The impact of COVID-19 on SEO: 3 Trends worth Implementing

The impact of COVID-19 on SEO: 3 Trends worth Implementing
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The impact of COVID-19 on SEO: 3 Trends worth Implementing

As COVID-19 became a pandemic, our lives changed drastically. Travel came to a halt. Schools closed. Overnight, companies adopted working from home.

People’s behaviour changed. Internet usage increased exponentially. Media consumption rose by more than 60%. 71% of the total Australian population are active social media users. Only 4% of them want brands to stop advertising.

Consumers’ search behaviour changed. For some businesses, search traffic to their websites plummeted. Many industries witnessed a massive uptick in their online traffic.

This post looks at the implications of COVID-19 on SEO. Through the lens of the COVID-19 trends and behaviour, in this article we will cover:

- Impact of Coronavirus on search traffic

- Major SEO trends taking shape due to COVID-19

- Why is SEO more important than ever during and beyond the pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 on the search traffic

Internet usage is the highest it has ever been. Would that convert into greater importance of SEO?

Remember, internet use is not exclusive to online searches. Along with search, activities such as virtual meetings, gaming, online movie streaming, social media, videos and mobile apps are included.
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This does not mean that the daily online search has not increased. As the home pursuits are increasing, so are the number of questions being asked on search engine. The search volume has surely increased for health, cooking, news and related industries. On the other hand, many non-essential businesses have found a decline in traffic from both organic and paid channels.
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The traffic growth and decline industry-wise due to COVID-19, as per the data collected by Ubersuggest.

These results show that SEO, based on the industry looks like:

  • For essential businesses, SEO is important to stand out and for getting more visibility over competitors in search results.
  • For non-essential businesses, SEO seems less important.

Contrary to the results that you see, SEO is all the more essential during the Coronavirus pandemic. It is worthwhile to focus on SEO so that it can positively impact your website traffic.

Read below to know the SEO trends that are taking shape due to COVID-19 and how to respond to them.

The SEO trends taking shape due to Corona Virus

There are 3 major SEO trends and data that have emerged with the spread of COVID-19. To reduce the negative impact of the crisis, here are some viable and actionable strategies that accompany the SEO trends.

#1. Store visits have plummeted due to Coronavirus

Most brick and mortar stores are feeling the pain of limited foot traffic as social distancing is the norm. Each day you wake up to the news of physical stores closing or offering limited in-store capacity as people avoid unnecessary trips to control the spread of the virus.

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This report is based on the fact that advertisers track their store visit conversions to know the offline impact (footfall) of their online advertising campaigns. Local advertisers use this data to optimize their PPC spend and campaigns.

How to respond? Take your business online.

Businesses will now have to focus on their online presence. The search traffic has not diminished since the Coronavirus outbreak. Brands should take out time to improve their online presence. Quickly.

The 5 steps recommended are:

#1. Create a simple website

Going ahead, your company’s website will be the cornerstone. For an online presence, you don’t need a complex website to start with. You can hire a website development agency to do that for you.

Alternatively, to support businesses, Google has a free website builder.

Later, you can think of refining and optimizing the website and the landing pages.

#2. Getting your business listed on Google My Business

During these uncertain times, people are looking on Google to see if a business is open and functioning. As a business owner, create a Google My Business account to display your business hours, address, photos, reviews and in-store rules.

If you already have a running Google My Business account, update the operations or any changes you’ve made due to COVID-19.

#3. Use social media to engage with your customers

Your customers are looking for updates from your business whether you’re open or if there are any changes. While some will turn to Google or your website, many will try finding out more through the recent posts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter).

Create a business page to give your customers and audience periodic updates. Use social media marketing to let them know that you are open.

Alternatively, you can hire a social media marketing agency to manage your social media presence and help you get leads from social networks.

#4. List your products with Google Merchant Center

Although traditional retail is struggling with minimal store visits, eCommerce is an attractive channel to ensure that the sales keep coming, even when your customers are stuck in their homes.

Start selling online by creating a Google Merchant Center account. Upload your products online and update the products, prices and the inventory on Google regularly.

Optimize your Google shopping feed by writing a product title, description and high-quality images so that searchers find your products online easily. Starting an eCommerce website is the first step to ensure that your audience finds you online. The next step is to optimize the website and improve its navigation and make it user-friendly.

