Over the past few months, COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the world and the way we live in it. In fact, there has been no greater example of this than the effect the pandemic has had on businesses of all sizes and industries. With this in mind, it only makes sense that one of the fundamental components to a brand’s marketing strategy – Search Engine Optimization – has undergone some important developments throughout this time, too.
We’ve seen an unprecedented rate of change in the SEO world since the beginning of 2020. So, to help you ensure your business is adapting in the best possible way, we’ve put together a list of things you need to know about SEO in the wake of COVID-19.
Don’t Avoid non-COVID Related Topics
For a while, it seemed as though COVID-19 and Coronavirus were the only things anyone was searching for. Because of this, many brands stopped creating content unless it was about pandemic itself. Some felt as though it wasn’t worth their time writing content on other topics, because who would see it anyway? Or perhaps they were worried that they’d come across as insensitive towards the crisis at hand. Whatever the reason, if you were one of the businesses who stopped making content during the pandemic, it’s important that you get back to it sooner rather than later. As COVID searches begin to decrease, creating SEO-friendly content that is relevant to your brand and, most importantly, your customers is incredibly important.
Answering the common questions your customers have about your product or service is important, as these topics usually remain relevant and searched for over time. This high-value content is an important part of your long-term SEO strategy, as it will continue to send traffic to your website consistently over time. Remember to take into account consumers may have different questions and concerns about products post-COVID – such as hygiene related queries. By doing your research and creating high-quality content that meets their needs, you will bolster your SEO strategy.
You May Need to Revise Your Targeted Content
As people were confined to their homes for weeks and even months on end, many turned to online platforms to browse and buy products. This means there is now a wealth of data on new popular search phrases and interests for you to use when communicating with your target audience.
Creating content that connects with what your audience is currently interested in is one of the most successful ways to improve your marketing strategy. This will not only improve the flow of traffic through your website and sales funnel, but it will help to align your brand values with that of your audience. Search trends will divulge a wealth of information on what they’re interested in and where they prefer to connect with brands, so be sure to do your research and adjust your approach accordingly.
Make Local SEO a Priority
There has never been a more important time for your business to perfect its local SEO strategy. On a practical level, consumers have been forced to shop from local businesses due to COVID public health and safety restrictions. In addition to this, the social push to help stimulate the economy by supporting locally owned businesses has become a popular trend in recent months. In both cases, the quality of your local SEO strategy will determine whether you benefit from this change in behavior.
Local SEO helps you expand your reach in a number of ways. Not only will it help your business appear in search results for specific areas – ‘commercial plumber Atlanta’ or ‘best pizza in Berlin’, for example – but it makes you more visible to ‘open now’ searches. This is particularly important as you can easily communicate any changes in your operating hours that may have occurred due to COVID. Taking advantage of these local SEO tactics is one of the most effective ways to stay visible to your target audience; without it, you’ll be missing a huge opportunity for increased website and foot traffic.
Keep an Eye on Industry Trends
What has your audience been searching for over the past few months? What are they wanting to know about your industry? These are the questions you need to be thinking about post-COVID. The changes we’ve noticed in consumer culture are here to stay, even once the pandemic is a thing of the past. By staying on top of emerging trends, you can begin to understand the changing needs of your audience and develop strategies that cater to this.
The easiest way to do this is to take a look at Google Trends and see what new questions have emerged since the onset of COVID. The better you understand this information, the faster you can develop optimized website content and blogs that gives your audience the information they need. This not only works to generate brand awareness and authority, but will help to move leads down your sales funnel as the trend continues to evolve over time. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s worth checking to see how consumer searches changed throughout COVID so you can alter your strategy accordingly.
Start Responding to Customer Behavior Changes
The SEO strategy that worked for you pre-COVID may not be the best route moving forward. The past few months of global uncertainty has had a huge effect on the how consumers search and shop for products. Even as countries all over the world begin to regain some sense of normalcy, we shouldn’t expect this change in consumer behaviour to disappear overnight.
If you’ve noticed that customers are interacting with your website differently than before, it may be time to pivot your strategy. Perhaps you need to create new target pages for an increased number of top-of-funnel leads, or maybe it’s time to expand your buyer journey strategy to appeal to a new demographic of consumers. Taking a good look at your website data and analytics from the past few months will reveal how your customers have changed and what you can do to capitalize on it.