When pandemics hit, life takes priority over everything else. This means businesses will take a hit and sometimes the predictions of economic collapse may leave a lot of people convinced that there is not much else they can do. But take heart, it will come to an end and in the meantime, while you shelter from the storm, you can still use SEO to effectively sustain your business in different ways.
In short: Don’t let your business be quarantined.
When times are good you often use words like” we understand, we care, valued customer” and so on. When a pandemic strikes, this is the time to really walk that talk. Remember these are people who receive your newsletters, comment in discussion forums and some even left great reviews about your business. Is this the time to shove products down their throats? Certainly not! it’s time to be an understanding friend. The content you share should let them know ‘you know what they are facing’. Showing the human side of your business is a good idea. People usually feel happier when they know they can relate with a business and the business understands the situation. If your business is helping the community in some way during the epidemic, share that in a newsletter or find a way of including it in your content.
SEO is a tested branding tool. In times of a pandemic, that remains the case. The trick is in knowing how to use it. People may have no use for your product or services as they worry about their jobs, mortgage and trying to keep themselves healthy.
But, does that mean they are offline? By no means.
They are quarantined in their house and they are searching for different things related to COVID-19 (that can include products and services that relate to making their life easy during the pandemic) or about staying alive.
You can tweak your content so that your brand continues to show up in the content. Some businesses take it upon themselves to share safety messages with their audience, so even if you’re selling products that may be the last thing on anyone’s mind during a pandemic, your brand is still visible in searches. It’s possible to optimize for certain keywords that may relate to safety during a pandemic.
Remember, however, that at a time like this, it may not be appropriate for our brand to be sharing humorous memes even if it will get you noticed.
So you have to restrict yourselves to your homes, clients can no longer come to your office and business is spiraling to a crush.
Don’t lose hope yet, SEO will come to your rescue.
Remember, people are online more, so it may be time to focus more on running the business online and what better way to get attention than to put energy into SEO strategies. People probably have more time to read and respond to emails, some may be trying to learn more about a particular product or service.
The thing with today’s technology, the internet may be busier than ever despite the pandemic. SEO gives you a chance to stay relevant during a lockdown and even if visitors to your site don’t make purchases, they just might when things get back to normal.
SEO allows you to stay visible. During a pandemic, the minds of people are preoccupied with survival. If your business provides some of the things necessary for survival like food, medication and like we have found out from this pandemic, toilet paper, you may already be on top of the mind for many people, but SEO will still help you get that edge over other competitors. Even for the businesses that may not be involved in essential products, you can still use SEO to maintain top of the mind awareness which will become an asset once the storm blows over.
Remember, out of sight results in being out of mind, so if people are not seeing you in search results, they will forget about you. Mitigate that risk using SEO.
The competition is likely to take their foot off the pedal. The fact that people are locked up in their homes may make the competition believe that they have no reason to push their SEO strategies. Google, however, does not stop working because of a pandemic. Many people are still searching and Google is ranking. It’s the best time to get a better ranking since the competition to be noticed is reduced. In some niches, you might find you are the only one still active.
By optimizing for particular words at the time of a pandemic, you will be giving yourself a head start because when the competition finally resumes their SEO efforts, they will have some catching up to do.
Remember the end of the pandemic may not be near, it could take months, and that is a long time to get far ahead.
For many businesses, the future is uncertain. The world is dipping into a recession so cuts will have to be made and picking yourself up after that will not be easy. It makes sense to invest in a long term marketing strategy that will provide a way out after the pandemic. SEO is characteristically a long term strategy. What you do today will bear fruits much later in the future. Since the pandemic has no expiry date, it makes sense to put more effort into a long term strategy so that once the disease has crawled back to wherever it came from you are ready to receive customers.
SEO done now is a seed for the future.
Some people will take the time to catch up on their reading. If they are going to be cooped up in the house, they might as well find some great content to read. Having great content in your field of expertise will be an opportunity to attract the attention of such people. There are many tools you could use to find out what keywords people are searching for in your area of expertise, you can then optimize for those keywords. You are likely to have a lot of people searching for information related to the pandemic, but some are looking for something different. The impression you make during the time of the lockdown will last even after that and you might win over more visitors to your site because they realize you are an authority in that field.
Using SEO analytics, you should be able to predict the demand curve for your goods or services, this is vital information that can help a business plan for a possible slump. The organic traffic that you get is a sign of interest. During the pandemic, people’s needs change but it’s not always drastic. Sometimes it may be according to the amount of money they still have at their disposal. A person, for example, may buy chocolates during the first and second week of a pandemic but later they may find it a luxury that they can do without.
SEO analytic tools can show you how fast interest in your product or service is dropping and you can start planning your next move. This can also be used by economists to predict the impact of a pandemic.
Not everyone is strapped for cash, some still have the money but would rather not go out to spend it. Local SEO will help such people find businesses that can provide for their needs within the area that they are in. Even in a recession, there will still be people ready to spend.
If you ignore SEO, you will not find these people, that will be revenue missed and yet during a pandemic, every business needs to struggle to survive. SEO can, therefore, keep commerce alive despite the hard times.
For SEO practitioners who keep a keen eye on search trends during a time like this, there is a lot to learn. Despite the disruption COVID-19 might cause, people will reinvent themselves. They may start to have more interest in certain things that they did not.
Think of it, right now an item like toilet paper is being searched for like never before. Maybe it will become a trend even after the pandemic.
Learning such things prepares an SEO practitioner for the changes that will come. It’s obvious that things will change after the world has gone through this and it pays to be in the know of new trends.
It’s a tragedy for the world as so many people are affected by this pandemic. Lives, businesses, jobs even relationships have ended because of coronavirus. Humanity, however, must live on. Remaining indoors will keep many safe and when the pandemic finally comes to an end, we will be ready to rebuild our lives and economy.
And, NOW is the best time to make the best use of SEO to build your brand.
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