30 Mar '20

We are in uncertain times as COVID-19 makes its way across the globe, leaving almost no part of the planet unaffected. In addition to the pivotal health concerns, there are serious concerns when it comes to the operations of hundreds and thousands of businesses. No marketing team or business slated COVID-19 into the first half of 2020, and now we need to move fast. A crisis situation is subject to rapid and drastic changes, and businesses need to adapt as best as they can, quickly. 

When it comes to SEO specifically, organic traffic is on the decline across several industries. However, during this time of uncertainty, there is one thing that can be certain…it is critical that some level of marketing investment should be, at minimum, at least maintained through this pandemic.corona virus

While it could make sense to scale back on pay-per-click marketing for some industries, or become extremely targeted and strategic, SEO is a long game that makes sense to continue putting effort into right now to ensure long-term success. Continuing to invest in this channel is key so that businesses can continue to produce cash flow and gain competitive advantage.

Despite the difficult times we are in, the world will return to normal—maybe a different normal, but from a general standpoint, normal.

In the meantime, people still need services and products while they are cooped up working from home – the demand is still there. By being strategic with SEO, you can place your business in front of those at home searching right now. Even if your business is temporarily affected sales-wise by this pandemic, it is possible to mitigate some of those losses by putting efforts in an organic digital strategy that helps put your company in front of those actively searching.

The following are a few things businesses can either start doing, or ensure that they continue doing, during this time.

Local optimization:

Update your Google My Business profile. Update your hours and business description to specify any changes due to COVID-19. 

This is particularly important for:

  • Restaurants, bars, grocery stores, essentially any establishment with regular foot traffic
  • Medical clinics such as dentists, veterinarians, primary care physicians, etc.
  • Apartments and multi-housing communities

Website content:

Now is the perfect time to assess the content across your website and ensure that it is delivering relevant messages, especially if COVID-19 greatly affects the day-to-day of your business.

  • Is there any messaging that can be added to your site to help promote your products or services during this time?
  • What calls-to-action (CTAs) can be added? For example, if you are in the restaurant industry, does your website have updated messaging about delivery or takeout services?
  • If you are in the travel industry, are future travel deals posted prominently across your site?

The travel industry is going to be hit hard across the board, but any messaging to promote future travel deals can help mitigate this, at least a little. If you are in the medical industry and have to halt all non-emergency appointments, has that messaging been updated?

Delivering compelling content is important now more than ever. Individuals will be spending a great amount of time at home. Delivering helpful, informational content, and content that is uplifting or encouraging, is a great opportunity to reach more of your audience right now.

Email marketing:

To reach your audience with strategic and crucial messaging, consider email blasts. Most people are working remotely and checking emails frequently. Utilize email as a channel to target existing or new customers. It's an affordable channel, and while it may not completely mitigate performance losses, you can still show value to your current customers and potential new ones through this channel. This will help to build trust and loyalty, which will carry over after this pandemic is over. 

Video:

You don’t need a full production studio to create great video content. You can record any brand messages or updates, product how-tos, etc. with a phone and post those to your website and on social media.

If your business has had any upcoming events canceled, also consider hosting those events online with a webinar instead.

Listen for brand mentions of your business:

Setting up Google Alerts is a great way to pick up on any sort of online media coverage for your business at this time. By setting these up, you can get a pulse on any articles referencing you online. Not simply to see what is being written, but also potentially gain a relevant backlink to your site, which can ultimately boost domain authority.

Protect your website:

There have been many positive, uplifting stories coming out of all of this chaos. However, there are always a few bad apples out there. Website security should be at the top of your radar right now, as many will unfortunately look to exploit sites during this time where focus is centered elsewhere. There has been a drastic spike over the past few weeks of companies moving to remote working environments. Now is an ideal time to ensure that CMS plugins are updated, passwords are secure, phishing scams are avoided and so on.

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your business regularly, but especially in downtimes. Get started today, and if you need a team of experts who are glad to lend a helping hand, contact Forthea.

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About the Author Natalie

Natalie is an Aggie Alum (Gig 'em!) with a passion for helping those find what they are looking for... at least on the web. When she is not optimizing websites, Natalie can be found trying out a new recipe, dragging herself to the gym, and spending time with friends and family.

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