Double Up Now to See Profits Later
As the world remains in the grip of the Coronavirus, businesses everywhere are feeling the sting that comes with necessary precautions and quarantines. Reason dictates that as bad as circumstances may be at this moment, things will improve and return to a semblance of normality somewhere down the road. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
How Can I Be Sure the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Not Doom My Business?
It seems like a safe presumption that you did not open your business or work so hard to get to where you are today by clinging to a ‘what if something bad happens?’ type of outlook. To be frank, yes, things are bad. Yes, they can get worse. Yes, they will get better.
Working from the standpoint that you have created something wisely on a solid foundation, you have no reason to jump on the bandwagon that promotes the notion that the sky is falling. Lest you believe this is a sugarcoated message, the estimated global cost of the pandemic (at this writing) is in excess of 2.7 trillion dollars. For those who love details, that amount is the approximate Gross Domestic Product of the United Kingdom.
When you look at the business world as a whole right now, there are roughly three categories that stand out.
- Companies that, due to the nature of their business, are flourishing at the moment. This is a rather small group. If you manufacture toilet paper, medical supplies, or hand sanitiser, you are likely experiencing significant amounts of growth. Similarly, news outlets are more important than ever as the conditions and precautions surrounding the Coronavirus can frequently change during the day. Those in industries which produce, distribute, or sell food and medicine are upwind of the fallout from the Coronavirus. These businesses experienced gains in website traffic.
- We see several types of businesses that are bearing the brunt of the financial damage brought by the pandemic. The travel industry alone is looking at an estimated 820-billion dollar hit. The impact reaches those in hospitality, airlines, and other facets of travel. Of course, other industries are experiencing hard hits from the global crisis. Retail, manufacturing, restaurant, and sectors where non-essentials are a key component are all suffering significant losses. These losses all translate into lost traffic for these businesses.
- Everyone else. If you are in the third group, then you are in a unique position. If you can avoid the temptation to follow the crowd straight into an apocalyptic panic, you can put yourself and your business in a good situation for the coming recovery.
With All of the Uncertainty, Why is This the Time to Put More Into My SEO?
In addition to the established fact that this crisis will pass, putting money into your SEO makes sense for several reasons.
- Economic downswings will give you less competition, especially in the digital world.
- Follow the facts and not your fears. When everyone is fearful, this is the best time to put yourself in the position to get the most eyes on your business.
- Look at the historical precedents. For every 20% the market falls, it will take approximately 536 days to recover. The time frame is ideal for the long-term nature of SEO.
- The major players are involved in building their companies up while others are falling down. You can do this too. For example, Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur, and heavy-hitting investor, Bill Miller are making the most of an awful situation by reinvesting in their empires. You may not have the funds to wheel and deal with billionaires, but there is a fair chance you can put some resources towards your SEO marketing.
What Should I Focus on During This Crisis?
Household spending patterns are changing radically. While some industries are suffering, others are booming. One industry that’s doing particularly well during this isolation period is online retail and subscription services.
Last week saw an increase of 61% versus a normal week pre-coronavirus:
At a time when millions of people all over the world are self-isolating or being quarantined, a business’ online presence will be the point of connectivity and conversion. So, in order to gain the attention of potential customers, your SEO must be at the top of its game (naturally, this is something that should always be true but more so now.)
If you are one of the millions of businesses that are now sidelined and left with no face to face interaction at trade shows or conferences, take advantage of the time and money you are not investing in these activities and funnel it into your SEO. Approximately 40% of marketing budgets go towards industry conferences and trade shows. By reinvesting even a portion of these funds in your company’s SEO, you are setting yourself up for success down the road.
What Areas Should I Concentrate on When Reviewing My Online Marketing?
A general overview of your business’ website is a great place to start. Pay attention to details, broken links (use this free broken link checker tool), load times and outdated materials. After you complete the general housekeeping, here are some specific things to check out so that your site is at its best for SEO and overall customer ease.
