2020’s a weird year. We’re only three months in, and we’ve already seen terrible fires ravage Australia, a potential World War III scenario, and a global pandemic that has brought the world to its knees.
People are confined to their homes. Schools, universities, parliaments, and more are closed.
But one thing’s still working.
And that’s the internet.
SEO in the Time of COVID-19
Due to the pandemic, businesses are understanding—now more than ever—that SEO and digital media marketing are non-negotiable. The major reason why the world is still running despite everyone being confined to their homes is due to digital services.
Advertising companies might be landlocked, but the quarantine is bringing people even closer to their computer and mobile screens.
From video chats and ordering in to Zoom and Netlfix rising to the top of app usage charts, this pandemic is a window into our digital future. And SEO is going to be at the heart of that future.
Luckily for you, the closing of your physical business shouldn’t affect business in general. Even in China, where entire provinces were under lockdown for more than three months, delivery technologies and digitization made life as normal as it could be under these circumstances. For the layperson, SEO services and digital marketing aren’t just something a business spends money on—they’re the spokes on a wheel that keep businesses running when things aren’t looking great in the real world.
And it doesn’t matter what your business does: it could be real estate, retail, banking, a gym, an art museum or gallery, plumbing—anything. The first thing to do in these times is to GO DIGITAL. And if you already have a website set up, getting professional web SEO services to help your business soar is the next step.
The SEO Trends that will Help You in the Quarantine—and Afterwards
Keeping your business running is the first priority in these times—and how well you do so will have a huge impact on how well your business does in the aftermath. Clever start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures will aim to catch the attention of home-ridden prospective customers, and thus, it’s crucial to nail SEO strategies right now.
Here’s a quick list of all that we think is important:
- Optimize, Optimize, Optimize: With a greater than usual number of people on their computers and mobile devices, you’re looking at more searches than ever. This is a great time to use a keyword tool to find out what keywords are trending in your industry, and optimize the highest ranking keywords into your content. Don’t forget to optimize your titles, H1, 2, and 3 tags, URLs—everything. But of course, don’t veer toward keyword stuffing. Also, optimize everything from videos to pictures.
- BERT is important: BERT is short for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Too much for you? Basically, it’s a technique that helps Google understand the context of the words in a Google search. If someone tells you that you have to optimize for BERT, don’t listen to them—because you can’t optimize for BERT.What you can do is use the question-answer technique. User intent is important here. What will most people be searching for? Try running an SEO audit to find out which of your pages have had most traffic these days.Entity SEO—establishing links between two things, such as the pandemic and your service/product—also works. Use Google’s “People Also Ask This” feature to have a better idea of what people are most likely searching for.
- Timely, Relevant Content: As always, content is king. More people confined in their homes means more people potentially reading your content. The more informative, authoritative, and the better optimized it is, the greater the traffic on your website.
- Search Trends: You need to be top of your game when it comes to knowing what search trends are rampaging acrossthe digital arena these days. PPC marketing and short-term SEO has become the need of the hour. What’s happening now and what’s needed now is important. Google Trends is a good tool to use for this. If you’re a retailer, this is a great time to nail those SEM campaigns.
- Schema: If you don’t already know, schema.org already listed COVID-19 in the list of its structured data types in its version 7.0. Mention your contact information, location, operational hours, ratings and reviews—anything that gives your clients information about you—in your featured snippet, and keep those details updated. The idea is to tell them a lot by saying very little.
You probably know what SEO is and why it’s important. With millions of people glued to their computer and mobile screens during the pandemic, the internet has become the#1 resource out there.
Whatever they’re searching for—whatever product, whichever service—they’ll be looking for it online. And yours won’t be the only website they’re looking at—because by this time, most businesses will have realized that their best bet lies in going digital.
Most of them will be working with SEO professionals already. The crowd in the digital arena, especially during this time, when all physical markets and shops are closed, will be unbelievable.
And in order to stand out, you’ll need top tier SEO services on your side.
Major Changes Major Businesses Should Make in 2020
Although this is something you should already have thought of—even before the pandemic broke out—better late than never, right? If your physical business is going digital for the first time, here are some major changes you should be considering:
How do you turn real estate into virtual estate? It is a business that is—quite literally—concrete. But just because everyone’s confined to their homes doesn’t mean people don’t want to continue their plans of buying houses and properties. Buyers will still be out there, looking for property.
And you can take advantage of this by including elements such as virtual reality tours and 3D into your business model. Upload these videos on your website and make sure you’re optimizing these videos right. You can also use a video streaming website (such as Daily motion) to upload the videos, since this will help your page load more speedily.
One of the major businesses that needs to continue working with the same zest are banking services. People still need to take out money, they still need to make transfers, and online payments have become the go-to method for making payments. People are already scared of paper money, especially since bank notes are super spreaders of the virus.
If you run a banking business, you probably already have a website. So ramp it up by extending 24/7 support to your clients via live chatbots, ready respondents, and notifications via email. This quarantine, in fact, might be the best time to come up with an app (if you don’t already have one), since your customers will definitely be looking for a way to minimize physical contact.
You can use this time to get your customers to use your app, and you can count on them to continue using it once the pandemic has ended.
Make sure you’re cleverly mentioning your app and subscription boxes on your boxes, because you really want those conversion rates to go up.
Yes, the appeal of food businesses (such as a restaurant) lies in their physical location, where ambiance and customer service must shine through. But in these times, you must make do with a digital switch. Food will always be physical—this isn’t, after all, a Willy Wonka factory where you can transport food via screens.
But you can still deliver food, and that’s where your SEO faculties should be focused. If you don’t already have a delivery service in place, partner with UberEats or a similar service at the earliest. Make sure you’re making this news public via aggressive social media marketing and management.
Also make sure that the checkout process on your website is quick, easy, and simple. Customers are already annoyed by having to stay at home 24/7, and the last thing they want is a complicated checkout process that takes forever. Ensure that your web design is clean and pleasing to the eye, and that the content is readable.
Gyms, Art Galleries, and More
For businesses that absolutely need a physical location to survive and thrive, this time calls for some innovative transformations. Such as turning your gallery into a digital world and asking people to subscribe/pay in order for viewing.
Gym owners and personal trainers can make interactive videos and use video marketing on their part. Also note that with a greater number of people at home, more and more people will be looking for entertainment and fitness advice—and you can provide that through clever content marketing.
Blogs and articles, and interactive videos are a great way of getting around this. When writing a blog, make sure you’re hitting those long tail keywords right on the head, and that you’re keeping the content readable. In this case, content is king, and can help you keep your business alive until your physical locations open again.
The world has already embraced apps like Zoom and Google Classroom for this purpose, but many are taking this opportunity to further their business. This means that if you’re a tutor or an agency that teaches a certain skill, you can count on SEO trends to push you to the top of the game.
Use content marketing, blogs, interactive videos, and aim for Rank Zero on Google to ensure Google’s algorithm is crawling and indexing your website. The more people and parents know about you, the better your chances of running an online business successfully
As we have already mentioned, e-commerce stores will be the new “it” thing, not just in pandemic-ridden 2020, but hereafter. You can partner with delivery services or devise your own solutions.
From clothing to bookstores, everything has either closed down or will close down. Funny that we already mentioned Willy Wonka, because this is pretty much the same scenario: you’re sending out deliveries when there’s no one on the streets. It looks like your business is done and dusted, but it isn’t.
SEO strategies such as optimizing keywords into your URL, H1 tags, and media are important. People will be looking for basic retail items on a daily basis, and you’ll have to fight your competition in order to make sure your business outdoes the, yet.
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