In the event of a pandemic, specifically, Covid-19, affecting businesses all over the world, it can be a challenge to figure out how to prepare for the changing economy and massive closures of physical retail locations. If you want your business to thrive and withstand a pandemic, there are certain ways you can protect your online business during a pandemic. Our best advice? Make local SEO services a marketing plan priority!
The Need for a Digital Marketplace and SEO
During a global outbreak, social distancing is a necessity and many businesses turn to remote work, enabling employees to work from home. While working remotely has become a more popular option among many companies, pandemics can force businesses to go fully remote as statewide or nationwide lockdowns go into effect. As a result, more businesses are forced to shift to an entirely online work environment and utilize the internet to connect with others, share information, and drive marketing and sales.
Keep in mind that as a pandemic begins to affect people’s lives, they’ll begin to search for reasons that are different based on their specific needs, which can lead to a decrease in traffic to your website without affecting your revenue. Regardless of whether your business is mostly online or a local business that relies on physical locations, you can develop a strong online presence that keeps your business afloat, even if you’re forced into a fully virtual environment.
One of the most effective ways to take advantage of online capabilities is to use SEO and build a strong inbound marketing campaign. Unlike paid ads, with SEO, you don’t need to worry about any decrease in ad spend on the part of big advertisers, which could otherwise lead you to pay more for cost-per-impression, while decreasing the quality of viewers and conversion rates.
The following are some specific steps to superpower your SEO campaigns and protect your business during uncertain times.
Maintain and Increase Rankings by Conducting an SEO Audit
SEO audits are necessary to determine how effective your campaigns are at achieving your business goals. You can use the results of an audit to make changes to your campaigns to further optimize performance and increase traffic to your website based on current rankings.
Using certain tools including Google Analytics, you can gauge your website’s SEO performance based on keywords that you’re currently targeting, and look for any weak points that are worth addressing. For instance, you may find that a specific blog post on your website is ranking on page two in Google for a high-value keyword, in which case you may want to update it with more engaging, relevant, and helpful content and share it on your social media profiles to encourage more visits and shares.
Consider How Searcher Intent Changes
The goal that someone wants to achieve with a search on Google is known as searcher, search, or user intent. Searcher intent will vary depending on what type of information a user is seeking; for instance, users might first look for information about a certain illness. Once the users have a better understanding of the illness or believe they are ill, they may look for a specific type of treatment.
Keeping track of searcher intent can help you create content and make adjustments to your campaign, based on what users want. Accounting for changes in intent will be particularly important if people are looking for ways to buy a product when they can’t search for a specific location in their area.
Review Internal Linking Strategies
Take another look at your existing site structure to determine how your internal linking strategy is guiding users along and boosting other pages. Google actually takes into consideration how your pages link to each other to measure importance and will rank them accordingly. On top of that, using hyperlinks that encourage visitors on a page to explore further could result in more clicks and engagement with other pages, ultimately leading them down the sales funnel to a purchase.
One of the best ways to take advantage of an internal linking strategy is to create a long pillar page that covers a broad topic and every possible subtopic, serving as a hub for information. From there, you can create other pages that cover subtopics in-depth, and you can link out to them from your pillar page and vice versa. A good pillar page strategy will essentially function as a topic tree, with the pillar operating as the trunk, while your subpages function as extending branches. The bigger the tree, the more authoritative your website becomes around a specific topic as you tower over competitors.
Address Technical Shortcomings
In addition to monitoring and building content while adjusting for searcher intent, take some extra time to perform a technical audit and address any issues that you find. Some technical issues can actually prevent Google from crawling and indexing your pages, such as missing robots.txt that effectively block Google search crawlers. Other issues such as a lack of 404 error pages, along with a lack of 301 redirects to existing pages for old links, can also hurt your SEO.
Your web developers will be able to assist with fixing any issues on the technical side.
If you find that your business suddenly seems at risk because of a pandemic, you can take all of these steps to ensure that your website flourishes among competitors, regardless of the situation. Even if your business relies on brick-and-mortar locations that are temporarily shut down, you can use your online campaigns to connect with and satisfy your target market until you can reopen your stores, without worrying about going over your marketing budget.