With COVID-19 spreading here in the United States and abroad, businesses and individuals alike are understandably in a state of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty for what’s to come next. In these trying times, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel; when life returns to normal and the outbreak ceases to be the world’s main concern.
However, if you’re even somewhat of an optimist, you must believe COVID-19 will pass. While the date for things to return to normal is up in the air, the world should be open for business once again at some point in the near future; even if it doesn’t look entirely the same as it did before the outbreak. This is why many small business owners aren’t throwing in the towel just yet on their efforts to maintain their SEO rankings during the COVID-19 outbreak.
With this in mind, here are 8 SEO strategies every business owner should be focusing on during the COVID-19 outbreak:
1. Stay on Top of Google Trends
Google Trends is a fantastic tool that allows business owners (and marketers) to see what their target audience is searching for the most at any given time. If you plan on having a strong search engine presence, Trends should already be a mainstay of your SEO strategy. However, it’s even more important now.
With so many people at home, this means you have a massive influx of users searching online. You should be monitoring Google Trends to stay on top of the questions or topics users are searching for as it pertains to your industry. Understanding this data will allow you to create relevant content that answers your audience’s current questions or addresses a specific topic.
Not only will this help your rankings now, but post COVID-19 — when sales pick back up again — you’ll be in a better position than other businesses who may be hitting the pause button on their SEO efforts.
2. Monitor Google Search Console for Keyword Changes
While you likely have been monitoring Search Console, or some other third-party tool, for keyword changes right along, it’s critical you keep this practice alive during these uncertain times. Why?
Whenever there’s a massive shift in demand, a shift in user intent and search interest on specific keywords is soon to follow. This means you’ll need to be on top of any changes in keyword search volume to ensure you can pivot and alter your approach quickly.
3. Create Content and Save it for Later
In addition to seeing a shift in search term interest, you’re likely to see a shift in consumer behavior as well. Like everyone else in the world, you now (probably) have a lot more time on your hands, so why not fill it by writing quality content based on what your audience is searching for?
Doing so will allow you to build up your content bank with valuable blog posts and emails that can be sent out now or later on once the pandemic ends. If you’re going to write content for the immediate future, you should focus on top/middle of the funnel content. While this content isn’t meant to convert users into customers in the short term, it will get them into your sales funnel so you can offer them your products/services in the future.
4. Begin Thinking About Holiday/Q4 Strategies Now
Let’s face it: no one knows when this current outbreak will come to an end. You may be hearing 2 weeks from one expert and 12 weeks or more from another. Regardless, though, it’s likely going to be a few months before the economy is fully recovered. Sadly, this means quarters 1 and 2 will likely yield less-than-ideal numbers for most businesses.
With that being said, you can start planning now to make up for the loss-of-revenue on the backend of 2020. For example, if you have an eCommerce or retail store, or sell a specific B2C product, you should begin thinking about your holiday marketing strategies now, including Black Friday.
5. Implement New Content Strategies
Change is a common theme during these uncertain times, and it is inevitable for your SEO strategies to thrive now and in the future. With more users at home, YouTube videos are becoming a major part of your target audience’s day. This means you should focus on creating more video content to capitalize on this change in user behavior.
If you’re strapped for ideas, you can simply transform some of your most popular blog posts — aka the ones that pulled in the most traffic — into a series of short videos for your company YouTube channel.
6. Get Familiar With Your Data
Similar to what we mentioned earlier in this article, not only will you have more data to pull from when it comes to Google Trends as people are searching more often, but you may even start to get more traffic to your website as well.
While the traffic boost may not lead to immediate sales or even leads, an increase in people on your website and searches can still provide some key insights. You should ask yourself these 2 questions:
- Which of your site’s top pages are seeing the most traffic?
- Is this a new phenomenon or something that was already occurring pre-COVID-19?
Regardless, now is the ideal time to implement a heat map on your site to see where your user’s attention is being drawn the most on your top web pages. You can also use other data collection methods to take a close look into how users are behaving on your website.
7. Think Outside of The Box and Use Your Time Wisely
While content is certainly the main focus with SEO, it’s important to think outside the box, especially while you still have more time on your hands than usual. This is when you should be focusing on SEO as a whole, and ensuring that:
- Your page speed is up-to-par
- Your website is updated with fresh images
- Your URL structure is optimized
You can also perform additional SEO tasks, such as creating a user-experience exercise or creating new cornerstone content pages. No matter what you do, just ensure that each task is deliberate and serves a purpose for your overall SEO strategy.
8. Partner With The Right SEO Agency for Small Businesses
One of the most unfortunate aspects of this whole pandemic for businesses is it has forced owners to make tough decisions and lay off some (or all) of their staff. If your company once had a marketing department that you’ve since parted ways with, then partnering with a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO for small businesses is the ideal solution.
Not only will this ensure your strategies are properly maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the right agency — like Venture Digital — can help your small business plan new SEO tactics for the future. Contact us today to get started or give us a call at (714) 656-7281.