Importance of SEO for business during the Coronavirus crisis

Importance of SEO for business during the Coronavirus crisis
24th August 2020

Digital has been thrusted to forefront of business strategy and operations since the pandemic took hold. Find out why SEO will be one of the most valuable tactics for businesses moving forward.

What’s the importance of SEO for business?

Although every business will have different goals and aims, the purpose of any website is to attract, serve or retain its audience. Search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a fundamental role in all of these aims. Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second, averaging at 3.5 billion every day. Why is Google so important to your business’ SEO strategy? Google dominates the search market, accounting for over 92% of all online searches, so if you want your brand to be visible to your audience, it’s wise to adhere to Google’s algorithm updates and guidelines.

Almost half (46%) of all product searches begin on Google, so its only logical that if you want to capitalise on this audience that’s already potentially looking for what your business offers – you need to implement an SEO strategy.

Has coronavirus spiked online traffic?

Yes – but not necessarily everyone will benefit from it. What this means is, the searches for COVID-19. Coronavirus has been trending since the pandemic started and news, health services and other frontline service-related terms have seen spikes in search volume. This doesn’t indicate user intent; neither does it mean it’s going to be long term. Although online usage has surged over the lockdown period, that’s not necessarily going to benefit all businesses, as people are looking to digital for communication, entertainment or operational purposes. What all organisations can be confident in, is that content will remain to be king. Yes, trending topics might benefit your business in the short time, but realistically the traffic for these terms will eventually lower over time. With the sudden surge in searches for trending terms, it’s also highly competitive and so it’s worth considering if using your resources on a trending subject is going to give you the best ROI if you’re unlikely to rank.

FTSE100 Digital Census CTA

Quality or quantity?

In an ideal world, both! But ultimately quality traffic should be a priority, after all if your website content is attracting the wrong audience it could actually be damaging to your SEO performance and Google may penalise your site. The importance of SEO for business is to be visible to a relevant audience. If your search marketing strategy is to simply drive high volumes of traffic to your website, by using a ‘click-bait’ tactics, it’s likely to backfire. If the surge of visitors landing on your site find your content isn’t as your title suggested isn’t related to what they’re searching for you risk them quickly exiting. This increases your page’s bounce rate and signals to Google that this site isn’t useful for visitors. In turn, where your content is ranked in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) will be impacted, needless to say your brand reputation might also take a hit.

The advantage of attracting quality organic traffic to your website is that these visitors are more likely to convert on your website, spend more time looking through your content or coming back to visit again. All these actions are measured through engagement metrics and can be beneficial to digital marketers and designers for improving user experience or conversion rate optimisation marketing (CRO marketing).

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid discussing trending topics. But in terms of SEO, your organisation is more likely to see more meaningful long-term results around content that’s optimised for keywords that sit within your brand’s niche. If your field is impacted by something topical and it’s an area that your business could comment on that adds value to your audience, then creating optimised content would make sense. SEO marketing has to evolve alongside Google’s algorithm updates, which have continued to reward websites that put the user experience at the forefront of their approach. This isn’t solely about the subject of content, but also includes aspects like:

  • Website loading time
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Backlinks from external sources

Google uses over 200 factors to rank a website, making SEO a specialism that takes time and dedication to master. Finding out how well your website is performing is a great place to start, if you don’t have this expertise in-house, you can book a digital audit with a Google Partner agency like Kagool and we’ll happily help.

SEO is for life, not just for a pandemic

The importance of SEO for business isn’t just a short-term strategy. Businesses that optimise their websites using technical, on-page and off-page SEO techniques see the benefits for years. Industry leading tool, Ahrefs reported that just 1% of pages that rank in the top spot on Google SERPs were less than a year old.

Search marketing is a long-term strategy, that when invested in properly can give organisations a great advantage over their competitors that have overlooked it. The top five organic listings on Google accounts for 67.6% of all clicks and simply updating or republishing old posts with new content or images can boost traffic by up to 106%. Search marketing is a lucrative space for businesses during pandemics, holidays, normal days! It’s ongoing and those businesses that already had investing in search will likely have remained visible in SERPs during this crisis.

Some parts of SEO can be equated to creating trusted relationships, with Google and audiences. Take link building for example, brands that consistently build inbound links (backlinks) to their websites are creating a solid foundation for their SEO performance. Backlinks from trusted sources are a great way to signal to Google that other authoritative websites are referencing your site. This helps to boost referral traffic, build your site’s domain authority and improve Google rankings. Creating great content, that’s optimised for a seamless user experience across devices is likely to help keep your audience engaged on your site for longer, signalling to Google that your site is best for it to suggest for its users’ search queries. Building up this trust consistently overtime will likely benefit your brand now and post coronavirus.

Tips for SEO during coronavirus

There’s a lot to consider for an overall SEO strategy for any organisation, but here’s a few things you can do during this time:

  1. Make evergreen content a priority. Focus on your niche that your audience know you for and post quality content, regularly.
  2. Add some coronavirus related content If it is related to your area of expertise. For example, if you work in hospitality you might be able to offer unique insight into how the pandemic has reshaped your specific area of the industry.
  3. Run an audit. Take the opportunity to find out what you’re doing right and where the gaps are. Plan.
  4. Review and build on your local SEO. ‘where to buy’ and ‘near me’ searches grew by over 200% between 2017-2019. Local search is a highly valuable way to keep your brand visible and boost conversions.
  5. Update your old content.

Remember that SEO takes time to see initial results because Google needs time to crawl and review a lot of information. Usually new content shows results in around three to six months, then it’s about maintaining that activity. Even as we return to a ‘new normal’ way of life post coronavirus, SEO will be a major player in digital marketing as some restrictions are likely to remain for some time i.e. working remotely, reduced travel etc. People will be looking for convenience to access products and services locally or online.

How effective is your organisation’s SEO strategy?

If you don’t have the technical skills in-house or the time to dedicate to reviewing your website’s SEO performance, get in touch and we can carry out some analysis for you. We are a Google and Sitecore Partner agency and have been designing, building and optimising websites using the Sitecore platform for enterprise level businesses since 1999.

If you’d like to know more about what we do in terms of digital marketing, take a look at our Search Marketing services or just contact us for a chat, our team are always happy to help.