COVID-19’s dramatic impact on consumer mobility, search behavior, supply chains, and consumption habits is undeniable. With circumstances ever-evolving, you need to adjust your marketing campaign strategically to alleviate risks.
Companies and consumers turn to organic search
A recent survey indicates that 1 in 3 consumers changed their shopping behavior due to the pandemic. At least 47.2% of internet users also admit they are avoiding malls and shopping centers.
Marketing channels like PPC are also seeing a significant reduction in their budgets. Search engine optimization (SEO) on the other hand is experiencing a sharp uptick, with some brands experiencing as much as 300+ increase in organic search visibility.
SEO: Cost-efficient investment during COVID-19
Regardless of the economic climate, brands want to be top of mind when consumers make a buying decision. So why are more companies ramping up on their SEO? For one thing, people are searching online now more than ever before.
In addition, SEO is considered a smart investment in the future of your business especially during economic downtimes. Apart from being cost-effective, it’s a long-term investment that pays off well compared to conventional paid media campaigns.
Weathering Uncertainty: 3 powerful ways to build a strong SEO program
1. Ensure your content builds trust
A report released by Forrester measured the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment. The report revealed something interesting, “People are less optimistic that companies and people will follow through on the promises they make.”
One company that has focused on building trust during the pandemic is Ford Motor Company. In their new campaign, they opted to remove the sales pitch and focused entirely on providing a message of hope and comfort.
In essence, the campaign was designed to counter feelings of skepticism, loneliness, and powerlessness and replace it with competency and integrity. Ford also highlighted their ability to help people feel more in control of their lives.
During trying times, it is crucial that you gear your efforts toward educational content that establish trust. Place yourself in the consumer’s shoes to truly understand what they want and need.
Below are great examples of how brands are building trust during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Time Out London released a digital copy of its magazine free of charge
- Conductor hosts a daily web series that allow industry experts to share support, insights, and best practices
- Mailchimp offered free standard accounts for organizations sharing COVID-19 information
2. Manage your web presence proactively
In July of 2018, Google included E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in their guidelines. Basically, the primary word is “trustworthiness.” After all, the more trust you build through your content, the more likely users will click on your content in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Below are ways you can effectively manage your online presence during COVID-19:
- Update your schema. This is important so Google will show accurate information about your brand or business. If you are an e-commerce company, it would be best to update your product availability schema so you can provide real-time information to your consumers.
- Update your Google My Business page. Keep everyone in the know about any changes in your business operations by updating your Google My Business page accordingly.
- Monitor social media mentions and search demands. To understand search and audience content, use search and social data to analyze content tone, demographics, and content.
3. Audit upcoming campaigns and content
If you have built your content pipeline, now is the best time to do audits so you can enhance future campaigns. Now more than ever, you don’t want your campaigns to be tone deaf. Your aim should be to create content that shows compassion and empathy especially during trying times.
As a brand, you also need to develop a heightened awareness of consumer sensitivities if you want your consumers to know you have their best interest in mind at all times.
During uncertain times, trust is your most valuable commodity. If you want people to choose you over the others, you need to earn their trust first. And one of the best ways to build and strengthen trust is through your current SEO campaign.
Gareth van Rensburg supports the relationship-building process at Innzone Hosting, a reliable, fast, affordable, and superior web host. Innzone Hosting covers all the technical aspects so you are protected from hackers while you run your online business.
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