Take a good look at your site content. Do you have the elements that Google prefers in websites? Are you aware of some of the critical things Google likes in websites? Here are a few things that can help your site rank better:
- Dot points or numbered lists
- Pertinent questions and answers
- Meaningful and helpful information
- Positive reviews
- Informative video
- Blog pages with relevant content
- No large walls of text
Right now, your customers and potential customers who are quarantined at home may be restless and in need of mental stimuli. This is an ideal time to engage in social media.
You do not need movie star looks or Shakespearean prose. Run a contest on Facebook. Do some video blogging, post some Instagram images with lists of useful tips. Tweet out some engaging surveys. Demonstrate your trustworthiness and how much of an authority you are in your field. Consider showing a bit of your life with a few images or short videos.
The ‘captive audience’ we see right now, will not last. Create relationships and make the most of the time available.
If you have not already, dig deeper into your organic search stats:
- Take a look at what keywords are ranking
- Look at your competitor’s keyword rankings and check out their sites for content ideas
- Take a close look at how converting has changed since the pandemic
- Establish yourself and your website as an authority in your niche
- Plan ahead for long term SEO by researching words that should peak in the fourth quarter of 2020. We recommend using SEMRush or Google Trends.
Let’s say you sell air conditioners. Just because Google search volume is currently reduced due to COVID-19 and the upcoming winter season in Australia, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be actively planning for the spike in search volume in the middle of summer:
As a businessperson, it is natural to feel concern for your company’s wellbeing just as you feel concern for humankind. As the outlook is presently dire, you may feel the temptation to pull up stakes and pack up your plans. This would be a colossal mistake.
Why is Drawing Back on SEO in the Midst of a Pandemic is a Bad Idea?
- At its core, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works as a long game. The moves and decisions you make today will not make an impact on your business for anywhere from three to six months. Acting on a whim will not help your business now and will most likely cause harm later.
- Remember, this is a temporary state. Granted, it is unprecedently horrible and far-reaching, but there WILL be a recovery coming. When the recovery happens, those who have mostly scrapped their SEO marketing plans will need to scramble to get back in the game. This means that you (and your colleagues and competitors who maintained a steady hand) are already three to six months ahead of the curve.
- You’ll have the resources (and time) to try more advanced SEO ideas. Keeping up with SEO now will not only keep you ahead of your competitors, it will allow you to focus more resources on creating the top shelf SEO that you want but have not allocated the time to develop.
- Zeroing in on your SEO right now will have a side effect that is good for you and your business. While so much around you is abnormal and frightening, doing something that feels constructive and familiar will help you get some personal equilibrium. The steadiness you reflect will calm your associates, friends, and family members. In times of crisis, real leaders will lead. It is ok to feel uncertain. It is not ok to let the uncertainty paralyse you and undermine all you have worked to achieve.
Look at Ways to Help During This Crisis
By no means is this a suggestion to find ways to exploit this crisis. However, if you are in a position where you can share helpful information or put out content that can be reassuring, then you should do just that.
- You could post links to websites that offer relevant information. Reports, instructions, and governmental directives can change quickly and often in such a wide-spread crisis. By giving your customers a place to access the information they want, you will help keep them safe and aware of the situation.
- Consider doing a daily or weekly video conference with your customers. The discussion can be informal and centre around topics that are relevant to your business or simply a way to allow people to connect for a brief time and share tips or industry-relevant ideas.
- Compile accurate information about health and staying safe. Debunk rumours and fake news while offering some reassurance with truth and facts. You could create a newsletter with such information or make a blog on your webpage.
We’re Here to Help
As you look over your website and amp up your SEO, you may find that you feel in a bit over your head. Remember that an excellent use of the extra funds you are spending on SEO would be to bring an SEO expert on board. A skilled professional will be able to assess your site and point out what you can improve.
When you spend some extra time and resources on SEO, you are doing the best thing possible for your company during this uncertain time.
Remember, this really is NOT the end of the world. Stay safe and stay well.