Now that your office is most likely closed, your employees are at home and your business is going through harsh times ‒ you might be wondering how SEO can help you in this situation. Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has no power to defeat a deadly virus, save lives, or cure infected patients, it can change the impact the new virus has on your business. Because you had to close the doors of your business and can no longer serve your customers, it is becoming difficult for your company to survive. With no one visiting your store, you might start losing customers. The amount of sales decreases and your income starts getting lower. And at some point, you might even worry that once the pandemic is over, you won’t be able to get your company back to the real world and may need to close the doors to your store permanently. In a stressful situation like this, we recommend putting the stress away and start thinking about the ways you can help your business.
If your customers aren’t physically coming to your store, it doesn’t mean you are losing them; they are probably switching to a virtual world to stay safe from COVID-19. So, instead of worrying about permanently losing them as customers, why don’t you follow them into the virtual world instead? And when it comes to the online world and your virtual presence, SEO is the most powerful tool to connect you and your customers. SEO needs a lot of investment in time, and to see the results of the optimization, you need to wait sometimes months or even years. So, isn’t it a perfect time to use the magic SEO has to fight the consequences of the new coronavirus? We believe investing in SEO today can help you keep your customers during the outbreak, and help your business keep going in the post-coronavirus world.
1. Write Blog Articles
One of the most critical aspects of Search Engine Optimization is the content. High-quality and relevant content is something Google is looking for when organizing web pages in search queries. If, until now, you didn’t have time to write content in the field of your expertise, this is the perfect time to invest your energy in blog posts. Do you produce and sell candles? Write posts about how candles can clean the air, why are they calming, why candles are essential, what type of candles are the best gifts for the new year, etc. A blog allows you to communicate with your customers. It’s a space where you try to help your clients instead of selling products to them. Just because you had to close the door of your store, it doesn’t mean people are not searching for gift ideas for the new year or reading about the ways candles can clean the air. If you write more relevant content, you will increase your chances of appearing in desired search results. Blog posts help you target more relevant keywords, which allows your website to appear in more queries.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, your customers might feel stressed and have difficulty adjusting to the new reality ‒ so, it’s helpful to write about coping with the pandemic. Write about the candles that can help with anxiety, or how they can make candles at home. You can also use the blog to let your customers know if you are selling online and if you offer delivery, in case they want to buy your products.
2. Invest Your Time in YouTube Videos
Some might think creating videos requires a film crew and a makeup specialist. But to have a channel on YouTube that can help your SEO requires nothing more than a smartphone. When people search for “how to make a green tea mask at home,” they aren’t looking for high production value, a stunning model with great makeup, or fancy editing. All they need is clear audio and video so that they can hear and see the steps to take to make the mask.
If editing isn’t among your most well-honed skills, use a single take technique. You can do this by placing a stationary camera and recording your video without interruptions and without cutting the video. If you have a wireless microphone that you can plug into your phone, that is wonderful! If not, we assume, because of the quarantine, it’s quiet enough for the audio to be clear. Use the equipment you have. Don’t own a tripod? Place the phone on a book, table, or any surface that works for you.
The more videos you have on YouTube, the higher your chances of reaching your potential clients. YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google and the third most visited website in the world after Facebook. And more than half of YouTube users use the site to learn to do something they haven’t done before. Now is the perfect time to record videos and start uploading them. Get creative and find the topics you want to address in the videos. If you already have a blog, see if you can make videos that correspond to some of your articles. You can embed your videos into your blog posts and include links to your articles in the description of the video. All of this helps your online presence and increases the chances of appearing in more search results.
Additionally, when searchers type their queries, Google tries to find the most helpful information, which sometimes is a video. A featured clip is an answer to a query that appears above the pages in the results. If you search for “How to apply eyeliner,” you will see a video answering your questions. If you upload more videos to YouTube that answer “how-to” queries, you will have more chances to rank for featured clips.
The better you rank on YouTube, the more chances you will have for more clients to come to your store once the doors re-open.
3. Actively Use Social Media
There is no doubt that social media can help SEO. Social media signals are not a direct ranking factor, but it increases the visibility of your company and helps build your website’s authority. That’s why we include social media in our strategies when we start optimizing web pages. Besides, social media helps you to connect with your customers. And just like a blog, it’s a space where you try to engage with them, rather than just sell them products. The blog articles you write will look great on your wall; And on Facebook or other platforms, you get reactions from your readers. They can like and comment on your posts, and it’s a great way to start a conversation with some of your clients.
Until now, you might have found it challenging to invest time in social media, but now is the perfect time to post more and reach your customers. There are different tools you can use to stay active and be in contact with your audience. Using Facebook Live and Instagram Live is a great way to hold a workshop, a masterclass, Q&A, or even an interview with a prominent figure from the field of your expertise.
If you improve the visibility of your brand during the quarantine, you’ll have more chances to get more customers into your store after the pandemic is over.
4. Use the Time to Fix Your Website
Google loves user-friendly websites! Sometimes there are pages with great content, but they don’t rank in search queries because of different factors such as page speed or the mobile-friendliness of a website.
Google has made it clear that the speed of a page is a ranking factor, and it affects the way your page ranks in queries.
According to Google, if a page loads slowly, the bounce rate (users abandoning a website without interacting with it…aka hitting the back button) increases.
- If page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, bounce rate increases 32%
- If page load time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, bounce rate increases by 106%
- Pages considered slow may be demoted in Google Search.
If your website is slow, now is the right time to speed it up. You want to do this so you can rank well in search results, which will help you get customers in the long run – including post-corona life.
If you are unsure if your website loads quickly, you can check the speed using PageSpeed Insights. There, you can get a report on both mobile and desktop searches and get recommendations on fixing the issues.
To check if your website is mobile-friendly, click here. Here you can see if your website visitors have issues being on your site with their mobile devices. Again, you will see the problem and the recommendation for fixing it. Fixing issues related to your website loading times and usability will help your ranking, and it’s an essential aspect of SEO.
5. Stay in Touch with Your Customers through Email or SMS
If you already have an email list of your customers and they are used to receiving your offers and news, then continue sending emails. Send videos and blog posts or news about the company’s steps during the pandemic. If you have their phone numbers and have been reaching them through SMS, you should keep texting. Own a gym? Text your members about your plan in post-corona life. Express regret that you had to close the business but are looking forward to having them back in the future. Tell them if you are planning on disinfecting the equipment, and what changes you plan to make at the gym. Text your clients about the workouts they can do at home, or send links to new blog articles about steps they can take to keep themselves in shape at home.