’s competitive landscape might have changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, your competition probably slowed down or stopped altogether. This shouldn’t stop your business, but you should treat this as an opportunity. On the other hand, your competition might be even more competitive nowadays if your niche is relatively lucrative after the pandemic hits.
SEO can be a great tool to assess what your competitors are doing, while at the same time can be your strongest weapon in staying ahead of the competition. Check your competitors’ SERP ranking and whether they are targeting new keywords during and after the quarantine period. This can enable you to find keyword gaps and find opportunities.
5) Link Building Post-COVID-19
Backlinks remain the most important ranking factors in SEO after the pandemic, but depending on your niche, getting those high-quality, relevant links can be much more difficult than ever. So, how can we do it?
Above everything else, the main principle is organically building your links is still the same: give them something valuable to link to. Provide unique information about your industry. If it’s related to the pandemic, the better, this can be a great opportunity to get more backlinks. Provide useful data and statistics that might help your customers and even your competitors during this pandemic.
In short, give them an irresistible reason to link your page.
Content remains the key to success for any SEO strategy, and remember that in this time of crisis, it’s best to focus on helpful, informative content rather than hard-selling, promotional ones.
- Help your customers, your partners, and the public as a whole with valuable content, especially when it’s related to the pandemic. Provide value, which will translate to people giving you backlinks, which will again translate into a boost in your SERP ranking.
- Build your reputation not only as a thought leader in your niche but also as an empathetic brand that is helpful in this time of crisis.
- Use SEO hand-in-hand with social media marketing and turn the organic traffic of your website—as a result of your SEO—into an increase in your follower base, and vice versa.