How Businesses Can Leverage SEO Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has direct and indirect effects on most businesses in many ways. These SEO tips should help your business thrive even during difficult times like this.
Covid-19 impact on businesses and marketing
Small to medium businesses have been told to close doors. When will they reopen? No one knows for sure.
With recent government orders, small to medium businesses have been currently shut down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, adding those to the already closed malls, restaurants, gyms, fast-food chains, and even large companies like Apple. The effect on the local and global economy has been predicted to be severe.
How can businesses and marketing companies survive from this ordeal?
Business owners and marketing experts are left in limbo. While the near future may appear to be bleak, experts say that we can learn from the past.
The immediate impact has caused businesses, stock markets, and the global economy overall to cut deep all under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led thousands or even millions of people to lose their jobs or having dramatic impacts on their income.
Like a domino effect, businesses have to be strict with their expenses. What is the connection between COVID-19 crisis and SEO? Let’s explore in detail.
A social media advertisement can bring new leads and reach thousands of people faster; however, it depends on the ad spend. Ads are recurring expenses; however, SEO is a much better investment in the long run.
Every business needs new prospects and has to convert those prospects into customers and retain them. In all these phases, SEO can help you out and is proven to work effectively.
How Can Businesses Leverage SEO Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis?
SEO is a never-ending game with search algorithms. Relevant and useful content will continue to stay on top, provided there are no technical errors on the website.
Because of the lockdowns in many parts of the world, people are staying at home and are searching online more than ever!
Content strategy: Trends vs evergreen content
As we all know, trends come and go. What is trending today might not be in demand tomorrow. As a business owner, you should strike the iron while it’s hot!
If your industry is in demand during this crisis like a food delivery service, such as online courses, you should publish content related to the trending topics. This will help you to get new prospects, and assist in brand awareness.
On the other hand, evergreen content like how-to guides, tutorials, list posts will continue to gain traffic. For example, people have to try new recipes at home as they can’t dine out; food blogs see a spike in their traffic.
SEO and digital transformation
More and more businesses are transforming their operations online as much as possible. Restaurants have to improve their online presence and partner with a delivery service to keep their business going.
Google Trends data for food delivery – Interest over time increased after COVID outbreak.
Google Trends data for online courses – interest over time increased after COVID outbreak.
In the medical field, online consultations became inevitable. Every business should adapt, or they lose the game. Whether your business is recently launched or has been existing for many years, SEO will be an excellent long-term investment.
Find and use long-tail keywords with enough search volume and low competition to rank high on search engines.
A long-tail keyword that has high search volume but low competition.
If your content is already performing well, update the pages to retain the rankings. Use title tag modifiers like “updated”, “new”, etc. Considering your long-term vision for your business in the industry; your decision today will impact your future.
Every SEO-optimized blog post is going to bring you traffic every day. The added advantage is that you can repurpose the content. Make them as a newsletter for your subscribers. Turn them into social media posts. It’s an excellent way to reach more people with this combination of multiple platforms.
As you see, content is always the king and a well-planned SEO strategy will help you get more customers.
How SEO wins over social media
Which is the best way to boost your online business presence: SEO or social media?
Both strategies are essential for every business’s online success. They are relevant for boosting brand awareness, promoting products and services across all platforms, bringing in more traffic, and converting traffic into sales.
While there is an ongoing debate among experts about which strategy is best to use to grow a business online, what do small business owners, webmasters, and digital marketers say about this?
SEO and social media both can bring business success but are very different. Let’s take a look at how SEO takes on the challenge for the win.
Social media does help you get your content in front of more people faster and virtually has no limit to the number of users to see. Still, your post will likely broadcast on timelines of people who are not interested or will not find your content relevant for them.
SEO allows businesses to gain traffic from search. Transportation will never exceed the number of people who search for keywords or phrases each day. People who visit your site are the most interesting ones with a specific purpose, need or question.
