Why SEO is Still Crucial in the Age of COVID-19
COVID-19 has served up a huge dish of stress. For businesses today, the short-term is to keep the wolves from the door. But those businesses that can’t focus beyond that will suffer when all the scare dies down. Right now, as difficult as it may seem, it’s important to keep diligent about SEO during this time of crisis.
Be Careful How You Trim the Budget
With any sudden drop in revenue, businesses will look at ways to trim the budget. For any company that is not considered “essential”, performance is way down. This is common sense. But this is COVID-19 driven and not SEO driven. Period. It’s important to keep this in mind right now.
Business owners need to remember that short-term cutbacks on SEO disrupt the momentum of their rankings. Google trudges on. The last thing a business wants to do is put SEO initiatives on ice at this time.
Continuing Organic Strategies are Critical Right Now
It’s common sense that, for many businesses right now, search demand is down. But SEO and content marketing have always been sighted on the long-term. Because we understand that COVID-19 is a short-term issue, continuing content and organic strategies are crucial.
Google Search Console is showing that despite a large drop in search impressions, rankings are remaining consistent for now. This means that this is not a ranking issue but a drop in search demand. Businesses that continue to ride this wave without panicking will find themselves in good territory once we get beyond this.
Reducing expenditure on SEO and content marketing risks a drop in organic rankings. This may not be an issue right now but once search demand returns — and it will — organic traffic may be reduced significantly from pre-COVID-19 traffic without maintaining some diligence.
Faster Recovery After COVID-19
Nick Eubanks, CEO of I’m From the Future says that investments that create the most ROI like SEO should not be halted. He puts it this way in a recent post:
“I personally believe that companies that continue to execute on their planned digital marketing campaigns, and more specifically, on their planned content and conversion strategies around SEO as an acquisition channel, will be poised for faster (and more effective) recovery when we come out the other side.”
Instead, he suggested that what businesses should be doing during these unprecedented times is:
Continue to keep customers updated about any changes they may be making to your business strategies during this time.
Make sure to prioritize employees and be as flexible as possible. Send out messages that they are all in this together. As much as possible, invest in those employees who want to take this time for their own professional development that can be used for mutual benefit when life goes back to normal.
Take this time to fine-tune SEO strategies, add and update content and reassess keywords.
This is NOT the time to do COVID-19 promotions.
Marketing will certainly struggle in the thick of the current economic shutdown but it’s important to note that this is a temporary setback. For those who value their rankings, looking forward and doing everything possible to keep momentum is one of the most important things they can do right now in anticipation of us returning to normal.