For both service-based and product based business it can seem like things have slowed down or have come to a halt. Many businesses early on have experienced that and have either closed down or are struggling right now. But the reality is that, things haven’t really slowed down. Rather, there has been a shift in where we ought to be focusing on.
The reality is that digital marketing strategies like organic marketing – and especially SEO – have taken precedence and have been vital to small businesses success. Those that have closed down were a result of not incorporating SEO as much or quick enough in their current marketing plans.
I don’t want to see you closing your business as a result of this or struggling for that matter. To help with that, here are some tangible strategies that you can implement during this time and for the future. These tactics are tried and true and implementing them now will help you in stabilizing and recovering right now and thriving in the future.
Develop Consistency & Long Content
SEO in general is something you want to be maintaining consistently. A good analogy of it was best put by Uptick Marketing:
“SEO is like sowing the seeds and cultivating the crops before harvesting what you can eventually eat. If you stop harvesting now, you may still have some crops to last you, but six months down the road, you’re going to be kicking yourself for losing out.”
Even though business has slowed, you don’t want to be ignoring your business or the marketing practices. You’ll need to make adjustments, but use that time to focus on SEO. Even if you can do the bare minimum, it’s better than doing nothing at all. Your actions right now will make an impact later on.
That consistency is key, but what’s also going to help you is posting long-form content.
One behaviour that people are developing these days is patience and the desire to be delving deeper into topics. You could say our attention spans are growing more these days than before. This makes sense since we’re not all scrolling through our social media feeds on our commute to work.
With this in mind, it makes sense for you to stretch your content a little bit. According to Backlinko, organic search results that rank on page one of Google have an average word count of 1,890.
If you’re the type who publishes around 1,000, consider stretching out your content a little. Furthermore make a stockpile of blog posts like that. This pandemic is going to linger for a while so adding as many of these as you can will help for months to come.
Focus On Local SEO
Another thing you can look at is Local SEO. It is exactly as it sounds. When it comes to small or medium sized businesses, most aren’t interested in appealing to a massive audience. This is especially true if you provide services or products that people need to physically go to your store for.
Local SEO is a way for you to compete with larger brands that have a wider reach without being shoved to the side. What’s also incredible is since people are staying closer to home, local businesses are being sought out more so don’t be afraid to implement some of them.
Some ideas that come to mind is verify your store hours through Google, and checking off at-tributes (i.e. there are icons that suggest you do delivery or curb side pickups). While you’re at it you can also look at other listing sites to ensure that information presented there is accurate too.
Balance Your Short- And Long-Term Goals
Of course, this pandemic is temporary, however we can feel the impacts of this pandemic for months or even years to come. With this in mind, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your overall marketing strategy. Not to mention the SEO strategy you’ll be implementing moving forward.
My suggestion is you have a mixture of short-term and long-term goals for your SEO efforts. But what exactly would constitute short and long terms goals?
Short-term goals for SEO efforts can be things like:
- Publish content related to your industry and have coronavirus themes to them too.
- Update your listings and website for local search terms.
Long-term goals can include:
- Publish content that answers important questions that people would be asking even after this pandemic is over.
- Continuing the same company objectives that your company have been striving for.
Of course, the allocation between your short-term and long-term goals will depend on your business, where you are at and where you are going. That’s okay. All of your priorities will be evolving as you continue to work on your business. The key is to be aware of them and make sure you have a fluid process in place.
Find Trending Themes In Your Industry (Or General)
At the start of this pandemic, there was a huge precedence for COVID related content. With everyone in a state of panic, many were and still are looking for solutions to how to manage various things. Not necessarily the virus but information on staying safe and looking at useful apps that can help them amongst other things.
Because people were doing that, it was wise for companies to be releasing content on those top-ics. This is still good to cover these days – months into the pandemic – as the search may be less competitive right now compared to back then. However you can also look for other things.
Aside from coronavirus related content, you can look at broader themes that are still appropriate for your business. Things like virtual, in-home, DIY, or indoors are all keywords that can rank quite well right now too.
Reoptimize Old Yet Relevant Content
One thing with SEO that’s nice is that you don’t always have to be turning out new pieces of content every time. Sometimes content that you posted last year or several months ago could be revived and get a lot of attention.
Look for those spikes in your content if there are any. If there are, consider looking it over and making some adjustments to that content. That could be updating links, making it more readable or expanding on themes and explanations further. Next, republish it to put it at the top of your blog once more and people could flock to it.
Make Content Evergreen
Evergreen content is key in any business. This is content that regardless of what trending topics there are will never subside. They are like the jeans and shirt in fashion, a look that will never get too old. You want to be prioritizing this content as much as you can and ensure that it’s still relevant beyond this.
For example, this content is evergreen because these tactics will still be relevant beyond the pandemic. While I’m still mentioning the pandemic in this article, the tips and advice is still important to apply now and in the future. Refer back to the quote mentioned above about SEO being the seeds you plant and then harvest. No matter the day, you’re still going to be harvesting them. So you want to make sure your sowing properly.
All in all evergreen – while isn’t going to give you those spikes – will help you to develop a consistent readership that you can build up from.
Backlinking is one of the SEO exploits that is worth your time in doing. While you still want to be doing internal linking and having a strong system for that, getting links from outside sources will help out too. There are numerous ways for you to go about it:
- First you can create content that is so relevant and people love that they’ll share it on social media. Better if they have their own site and use your post as a source.
- Second is approaching a local paper and having one of your articles mentioned on their web-site with a link pointing back to your site.
- Going back to those list sites, if there is an option to include a website, take advantage of it by putting your site in there. This can also apply to social media too.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. From collaboration efforts to guest posts, you can still develop backlinking and provide a lot of value to everyone in many ways.
Focus On Conversion
The final strategy I want to share with you is after you’ve gotten those strategies implemented, make sure you spend some time on conversion. Conversion is the idea of getting someone from your site into being a lead or better, a customer.
Now, this isn’t exactly SEO, however it still ties in with SEO. Of course, if you’re getting more people to your site, you’ll have an easier time converting a good group of people. However, if you are struggling with getting visitors, it may be optimal to focus on converting those who are already checking your site out.
Here are some simple strategies to help you boost your conversion rate in any situation:
- Have a sign-up form with an offer. This is a classic approach and it’s a classic because it works. For higher conversions, use plugins like OptinMonster or SumoMe which create a popup for people upon entering your site.
- Try A/B testing the placement or language of your call to actions on your homepage. These tests add perspective of how many people are being converted.
- Run some incentives to make it sweeter. Things like free or discounted services can help or discounts from purchases.
In the end, you don’t necessarily need to be pushing products or services in peoples faces right now. Money is tight right now and people aren’t going to be looking to spend a whole lot right now. The key is to find a balance between running your business and coming off as desperate. Offer your services and products, but offer a discount with it too or extra things to make the deal better. Get people to sign up and deliver them some good content through your email campaigns.
Diversify Your SEO Efforts
You don’t want to be focusing on one single strategy for SEO. Each strategy you can see it as a seed. It’s important to be planting many seeds over time and offer up a mixture of them. You want variety in your harvest.
Don’t be afraid to try out new strategies and come up with new ideas. Marketing is all one big experiment and can pay off big. Regardless, sticking to SEO strategies right now and in the future is your best bet moving forward.