COVID-19 and 4 Effective Tips for Stronger SEO Program During the Pandemic
Search is basically the way to understand and interpret consumer intent and behavior. Owing to the current pandemic, COVID-19, that is wreaking havoc all over the world, there is a paradigm shift in search behavior, habits of media consumptions, consume mobility and supply chain. To keep up with that brands are altering their budget too. As a result of these sudden unprecedented changes, businesses are struggling to adjust their new marketing campaign while removing the risk factors strategically.
Organic Search as the Savior
According to studies conducted by various resources, the shopping behavior of 1 out of 3 consumers has changed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. According to Emarketr.com, around 47.2% of consumers in the USA are currently avoiding shopping from retailers, namely malls and stores. On the other hand, the campaigns are changing their course too. The budget for PPC has been through a reduction of considerable amount. There is a loss of 7% in Google Search Ads impressions from 13th January, 2020 to 9th March, 2020. However, for certain brands like Dailyburn.com, there is a surge of 300+ increased rates of organic search visibility.
In a situation like this, SEO experts and content marketers around the world are changing their strategies in order to create content that can not only compel the user but also can drive conversion, irrespective of the current situation, and build the brand for a long haul.
According to Google Trends, the term SEO is presently getting searched repeatedly online as there is a spike of interest too amongst all the marketers around the world. That is why, Pat Reinhart from Conductor has commented, “SEO-focused content is the most cost-effective and direct path to maintaining your business during economic downtime”
SEO is the Most Cost-Effective Investment During COVID-19
Being confined at home means that people are more online than ever this time. As most of the countries are under partial or complete lockdown, people are spending more time on social media as well as on search engines. So, regardless of the global economic meltdown, perhaps more due to this, you would want your brand to appear at the top of the search results.
During the economic meltdown, SEO is going to be proved as a smart investment for your brand’s future. Cost-effective than media, SEO needs you to develop content that can be relevant to the consumer’s behavior and thus, can direct conversion. SEO is a low-cost long term investment that requires comparatively less budget and doesn’t come with an on/off switch like the paid ad campaigns. If today you are investing in SEO, the organic result you will get will serve you better in the future, in the post-pandemic world and economy.
So, if you are shifting your focus on SEO and content, then you need to use some strategies that can help you brave the storm and yet stand tall in the end. Take a look at the following points to know more.
#1. Create Content to Build Trust
According to the reports of Forrester, “Consumers are less optimistic that people and companies will follow through on the promises they make.”
That is why you need to change “on-the-face” type of aggressive marketing campaign to drive the sale and rather become reassuring, telling the consumers that when the storm is over and the world is again back on its axis, you are going to be there to keep the promises of your brand. When in such trying times, people are dealing with loneliness, hopelessness, and anxiety. Offering reassurance, competency, and integrity can be extremely helpful for you as a brand.
Generally, if a brand is offering educational content, after one week, it is most likely to get the sale of around 48% of the users. With educational content, a brand can establish brand affinity at any moment. Now, in the time of crisis, when you are delivering educational content, you are building trust as a brand. Consumers are looking for answers amid this uncertainty. Be there for them. Share relevant information for your industry so that your target audience can remain informed in this changing world. If you can’t offer any industry-specific information that can be relevant, then share authentic information from organizations like WHO so that the consumers can trust the people behind your brand.
#2. Be Proactive in Managing Your Web Presence
Building more trust with your content will translate into more clicks on your content on the SERPs. This is why maintaining a web presence is imperative. At the same time, check the authenticity of your information as things are changing rapidly every day and outdated can confuse the consumers and result in loss of trust. Also, read on the following points.
- Update Schema: This will ensure that your consumers can see the information of your brand real-time online. It can be more useful for eCommerce websites people will check for availability, delivery, and products.
- Update “Google My Business” Page: Owing to the present scenario and the lockdown situation, it is most likely that your business hours will be different. So, keep your “Google My Business” page updated so that the consumers are getting the latest information before contacting you.
- Manage Google Search Console: This will give you a glimpse of how relevant your information is to your audience. Spikes or a decline in traffic can make you realize what is working and what is not.
- Monitor Search Demands and Social Media mentions: Use your social media demographic to analyze what type of content is in demand. Catch the right tone and sentiment.
#3. Audit Your Future Campaign and Content
Once the pipeline of your future campaign is ready, audit the campaign. Obviously, you don’t want your campaign and content to feel tone-deaf. In this situation of crisis, instead of your usual taglines and logos, think of conveying the message of social isolation, share hope and compassion as everyone is going through a tough time. SEO managers must have a heightened awareness of consumer sensitivity. Instead of being technical, now SEO must build long term brand equity by becoming the voice of consumers across organizations.
#4. Improvise Security
Along with the crisis and vulnerability, there is also a rise in cyber threats in terms of malware activities and hacking. Hackers are using this as a golden opportunity for malicious activities and spam campaigns even in the name of reputed brands. So, make security your top priority.
- Conduct Log File Analysis: With this, you will be able to identify if there is any spambot crawler that is trying to infiltrate your site.
- Go for SSO: Single Sign on or SSO authorization will maintain only one set of login credentials that will effectively control access.
- Use SSL to Secure Your Site: It is necessary that you protect the credit card credential, browsing or shopping history of your consumers. With implementing HTTPS you will be able to do that.
- Update Plugins and Apps: Old plugins and apps are more vulnerable. So you must keep them updated.
Securing your digital assets will not only save you from disasters right now but will also help you safeguard your SEO efforts for the future.
For Trust Building, SEO Investment is the Need of the Hour
Ranking your content top of the search result is necessary as your traffic is searching for answers there. And for that, these are the steps that you need to follow.
- Keep coming up with SEO focused topics for content so that your audience can find it relevant.
- Keep updating the information you are sharing on your website on a regular basis.
- Be mindful of the messages you are conveying with your running campaign.
Tough times are the true testing period. That is why you need to be wise. Instead of exploiting the public sentiment, create the brand image that inspires trust and hope. You will reap the fruit of this investment in the future. Take Care and Be Safe!!