The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant stress and uncertainty, not only in our daily lives but also for businesses. But some things never change, including the importance of SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for all companies, but it has never been more important than it is today. Pulling back or stopping SEO activity now – as a lot of companies may have considered as they reduce marketing and advertising spend – will only hurt your business in the long run.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, your company can benefit from local SEO, updating your website, updating strategies, developing new content, and conducting keyword research. Since many of us are practicing social distancing, the internet is being used more. In fact, Forbes reported at the end of March that internet usage has jumped 50-70 percent. Take advantage of this uptick to increase your business’s online presence.
Here’s where to start:
How to Optimize Your Digital Presence During COVID-19
1. Optimize Your Website
A great place to begin to fine-tune your online presence is by optimizing your website design. Here are a few things to focus on:
- Simplify the navigation
- Make sure content is up-to-date
- Provide a banner or a pop-up on the homepage and other highly trafficked pages to inform your visitors of the steps your company is taking to address COVID-19 and how you’re keeping employees and customers safe.
2. Take Advantage of a Local SEO Campaign
Local SEO is very effective when marketing your business online. Many people searching typically have local intent – which means, the searcher is looking for a business located close to him or her to either go to or buy from. Here are some local SEO tactics you can use to promote products and services locally:
- Regularly update your Google My Business profile to help search engines recognize and understand your business. Be sure to keep your profile up-to-date so Google views your website as trustworthy and continues to serve users relevant content.
- Consider adding posts to your Google My Business page to provide users with updated news and information, such as promotions, delivery options, and changes in business hours.
3. Update or Add Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords
Adding meta descriptions and meta keywords to your web pages helps Google get a better understanding of your website and helps with the indexing of your pages. Taking time to do thoughtful keyword research will benefit your website tremendously. This can help your site appear in featured snippets, which are used for voice search results, thereby gaining additional visibility for your brand.
4. Know and Optimize Your Page Speed
A good page speed decreases bounce rates and increases the overall engagement on your site. Page speed is also a ranking factor for Google.
5. Focus on Link Building
Make sure the links on your site include your target keywords. This is important because Google reads links to decide if the content is relevant. Having quality links and providing backlinks increases the value of your website. Search engines use links to find new web pages and to determine how well a website should rank in search results.
The more high-quality websites linking to your website, the more likely you will rank well in search results.
6. Utilize Email and Social Media Campaigns
Email and social media are both great channels by which to reach out to prospects and even current clients. Stay active on both to keep communication flowing. Campaigns are a great way to connect with your clients, which will also set you up for long term success. Be sure to write content to show that you understand the gravity of the current situation. Empathy goes a long way during stressful times!
7. Review and Update Your Website Content
Update your website content regularly to maintain your relevance. Regular updates tell Google your website is trustworthy and has authority. This will help with your search rankings, as Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant content. Make sure the content is easy to find within your site structure and navigation and provide fresh photos.
8. Keep Up with Ever-Changing Trends In SEO
COVID-19 is impacting SEO trends significantly. Stay on top of what people are searching for and how they are searching. Keywords are changing every day. You can start by monitoring keyword changes more closely than you normally would.
9. Look for Ways to Deliver Content Differently
- Video: Take advantage of new strategies and be in “the know.” With everyone spending more time on the web, you should start developing video content. Think outside of the box to get ahead of your competitors and create entertaining original content. Since many people are inside and bored, providing fun and exciting content will help your brand stand out.
- Blogs: If you have blog content already, consider increasing how often you post. Having a blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant and educational content. This will also increase the number of clicks throughout your website. Take advantage of linking to other parts of your site in your blog postings. 😉
- Webinars: Webinars are a great way to reach out to clients and prospects and to provide a more personalized approach. Having a real-time conversation helps to build personal relationships. Since people are practicing social distance, seeing a face or hearing a voice can calm the anxiety and stress that many are experiencing.
Don’t Forget to Measure
People are searching online more frequently during COVID-19, which will change Google trends. The way you measure results and data may change, too.
Although you may see an increase in traffic to your website, this traffic may not convert into sales. Instead, consider measuring engagement with heat maps and other tools to better understand your users and to develop content that will resonate with them. Being a valued resource in a user’s time of need will help your brand long-term, even if it doesn’t result in an immediate sale.
The COVID-19 outbreak has created a dramatic change for all of us. While the internet is getting more use than ever before, take this time to focus on your SEO efforts. Make updates, do your research, collect data, keep up with the trends, and develop an SEO strategy.
Doubling down on your SEO efforts now will not only help you weather this current challenge but will also prepare you for long term success. The team at The AD Leaf ® Marketing Firm is here to help if you need us. Contact us today to get started on your COVID-19 SEO Campaign and stay relevant during these trying times!