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Maintaining SEO in Times of Uncertainty

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business world has certainly entered "uncharted territory." From social distancing guidelines to fully remote workforces, everyone is continuing to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. However, throughout it all a company's online presence has remained an absolutely vital element of successful marketing — and will continue to do so as we settle into the so-called "new normal."

The fact is, businesses that neglect their online marketing efforts will likely struggle and even fail by the time COVID-19 has fully run its course. On the other hand, forward-thinking companies are using this time to bolster their online strategy and position themselves for future growth.

Not surprisingly, SEO is a major component in most of these companies' marketing plans. Here are some ideas on how you can maintain and even strengthen your SEO efforts in this time of crisis.

Evaluate, Prioritize, Plan, and Revisit Your SEO Efforts

The first step you should take is simply to acknowledge the fact that this is the perfect time to build your SEO. Be assured: your competitors will take advantage of this lull in activity to do so, too. Dive into the world of SEO, and make those adjustments, both big and small. If you focus on your SEO strategy and tactics now, you'll be "ahead of the curve" that much more once everything is said and done.

What do you need to do? Adapt. Plan. Measure. Maintain. Tap into your team's creativity for inspiration. For instance, use SEO driven research to discover new product ideas, or potential service enhancements. Circle back periodically to see what's working and what isn't, and then go through the process again. Prioritize which efforts will be most impactful to your business, and focus on those.

Build Up Your Content and Themes

Don't be afraid to experiment with other types of SEO-driven content. For example, if your company has traditionally focused on written word blogs, explore the potential benefits of video blogs, or interactive content. Work to optimize your content in terms of both relevance (keywords) and authority (back links and credibility). Ask yourself:

    • Do I have the high quality content on topics for which I want to rank?
    • Does existing content need to be improved or updated?
    • Can I repurpose high-performing content for other content assets (videos, whitepapers, infographics, ebooks, etc.)?
    • Are there gaps in my target customer's journey that need to be filled in?
    • Does my content reflect the adjustments to my business that will meet the new needs of consumers during this crisis? 

Just as one example of the last point, many HVAC repair companies have recently added content that emphasizes how their technicians are trained to follow all social distancing and personal hygiene recommendations on in-home visits. This reassures prospective customers and drives increased traffic and referrals. Has your business made such adjustments in its messaging?

Maximizing SEO on a Tight Budget

"That sounds well and good," you may say, "but what if I'm operating within a tight budget?" That's a valid concern. However, the truth is that SEO should be a priority no matter how large or small the marketing budget is - and there are ways to boost your SEO scores even with very limited resources. For instance, here are two quick tips that you can implement:

    • On the technical side: Ensure that you're keeping an eye on Google Search Console for reported coverage and sitemap issues. In some cases you can quickly fix SEO issues simply by being alert and using this development tool.
    • With regard to local SEO: make sure your Google My Business listing is up to date. In other words, your listing should have your current business hours, the correct phone number, address, and website, photos of your products/services, reviews, etc. You can also use the new "COVID-19 post type" for GMB that will provide your consumers with COVID-19-related changes to hours of operation, as well as safety practices in place and other key info.

Leveraging SEO for the Future

In conclusion, never underestimate the power of SEO to drive results. Even during this time of crisis, there are ways to leverage SEO and inbound marketing techniques for a brighter future. Remember that technical SEO, content marketing strategy, keyword research and analysis, on-page SEO, UX/UI, social media tactics, and other inbound marketing areas all feed back into primary business objectives: namely, to attract customers, generate leads, and increase revenue streams.

If you are looking for some assistance in maintaining your SEO efforts during these times of uncertainty, look no further than the team of marketing experts at Brightlark Digital. Reach out to us today to start the conversation.

Matt Walde
Post by Matt Walde
June 22, 2020

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