The economy has taken an unprecedented turn because of COVID-19. Consumer spending has taken a sharp nosedive and almost every sector is seeing a significant drop in sales because of the pandemic. During these times of uncertainty, businesses have to pivot to stay relevant. When offline operations have come to a halt, your online presence becomes the acme of your business. So, how can you stay relevant during these tough times? With most paid advertising being decreased or placed on hold, brands now have the perfect time to focus all their attention on improving organic performance.
The first step to improving your organic traffic is to do a thorough SEO audit of your site and figure out where you’re lagging. If there were any major website changes that have been on the backburner for a while, now is the perfect time to put them into action. This will not only give your organic performance a boost in the short-term but will also set the foundation for your website to outrank its competitors in the long run.
Content marketing is the only viable marketing strategy during COVID-19. Therefore, if your website lacks relevant content, you will not be able to attract the right audience. Your content strategy should direct people to solutions that you can provide during this crisis. For example, if you own a consulting firm, direct your audience towards online consulting and training and how you can provide them with value during this period. You can also identify new content buckets such as how-to guides, video content and interactive platforms that are relevant to your target audience and will help drive traffic. To go the extra step, you can also create a microsite that talks about how your company has adapted to the situation and what are the new solutions you offer to help your clients get through these times. When your target audience sees that you have transformed your strategy to provide maximum value to them, you are seen as an innovator and pioneer in your field.
With the lull in business activities, this is also a great time for you to up-skill your entire team to ensure that everyone is able to contribute valuable ideas on improving your website content strategy. There are a number of online content marketing and SEO courses that can provide a good understanding of basic and advanced techniques.
A slow website speed spells trouble for your organic rankings and bounce rates. While there are a few immediate fixes that can improve your site speed, most improvements usually require a significant overhaul of your backend code and website features. While most websites realize the importance of this, they might not have previously had the time or resources to actually implement it. But with most business operations slowing down, this is the perfect time to focus on improving technical aspects of your website to achieve a higher website speed. Putting in place these fixes now will ensure that your website stands a greater chance of performing better in the long-term, once the situation improves.
Your website becomes a repository of unindexed and error pages that need to be weeded out to improve your website’s performance. As in the case of website speed, businesses might not have previously had time to take stock of their clutter and clean up the website. But with paid campaigns coming to a halt, your team will finally be able to devote the time needed to declutter your website’s backend. There are several ways you can do this. You can start by redirecting old pages to existing pages so that when someone searches for a page, they’re taken to the right place. You should also check the meta titles and meta descriptions for all the pages on the website. Check if all existing backlinks are working properly and reach out to websites with unlinked brand mentions to link back to you. You can also do a content audit of your pages and see if there is any messaging that might be irrelevant during the current COVID-19 crisis. For instance, if you have pages on offline classes and events, you can update them with information on virtual alternatives.
Backlinking is an important SEO strategy to boost your website’s organic performance. Backlinking goes hand-in-hand with building content for the website. If you have created useful resources for COVID-related information, then you can use these to attract backlinks from other websites. Although it takes some effort to reach out to so many other websites for backlinks, it’s a foolproof SEO strategy which will go a long way, even when the pandemic subsides. Backlinks are especially crucial during such unprecedented times because there are no offline, external ways to build your website’s legitimacy. Backlinks are the best way to get the word out there.
If there is one thing that can expose the deepest, darkest secrets of your website, it’s Google Analytics. This tool gives a nuanced view of your website activity, delineating what works well and what doesn’t. It is highly recommended that you use this opportunity to get a thorough understanding of Google Analytics during this pandemic and use that expertise to thoroughly analyze your website’s performance. If your website has a high bounce rate, then it might be because your audience isn’t gaining much value from your content. This indicates that your website’s content needs to be more tailor-made for their specific needs during this difficult time.
Most of your new topical content around COVID-19 can be extended to your social media presence as well. Users on all platforms are now looking for useful content that informs rather than entertains. Because of this, regular social media posts might not be enough to build a connection with your audience during his time. Instead, you can amplify the new resources or tools you have built for your website to gain traction on social media. This can also have a positive impact on your organic performance because social signals are one of the key ranking factors that Google takes into consideration. Influencer marketing is another trend that is relevant to capitalize on, during this period.
COVID-19 can be a great time for you to think about how to position your brand in the long run and invest in strategies to stay relevant in the long haul. While it may seem like misfortune to some, use this pandemic as an opportunity to pivot and raise the bar on your digital efforts. A few small steps can make all the difference in the world.