SEO or Search Engine Optimization has always been a crucial tool for getting users to your website or any online content. Most businesses have adopted SEO as an all-inclusive marketing strategy. Today, the effects of SEO are far clearer amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In Google Trends, you will see that search terms like “SEO” have increased traffic over the previous few weeks. This could mean that marketers who haven’t given importance to SEO earlier are now grasping the significance and are scrambling to learn SEO. Related terms like “SEO professional”, “drive organic traffic to your website” also have higher search volume.
If you haven’t worked on your SEO strategy yet, it’s high time you should. Investing in SEO efforts now will give greater ROI down the line.
Here are 6 SEO tips to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your business and increase your organic traffic.
- A page about COVID-19
Having a webpage or message displayed on your website about COVID-19 is essential. This is crucial especially if your business comes under essential services or is greatly impacted by this global pandemic. Create a dedicated page to receive all relevant COVID-19 traffic and prevent further traffic loss due to unavailability or disruption in services.
For example, to acknowledge the seriousness of the current situation, Ford pivoted their ads and website to explain how the company has supported during WWII by manufacturing military equipment and conveyed their commitment to support during the present crisis by manufacturing medical equipment.
You could create a page like Footloy detailing how a percentage of sales will contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts. Or, simply have a page entailing what measures have you taken or how you are ensuring business continuity to instill trust among customers.
If you run a restaurant business, mention extra precautions you are taking towards health and hygiene, sanitizing the kitchen, following WHO advisory, and order delivery safety. If you have a retail store, inform your customers about store closures and other facilities you are offering like selling online and delivering or taking orders over the phone, etc.
- Create engaging content on emerging topics
Searching and creating new and trending topics are crucial in capturing traffic. Having the right content at the right time could hold back visitors onto your page rather than switching to competitors. But how to find out those topics when search terms are rapidly shifting? Rely on Google Trends.
It is the best place to understand alterations in search behavior. It provides more real-time data, which will help you determine trending topics to focus on while generating content. Find emerging trends relevant to your business. For example, you can modify search query by adding “remote” or “at-home” with your list of keywords for a noteworthy surge in demand.
- Strengthen your value proposition
You know better why someone should choose you over your competitor. But have you been able to explain that to your potential customers? Constant competitor analysis is more important than ever at this point to strengthen your Unique Selling Proposition. See what they are doing and figure out what more you can do to enhance your value proposition over your competitors. Make visitors feel your offerings are better than others.
Last, of all, something which may not be relevant later, but could be powerful in securing more conversions now is to test out different formats, web copy, and imagery. Keep enough room for experiment and measure results.
- Include E-A-T in your web presence
Google keeps updating its guidelines from time to time. One such update in July 2018, emphasize E-A-T. It stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Upon these three factors, Google measures the weight of a brand or website. Google wants to give its users the best experience, so it only promotes websites that are trustworthy according to Google’s parameters.
This is why keeping your website updated about COVID-19 related changes is essential at the moment. Outdated or inaccurate info can confuse or disappoint customers. Thus, when you plan to learn SEO and build strategy, do not forget to pay attention to E-A-T.
There are other ways to improve your SEO EAT quality:
- Add short author bio to all blog posts
- Invest time in personal branding
- Trim down content with less E-A-T
- Put importance to the quality of back-links than quantity
- Website security with HTTPS
- Social media activities
- Escalate security
As already mentioned, trust is an important factor for success at present.
However, hackers and cybercriminals are taking advantage of the crisis. They are using malicious malware to promote coronavirus discount codes, spam content, and donation pages. Branded companies are also struggling with phishing attacks. Most trusted companies like WHO are also being exploited to establish fake credibility.
Here are a few things you can do for your website’s security and make it trustworthy for your customers:
- Check log files for crawl errors. Logfile analysis can help find out how search engine crawlers are evaluating your website. Through the analysis, you will also get to know if spambots exist on your website or not.
- Implement Single Sign-On or SSO. Instead of having different login credentials created by different people, the authority to use one set of password and user ID to log on to separate applications is more secure and organized.
- Update plug-ins and apps. Hackers generally search for old tools and plug-ins for vulnerability. Don’t become an easy target.
- Implement HTTPS for protecting sensitive data with encryption.
- SEO style spring cleaning
If your site is an old one, there must be content or pages you have deleted which aren’t relevant anymore. Such pages can still be present in the Google index, meaning they can come up in search results. That makes SEO spring cleaning important.
However, upon clicking on such a result, a 404 page opens. To avoid such inconveniences, it is recommended by an SEO expert to redirect old results to existing web pages. And also check the Metadata of the website and optimize it if needed to boost the rankings.
With social distancing in place, more users are searching and buying online. So, there are fewer chances of other marketing tactics to bring the desired results. SEO has become the differentiating factor between brands that are continuing to get traffic in a volatile market situation and those that aren’t.