It may take a while – perhaps a few years – before things finally turn to normal from this pandemic. As a result of all this, businesses have had to change a lot about their business, both internally and externally.
Because so many people are inside – or staying inside for longer periods of time than usual – this has had a massive impact on search behaviour. All of this impacts media consumption habits, supply chains, product availability, and budgets. With all of these things changing, it’s important that you make some adjustments or even build your strong SEO strategy from the ground up.
Below are some methods to consider in building up your strategy.
Why Focus On SEO Right Now?
Before getting to the tips, it’s important to know what’s changed. Why is this a better focus than say using paid advertising on social media? Well, one survey conducted recently found that 1 in 3 consumers indicate that due to the coronavirus, their shopping habits have already changed.
On top of that, people may still be choosing to stick with online shopping primarily in towns where cases are still high.
Another thing to look at is marketing channels cutting back on their PPC (Pay Per Click) budget. Between January and March alone, search ads lost 7% of their impressions. This is a stark com-parison to SEO tactics themselves as many companies are seeing a large increase in organic search visibility through these tactics.
So SEO is where it is at and it’s probably going to be for a long time. So what can you be doing to making the most of it?
Step 1: Build Content That Builds Trust
In a report released in March, it had this to say about consumer sentiment during this pandemic:
“Consumers are less optimistic that people and companies will follow through on the promises they make.”
While people by this point have gotten used to living at home and being in self-quarantine, honesty still is something to carry on now and for the future. If you want to be building up trust, you want to be focusing less on pitching people products and services and spending more time building up trust and showing it.
For example, the Ford Motor Company provided a great campaign that dropped the sales pitch ad they had prepared and instead focus on a message of comfort and hope. It was meant to counter feelings of loneliness, powerlessness and skepticism and replace it with competency, and integrity.
Another angle you can take from this is be educational. One study from Conductor found that when brands focused on teaching people through content, it built more trust. This is an easier approach that most companies can get behind.
Step 2: Manage Your Web Presence
In July 2018, Google implemented their E-A-T rules into their guidelines. These guidelines stand for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
You want to be paying the most attention to the T part. After all, if a brand can build trust, people will see that brand as an expert in that area and an authority figure in that area. And while posting content can help you in building that trust, another way you can enhance it is through managing your brand presence.
Any information that is inaccurate or is dated and no longer relevant can seriously damage a business. But this doesn’t just apply to your content. It applies to the smaller things as well. To help you stay more relevant here are some things you can do:
- Update your profiles. Due to the times changing drastically, you want to make sure you have your profiles up to date. The biggest is your Google My Business page. When people google your business, you want to make sure that you are providing practical store hours or whether you are closed. Beyond that, update other profiles as needed.
- Keep an eye on search results. You will likely be growing in organic search these days. This is a good thing as you can track it easily and see where peoples demands for products and services have shifted. Spikes and declines in traffic to certain pages can show you what your customers are thinking and you can respond accordingly.
Step 3: Audit Any Content & Campaigns Coming Up
Campaigns and content often times need to be proposed a few months in advance. Even if your business isn’t very large, it does pay to have a strategy and plan it ahead a month at least. Especially now where people’s behaviours are changing so much.
The goal in the end is to ensure that content and campaigns don’t come out as tone-deaf. Again, you can learn all about this through the content that’s already out and by analyzing that data.
Step 4: Have More Security In Place
Cybersecurity is another important aspect and now it’s important now more than ever. Because there are more searches than before, hackers have been taking advantage of this situations in various ways.
One common one is sites or people posing as officials in government or authoritative figures to create a phishing attack on individuals. But one that’s been recently developed is people posing as brands offering a “corona special offer”. Like one site offering a MacBook Air for $390 USD which was a scam to get sensitive information.
While there is not much you can do about those hackers, there are things you can do to beef up security quick and easy.
- Monitor log files for any crawling errors. The use of log file analysis, you to identify how search engines crawlers are accessing your site. Through this same analysis, it can reveal spambots who are trying to infiltrate your site.
- Have SSO in place. Otherwise known as Single Sign On, it authorizes users to use one set of login credentials to enter separate applications. In short, it’s safe for everyone involved and harder for hackers to crack.
- Get an SSL certificate. SSL is not only good for boosting domain authority but you can weave that into your promotional aspects too. Let people know that your site is secure so in the event they enter an unsecured site that looks like your site, they’ll know it’s a fake. On top of that HTTPS protects a lot of other valuable information.
- Ensure you’re using up to date apps, and plugins. One of the reasons hackers crack into systems often comes down to people not updating their stuff. Make a habit of updating any plugins or apps that you are using. It’s not that difficult to do.
Build Your SEO Strategy
SEO is something that takes a while to build up but it pays off in a big way. By building up short-term trust through these methods, you can be making gains in the future through your con-tent and other endeavours.