Why COVID-19 Has Made SEO More Important Than Ever
The COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly be the biggest story of 2020 and definitely one of the key events of the decade. Health facilities have been stretched beyond their limits in countries that were considered most prepared for a pandemic. The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus have reverberated across the globe, with millions joining the ranks of the unemployed and COVID-19 has made SEO more important than ever.
It doesn’t seem like the best of times to be a business owner or manager. But in the midst of the grim news, there are opportunities for the now and the future. One area that has grown in importance considerably in the wake of COVID-19 is SEO. If you’ve never thought of working with an SEO agency before, here’s a look at why sharpening your SEO now is more than worth your while.
1. More People Spending More Time Online
Remote work. Layoffs. Unpaid leaves. Closed colleges. For these reasons and more, a greater number of people are spending time at home today than were doing so before the novel coronavirus disrupted everyday life. More time at home inevitably means more time online.
Perhaps as a sign of the times, there’s been an explosion of virtual concerts on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook where you can watch your favorite stars perform live. Likewise, businesses must redirect more time and resources to their online sales and marketing campaigns. SEO is the key to harnessing this growing online traffic.
2. Customize Your SEO Campaign to Ride on COVID-19 Trends
COVID-19 has been by far the most dominant subject of online conversation worldwide through the first half of 2020. As the outbreak subsides, you can expect COVID-19 search traffic to steadily decline. If you have a product or subject that you can intelligently plug into COVID-19 search traffic, now is the time to do so.
As you’d expect, there’s intense competition for the generic keywords ‘COVID-19’ and ‘coronavirus’. High authority sites and leading brands will dominate the first pages. So, identify an appropriate long-tail phrase that includes the keywords you already target. That being said, the placement and use of your keywords and anchor text should be contextually-relevant and drive meaningful qualified traffic to your site.
3. Local Search is the Key
People spending more hours at home are turning their focus on local businesses. Given the role of social distancing in preventing the spread of the virus, consumers want to minimize their commute. Local stores are also less likely to be crowded when compared to the larger shops that are further off.
Through the right SEO tools, you can optimize your website for local search and improve your visibility on ‘near me’ and ‘open now’ searches. Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store or if it isn’t currently open, local search optimization would still be a powerful avenue to direct consumers to your online services and, where applicable, reopening dates. It sets up your business for a roaring restart when market conditions return to normal.
4. SEO is Low-Cost Marketing
Businesses are laying off employees, closing branches, and reducing inventory because of cash flow concerns. Therefore, every opportunity to cut expenses must be tapped. SEO is not truly free. Even if you are not directly spending cash like PPC marketing, you’ll invest time and thought into it.
Still, SEO is much cheaper overall than every other offline and online marketing avenue, even if you have to engage the services of an SEO agency. You can keep your product visible to prospects out there as you wait for a time your financial position allows you to leverage more expensive marketing methods.
It may be weeks or months, but the world will gradually get back to business as usual though there’ll be new safeguards to prevent the resurgence of the novel coronavirus. Since COVID-19 has made SEO critical, prioritizing SEO today gives your business a good shot at not just overcoming current business challenges but also positioning itself for success when the situation somewhat normalizes.