The COVID-19 crisis has turned things upside down for global businesses. The crisis is bigger than anyone could have imagined and implications will stay for longer than expected. Amid the uncertainty and stress, businesses have cut down on expenses. Apart from pay cuts for the employees, reduction in marketing and advertising spend is also becoming a norm. But if you are thinking about pulling back or stopping SEO activity right now, you can get into big trouble sooner rather than later.
Clearly, Search Engine Optimization is vital for all businesses and is worth as much in the current scenario as it was ever before. Although you may be worried about the spending on the strategy, you shouldn’t miss out on it. What you need to do right now is realign it for staying relevant and getting the benefits you expect with minimal efforts and investment. Here are some measures you can implement for realigning your SEO initiative to match the needs of the hour and optimize your online presence during COVID-19.
Optimize your website
With business taking a hit, the best thing you can do during this downtime is to optimize your website. Reassess the look and feel of the site and list all that can be done to enhance its design. Simplify the navigation and rework on the story and imagery. A revamp for the content is also a good idea because you can expect more people dropping in. While they may not come with the intention to buy, an engaging website can get them back again later. Consider having a banner on the home page and other high-traffic pages to showcase your company’s initiatives to protect employees and customers from the virus.
Optimize the user experience as well
Going a step further, you should also do everything you can to optimize the user experience on your website. Since people are at home these days, they are most likely to spend their time browsing the internet. And they would expect a seamless experience on every site they visit. Checking your site’s speed is the starting point when it comes to optimizing the UX. Take appropriate measures to ensure that the site loads at a lightning-fast speed. Pay attention to the ease of navigation, which you can probably cover with a design revamp for the website.
Ramp up your local SEO
If you have been focusing more on a global reach earlier, COVID-19 is an eye-opener that highlights the significance of the local customers. Ramp up your local SEO strategy and promote your local business online because the current and future searches are more likely to have local intent. Customers will prefer nearby businesses and services because these are more accessible. Start by updating your Google My Business profile more regularly. You will probably be doing this already but now is the time to get the tactic revved up. Adding the latest information related to delivery options, promotions, and changes in business hours on the listing is another wise move.
Goes the extra mile with link building
If your website has been around for some time, you have a reasonably strong link profile. But this is not something you should take for granted and slow down now, just because of the disruptive scenario. Link building is an important and never-ending process and you can get a feel for it by going through this article that explains the value of backlinks for a website. Ensure that you build only quality links when it comes to getting new ones. At the same time, you can reassess your profile and disavow the ones that are not delivering any value. Check the existing ones for relevance because that’s what matters the most to Google. Having an excellent link profile can surely unlock myriad benefits for your site once the pandemic is over.
Invest in email and social media campaigns
While SEO is the key to survival by staying visible to the audience, you cannot depend on it alone to stay ahead in the race. A holistic plan that combines SEO with email and social media campaigns is the key to staying connected with the audience and driving engagement. Email campaigns involve a personalized approach that is bound to bring great benefits in the current scenario where people are feeling alone and distanced. Similarly, social media campaigns can go a long way in propelling your promotional initiatives through social sharing and propagation.
Encourage participation from the audience
The intent right now should go beyond just selling your products and services; this is the time when you should invest in relationships with the customers. When people are being mandated to keep social distance, you can encourage virtual connections. Ask them to share feedback and voice concerns through social media and online reviews. These pieces can serve as user-generated content pieces, which make a great idea to fuel up your SEO strategy. Any content shared by customers can be of great value, particularly if it is a positive word for your brand. You can leverage it by placing it on your home page and sharing it on social media.
Stay on top of trends
The SEO trends are witnessing significant changes with the impact of COVID-19. People are searching with unusual keywords while they expect to see more videos and webinars on websites. Staying on top of these trends and aligning with them will surely keep you ahead in the race. Start by monitoring keyword changes closely and invest in content that serves value and holds the interest in the audience. Having a dedicated coronavirus page on your website is another good idea. You can also try unique content ideas that have the potential to catch the eye of the audience and get them to your website.
The final piece of advice is that you should track, monitor, and measure the performance of your campaigns. Although you may want to save your time and money by slowing down, SEO isn’t something that you should miss out on. Lost ranking means that you lose years of hard work, which is the last thing you would want to happen.