Businesses of all sizes and types took a hit during the COVID-19 quarantine period. Operations stopped and necessitated a new normal moving forward. Beyond wearing masks and using hand sanitizer, social distancing changed the way we communicated.
Video conferencing, remote working, and online shopping are the norm rather than the exception. Business interruptions lead many companies to halt or reduce SEO services. As we progress past a pandemic with different habits and needs, SEO is more crucial than ever before to remain competitive and relevant.
How does SEO work during a pandemic and the days after? As always, the target audience is a key factor in success, coupled with updated and meaningful research. Discover how to put SEO to work as we all embark on a new year and normal.
Consumers Want Answers
The pandemic offers savvy business owners a golden opportunity to become trusted resources. Consumers want answers to time-sensitive questions and needs. Companies providing real solutions for current problems become valuable today and in the future. Research trends to determine the latest issues to help consumers resolve in a meaningful way.
Question and answer sites, such as Quora, provide valuable insights about consumer and industry behaviors. Use the sites to ask intelligent questions, offer useful answers, and provide a link back to your site or blog. Interaction is crucial during a time when many people are still quarantining and searching for solutions online.
Right Place and Right Time
Investing in SEO seems impossible when business interruptions reduce profits. Affordable SEO strategies are imperative to harness the right place and time situations existing during and after COVID-19. Consumer behaviors have changed, and companies must stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. Consider businesses selling masks, hand sanitizers, and other products the public needs today.
While changing products might be impossible, focusing on trending topics drives traffic to your site boosts rankings. Companies with unique ways to resolve current issues can increase profits during these changing times. Thinking beyond the norm is imperative during a new normal. Articles, social media posts, and web content should address the questions and wants consumers to have as a result of a pandemic.
Provide Localized Expertise
Quarantining meant many people worked remotely, canceled travel plans, and stayed close to home for their needs. Small businesses were forced to close their doors due to social distancing and capacity regulations. People had to wear masks to enter public buildings, including restaurants and gyms. Concerts, dance clubs, and other large venues have not yet reopened. Local events became a way to get essentials and gather with others in a reduced-risk setting.
Companies engage in community happenings, and events become relevant to locals and remembered in the future. Posting updates, discounts, and providing pandemic-friendly services keeps businesses alive. Restaurants offering curbside service and delivery continued to earn money. Many seaside eateries in Long Island, New York, obtained specialized licenses to serve liquor curbside when bars were closed or reduced capacity. Innovative thinking with local SEO to let everyone know about it keeps companies profitable during COVID-19 changes.
Explore Global Possibilities
Consumers are spending a whopping 76 percent more on online shopping over last year. COVID-19 created a global marketplace, increasing the potential for more customers, and making the competition increasingly fierce. SEO helps companies of all sizes and types be competitive in a global arena.
Choosing targeted keywords that are highly trafficked with low competition helps sites craft content for the current marketplace. Consumers searching for specific products, services, and information will find the company’s content. Increased targeted traffic improves company branding and conversion rates.
While advertising may not specifically fall under essential expenses to keep company doors open, marketing promotes sales. Without sales, the company faces reduced revenues. SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies with long-term benefits. Because SEO is not a one-and-done strategy, ongoing updates are imperative to maximize the initial investment and remain on top of the search engines.
While paid advertising budgets might be reduced, SEO strategies are a long haul approach to continued success. Branding, relevancy, product updates, service offerings, and more are showcased on blogs and social media. Keeping up with interactive opportunities during a pandemic means staying connected with consumers. With everyone going online for what they want, businesses need to be there to matter.
How does SEO work? Focus on Long-Term Strategy
Nobody wants to be forgotten when the doors reopen after the pandemic. Sporadic openings and closings have consumers wondering whether businesses are open and what exists on the shelves. Shortages of products such as toilet paper created opportunities for smart businesses that spread the word about their offerings.
It takes more than capitalizing on trends to remain successful when COVID-19 becomes a concern of the past. Evergreen content addressing basic needs is crucial to stay on top of the search engines and market. The DIY market continues to boom, with consumers reluctant to let contractors into their homes. Businesses taking advantage of these conditions provide answers to DIY questions that remain valued resources for years to come.
One of the most significant benefits of SEO marketing is measurable results. The use of tools such as Google Analytics and BrightEdge helps business management and stakeholders determine the effectiveness of current SEO campaigns. Tweaks are made immediately to harness the search engines’ power to increase targeted traffic and improve conversion rates.
