If Your Business Is Currently Experiencing A Down-Turn Due To COVID-19, Use The Time To Realign Your SEO Strategy
The first quarter of 2020 has been unpredictable, to say the least. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how unprepared the world is to deal with global epidemics. Governments and health organisations are fighting to save lives and control the spread of Covid-19, amid an acute shortage of medical supplies and PPE’s (personal protective equipment) worldwide. The pandemic has inevitably led to an economic slowdown and experts have legitimate concerns that the recession that would follow could be worse than the Great Depression. It is now more imperative than ever that governments and businesses focus on reassessment and restructuring to adapt to the changing needs of the people. As the workforce shifts to remote environments, organisations are prioritising social media, mobile and contactless interactions, hyper-personalisation, automation of manual processes and technological innovations. It’s unlikely that your business is untouched by the ramifications of the pandemic. This would be a good time to realign your SEO strategy to adapt to the shift in consumerism so that you can continue to maintain your target audience and acquire new ones.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of web traffic to your website through organic search engine results. By organic traffic, we mean natural search results which are unpaid. It excludes direct traffic or traffic through paid ads. SEO helps to direct the right people to your website. Optimization of websites ensures that quality traffic (ie people who are interested in your product) is driven to your business through the search engine results pages (SERPs). Greater traffic ultimately results in higher conversion rates. Through the power of SEO, you can significantly increase your organic traffic and rank higher on search engines thereby increasing your Domain Authority and enabling more consumers to find your business.
How does it work?
All search engines are focused on the delivery of accurate, highly relevant and quality results for what their users are searching for. For this purpose, search engines send their crawlers to all websites to evaluate the content and understand what the site is about. The process of crawling ensures that only relevant results show up on SERP when users are searching for a particular topic or key phrase. The process of SEO helps websites to rank higher on the search engines for relevant keywords and phrases.
Why is SEO important right now?
The lockdown enforced by countries across the globe has forced people to be quarantined at home. This phenomenon has led to people spending more time online. Under these uncertain circumstances, which have dramatically altered consumer behaviour and consumption habits, businesses need to alter their marketing strategy to alleviate risk and ease the impact of the pandemic. Businesses need to realign their SEO strategy to ramp up their social media and online impact, create engaging content to reconnect with customers and build brand awareness that initiates conversion now and drives brand loyalty in the long term.
Whether your business is essential or non-essential, it’s important to convey a message that’s reassuring. Marketing campaigns can’t be a direct sales pitch and need to focus on a message of comfort and hope that empowers people and gives them a sense of control in such dire times. The content needs to be educational and relevant to the situation that we’re in. With the help of SEO, businesses can tap into the current consumer psyche and create meaningful content on topics that are trending. SEO also happens to be a cost-effective investment, especially given the current economic climate, compared to traditional forms of marketing channels like TV advertising. SEO-focused content can get you more visibility and organic traffic to boost your conversion and revenue. Optimizing content can help businesses to position themselves and their products/services to achieve short term incentive and long term success.
What are the SEO trends that businesses can focus on right now?
Optimisation of websites helps improve page speed which has everything to do with bounce rate and customer engagement. The average attention span of a human being is 8 seconds. If a website takes longer than that to load then you experience a higher bounce rate and potentially lose out on prospective customers. It is crucial to optimise the content and the images on the website to improve page speed. Also, it is important to consistently update content so that you rank higher on SERPs. It is a good idea to create a banner or pop up on the website that educates and informs users on the latest development on Covid-19 as well as about how your business is operating remotely while prioritising your employees and customers safety and health. People are looking for guidance at this time so help them by disseminating important Covid-19 related information through your website.
Update your Google My Business page
You need to update your customer about the changes in your operations due to the pandemic. Updating your Google My Business page will allow customers to know about the changes in working hours, online availability, promotions, customer assistance, options of contactless delivery and so forth.