Visibility in social media can drive likes, follows, comments, and shares, but these engagement metrics are difficult to report. Most of these may not even turn into sales conversions which are what you ultimately want to achieve in business.
Search engines, on the other hand, gives more focus on optimizing for user intent rather than just broadcasted content. SEO gives you an upper hand to plan and create your content with search keywords or phrases that are more targeted to people’s intent. Hence, giving them what they want. Although they are less likely to share and interact, they are more likely ready to make that purchase.
Long Term Results
Growing social media following takes time, but posts may appear instantly and can bring results within minutes. However, most content is short-lived and results often last for minutes only. Therefore, it requires continuous efforts.
SEO also takes time to build up enough credibility and may even be uncertain. While it may take days or weeks to index or rank, when done right and once it’s working, SEO will make sure that your content can be read by search engines while improving your rankings.
This means traffic can be a passive source of visitors to your site; more leads are generated, and more sales are converted just by people using the Google search box. High rankings often last for weeks or months. Therefore, less effort is required.
People either have a problem and are looking for a solution using keywords, or they have a question and are looking for an answer. Your audience is one of your best sources of content. One of the best ways to keep up with the trends and stay relevant is to look upon marketing statistics.
Why is SEO organic reach better than paid promotion?
In the world of online content and marketing, two strategies can vie for your time and money to grow your business. While business owners may find it hard to choose which one suits their liking and situation, it is best to know which of both methods works better.
So let’s look at each and see which one fits into your online strategy.
A paid advertisement is as what it sounds like. You give money to advertising platforms to put up your ad live quickly after staging parameters, including your target demographic and psychographic reach.
While there are tons of platforms for businesses to advertise on, directly and indirectly, paid ads sure gives you tons of options to amplify your content. It is fast and flexible, and the results are easily measured.
Some of the top direct advertising platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and more. A few examples of indirect advertising platforms are sponsored blogs, social shoutouts, and guest written blogs, among others.
Paid ads can simply be posted for a certain length of time through boosting; it can be optimized for a pay-per-click model, text ads, video ads, or offer lead generation forms, among other objectives.
Your set budget determines the amplification impact of your paid ad content. Starting with a small budget could bring some traffic to your site, but it can become quickly expensive if you are not careful.
The biggest downside of paid promotion is money. Paying more to perform more can be a misnomer, so you need to make sure you are getting the most out of what you are paying for to put your content out there.
Organic reach occurs on non-paid advertisements or campaigns. As implied, it is an ideal method for you to listen to what your audience is saying about or to you.
If you are about long-term goals, and you are focused on building a more extensive and more diverse content base that serves people looking for it, then the organic approach is the way to go.
Remember, online or digital marketing is about people, providing them value and solutions by creating ‘meaningful’ conversations, developing leads, and eventually converting sales from those relationships.
The organic approach is a great and better way to increase your website traffic by connecting to specific groups of people. It also establishes you to become a thought leader or a subject matter expert in your industry and build a community that wants to share knowledge and learn from others.
Listening and learning are critical elements of your organic approach. You do not need to pay to promote, but you need a quality audience.
Putting in a well-thought-out content that resonates with your target audience and responding effectively on a personal level to their inquiries and concerns may turn your fans into customers, and your customers into advocates. Chances are, those people will even share your organic content in the future without costing you a penny.
Facebook and Instagram’s feed known to hinder the organic reach, while search engines still bring in the organic traffic.
Google Analytics report showing steady organic reach amidst COVID crisis.
According to a HubSpot Research survey, 63% of marketers are actively investing in search engine optimization and will likely increase significantly across all industries.
To wrap up, the sure-fire and better way is to give users what they want is by focusing on their intent. SEO will do the job for your business. Getting more quality traffic that can make you more sales is better than just likes, comments, and shares.
Saurabh Pandey CEO and Founder of Brandveda- “Digital Marketing Institute“. He started his entrepreneurial journey instead of working in the corporate sector. His niche lies in lead Gen., PPC, Social Media marketing and is inclined towards All Things Digital.