It’s a fact – the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do almost everything. One of the biggest changes is how we do business. While some businesses like Amazon are booming, others are struggling to survive, adapt, and rebound. Business owners are evaluating the best way to invest their marketing resources to get the most bang for their buck. Whether you have an established online presence or you’re just transitioning into the online marketplace, SEO is a wise marketing investment. Although many factors work together to make a business stand out, SEO is among the most important. It’s what drives your business closer and closer to the coveted first page in an online search. With social distancing creating a surge in searches and online shopping, a strong SEO strategy is more important than ever. Now is the time to make SEO your superpower.
Why Focus on SEO?
Akamai Technologies reported a 50% increase in internet traffic over last year. Hubspot has seen as high as a 40% increase in the total monthly volume of traffic to the websites of their customer base of 70,000+ companies against pre-COVID benchmarks. These increases aren’t entirely the result of online shopping but more people than ever are using the internet to research and purchase products and services. Although COVID made it a necessity, it has become a convenience many will continue to use once the restrictions resulting from the virus have been lifted. If you are questioning whether or not to invest in SEO during COVID, here are some reasons you should consider.
COVID vs Evergreen Content
Although it has been the hot topic for most of 2020, COVID continues to trend. Incorporating COVID-related content into your SEO strategy may be temporarily beneficial. However, even though it seems like we’ve spent most of 2020 barricaded in our homes, the pandemic will eventually end, releasing us into the ‘new normal’. Creating evergreen content that provides answers or solutions to everyday issues your audience is looking for will remain vital to SEO. While trending topics may catch the attention of some in your audience, they can be difficult to rank for. Consistently creating evergreen content that speaks to your niche will remain relevant and increase traffic to your site over time.
The purpose of an SEO strategy isn’t to simply increase traffic to your website. The goal is to drive more visitors to your site that are truly interested in what you have to offer. A trending topic such as COVID may draw additional traffic to your site. You may even gain a few conversions from it but relevant, evergreen content will attract more qualified traffic. This will provide you with highly-qualified leads which, if properly nurtured, could result in a higher conversion rate and an increased customer base.
Long Term Gains
It can be easy to become short-sighted during an economic crisis and focus only on the immediate future. Unfortunately, this can leave you ill-prepared when the economy rebounds. For those businesses that already have an SEO strategy in place, it’s important to stay the course or even increase your SEO efforts. For those just getting started with SEO, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to provide significant results. Going all-in now will help increase your ranking and online presence once the economy improves. When evaluating the best way to use your marketing budget during COVID, don’t underestimate the importance of SEO and the long term benefits it can provide.
At a time when many businesses are tightening their belts, SEO can be a more cost-effective option vs many traditional marketing methods. Optimizing your content can be much more affordable, provide long-term results, and a better return on your investment. Many traditional marketing channels provide only short term results. However, a piece of content or website copy that is properly optimized for SEO can drive traffic to your business for months or even years.
COVID has caused many businesses to limit access or close down their physical locations completely. The ability to be found online and provide consumers with an alternative means of obtaining the goods or services is what is keeping many businesses afloat. Businesses that had an SEO strategy in place before COVID are benefiting from it now and will continue to in the future. Their increased visibility allowed them to continue generating business during the pandemic and forge long-term customer relationships that will benefit them in the future. For those just making the transition to online business, SEO is vital to build an online presence. Since it typically takes a few months to gain traction and begin ranking in the desired searches, implementing an SEO strategy now should put you in a better position to compete in the ‘new normal’.
Builds Trust and Authority
While this is always important, building trust with your audience is vital during a crisis. One way to do this is to build trust with Google. Try to remember the last time you went past page one of a Google search. Because most people trust Google’s initial search results, it doesn’t happen often. In addition to optimizing your website and content, building your domain authority may also help improve your ranking. Although domain authority doesn’t directly impact your ranking with Google, a study by Ahrefs suggests that there may be a correlation between them.
To increase your domain authority you need to build relevant backlinks. These are links to your site from other reputable sites. The relevance of those backlinks contributes to your domain authority which can be checked using tools such as the MozBar. Domain authority scores range from one to one hundred. The higher your site’s score, the more likely you will see an increase in traffic.
Don’t Back Down on SEO
It’s understandable that business owners are searching for ways to reduce their expenses during COVID. The first place many go to is their marketing budget. Don’t do it! If you are already investing in SEO, now is not the time to cut back. It’s the perfect time to reevaluate and adjust your current strategy or if you’re new to SEO, develop, and implement your strategy.
There are simple steps you may be able to handle on your own, such as optimizing your content with the proper keywords, ensuring your Google My Business profile is up-to-date, and evaluating your online presence, to name a few. However, investing in professional SEO services can provide you with better results.
Hiring a Professional SEO Agency
Struggling to make SEO your superpower? Unless you have extensive SEO experience yourself, your efforts could result in a lot of trial and error. They could even potentially diminish your site’s performance or cause it to be penalized by Google. Whether the COVID pandemic has prompted you to either implement an SEO strategy or increase your current SEO efforts, hiring a professional agency can be a wise investment. Their expertise can yield better results and allow you to focus on what you do best.
When choosing an agency, don’t hire one who offers overnight results. SEO doesn’t work that way. Remember it takes time and effort to improve your ranking and increase traffic. It’s also best to hire a full-service agency. They will be able to optimize all of your marketing efforts and ensure that they all work together to achieve the best results possible. Want more information about SEO during COVID and beyond? Schedule a consultation and we’ll evaluate the best way to improve your SEO.