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Local Search, Competitive Analysis & More: 7 SEO Strategies to Help Your Business Survive COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many businesses across the globe. While some essential businesses have experienced a surge in revenue, the “non-essential” industries have seen their demand plummet.

 

Many small businesses have even been forced to halt routine operations and consider temporary closure.

 

Needless to say, this has been a particularly testing time for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In the absence of a steady influx of revenue, many have even been forced to cut down operational costs. In such a scenario, it’s only natural to think that you shouldn’t spend your precious funds on marketing.

 

However, if you stop promoting your business right now, it likely won’t sail through the turbulent waters of the pandemic. So, how can you continue with your marketing strategy without escalating the costs? This is where search engine optimization (SEO) steps into the picture.

SEO in the Times of COVID-19

Marketers, content creators, and website owners have always vouched for the importance of SEO in digital marketing. It’s a great way of boosting organic website traffic, building brand awareness, and reinforcing brand authority.

 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more business owners and marketers realize the benefits of SEO. To begin with, the pandemic has altered the average consumer’s search and purchasing behavior.

 

Whether you want to buy a kitchen appliance or check the day’s news, you’ll likely run a quick Google search. Also, the popularity of coronavirus-related search terms has significantly soared since the early days of the pandemic.

 

Thus, relevant and essential businesses can piggyback on trending COVID-related keywords to attract more website visitors and drive conversions. Nevertheless, many non-essential businesses have witnessed a rapid decline in traffic. But that shouldn’t deter you from investing in a good SEO strategy during the pandemic.

 

This is because a robust SEO strategy offers long-term benefits. For instance, a well-written piece of evergreen content will continue to drive traffic even months after the pandemic is over. The best part is that you don’t have to pay search engines to maintain a top rank in relevant SERPs.

 

Also, the consumers who’re finding their way to your website amidst all the trending content are likely genuinely interested in your brand/products. Such visitors are also more likely to convert into qualified leads and ultimately, paying customers.

 

Also, implementing a good SEO strategy right now will give you a competitive advantage. Even if your business is temporarily closed, it’ll help you keep the conversation going with your existing and potential customers.

 

Lastly, SEO has become especially crucial for local businesses. This is because the ongoing travel restrictions have compelled consumers to look for essential and non-essential resources in their neighborhood.

 

Also, many consumers are inclined to shop local instead of buying from established brands in an attempt to support small businesses.

SEO Tips During COVID-19

If you haven’t outlined a rock-solid SEO strategy in 2020, it’s high time you do so. If you don’t have the right skills or resources, you can even hire an SEO agency like SEO Design Chicago to develop and implement your SEO strategy. Even if you’ve built a strategy for your business, you might have to overhaul it for the pandemic.

 

It’s now time for us to discuss a few tips and techniques you can use to reinvent your SEO strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s get started.

1. Prioritize Local Search

If you own a local supermarket or eatery, you’d want your business to show up in the search results for relevant “near me” and “open now” queries. The easiest way of achieving this is to claim your Google My Business listing if you haven’t done that already.

 

Make sure you provide an accurate and keyword-rich business description and select the right categories. Also, you should verify your business hours and add your address, location, and contact details. Even if your business is closed at the moment, it can help build brand awareness.

 

Additionally, make it a point to register your business in other directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Tripadvisor, etc. It’s also a good idea to optimize your website content for local search queries. You could also consider adding a dedicated COVID-19 FAQs page on your website to rank for coronavirus-related terms.

2. Create Long-Form Content

Now that people are spending most of their time at home, they might just be more interested in reading lengthy and comprehensive blog posts. That’s why this is a good time to start publishing well-researched long-form content, such as ultimate guides. It’ll help you provide more value to your audience and establish brand authority.

 

Also, search engines tend to prefer websites that publish extensive and in-depth content. According to Backlinko, the average length of Google’s first page results in 1,447 words. However, you should ensure that you have enough content, references, and data to create a long blog post.

3. Publish Evergreen Content

Here’s the thing about evergreen content - it continues to be relevant even years after it has been published. This, in turn, ensures that it garners traction in the long run. That’s why it is a good idea to publish a few pieces of evergreen content that won’t lose relevance after the pandemic is over.

 

The first step is to select a popular, traction-worthy, and evergreen topic. Let’s say you’re running an influencer outreach service. Potential topics for evergreen content include:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Building Influencer Relationships
  • 10 Steps to Create a High-Performing Influencer Marketing Strategy
  • How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Marketing Strategy

4. Update Top-Performing Content

If you’ve already published quite a bit of content, you might just be sitting on an SEO goldmine. All you have to do is identify your best-performing content and update it to ensure that it’s relevant in the present context. Start by replacing outdated examples and statistics with the latest ones.

 

Also, look for opportunities to add new information to the content to make it more valuable. You can even try including relevant COVID-related information to capitalize on trending keywords.

 

This is also a good time to renew your keyword research and analyze whether your target keywords are relevant in the present scenario.

5. Understand Your Audience’s Changing Needs

Irrespective of the demographic you’re targeting, the pandemic has likely modified your target consumers’ needs and preferences. They’re looking for innovative solutions that can make their life at home easier and more comfortable. Understanding their changing mindset is crucial for breathing new life into your SEO strategy.

6. Optimize for Voice Search

Did you know that 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice search every day? The pandemic has further amplified the adoption and use of voice search. According to Microsoft, consumers typically use virtual assistants to search for directions, businesses, and quick facts.

 

If you haven’t started leveraging the popularity of voice search, you’re already falling behind. It’s important to understand that unlike traditional search queries, voice search queries are longer and framed as questions.

 

Therefore, you need to start by identifying the most common questions your target consumers are going to ask. Answering these questions through your content will help optimize your website for voice search queries. It’s also a good idea to create a FAQs page to answer the most common and relevant questions.

7. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

If you’re working hard to climb up the SERPs ladder, chances are your competitors are doing the same. That’s why you should closely monitor their SEO strategies. Watch out for the type of content they’re creating and the keywords they’re targeting.

 

You can also use a tool, such as SEMrush, SpyFu, or Ahrefs to analyze their target keywords and inbound link profiles. This is particularly useful for identifying the domains that are already linking to your competitors’ websites.

 

Have you used any other techniques to reinvent your SEO strategy during COVID-19? Share your views in the comments section below.

About the Author

Bio: 

Usman Raza is the co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts and a marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at PSDtoWPService, 2SecondPrayer, and The Dressing Table. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.

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