COVID-19 is causing us to reimagine the world around us and it seems like we’ve found ourselves in a strange dystopian universe. As businesses are grappling with whether they can afford to keep employees on as they watch their revenue potentially dwindle, it can be a time of intense anxiety and, in some cases, panic.
As a business owner, you are obviously considering the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Whether your business is impacted by employee cuts, social distancing or simply by people having more important things on their minds, this can be a time when cutting costs may be the most pressing priority. It seems intuitive that now would be a perfect time to cut marketing costs.
Except when it isn’t.
We are all experiencing an immediate impact, whether we are offering a service or a product, whether we are e-commerce or brick and mortar based. But we also know that COVID-19 is temporary. How temporary is a mere guess. But watching news from around the world indicates that we are finding ways to get this under control and getting aid to those who need it right now.
How This Impacts Your SEO
Algorithms that propel your website know nothing about viruses. They plod along as if nothing has happened. We may be temporarily shut down but the internet landscape still remains the constantly fluid competitive space that it was yesterday or last month. Or last year.
A Long-Term Vision is Important
SEO is a long end game and, once shut down, can take a long time to recover momentum. In this economically anxious time, it can make sense to cut back on some advertising. But a drop in SEO momentum may well affect your long-term strategies past the moment when life goes back to normal.
Offering a Voice of Reason in a Time of Anxiety
This is a good time to remember that your SEO and marketing strategies are all about building connection and trust. How you deal with that during difficult times will cause your users to remember you for good or for bad. How can you be a local leader at times like this? Can you disseminate good factual information for your users? Let your employees and customers know what adaptations you’re making to keep them safe.
Don’t Underestimate the Detrimental Potential of Dropping Your SEO, Even Short-term
It’s important to understand that even during these uncertain times, dropping consistent SEO practices can leave you playing catch-up for months after things calm down. Panicking or underestimating how this can affect your business six to twelve months down the line can be to your financial detriment long-term. While the rest of the country is in shut-down mode, this may be the most beneficial time to be tackling SEO tasks that you have had little time for.
- Compile videos — this downtime is a good time to strategize your website videos, targeting specific long-tail keywords and providing transcription for additional relevant content. Use these in blog posts and social media posts. In our current social distancing landscape, use video recording options to reach out and interview employees and customers for their personal insight about your products, services and culture.
- Critically evaluate your content — Evaluating your content can take the time you haven’t had recently. This is a good time to critically look at your content for quality and relevance. Which content has gotten the most results and traffic? Make a point of updating and optimizing current content with new keywords, repurposing and rewriting old content, adding internal and external links.
- Update Your Google My Business information for your local users — During this time, you may be operating on different hours or temporarily closed. Let your local users know by updating your hours, description and contact information.
- Utilize webinars — this time is a great time to offer free webinars for services and products. Introducing products, employees, features or just conducting question and answer sessions are good ways to offer relevant and timely information to your users.
There are many ways you can continue to see your SEO strategies through to keep you ahead of the game when life gets back to normal. The silver lining is that this time may just give you breathing space to clean up your website and focus on your marketing.
Keeping Focused on Relationships
SEO is all about relationships. Even during this time of uncertainty, keep your lines of communication open. Offering reassurance and connection in a time when people are social distancing during this very real coronavirus scare is a way that can help overcome feelings of isolation and despair. Businesses will struggle for a while. But we are all in this together and we will endure together.