There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business forever.
Companies need to account for this shift in awareness and focus on how to capitalize through a stronger online presence.
We’ve seen how this crisis has affected our economy. If you are an essential business, you most likely experienced a major spike in demand for your services and products. If you are not essential, you may be experiencing dwindling sentiment and are in dire need of a change in your marketing strategy.
The threat of COVID-19 may be dissipating, however, the behavioural patterns that have emerged from this experience are what you should be paying attention to.
Online grocery deliveries surged 210% from March 12-March 15th 2020, as more people (who never ordered groceries online before in their lives) are now using this service.
People are shopping online now more than ever before and will continue to do so once the pandemic is over. If they were a little apprehensive before about purchasing online, many of those fears will be left on the wayside as it becomes the norm.
If you haven’t taken the steps to shift towards dealing with the current pandemic, here are a few suggestions that will get your business moving in the right direction.
Establish a short-term strategy
Your short-term strategy should be a plan that provides a way for your company to hedge any losses incurred from closure or lack of sentiment.
Many businesses have pivoted quickly to adapt to quarantine. In many cases, a short-term strategy may only allow a fraction of the revenue, however, it is the preferred choice than to completely shutting down operations.
Canadian Home Leisure is an SEO Toronto client that supplies hot tubs, patio furniture, barbeques and billiards supplies. They are a prime example of a non-essential business that rely heavily on the in-store experience to make sales (no online payment system in place).
Their short-term strategy was to redirect phone calls from the storefront to their cell phones to continue to answer questions. Their continued communication with their prospective clients led to the idea of providing virtual presentations, virtual reviews and continued sales in a way they had never experienced.
Promote a safe business environment
It goes without saying and yet it needs to be said. We may be seeing the end of the lockdown, however, the danger and threat of infection are still very real. Make your protection policies easy to find on your website.
Make prospective clients feel safe and confident when choosing to do business with you. If they are considering between two companies your prevention policy may be the deciding factor.
Post a very thorough explanation of how your company is operating to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in plain view on your homepage. If the process is detailed, include links to an official page that explains how you keep your employees and clients safe.
Encourage more clicks directly from the SERP
Increase your click-through rate on the SERP (search engine result page) by changing your meta descriptions. Change the descriptions on your homepage, locations pages and any landing pages on your website.
Apart from your title, the meta description is the only form of advertising you can use to explain what your page is about.
Increase the number of users that click on your site from the SERPs by making a brief statement about your safety procedures. Many sites have failed to do this and you can make your business stand out with a slight change to the meta description on important pages.
Plan for long-term change with a developed SEO strategy
Retail companies are missing a massive opportunity if they haven’t been engaged in eCommerce in the last 6 years. Growth in this sector is undeniably obvious and has been a growing trend for some time now.
Consider what you want your business to look like in a year or five years from now. How will your company develop to accommodate demand in an increasingly digital market?
Your long term strategy should include a progressive SEO strategy in order to develop your website to perform in the areas most vital to your business. Moving forward, you can expect more competition from more companies who are investing money to improve on-page SEO and enhance their overall search presence.
Search engine optimization takes time. Start now and take the steps to move your company forward by establishing new keyword and content strategies.
Refresh your keyword strategy
Are you targeting the search terms that people are currently searching for? Will your business need to adopt a new line of products or make simple changes to your existing campaigns? These are questions you need to ask when moving forward with the development of your website.
Refresh your keyword strategy to include adjustments to how people are searching. If your site is optimized for singing lessons, you may need to adjust to singing lessons online.
Add new keywords to target to expand on the traffic your site is generating. Develop your keyword strategy based on current sentiment and where the future of your business is heading.
Consult with your Analytics report to confirm the pages that are performing well by driving the most traffic.
Reference Google Trends for any long-term predictions on the general interest people have in your keyword topics.
Both resources are strong indicators on the future value your keywords present.
Develop a strong content strategy
Base your content strategy on the keywords you need to target. Increase the content your site produces now for more traffic a few months down the line. Plan for a strong recovery with an enhanced schedule for publishing articles that educate and answer the questions most commonly asked.
The benefit of SEO optimized blog posts is that it ranks highly in the search results. Plan to produce more educational content to build a bigger audience at the informational level of the buyer journey.
Educate your visitors to establish trust in your brand. Visitors are 131% more likely to buy from a brand after reading educational content on their site. Set your business up for more conversions in the future by investing in the content your site is publishing now.
Strengthen your local presence
Internet usage has skyrocketed during the quarantine and one of the most heavily searched topics has been heroic stories of good deeds. Work on establishing a stronger grip on your local market by focusing on what you can do for your community.
In a local SEO strategy, the most popular sources of local backlinks are local events, charities and local news websites. Come up with a plan to help out in the community in any way you can and create content about your efforts.
For example, if you’re a catering company, you could donate an evening of meals to a soup kitchen. Get a few pictures of the delivery, theme the donation to make it an event and send it to every local website that covers the local community events.
Not only will your site acquire some good backlinks, but you build a good reputation for your brand in your local community.
Take action to encourage growth
The times we’re experiencing are unprecedented, however, the solutions to survive and grow are not. Every company should expect slow seasons and this is no exception.
The demand for contactless operations is not anything new despite how forced the current climate may seem. Use the resources you have available to help facilitate the adjustments your company is making to grow from this experience and come out stronger and more profitable than before.