COVID 19 Impact on SEO

Below is a transcript of this video.

I’m going to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting SEO, search engine optimization. First of all, the whole coronavirus situation has had a big impact overall in online search as you might expect. Towards mid-March, there was a huge spike in coronavirus related searches compared to other popular searches, like related weather, news and so forth.

So I’m going to talk about how different industries have been impacted by the coronavirus situation in terms of online search. Then, how the coronavirus situation should be considered in your SEO campaign. And I’m also going to talk about whether you should be investing in SEO right now. Let’s start to talk about how this is impacting different industries from online search perspective.

What I suggest that to do is you go to Google Trends. If you just Google Google Trends, you’ll be able to go to this website, and then you put the main keyword associated with your industry in Google Trends to get a sense of how your search for your industry has been affected. So, for example, if you’re talking about restaurants, their searches have definitely gone down in the last few weeks.

If you’re looking at IT support, overall the search is the same. They have not had a negative impact overall from the current situation. If we look at something like home workout, the home workout industry, their searches have had a huge spike towards the beginning of March. This industry is actually doing really well because of the current situation. So, let’s talk about considerations for your SEO campaign based on the COVID-19.

The first thing to keep in mind is to create a good, reassuring, trust worthy content. So, creating good content should be part of any SEO campaign. So now, the content that you should be creating should be focused on building trust, building empathy. That is based on the current consumer sentiment, and it’s based on a lot of research, but also it’s obvious. So, make sure that the content you create right now is not really pushing any sales, but mostly, reassuring people and creating trust.

Then another thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your web presence is really updated based on various coordinating criteria. So, for example, in your schema or structured data, there’s a new element that Google released called Special Announcements. So if this element is applicable to your business, then make sure that you use this element in your schema. So, for example, if there are closures, if you are transferring various events from offline to online, or even if you’re canceling events, if your shopping hours are restricted or they’re revised, you could use the special announcement element in our schema.

Then another thing to keep in mind is in your Google My Business page, now there’s a new COVID-19 section, so make sure that you update that in your Google My Business page.

Another thing to keep in mind is make sure that you are using your Google Search Console to constantly monitor the traffic that is coming in. There may be certain keywords that are getting more searches right now. There may be certain keywords that are reducing in the search volume because of COVID-19, and make sure that you are adjusting your SEO campaign based on that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you’re not seeing any searches for specific keywords, you can be thinking ahead, and then you can be thinking of certain keywords or certain content based on the current situation that will have traction, and that will have volume going forward. Some of my colleagues try to label our current economy as the pandemic affected economy, which means that even after we have the current coronavirus situation under control, things are going to change. The way that people search, the way that consumers behave is going to be permanently impacted by the coronavirus.

For example, working from home is going to have more demand going forward. So if your industry has a working from home component in terms of helping people working from home, you should be thinking about relevant content, relevant keywords to go after, even if there’s no big demand right now.

Then another thing to keep in mind is to double down on security. Hackers are making use of this current situation, taking advantage of this current situation, doing various hacks, so make sure that your website is secure. Because if your website goes down, then that can have adverse impact for your SEO campaign. So, make sure that your basics are covered in terms of SEL, SSL, your plugins and apps are updated and so forth.

Now, let’s talk about, should you be in fact investing in SEO? Obviously, if your business is going out, if you’re going out of business, then you should not be investing in SEO. Unfortunately, that is the reality for some businesses. Then for some businesses, the business model is going to really change. If that is the case, until you have a good sense of your new business model, then cut down on investing in a SEO.

But on the other hand, online search is definitely up and more and more people are going to search online going forward. So considering that, this is really a good time to double down on investing in SEO, especially considering a pent up demand that’s going to be there after this coronavirus situation is over.

There are certain things that people are not able to do right now, and that they are really looking forward to doing after this whole coronavirus situation and their social distancing is over, and there’s going to be a pent up demand for those things. So, now is the time to double down and invest on SEO so that you move up in those rankings that will be ready to meet this pent up demand.

Another thing to keep in mind is that SEO is not like PPC. PPC or paid advertising, pay per click, is something that will have to really change a lot based on the current immediate demand, because those ads are going out in real time. But even if you have seen a slight reduction in demand for your services or products, you should still be investing in a SEO because it’s a long term play.

Especially considering this pent up demand, now is the time to really double down on your SEO investment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the top rankings and good content creates trust. Trust is really key right now to reassure your prospects. So, top rankings and then creating good content is going to help in that.

Just to summarize, again, trust is key overall right now. So whether that means creating good trustworthy content, moving up in rankings and making sure that your website is secure from SSL perspective, trust overall is key right now. And then consider the fact that the economy overall is going to be different, even after we take control of the current virus situation. Consider that in your SEO campaigns. So, create content off the keywords that will have a demand in the future, even if you don’t see any immediate demand right now.

So overall, it makes sense to invest in SEO right now. As long as you know that your business is not going to go out of business, or there’s not going to be a fundamental change to our business model, you should continue to be investing in SEO. We are continuing to monitor what is happening from a search perspective with the regards to the coronavirus, so let me know if you have any questions.

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