Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can get fairly accurate statistics for just about anything.
Lately, that includes the coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Of course, there are a lot of reasons why those numbers are flawed. Governments are running scared. The pandemic appears to be moving faster than we can track. And if you aren’t testing properly, how do you even know who is affected?
But no matter what the statistics show, you don’t have to look any farther than your front door to realize things have changed. You’re stuck at home, and have no idea what to do next.
You have a business to run. You have employees to care for. What about marketing?
One of the leaders in the online marketing world has started pulling statistics and sharing them. As you can imagine, they are bleak.
- The travel industry is predicted to lose $820 billion
- The global economy is estimated to lose $2.7 trillion
- A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week alone
Why should you even care about things like online marketing? Does SEO really matter now? The answer, of course, is yes.
How marketing works during downturns
When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you should advertise more. Or so the adage goes.
And as an article in Forbes states, there are a number of reasons this is so.
- With competition bailing out and not marketing, you can move ahead and stand out from the crowd.
- You can promote stability in prospects and customers’ eyes when they need it most.
- The cost of advertising drops, which means you can try different things in different areas and test what’s working now.
- Marketing isn’t about just about today; it’s about the future too. Brand awareness is important every day, for as long as you’re in business.
The need for marketing never goes away. But it does change.
Marketing is about understanding the pain points of consumers. Ads are designed to reach out and touch people based on what they need most. And when the economy is at an all-time high and people are living carefree lives, your message is completely different than when a downturn begins.
Now let’s talk SEO
It’s easy to understand that an ad in a magazine, or a postcard you send to a home, would have to change. You can’t use the same happy ad when times are tough.
But SEO is a little different.
With SEO, you’re positioning your website to appear in Google for whatever your prospects are searching for. And they’re going to search differently in the middle of lockdown from the coronavirus then they will when everything is fine.
Yet SEO isn’t designed for “right now.” SEO is all about positioning.
Yes, we might invent and grow new terms that will impact Google ranking. Words like “social distancing” might change your business in many ways. This is why it’s more important than ever to continue with your SEO, and optimize for the new ways of the world.
Your gut reaction might be to pull back and marketing; conserve your cash for what’s coming.
But if you plan on being in business for the long term, you do have one guarantee right now: the economy will recover.
Eventually, we’ll pull out of this. We’ll return to living, albeit a bit differently. But the need for everything we had before will never disappear.
We’ll still need hairstylists, dentists, and window washers. We’ll still buy new cars, hire people to renovate our kitchens, and have to replace old furnaces.
And people will still find each of those products and services the way they’ve grown accustomed to. They’ll search.
They might even be a little savvier, since everyone is learning a whole host of new skills while staying in place.
What you should be doing now with your SEO
Are you convinced that now is the best time to be working on your SEO strategies? Here are four things we’re thinking about as an SEO service company. You should be too.
1 – Think like your customer
People are online because there’s little else to do. What are they typing into Google right now? What are their concerns? What do they want to learn?
How does that apply to your business?
Did you ever think “toilet paper near me” would become one of the most popular searches? Yet it is. And you’ll find lots of search results on everything from “toilet paper rolls for delivery” to “what to do if you’re running low on toilet paper.”
2 – Add more content
After reading our last tip, you’ve probably guessed that you can never have too much content on your site for SEO purposes. Now is your time to get creative with it. What can you teach your prospects and customers? How can you add good-will? Can you offer something to be of help to your community?
From pure entertainment, to educational tools and more, with a little thought, you can come up with a variety of ways to improve how you rank in Google.
3 – Don’t give up if you’re in a downturning industry
The travel industry is being hit hard. Just like anything entertainment. People aren’t trying to figure out where to take the family this weekend. They are a little nervous about planning a vacation.
But that’ll change.
And when it does, they’ll start thinking in entirely new ways. Start anticipating it now. What changes are you making to your business to combat future pandemics? Create new policies and talk about them online. Incorporate that into your new SEO strategy, and you’ll be doing well when people start searching once again.
4 – Get more creative
We don’t have to tell you that, do we? We’re seeing it all around us. Restaurants have jumped on board big time, offering delivery and curbside service for pickup.
Expand your creativity – what else can you do? Search for creative ways you can still connect with your customers.
We’re all in this together. We’re all going through this, trying to move forward one day at a time. And it’s an entirely new experience, one we’ve never dealt with before.
The winners are going to be the ones that don’t forget why they went into business in the first place: to service their customers.
Think differently. Pay attention to what you can do one week, one month, one year from today. And use SEO to be there when your prospects and customers are searching.
Want to start a conversation? We’re here to help you succeed online. What can we do to help you?