Google Trends and Google Search Console
Google Trends and Google Search Console are essential tools for all businesses that want to master SEO. To stay up to date you need to know what topics people are discussing and searching online. Focus on keywords in your niche closely. Surges on certain keywords or key phrases would let you know what your potential and the existing audience are looking for. Google trends will help provide you with content writing on the most buzz-worthy and talked about topics. Google Search Console will help you monitor and maintain your web traffic especially organic traffic and help with fixing website errors too. GSC reports can massively help to understand the shift in consumerism. It can help you build a better plan of action based on the peak or decline of traffic to the website.
Review and update website content
Keeping in mind public sentiments, it is important to review the existing content on the website and rework it. Content needs to be empathetic towards the current situation and the consumers. The last thing you want is to come off as tone-deaf. Big brands like KFC, Coca Cola, Nike and many more have reworked their taglines and logos to be more reflective of the situation and promote a message of unity and safety. When creating fresh content, it’s important to keep in mind what your audience wants to hear about. The narrative that’s projected through the content should help build customer trust and answer their most burning queries. The consistency with which you post new content is of massive importance too, as it helps Google to rank your website as authoritative and trustworthy. Hence, SEO focused content delivered regularly can really drive your website traffic and ranking.
Emails and social media campaigns
Communication is the key to business survival right now. Emails and social media are your means to stay connected with your audience. Segmented and personalised emails help your subscribers to be updated about your business. Any promotion or initiative being undertaken by your brand could be communicated through them. Hyper-personalisation can help you turn in more conversions, as it directs the target audience to something they are already interested in and are much more likely to purchase. With social media engagement on an all-time high, revamping your social media strategy would really help your business right now. The content on all social media platforms needs to be consistent- they should be empathetic and hopeful. Keep an eye out for changes in keywords trends as that would help you write more meaningful content. A thorough competitor analysis can really help you learn from your competitors and gain an edge on them.
Businesses need to invest in ramping up their website security. It is and should be a priority because the majority of communication is happening through video conferences and emails. It is pivotal that sensitive and private information doesn’t leak out or be taken advantage of by hackers. This is especially true for organisations like financial institutions. The instance of Zoom meetings getting hacked highlights the risk of security when conducting business online. Steps that you can need to take to ensure a secure website are- select a robust content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla, manage their plugins efficiently, include secure sockets layer (SSL) certification to guard online transaction, enable different levels of security access for employees with reliable passwords and create and set up automatic backups.
How can businesses like Alkye help?
As a full-service digital agency, we provide monthly SEO services including:
We research and compile the most relevant keywords and key phrases, using advanced tools, for your marketing campaigns that would position your business towards the right target audience.
We create high-quality backlinks for your website to bring in potential customers to your site, boost web traffic significantly and enhance your SERPs ranking dramatically.
Our SEO team creates structured data that would help your website to be better understood by search engine crawlers and proportionally rank you higher on SERP.
Meta Data Analysis
Meta data is crucial for search engines to analyse your website content. Through our inputs, you can build a strong meta data that would help increase your brand visibility and enhance ranking.
There is a lot to learn from competitors. Our competitor keyword analysis will give you a deep insight into your competitors and their utility of keywords. This will help your brand tap into areas that are being overlooked by your competitors and give you an edge over them.
We can create AMPs to help improve website responses and loading speeds dramatically for internet users on mobile devices that would help your online ranking on multiple search engines and not just Google.
Businesses across the spectrum should be utilising SEO as a powerful tool to drive brand awareness and customer engagement. This tool should be used to build trust around the brand, through constant and meaningful content across all digital channels. With consumer hysteria at an all-time high, businesses need to think carefully about how they project their brand to the masses. They need to keep up communication with their loyal customers and update all digital channels with new and highly relevant content to attract prospective audiences. SEO will help you monitor and analyse changing consumer behaviour so that you can tap into every opportunity available in amidst of a slowdown.