Getting to Grips with Coronavirus: Why SEO Is Vital for Businesses

By Aaron Rudman-Hawkins
March 25, 2020
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Getting to Grips with Coronavirus: Why SEO Is Vital for Businesses

 

The developments over the last few weeks have brought about what can only be described as unprecedented times for all of us. However, although COVID-19 is certainly going to bring about times of uncertainty, it’s important to take a breath and think about the long run here.

This post shines a light on how businesses can best react to Coronavirus when it comes to SEO, online marketing and combating the issue. We’re sharing these points below in the hope of calming concerns and providing pointers on why SEO is vital in the current climate.

Don’t panic!

As we find ourselves in such an adapting situation, thinking rationally is vital. Kneejerk decisions we make in the short term while in the thick of it are going to have a long term impact, and this is certainly the case when it comes to businesses and how they operate and act.

I’ve had a few calls with clients this week, and have been amazed by reactions. Despite initial concern, the calls have focused on the best way forward, the plan for the coming months, and looking to the future. This is the right approach, rather than blind panic, and is something the approach we all should take – because we will come out the other side of this! 

And when we do, suddenly those knee-jerk reactions will have cause far more hindrance than help.

Now we’ve cleared that up, below are a few more pointers for maintaining your SEO efforts for the long run.

Budget for SEO during the coming months

Your audience and customer base haven’t disappeared.

As the world reacts and adapts, it’s thrown people off course, yes, but when the dust settles consumers will return with velocity – and many businesses will kick themselves when they find their website’s performance has considerably dropped, they’ve lowered in the rankings, and they miss out on this resurgence.

The next few months lay an uncertain path – reacting emotionally to this is not going to be sustainable for businesses. This is because, at some point, we will pick up where we left off. When this day comes, and society springs back into ‘normal’ action, those who abandoned marketing efforts early on are going to suffer.

Why?

Because SEO considers the long game.

  • When we see past what’s coming, businesses will still need SEO.
  • Consumers will return to normal habits.
  • For businesses nationwide, no matter their size, they’ll need something to fall back on.
  • If sales have dropped, they’ll pick up again.

The beauty of SEO is that it can be managed remotely, and provides accurate, consistent, reliable data regarding customer behaviour and online performance. There is no denying we will see a rapid increase in online activity in the coming months…

People will be relying on the internet far more than ever before – so why on earth would you stop your online marketing?

Innovative blog posts, strong website performance, customer interaction – these are more vital than ever, as consumers will likely spend more time browsing online. Another consideration – your top competitors. If they panic and cut ties, what does that do? It leaves space for your company to grow and come out on top.

Many will lose traction and go quiet in the coming months – but, when it all picks up again, those who maintained their online marketing will be in a much better position than those who halted agreements and ‘put things on pause’.

Give your website some TLC

As things slow down for a while, many are joking about getting back to tasks they’ve put on the back burner for a while. Maybe you have a few jobs you’re keen to get round to? Well, the same goes for your business!

I’m talking about:

  • Website audits
  • An overview of your online content assets (infographics, videos, blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, presentations)
  • Optimising existing service pages
  • Re- promoting plans when business picks up
  • Adding more internal links
  • Building up online reviews

don’t lay idle!

This is a time to get around to those jobs which collectively boost your web ranking. These are the tasks which take more time than you’d (usually) have, but remain on your to-do list. Google isn’t slowing down with all this going on, so seize the opportunity and do some much-needed housekeeping of your business website (as well as your home office.)

Host Webinars

Now is a time when people are keeping in touch and communicating more than ever before. Capitalise on this, and opt into the community spirit by hosting Webinars. They are a great way to learn, share knowledge, and keep those in the industry in the loop. And who knows; you could forge a new network connection that serves dividends. What’s more, where appropriate, these can all be recorded and added to your blog at a later date, building your knowledgebase.

91 % of professionals say Webinars are their preferred methods of learning.

Now isn’t the time to mentally shut up shop, just because your office may have closed its physical doors. Get out there and get talking. Introduce a whole host of people to your company, who you are, and what you do. Even if this is to share your own knowledge – a little goes a long way. Encourage and rally around others in your industry- it’s better to have everyone’s backs than be out on your own, up a creek without a paddle.

Keep Up Video Content

Capitalise on video content – video is music to the ears of the SEO world. People love video content, so utilise this time to capture longtail keywords, and optimise your video for featured snippets in your given industry sector. Who’s to say you won’t end up on top by spending the time putting out top notch, relevant video content that consumers will pick up in a time when online streaming and online content will surge?

Update your Google My Business pages

This one is a task that could dangerously be swept under the rug. Don’t let it be.

Your customers will still be looking for answers, so update your GMB pages as often as necessary – whether with new opening hours, new ways to reach out to you – keep communication up, now more than ever, and keep everything updated – Google will love you for it.

Use this time to find unnatural links

Unnatural links to your website can be crippling once they start to add up. As reported in Search Engine Journal (link to article here) one website reached the top 3 on Google by removing a disavow file and 1,900 natural links. Don’t let your SEO efforts go to waste – a dodgy website here, an unintentional shady competitor there and suddenly you’re self-sabotaging. Do a clear up of your unnatural links and see where it gets you.

A final one for everyone..

Stay connected with video calling

If you’ve got interviews or conference calls coming up – keep these appointments. Don’t act on impulse and cancel upcoming appointments – keep these wherever possible through the use of online comms such as Zoom and Skype. Keep in contact with your customers, employees, and interviewees via video call. An online presence is more important than ever so make an effort to stay in contact. This goes for customers or clients, too – they will appreciate that you are staying in touch.

We hope this post has helped clear a path for the next few months when it comes to your SEO and prepping for the future. Keeping a clear head and looking beyond the now is vital for all businesses; we will all come out of this ever stronger for it!

If you need more pointers on how to keep track of your business’ data, or need help with your website, check out The Evergreen Agency’s knowledgebase, blog, or website.