The outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019/early 2020 has caused significant disruption to myriad businesses across a range of industries and sectors on a global level. As well as impacting how we all approach our daily lives, the coronavirus has also affected significant changes to online search behaviours and the types of content search engine algorithms are displaying in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Understanding the intricacies of these changes is important because many of the shifts in online behaviours that have happened out of necessity through lockdown have the potential to become the norm. So, as more consumers become more comfortable using the internet to locate the services and products they are looking for, many businesses will likely find that investing in a robust digital presence becomes integral to the future success of their operation.
If youíre wondering what you can do to ensure your business has the best chance of weathering this uncertain storm, letís explore the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO).
Remaining Optimistic and Investing in Optimisation
Although many businesses have halted their SEO and marketing efforts until further notice, whether through panic or financial uncertainty, keeping calm and continuing your optimisation efforts will drive tangible benefits both now and as we emerge into our new post-pandemic world.
Continuing to pursue a strong SEO strategy now, even during the most uncertain of times, will prevent you from needing to navigate a potentially long route to recovery once things begin to calm down. SEO isnít a quick win and the search marketing landscape is competitive and requires consistent attention to drive results. In essence, this means that if you arenít actively investing in your optimisation, your business is going to fall behind some of your competitors.
Remember, it is likely that some of your competitors will underestimate the importance of investing in this crucial component of a digital strategy. This means that as they start to lose some of their traction and experience a drop in engagement, your business has the chance to overtake them which could have significant benefits over the long term.
Creating and implementing powerful SEO strategies without any prior knowledge is tricky to do successfully. Working with a trusted local SEO company will ensure that your business will benefit from the extensive and up-to-date knowledge of professional optimisation experts who understand the nuances of their field. Although this route may require some investment, your business will ultimately see much faster progress and begin generating results more efficiently.
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So, rather than waiting for the predicted digital spend to increase over the coming months, now is an ideal time to invest and explore some of the potentially highly impactful optimisation tasks you have considered but ended up putting on the back burner for a later date. Letís look at a few things that might be on your optimisation to-do list and how they might become invaluable sources of information or data in the future.
1. Interview your Customers and Employees
An ideal setting to discover more about what your customers and employees know about your services, products, and brand identity, conducting Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom calls can yield a wealth of valuable information. In the future, this knowledge can be channelled into your content strategy and help you to create social posts, media releases and blog posts containing a wealth of insider-driven information.
2. Understand your Audience
Analytics and lead/sales data can provide you with rich information on your audience. Now is a particularly ideal time to identify any trends that you might not have picked up on in the past. Perhaps the majority of your audience is choosing to browse your site using an iPhone. Or perhaps there are potential leads in your local area who arenít choosing to shop with your business. Think about the steps you could take to appeal to different sections of your ideal audience.
3. Audit your Assets
Although in-depth content audits take expertise and time, conducting mini audits of your assets can help you to boost your performance over the long term. The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet and create a new tab for each type of content you have published, including ebooks, infographics, emails, web pages and external articles.
Once you have collated this information, you should use a critical eye to evaluate the quality of your content. Think about which pieces could potentially be repurposed for publication across other channels, which secured the most backlinks and/or social shares, and which pieces drove the most traffic to your website.
This information should also reveal opportunities to refresh old content with new, more valuable information, integrate new keywords and persuasive calls to action (CTAs), and add internal links to relevant services or products to boost the time spent on page and engage your audience on a deeper level.