Consumers had no choice but to adopt the new normal of the industry in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic across the globe. In recent times, curbside pickup and delivery and online ordering have transformed the way of operations to flatten the curve of a virus and maintain a safe social distancing.
While it has significantly increased internet usage, search traffic of business websites has adversely affected in several industries. Does that mean SEO isn’t viable for businesses right now? The short answer is ‘Absolutely Not.’
With more and more users searching online amid COVID-19, you shouldn’t overlook the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially when you wish to see continuous engagement during these challenging times. If you haven’t been putting SEO efforts over time, it’s high time to see its value clearly and invest in the SEO campaign to improve the bottom line.
How COVID-19 Crisis has Affected Search Traffic?
The unprecedented coronavirus isn’t just a public health emergency but has also led to an economic emergency. As a result, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are consistently looking for reliable ways to overcome a period of recession and earn valuable returns. Your business isn’t alone, the majority of industries are losing hope and struggling to gain a competitive edge during this pandemic.
This chart states that internet use or search is comprised of multiple activities such as virtual meetings, movie streaming, social media, gaming apps, and so on. Online search has increased but with a slight focus on regular updates, events, health, and other relevant industry sectors. This has caused a drop in traffic to non-essential business sites, including both organic and paid outcomes. To reap the benefits of SEO even more, you need to build a new marketing strategy taking the current trends into account.
Why SEO is Crucial for Small Businesses During COVID-19?
- Local Search Matters
With several non-essential stores are shut down and increased vulnerability, people are looking for ‘near me’ information to get relevant products in the local area. If you want to be gain a competitive advantage, your site must appear in local search results and this is where acquiring SEO services could be a feasible option.
- SEO Offers Long-Term Traffic Equity
While SEO does need an investment of resources and consistent efforts, gained search engine rankings will give you countless rewards for years. The website you optimize, the content you create and publish today will act as a savior in a fast-changing business environment and help you get through challenging times.
- Search Optimization Improves User Experience
Applying proven SEO tactics will make your site much better, organized, and easier to navigate. Optimizing your site’s user experience (UX) today from the users’ perspective will immensely enhance its navigation and accessibility.
- Search has a Wide Channel Share
According to the survey of BrightEdge Channel Share, 53 percent of traffic to sites drives from organic search. As a whole, 83 percent of search traffic is organic and 17 percent generates from paid search. Now is the right time to evaluate how your paid strategy benefits organic results and how you can drive qualified traffic and leads to your website.
- Consumers are Looking for Guidance
This is the best time to raise your voice and deliver accurate information to consumers for better support. During the crisis of COVID-19, people are searching for guidance and aid, thereby, you should focus on the relevant source of information and connect directly with your customers to bring more credibility for your brand.
- SEO Plays a Vital Role in Overall Marketing Strategy
By investing in channels that drive demand, you can target a wider audience and maintain your SEO plan even during uncertain times. SEO is a central part of a digital marketing strategy that spans across different channels like mobile, local, video, paid media, emails, and much more. If you keep your local listings and landing pages updated, consumers that trust you will definitely lean towards your brand.
How to Appear on the Top of SERPs During the COVID-19 Crisis?
You might have convinced by now that SEO is essential for small businesses at the present. But do you know, where to begin? If you’re planning to jump-start your business and get through tough times, here are some strategies to consider:
- Create high-quality and evergreen content
- Focus on both coronavirus-related and other search terms for better engagement
- Create or update your account on Google My Business.
- Perform a local listing audit
- Keep your site content up to date to send signals to search engines
- Improve your local SEO strategy
- Update already published content to deliver accurate information to users
Keep in mind, visitors don’t become active consumers overnight, it takes a lot of time and effort to earn their trust and loyalty. The interactive blog you publish as a part of your SEO campaign will bring credibility, engagement, and better returns.
Even though the times are challenging, you can’t afford to lose money but without strategic planning, it is nearly impossible to stay afloat. When coronavirus recedes and you venture out again, the consumers will likely to give priority to those brands that stand united with them in the tough times.
So SEO Can Help Small Businesses to Gain Competitive Edge During COVID-19, While you cannot predict when the current restriction on commerce and travel might come to an end completely, you must know that the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be seen forever, obviously if you work harder for it on a consistent basis. If you want to get through this time of uncertainty, it is worth reevaluating your 2020 SEO strategies and plans to add more value to your business and effectively overcome the negative effect of COVID-19.
It is advisable to determine the nature of your business and update your website, Google My Business listing, and other digital sources accordingly to reach your potential customers more easily and quickly. As the consumers’ demands and business environment changes, SMEs should adopt new practices to fulfill the customers’ needs today and in the future.