How Has SEO Changed in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

 

There is no doubt about it, COVID-19 has changed everything around the world. And one of those things is the way that people are searching online. In this article, we are going to explore some of those changes and how you can adapt your business’ online presence in light of the pandemic. 

How COVID-19 has impacted SEO and Search traffic

Throughout the pandemic, SEO and user behaviour have been affected. We know that internet usage has increased. However, we’ve seen that organic and PPC search traffic is down for many industries. So, what does this mean for your business? Well, it actually means you should up your organic traffic activity rather than slow it down or stop completely. This is particularly important for smaller businesses. In this article, we are going to give you some tips on how you can boost performance for COVID-19 optimation.

 

Why is SEO so important to maintain during the pandemic?

 

So whilst there is a decline in traffic to many industry websites, traffic to search engines, particularly Google, has increased. Here are some of the reasons you should focus on your SEO strategy right now. 

Consistency 

I know we’re in a pandemic, but SEO ranking isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a long process that needs consistent maintenance. Ignoring your SEO now will severely impact your business post-pandemic. So now is the time to act. 

Create long-form content wow pieces 

You may have more time on your hands, with business not operating as normal. So why not create more long-form content? Not only does Google favour longer pieces, but your audience will too. People are spending more time on the internet than ever before, so they may just have that time deep-dive into topics. 

Local SEO 

For businesses that are still in operation, local SEO is your friend. With everyone at home, people are turning to local suppliers and industries more than ever. This is ideal for smaller industries that are struggling to compete against the larger brands. 

Balance your long and short term goals 

The end is in sight regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still have a long way to go. And nothing is guaranteed. So it’s essential to balance out your long-term vs your short-term goals regarding your SEO strategy. 

Short term: As you’ve probably guessed, COVID-19 keywords are trending right now. So it’s important to absorb as much of that traffic within your industry as possible right now. You should also be updating your listings and your website to include your localised SEO terms. 

Long-term: It’s important to keep creating evergreen content to continue your general SEO strategy. You should also be looking to answer questions that people will have post-pandemic. This kind of forward-thinking will set you above the competition.  

The way you split the long and shorter-term SEO strategies will depend on your business and how things develop regarding the pandemic. So it’s important to be flexible during this time. 

Updates you should make to your website during the pandemic 

Include a Covid Banner on your website 

Make sure that your audience is up-to-date with all the latest COVID-19 information and the impacted changes on your business by adding a banner to your homepage. You can create this on Google Optimize. 

Make sure everything on your site is up-to-date 

During this time you need to ensure that your website is completely up-to-date. If you’ve updated your opening times, or if you’re running at a smaller capacity than normal. You need to make sure that all your information is accurate. You may also want to update your FAQ page to include any COVID-19 related information. 

Update Google My Business and your hours 

Make sure that you update your business information including your opening hours on Google My Business. Not only will this tool help you with your Google visibility, but you’ll avoid angry customers too. 

 

Discover the latest trends and target new terms 

Make sure that your content is relevant. Current trends are changing as more and more people are staying home. So make sure you are targeting those topics and optimising existing content that you have. For example, with the lockdown easing, more people are looking for home fitness. Make sure that you’re on top of these trends. 

Optimise your old content 

Take this time to update old content. This doesn’t have to be COVID-19 related content. You may just want to make sure that it’s all up-to-date and more relevant. Perhaps you could optimise it with more current topics. You may want to go a step further and take a look at old meta tags and descriptions to make sure that they are optimised too. 

Improve successful content 

Just because your content is doing well, doesn’t mean that you can’t make it even better! By tweaking your keywords and including new information, that content could soar. 

Target coronavirus keywords 

Make sure you take advantage of the short-term traffic that COVID-19 is attracting. Make sure that you are creating COVID-19 content with coronavirus keywords (like this blog you’re reading now) to reach people who are searching for it. 

Continue to create evergreen content

It’s important not to lose track of the bigger picture. As we’ve said previously in this blog, SEO is a long process. So, you need to make sure that when COVID-19 is over and things are back on track that your SEO strategy doesn’t fall short. 

So to conclude, the pandemic really isn’t a reason to halt your SEO strategy. It can be disheartening to see traffic decreasing from your website. But, now is the time to step it up, work on your existing content and look after your short-term and longer-term goals. 

Need some help with getting your content and SEO strategy on track? Get in touch with our expert team today!

Kiri Gordon, Content Manager
SEO