Adapting Your SEO Strategy To The Present And Post COVID-19 Era

By Pradeep Dabas

Ireland is in the process of lifting its Covid-19 lockdown measures that were aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. Shops and malls are gradually reopening. But people will still be required to avoid crowds and observe social distancing. Whatever happens now, it is quite obvious that life is not going to be the same as before COVID-19. Our day-to-day lives have been upended. eCommerce is becoming more mainstream and expected to grow even further. Whether you have been doing SEO for a long time or just starting out, it is quite clear that you will need to adapt your SEO strategy to the present and post COVID-19 era.

The pandemic has forced people to make significant changes to their daily lives, and as such, consumer behavior has also changed. It is important to understand the role your SEO strategy plays in such a fast-changing environment and how you can adapt it to get ahead of the competition. We will look at some short-term and long-term SEO considerations you can adopt as a response to the pandemic and cushion yourself against the economic impact of the virus.

Short-term Considerations For Your SEO strategy

Depending on the rates of infection and other factors, the government is constantly relaxing certain restrictions while introducing new ones. As such, it can be quite difficult (and unpredictable) to do a complete overhaul of your SEO strategy. These tips will help you adapt your SEO strategy to the short-term;

1. Update your online profiles

For the majority of the first five months of the year, non-essential businesses were forced to close down their stores. Even as the gradual reopening is being done, there will still be some restrictions. The reopening will be done in staggered stages. It is therefore important to update your online profiles to indicate your hours of operations. Update your website and Google My Business profile to communicate your availability. Your Facebook pages should also be updated accordingly. If you are strictly an eCommerce business, then let your customers know your delivery hours.

2. Dedicate a page to COVID-19

Every business in Ireland, whether essential or not, has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Due to job cuts and reduced consumer spending power, most eCommerce websites have experienced reduced traffic. Creating content to provide visitors with relevant information about coronavirus can help boost your website traffic. It does not necessarily have to be the ongoings of coronavirus. You can also update on how your business is contributing to the fight against the virus, for example, support to healthcare workers or donations to community-based organizations doing charity work to people affected. You can also update visitors on the precautions you are taking to protect your customers who visit your stores or during deliveries.

3. Adapt your website to the current search behavior

This is not the time to slack. You will need to be on top of the current trends and search intent on search engines. You will have to pay more attention to metrics and data analytics. As more and more businesses move online, you need to be on top of search results to get organic traffic.

Apart from updates as mentioned above, other ways you can stay on top of the game is through leveraging video content to get to the top of search engine results. Search engines love video content. And the use of video streaming in Ireland has gone up to 26.6% in 2020. Creating more content will result in increased searches and better SEO ranking.

4. Focus more on the upper part of the sales funnel

The sad fact is that consumer spending has reduced, and it is going to stay that way for a few more months. This means that focusing your eCommerce website on getting leads and conversions at the moment could result in frustrations. Instead, focus more on creating awareness about your brand. You can do this by creating authoritative content that will establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche. Create SEO-informed content to build up E-A-T signals. You also need to be consistent. This will place your brand in front of the visitors’ minds and increase the chances of closing deals when normalcy resumes.

This does not mean completely ignoring the lower part of the sales funnel. To stay afloat, you will need to convert as many leads as you can. But brand awareness and visibility is your primary focus in the short-term.

Another short-term consideration you should implement is updating your FAQ section accordingly. Include FAQs related to coronavirus such as social distancing requirements at your stores and during deliveries, and payment options available at the moment. For physical products, you can include cleaning and care instructions.

Long-term Considerations For Your Post-COVID-19 SEO Strategy

Even as you work for the short-term considerations, you need to think about your long-term SEO strategy after the COVID-19 era. Here are some suggestions you can make to your long-term SEO strategy;

1. Plan for large-scale digital transformation

This is the time to future-proof your business by planning a large-scale digital transformation. Due to reduced revenues, most businesses are having to let go of their staff. So many people have already lost their jobs. This means that you will probably be working with a very lean staff. Most businesses will think that this is the time to abandon their digital footprint. Big mistake. It is the other way round. An online presence is going to be even more important after this than ever. Instead of abandoning your digital strategy because of lean staff, consider hiring an experienced digital marketing agency to handle your online presence as your focus on other crucial business areas. As more people shop online, your online reputation is going to be important to get leads and sales. That is why you have to have an online presence and control the narrative around your brand.

You can also implement chatbots on your website to improve customer service delivery. Chatbot marketing is revolutionizing the digital marketing sphere and this is the best time to give it some serious thought if you weren’t already doing that. In fact, you should be thinking about marketing automation.

2. Start preparing for the holiday season today

While other businesses are mourning their short-term losses, smart businesses are preparing for the long-term. Despite the reduced spending, the retail industry is expected to pick up during the holiday seasons when the economic outlook begins to improve. It is important to position yourself well for increased consumer spending during the holiday season in quarter 4. This will enable you to make up for the lost revenue. Make use of the long-term nature of SEO so that your website can rank higher for high-volume and high-competition keywords that will peak during the holiday season. Create more evergreen content. It is also not too early to start planning your content calendar for seasonal keywords.

Above all, you will need to fix your website. Having an eCommerce website is not enough. You need to have a smart business website. For your SEO strategy to be effective, you need your website to be effective as well. Do an audit of your website and see if it fits into your SEO strategy. Hire a professional to do it if you have to. It is understandable if you have limited resources for such an initiative at the moment. But did you know that you can get a website grant for your web development needs?

SEO is constantly changing. With the current situation, the changes are even more rapid as consumer behavior keeps shifting with each new day. But with the right planning, you don’t have to be hard-hit with the impact of these changes. Contact us to discuss with our experts how you can adapt your SEO strategy to the current situation and optimize it for future business performance.

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