The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed us to a highly volatile environment where everything around us is unsettling and upsetting. Established practices are fast becoming obsolete and time-tested strategies are being realigned with continuous innovation in services and products to stay relevant.
We all are witnessing a unique moment in history, the steepest learning curve in our professional lives where every brand leader has to make a few tough decisions.
This begins with identifying areas of top priority when it comes to marketing spend.
That opens up a fresh debate on whether it is wise to continue spending on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Effective online brand visibility is required more than ever and that is possible only with a carefully drafted digital ecosystem. Search Engine Optimisation has always been an integral part of this strategy.
Let’s first address the basic question – Does a significant uptick in people working from home or learning from home necessarily mean that they are also searching more from home? The answer is neither ‘Yes’ nor ‘No’ but lies somewhere in between.
The fact is that people are indeed searching more but their search is more restricted to health, news, and industries which are related to the pandemic.
This has resulted in a decline in traffic to nonessential business websites from both paid and organic results. Should it encourage you to suspend your SEO operations and wait for the right opportunity – certainly not!
On the contrary, this is the most opportune time to get your content on par with the best and put in place a formidable SEO strategy to reap benefits in the long run.
Here are some tips
- Ride the COVID-19 wave
Let’s first begin with identifying keywords related to COVID-19 or Corona and identify opportunities that could be integrated into your SEO strategy. A detailed analysis of all the keywords related to COVID-19 and carefully linking them to your business could be a game-changer. Also, look at competitors’ insights and see if they started ranking on keywords they weren’t ranking on before COVID-19. This can be an avenue for spotting new opportunities for your clients and a good argument in building your case for continuing SEO campaign.
- Step up a keyword research
Search volumes have completely been transformed in the last few months yet there is still a lot of shaky ground. Now it makes sense to use of search volumes data from Google Ads or Google Trends, and identify the main topics in your industry right now. Speaking of opportunities, you can add an evaluation of your keywords’ opportunity score in your process, to understand where the effort is too big and where you need to further focus for better results.
- Intensify efforts in organic search
Organic search traffic is a sustainable approach. Be a champion of organic search since the pay-per-click (PPC) model is becoming highly cost-sensitive. This high-impact, low-cost strategy not only gets highly qualified prospects but also makes you better equipped to understand the search intent. You will get a firm grip of the intent if you analyze each of the keywords under four basic categories – commercial keyword, navigational keyword, transactional keyword, and informational keyword. Once the intent is understood, website content should be updated to deliver a relevant content experience to boost prospects of final purchase.
It may take some time, but the results will be ever-lasting. Keep revisiting this exercise since ‘set and forget’ approach doesn’t work with organic search.
- Apply a smart approach to local search
It makes sense to add a lot of local content on your website to offer the most relevant local results to the user. A carefully drafted local flavor for links, citations, and social media platforms also makes sense. In addition to this, optimize for Google My Business, local web directories, ensure that location pages have been added on your website, the internal linking structure is flawless and elements such as URL, meta description, title tag, and headers have local identities to help search engines.
- Invest in creating evergreen content
Google alone processes 40,000 search queries every second and it prefers to promote content that is foundational, detailed, and timeless. It ensures that traffic on your website remains consistent and you are not exhausting your resources creating tons of content every day. It is wise to maintain high-quality standards of your content that resonate with the necessities and demands of the users. Avoid writing content which little or no practical value. Also, be careful that content is produced without any grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- Optimize for voice search
A recently published PwC reports says that 71% of users prefer to use voice search instead of physically typing keywords on a search engine. Voice search assumes greater significance because search engines are programmed to promote it over typed queries. Google supports more than 60 languages in voice search that significantly establishes its importance.
This phase of limited activities outside the home should not paralyze the thinking abilities of leaders. Instead, it is time to plan better, put in place a fool-proof strategy, and work towards a staggered, cautious recovery. These tips would help you rediscover market potential and tap them with intent.
Let your SEO plan carry the stamp of your leadership!
Authored by – Abhishek Sinha, Director, Digitales.