4 Tips To Build A Strong SEO Strategy That Withstands The COVID19 Pandemic!
The viral spread of the COVID19 pandemic has forced millions of people inside their homes and has led to the shutdown of thousands of businesses. Due to this, there has been an unprecedented alteration of consumer intent and behavior.
From mobility, media consumption, budgets, to supply chains and end users. This impact can be felt across every industry. To meet the challenges of such a dynamic situation, businesses need to adjust their marketing strategies to reduce risk and increase profitability.
Web search is an extremely insightful tool to gauge an understanding of how the intent and behavior of millions of consumers keep evolving around the world. Hence the strategic use of Search Engine Optimization is a must. As it might be the best bet businesses have against the onslaught of COVID19!
Organic Marketing: The Antidote To Turbulent Times
The spread of the COVID19 pandemic completely blindsided many industries both in and outside of the United States. At the moment according to recent estimates, 1 in 3 consumers have already changed their purchasing habits.
Nearly 47.2% of the people who were surveyed have said that they don’t see themselves going to shop at large shopping centers & malls anytime soon due to social distancing.
On the digital end of the spectrum, PPC ad campaigns have seen a sharp reduction in their budgets. Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, Google Ads have lost nearly 7% of their impressions. But on the other hand, SEO is seeing a resurgence as during the same time frame it has risen 300% in organic search visibility.
In a world that is standing still due to a viral pandemic ragging, it seems like the old-school of organic content-oriented brand-building is the best bet for businesses going forward.
4 Tips To Build A Robust SEO Strategy To Withstand The COVID19 Pandemic
The rapid spread of the COVID19 pandemic has shattered many notions held by the common public. Suddenly millions of people are faced with an ominous reality. That they imagined could never exist. Hence it isn’t surprising to see how paid ads are failing in such uncertain times, as when people are afraid and confused the last thing they need is an ad that capitalizes on their position.
Therefore SEO and content-driven brand building take the center stage, as organic marketing has always been about creating a bridge of trust first, before walking it. Here are the top four tips that enable you to create a robust SEO strategy for your businesses:
Tip 1: Build Relationships, Sales Will Follow During The COVID19 Pandemic
A lot has happened in the past five months, the world for all we know has evolved beyond recognition. The world today is a much more socially distant place with the feelings of loss and disdain perpetuating everywhere.
It is not in your best interest during such testing times to go out all guns blazing and campaign hard for getting sales. You must take this time to build a marketing strategy that treats your consumers as humans first and leads second. Therefore you must build relationships with your users/customers that are created on the foundation of trust.
Here is how you should go about building your trust and relationships with your customers:
Take a customer-centric approach to your content creation that sees adding value to your customers as its primary goal. Hence you must create highly educational content that people can derive a lot of value from and start perceiving you as a credible and trustworthy brand. Bonus points if you are consistent with your content creation and delivery.
Don’t try to earn a quick buck by raising a pay-wall that limits your content’s reach. Let SEO do its job and focus on creating value for your customers with your content. Identify your target audiences and pursue a strategic campaign for increased chances of success.
You must also focus on cultivating your brand image and improve your product/service reputation by fostering strong partnerships within your fraternity. Not only does that allow you to create goodwill within your niche, but also opens a vast resource of creating a credible online presence with a plethora of backlinks.
Tip 2: Focus On E-A-T
Google in the past few years has constantly updated its search algorithms to create a better platform. In this regard since 2018 Google has slowly started to focus more and more on E-A-T to index websites and rank them on pages.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This ranking standard was created to enable brands that create good value-added content to succeed on the search and get recommended on Google Discover.
Therefore to win the long-term game in the post-COVID19 world, you need to increase your E-A-T quotient.
Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Keep Your Schema Updated – This makes sure that Google is always showing accurate information about your business in a rapidly changing world. This also helps users stay updated with the most relevant and up-to-date information regarding your business. Add events, special announcements, product launches to create a sustained presence on the web.
