The coronavirus pandemic has changed business models and online consumer shopping behaviour for the long term.
If you're finding yourself twiddling your thumbs or you've now got more competition than ever, now is the perfect time to review your SEO strategy. Below, we look at some of the reasons that SEO is now more important than ever in COVID times, and how to get more organic traffic.
1. It highlights the importance of a digital-first strategy
The global Covid-19 outbreak has truly emphasised the importance of a digital strategy for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Outside of essential shops that remained open, many goods and service providers saw their business grind to a halt overnight once lockdowns were introduced.
Many people chose at this time to pause their marketing spend and online marketing efforts, at least temporarily, but after a few weeks, it was abundantly clear that this was the 'new norm', and that businesses would have to lead with a digital strategy from now on.
The holy grail of digital marketing and traffic acquisition methods is organic traffic. Free, pre-qualified leads that don't need to be coaxed into clicking your content, because it's exactly what they're looking for. So during a pandemic is the time for your organic strategy to be pushed forward, not ignored.
2. It's a good time to create evergreen and cornerstone content
Whether you are in the first stages or further along with your SEO efforts, during the pandemic is the best time (after six months ago) to look at your evergreen and cornerstone content.
While topical articles, blogs and content work in the short-term, you will need to build a content strategy that involves longer-term, engaging pieces of content.
Evergreen content is search-engine-optimised content that stays relevant and fresh for a long period of time, while cornerstone content is usually the most important content on your website; the best, most important articles and the pages that you want to rank highly for in search.
So, whether you have some extra time on your hands or you've realised you're slacking in the optimisation department, now is the perfect time to build your long-term content strategy.
3. SEO is a long-term plan
One important thing to remember is that the changes you make now may take several months to come into effect – it's usually between three and six months to see regular results after implementation.
If you're struggling with where to get started with your SEO, try using a tool such as SEMrush, Google Search Console or Moz to benchmark your current rankings. These tools will generally highlight some of the core elements of SEO that will need to be addressed on your website, including:
- Technical updates
- Sitemaps & robots.txt
- Meta data; title tags, alt attributes and meta descriptions
- Orphaned pages
And some of these tools even include content analysers to optimise the individual pages on your website or if you wan professional help contact a company like Lojix for help.
4. A shift in consumer behaviour
The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour for the foreseeable future. With booms in e-commerce, everyone spending more time at home, more time spent browsing the internet and shopping habits changing, an effective SEO strategy really is unavoidable for any online business who wants to leverage these shifts.
To conclude, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for organic traffic strategies for anyone who does business online. Remember that SEO is a long-term investment, so by putting in the legwork now, you will see results in the next three to six months.