Search engines act as a crucial gateway between customers and businesses, and the current COVID19 crisis around the world is having a dramatic impact on search behaviour, media consumption, consumer mobility, budgets and supply chains.
As a result, these quickly changing circumstances that the world finds itself in right now means that businesses need to make adjustments to their next marketing campaigns in order to strategically alleviate risk.
Recent surveys have shown that one in three consumers have changed their shopping behaviour in response to the novel coronavirus. Most shopping malls and centres have closed down all but essential stores, and even where shopping is available, more consumers are choosing to stick to the safety of online shopping rather than venture outdoors.
A Shift to Organic Search:
Marketing channels like PPC have already seen a reduction in budget. Between January 13 and March 9, Google search ads lost 7% of their impressions, while on the other hand, certain brands have seen a huge increase in organic search visibility. These shifts have created a crucial opportunity for content marketers and SEO professionals to boost their impact by creating content that drives conversions in the present and helps to build their brand over the long term. Marketers looking to get ahead of the curve are already shifting their strategies and investing in more SEO; according to Google Trends, ‘SEO’ and related search terms have seen a spike since February this year.
Investing in SEO During COVID19 is Cost Efficient:
With most people stuck at home, they are searching online more than ever before. And regardless of the current economic climate, any business owner wants their brand to be at the forefront of searchers’ minds when they are making a business decision. So, why is now a key time to ramp up SEO? SEO is an especially smart investment in the future of your business during an economic downtime, as it’s extremely cost-effective in comparison with other marketing channels. It tends to require a lower investment and unlike traditional paid media campaigns, tends to continue paying off long after the investment.
Improving Your Knowledge During the Pandemic:
Many business owners and professionals have found themselves with more time on their hands than usual during COVID19. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to put this extra time to good use, both in terms of improving SEO for your business and improving your own knowledge for the future. Aston Online offers an MSc in Business Analytics that you can study from home; a useful qualification for any business owner or marketer interested in leveraging data to make the best decisions for their company.
Create Content That Builds Trust:
Since COVID19, consumer sentiment and emotions have been influenced. According to recent reports, consumers are less optimistic that companies – and individuals – are going to follow through on the promises that they make. Because of this, it’s never been more important to focus on building content that engages with and builds trust with your target audience. Many companies are completely doing away with sales pitches for now, in favour of focusing on offering hope and comfort to their customers, who may be feeling uncertain and lonely during these times. In the UK, supermarket brands have done away with competing against each other in order to come together and help their most vulnerable customers.
Boost Your Online Presence:
In July 2018, Google’s guidelines were updated to include a strategy known as E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Being trustworthy in terms of your online presence is key here. The more trust you can build with your content, the more likely users are going to click through to it in search engine results. Because of this, proactively managing your online brand and presence is essential during these times. Inaccurate or dated information can confuse or hurt consumers now more than ever. And, use search and social data to better understand your audience and what they need from you right now.
Audit Upcoming Content:
The last thing that you want is for any upcoming content and campaigns that you have already built to appear tone-deaf to your audience and the situation that they find themselves in right now. Chances are you may have put some or all of this content together with no idea that a global pandemic was about to hit, so it’s important to audit any upcoming campaigns and make adjustments where needed in order to ensure that you show compassion and empathy for your audience.
No matter how your business has been affected, you can use the COVID19 crisis to improve SEO, get a better understanding of business data and analytics, and build trust with your customers.