- Don’t Neglect Your GMB – GMB or Google My Business is an extremely important and non-negotiable part of your business’s online presence. Always keep your company data up-to-date on GMB, if you are a physical store or office then make sure to add operating hours/days to keep potential customers in the know.
- Monitor Your Google Search Console – Keep an eye on your website traffic to understand how the COVID19 pandemic has impacted your website traffic in-flow. Look for how good or bad your organic traffic is flowing as it is an important indicator of falling or rising demand for your product or service. An increase or decrease in traffic can give you insights into what is going wrong and provides you a fighting chance to regain lost territory.
- Keep Track Of Social Media – Social Media is also a massively important indicator of public mood and brand perception. By understanding how your social media audience behaves to certain marketing stimuli you can assess what strategies work and what doesn’t. Then you can use this data to optimize your SEO and content marketing performance to drive successful results.
Tip 3: Re-start Your SEO Strategy From Ground-zero
The world today is very different today. As the lives of consumers have changed, so should also change the marketing strategy used to woo them. The primary goal of re-starting your SEO campaign strategy is to not come across as tone-deaf to the present realities of consumers.
Many major brands across the globe have taken the lead in creating new marketing strategies to meet the new challenges. For example, KFC has changed its world-famous ‘Finger-Lickin’ Good slogan per the renewed focus on personal hygiene.
The worldwide web is the mirror image of the real world. If people are sensitive around a topic in the real world, chances are they won’t be happy engaging with the said sensitivity on the web. Therefore SEO marketers need to be aware and on their toes regarding any anticipated consumer sensitivities in their marketing campaign.
Take this opportunity to highlight your business’s core philosophy and establish yourself as a brand that cares about its customers. In these troubled times, empathy is the greatest asset at the disposal of marketers.
Tip 4: Cybersecurity Is Key
Trust is quintessential in marketing in the post-COVID19 world, before your leads turn into customers they first need to trust your brand. Hence brand credibility takes paramountcy in these uncertain times.
Therefore if you want to create an SEO strategy that fosters trust, it must be built on the foundation of credibility. That can only come as a result of you creating a platform that is as safe & reliable as possible.
The content that you create needs to be authentic, also your website needs to step up its security arrangements to protect itself from a rise in cybercrime. Hackers are using these turbulent times as a cover to vicious attacks on small to medium-sized businesses to global organizations like WHO. Therefore with your website security being a top priority, here are a few safety areas that need your immediate attention:
Areas of Security Concern
- Keep A Strict Vigil on Crawl Errors – To keep infiltrators and spammers at bay. SEO professionals need to strictly monitor their log files. Conduct a thorough analysis of these log files to check for any abnormalities in the search indexing web-crawlers accessing your website.
- Enact SSO – SSO or Single Sign-On is a login authentication system. That enables users to use a unified login credential to access multiple separate applications. With such a system you reduce clutter in password and username management and prevent leakages.
- Integrate SSL Certificates – SSL or Secure Socket Layers is a security protocol. The integration of SSL certificates into your website makes it a more secure platform for users. To use credit cards, emails, and other information they would want to keep secret.
- Always Stay Updated – Hacker can gain access to your digital assets is by exploiting inbuilt vulnerabilities. Therefore always keep your software/applications and other online assets updated to reduce the chances of internal security breaches.
That’s not all as the purview of an SEO marketing specialist with regards to cybersecurity extends beyond just SSL & updates. SEO marketers must be vigilant and always be alert for the continued security of your digital assets. If you aren’t careful hackers might implement negative SEO campaigns against you. That might not hurt in the short-medium term, but can be brand damaging in the long run.
The COVID19 Pandemic momentous crisis. Hence people all around the world are in a precarious situation. From big brands to small to medium-sized companies all are facing challenges nobody could have guessed. Therefore the best thing to do in these times is to go back to the basics. Ergo, let good quality content work in tandem with strategic SEO to drive your growth.