The good news is that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be winding down. The bad news is that we’re not out of the woods yet. Perhaps not by a long shot. New cases are turning up every day in the U.S. and beyond. Mutations like the Delta and Omicron variants are also causing problems for businesses and business owners.
But the show must go on, as they say, and so must your SEO practices. What’s more, you shouldn’t allow coronavirus to get in the way.
But it hasn’t been easy. According to the recently published McKinsey’s “COVID-19: Implications for Business” report, while most businesses have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, Google has nonetheless been said to have enhanced their search result performance. All you have to do is study the “traffic patterns” and do what you can to minimize losses. The massive quarantines, social-distancing mandates, restricted travel, and more resulted in a sharp drop in consumer confidence and spending habits.”
Maybe this sounds all too dreadful to comprehend, but there is said to be a bright optimistic light on the horizon. It’s all about creating your own SEO during the downtime in preparation for a consumer rebound.
There are some things that won’t change. For instance, you still need to have an excellent domain name that aligns with your brand and is easy to remember (consider working with a domain brokerage if you aren’t confident your domain hits the mark), need a user-friendly website, and be a stellar customer service.
That said, here are some reasons why you need to up your SEO game as the pandemic begins to wind down.
Keeping Your Brand Credible and Visible
Data lifted from Google Trends show a hockey stick-like increase in searches for COVID-19 and SEO during the peak of the pandemic, the globe over. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that businesses big and small need to get creative when it comes to weathering “the Corona storm.” Simply said, you must find a way to stay relevant and visible or you will fade away and be forgotten.
The best way to do this, especially if you’re still working remotely, is to boost your SEO so that your brand and business is always staying visible to your existing customers and potential buyers also. One way to do this is to provide relevant written and/or video content for your audience that matches your brand’s ideals.
One prime example is a software company that prides itself on providing value for its loyal customers. The company might create free content such as articles or video content on how to disinfect and clean devices during the pandemic. This demonstrates how much you care about your customer’s safety and well-being, and how far you are willing to go to live up to your brand image.
Leverage Your Local SEO
With travel restrictions still in place for many countries, you need to learn how to leverage your local SEO. Customers have a need to utilize services and products in their local vicinity. For instance, people who are working remotely from home will naturally order meals and food from local restaurants and grocery stores that deliver and/or encourage drive-thru.
If this is something your business offers, you can automatically increase brand awareness by building content that centers around both services. You add them to your blog and/or website and then promote them on your social media pages, plus on your Google My Business Listing.
You should take full advantage of keywords that are directly related to your brand and business that incorporates the term “near me.” For instance, if you own a restaurant, you want it to show up first when someone Google’s “Restaurants near me.”
Search Behavior Is Rapidly Changing
New search behavior trends have emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people are spending a lot of time indoors. Google Trends is said to have created a pandemic hub that demonstrates new search trends. The hub clearly shows that people’s number one priority revolves around the survival of themselves and their loved ones.
One example of this is that top U.S. searches include tips on how to minimize the spread of the virus at the workplace, what bills to pay during the pandemic emergency, and how to access everyday services like banking or mailing a letter.
How does this translate into best SEO practices for businesses and their brand? Your content should lean toward the trend which, in this case, is survival. If you are in the insurance business, you might create content that includes policies that cover COVID-19 related problems or whether or not furloughed employees are still covered on the company’s policy.