With ongoing updates, making changes to accommodate the continually evolving post-pandemic market is easy. Online campaigns happen in real-time, reaching out to consumers in their moment and place of need. Small changes to keywords and locations improve rankings and reach out to consumers who are ready to take action.
Combine Trends With Evergreen Content for Success
Known as a staple of SEO, evergreen content is always relevant and timely. Answers to common questions and easy solutions bring in a steady stream of targeted traffic. In combination with trending topics, versatile SEO content marketing strategies are key to continued success.
Trending topics stand on their own or can be integrated into existing content to increase its breadth and relevancy. Updating evergreen content to include the latest updates and findings makes it more useful to readers. Some pieces of content are best left alone, while others benefit from tweaking based on performance.
Webinars and Videos Add Visual Appeal
Virtual meetings during the new normal impact on the travel industry but create other opportunities. People working at home still want to network, connect, and collaborate. Webinars reach out with useful information and updates geared toward your target audience’s interests. From how-to sessions to question and answer segments, webinars work much like in-person conferences to establish authority and connect with potential clients.
Videos are another way to add a personal touch to web content, articles, and other marketing outreach strategies. Visual appeal attracts attention and encourages people to stay longer at the site. Include relevant keywords as video and image tags to help these visual elements rank on the search engines. People who find the video, webinars, and images will also find your site, products, and services.
Reviews and Interviews for Updates
When people gather at a business in-person, they exchange information and ideas. Everyone also discusses their experiences with the company. In the absence of personal interaction, reviews and interviews become more important than ever before. People want to know how others liked the business and its offerings, so they read online reviews and interviews to make a decision.
Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review on sites such as Yelp and Google reviews. Interview customers who expressed appreciation in the company, and post these videos on blogs and social media. Word-of-mouth continues to be one of the most effective ways to advertise companies.
Refresh and Renew
One of the most affordable ways to boost SEO is refreshing and renewing existing content. Use the articles and entries already created to update the site with fresh facts and keywords. Analyze the performance metrics of current blog articles to determine which ones need some help. Perform keyword research and look for the latest information on the topic to update the article.
Peppering performing keywords into the content, metadata, and tags helps the content crawl up the rankings of the search engines. Adding updated facts, statistics, charts, and images also boost existing articles’ relevance and ranking. Examine site factors that impact SEO, such as page speed. With minimal effort and investment, companies can realize an impressive return on the content they already have.
Luxury and Travel Businesses Post-Pandemic
The luxury and travel industries are some of the hardest hit during the pandemic. Quarantining shut down travel, keeping people at home for safe social distancing. Business meetings became virtual and restaurants served people outdoors throughout the summer. With most of the country working reduced hours at home, and some losing their jobs altogether, the economy is strained. With little disposable income, fewer people make luxury purchases.
For these industries, SEO is crucial to remain relevant and earn the trust needed to get people to travel post-pandemic. Many of the team members at Galileo continued to travel during these unsure times, following protocols to the letter to remain safe. Educating the public about the current conditions and how to enjoy life safely will become a top priority as people emerge from quarantining, ready to get back into life.
For example, casinos have reduced capacity and social distancing with limited hours of operation. Five-star restaurants provide plexiglass dividers at the tables to provide optimum safety when diners remove their masks to eat and drink. High-end hotels follow specific cleaning routines to keep everyone safe during their stay. Contactless payment is becoming the new norm, along with designer face masks and scented hand sanitizer.
Fear holds people back from going in public based on the essential guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As new updates are released, and the public feels reassured about remaining safe beyond their homes, people will turn to the travel and luxury industries for relaxation and relief. Companies offering solutions today will be the ones consumers rely on tomorrow when quarantining ends.
It takes at least six months to see movement from current SEO marketing campaigns. With that in mind, time is of the essence when it comes to determining how SEO works during a pandemic and beyond. If you’ve cut back on SEO, now is the time to consider updating your campaigns to be prepared for the future.
The professionals at Galileo are strategic partners, offering cutting-edge solutions to help businesses weather inevitable storms. Let our team help you find affordable solutions to stay on top of the search engines and ahead of the curve. A new normal means more people will continue to use the Internet for their needs than ever before. Contact us today to get answers to how does SEO work during a pandemic and beyond to help companies remain productive and profitable.