#5. Promote your business through online channels

It is surprising as to how many people can find your business online, through search results. For additional traffic, sales and loyal customers, optimize your social presence. If you have a small budget, explore the following channels:

Google AdWords – Expand your reach when your audience searches online for your keywords. Pay when they click on your ads.

Facebook Marketing – With over 71% of the Australian population being online on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, Facebook ads present the largest opportunity to reach your customers on social media. Facebook ads are low cost and enable you to reach a diverse set of audiences.

You can hire Adaptify, to run Google Shopping Ads to optimize, manage, monitor and report Google Shopping for your eCommerce business.

#2. COVID-19 dominates new searches (and our minds alike)

Over the last few months as the virus and its news dominate the Google search queries along with our mind. The queries containing “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” are attached to everyday searches including “tax preparation” to “travel”.
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How to respond? Adjust your PPC campaigns based on the new search terms and volume.

#1. Regularly review your search term reports

COVID-19 is disrupting the ad campaigns as quickly as our world. As a result, PPC becomes all the more important. You don’t know what will be trending tomorrow. Understand the traffic that your ads are getting and add the negative keywords to prevent your ads from reaching irrelevant panicked searchers.

#2. Find the new negative keywords before they start trending

Your new keywords can run the risk of attracting irrelevant searches that waste your campaign budget. Find the negative keywords before the irrelevant search traffic flocks to your ads using a keyword tool such as Ahrefs or RankWatch.

#3. Closely follow the COVID-19 searches

Google Trends is always a great tool to understand how people are searching online. In response to the sudden surge in coronavirus-related searches, Google Trends recently released a new Google Trend Coronavirus Hub, dedicated to these specific COVID-19 search trends country-wise.
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Review the trends regularly to see how people’s priorities and search interests are changing.

You can outsource the PPC campaign management to Adaptify, one of Australia’s most adaptive digital marketing agencies.

#3. Cross-network opportunities grow with growing internet usage

Since COVID-19, we’ve reduced the time spent in brick and mortar stores. At the same time, internet use is up by 70%. This implies that you can still reach your online audience, although they are looking at different places.

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As per a WordStream report, while Google search showed a decline, YouTube became the advertiser’s best friend.

From the beginning of March, Google search and Google Shopping recorded a considerable decline.

On the other hand, traffic from Google Display Network grew considerably. Also, video consumption has increased drastically, YouTube views soared by 21%.

How to respond? Reach your audience on multiple networks.

#1. Advertise across networks

You will have to find new ways to reach your audience as the search behaviour keeps changing. Instead of relying on Google search alone, advertise across different networks. Find new audiences beyond Google, to increase the number of people who then search for your business on Google.
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As per WordStream, cross-network advertisers found a 26% increase in searches for their brand on Google.

#2 Explore display ads

Right now, it’s easier to find your audience while they browse the web, scroll their social media feeds and watch videos online.

Start by retargeting marketing to your past customers and website visitors to keep your brand in their minds. When you bring them back to your website, they’re likely to convert because of return visits.

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Remarketing ads have a higher click-through rate as compared to display ads, found WordStream.

#3. Explore YouTube video marketing

People have turned to watching video content for entertainment, education and possibly a source of human connections. As per Think with Google, the five types of videos that have seen increased traffic are – work from home essentials, stress reduction, study with me, pantry meals and in-home fitness. For a business owner, this would mean that YouTube video ads can work well if you show them to the right audience.

Hire Adaptify for Video YouTube marketing for a video advertising strategy that generates traffic, leads, sales and ultimately revenue for your business.

SEO is a potential solution for businesses to slow the financial burden and impact of COVID-19. It can help you become more visible on the searches performed right now. Leverage these 3 SEO trends taking shape due to COVID-19 to set you up for success.

SEO strategies for businesses during COVID-19

The 6 main SEO strategies you should be implementing to become more visible on the search results:

If you have questions, we, at Adaptify are here to help.

No matter what your industry, COVID-19 has presented businesses with unprecedented challenges. Compared to other marketing and advertising options, SEO presents more stability and security.

If you would like to know more about how SEO can help your business generate long-term results, we, at Adaptify are here to help.

Adaptify is an Australian-owned and operated SEO and digital marketing agency. We will optimize your SEO campaigns based on COVID-trends and consumer behaviour. Our mission is to enable ambitious businesses to amplify visibility, growth, and profitability through highly effective and adaptive digital strategies.

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