POST UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 10TH JUNE 2020:
No one needs a reminder about the impacts of Covid-19. In fact, many people are completely tired of hearing the world wide economic hits we have all taken. Origionally, I wrote this post roughly two month prior to various elements of life returing to some sort of normality.
Today, we are experiencing the slow but steady increase in business generation, the opening of shops and non essential outlets. Finally!
But, the questions around investing heaviliy into your online marketing is still a serious one. Many people are now being forced to fast track their strategies and come up with marketing budget because they were not steadily chipping away durin glockdown.
Let’s take a look at how SEO and digital in general is being used in the slow awakening of the business world.
Economic data in the ‘new normal’
Sources indicate that in the United Kingdom alone there has been a 2% drop in overall GDP during the first quarter of 2020. SOm eare comparing it to the great economic crash experienced in 2008.
Non essential offerings such as malls, entertainment sectors and non-food retail took the heaviest knock of all. What was once enjoyed in modern day retail foot traffic has now seen a decrease of a minimum of 75%. According to Commosnlibrary, the bank of England projects the unemployment rate to rise to a minimum of 9% toward the second quarter of this year which is a 5% increase since the pandemic.
What is the pandemic we are facing right now?
For several years, scientists and medical experts have been fighting, not one but a widespread of diseases all over the world. From the Bubonic Plague that killed nearly two hundred million people between 1346 and 1353, to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and now the COVID-19 that started in December 2019, every one of these has affected the lives greatly.
The COVID-19 started early in December 2019 in Wuhan and spread incredibly quickly. From being an Epidemic in china to spreading all over the world, the COVID-19 took several lives and greatly affected the economy of several countries.
It was declared as a pandemic by WHO in March 2020, by the end of which the world had witnessed half a million infected people with nearly thirty thousand deaths. The virus continues to infect everyone it comes in contact with and has become the primary concern throughout the world.
The outcome of any pandemic is impossible to predict. While the cholera pandemic lasted eight years and killed nearly a million people, the HIV pandemic took seven years to cause the death of thirty-six million people.
The worst was the black death Bubonic Plague that lasted seven years and killed approximately seventy-five to two hundred million people. You never know how long COVID-19 is going to last and how many lives it may take with it.
Why shouldn’t you stop SEO services during this pandemic?
This would be the WORST TIME for you to stop your SEO Strategy!
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and it helps a business in improving a brand’s search engine ranking. It optimizes a website to get unpaid or organic traffic from search engine results.
Every company’s website has content that describes the business, the products, and services offered by them. With the help of SEO services, the websites gain more exposure and experience more traffic.
How the SEO works is a complex topic as it has several different factors impacting its ranking, one of them being content marketing that is integrated with SEO. The Google organic search has been greatly impacted by the pandemic COVID-19.
The outbreak has resulted in businesses and economies all over the world, shifting their support towards human health, and attempting to slow the infection rate.
COVID-19 has significantly changed online search behaviour as well as the type of content that search engine displays as a result. Google aims to provide the best possible result, which comes with expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), especially with YMYL or ‘Your Money, Your Life’ kind of search queries.
Life takes priority over everything else when a pandemic hits. With pandemic, every business takes a hit, and predictions of economic collapse start to surface. A lot of people start to believe that there is not much left to do and give up.
But do you know that you can still use SEO as a useful tool to sustain your business and not wait for the pandemic to end?
Take the chance and show some empathy
Every business has a human side to it, and when the pandemic hits, it is time to show your human side to your customers. Words like ‘we care,’ ‘we understand’ and such have often been used in article creation.
It is time you show that you mean it. Make sure that the content you share with them lets them know that you care, and you understand what they are facing.
If your company is helping a community during this time of need, make sure to share it in the newsletter.
Start advancing on your brand
SEO is a branding tool, but the trick is knowing how to use it during a pandemic. People are more worried about their jobs and lives than show any interest in your products or services. People worry; it doesn’t mean that they are not online.
Most people start to look for content on COVID-19. Use SEO services to ensure that your brand shows up in the content. You can share safety messages with your brand or product visible.
Make sure to optimize the keywords to relate to safety during a pandemic, and do not share any humorous memes.
Create awareness among consumers, and a distance between you and competitor
If your business has anything to do with products that are needed during a pandemic, then make use of this to create awareness. Nothing remains intact in the minds of people during a pandemic than a company that shows care and responsibility.
Every day, things such as toilet paper, hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, and so on are becoming a necessity and people will remember them, but they will also remember a competitor brand.
Use SEO services to stay on the top.
Make use of content marketing that tells your customers that you care and create a distance between you and your competitor.
Even if your company does not provide essentials, find ways to be noticed by offering content that helps customers during the time of need. Make sure to optimize keywords and give yourself a head start before your competitor joins the race.
Invest in long-term marketing strategy
It is a time when everything is uncertain, starting from the future of a business to the lives of people. Cuts will have to be made as the future shows certain signs of recession. It is ideal to invest in long-term marketing rather than look for opportunities to make short term profits. The ideal tool to fulfil long term goals is SEO.
The pandemic has no defined end, but it surely has an end. When it does, you must be prepared to receive your customers. Until then, develop a content marketing strategy, and with the help of SEO services, establish yourself as the brand that every customer seeks.
Today or tomorrow, the pandemic has to end. But customers who are stuck inside their homes have ample time to browse and build a perception about a brand or a company that they find online.
Don’t wait for the pandemic to be over to start your SEO work; your competitor may already be a step ahead of you