12-Aug-blog-header

The impact of COVID-19 on SEO

The past few months have forced all business owners to pause and reflect on many aspects of what the ‘new normal’ has brought with it. Certainly, this has affected many businesses negatively, forced some to close their doors, others to downsize and for most – to look at where costs could be cut.

Marketing is usually the first place to be downsized too, which is unfortunate as this can hurt the business brand, particularly in the longer term. Digital marketing, SEO and eCommerce have been clear winners during the time of COVID-19 as businesses quickly realised what they had to focus on to keep their heads above water.

Keeping a business afloat in such tumultuous waters, has proved to be difficult but not impossible. Companies that had an online store or shop bolted into their websites were able to trade with significantly less red tape than those who had physical stores. Quick thinking and critical changes had to be implemented for most businesses, ours included.

We have been taking note of the trends that have emerged in the digital marketing space and all arrows seem to point to SEO staying relevant during times of crisis. This can be attributed to the fact that marketing budgets are minimised but due to the nature of SEO – organic traffic and ranking is even more important to businesses.

For 3 months we had an influx of contracts being altered to cut social media marketing budgets but their SEO contracts intact. We attribute this to the fact that SEO is a long-term investment and our hard work was paying off for our clients. Their websites were still maintaining good rankings and they appreciated what this meant. Cancelling a SEO contract mid-crisis would be digital suicide.’

In one US study undertaken by Search Engine Land, more than half of respondents indicated that SEO would remain the most important marketing aspect as the economy recovers. Marketing goals and budgets are expected to be significantly less in the future, but SEO remains important.

Now we propose that fine-tuning of SEO contracts take place. If your SEO agency is not taking the time to define your target audience with you, stop and ask yourself why. Your audience may have changed since the pandemic started and if this is the case, your marketing strategy should take this into account.

Many agencies, us included, realise how search will be impacted going forward. Search will be more important as consumers spend more time working, learning, interacting, and working from home. Local search especially will remain a critical aspect in SEO. Many consumers will now need services, businesses, or products within their local area as lockdown restrictions and regulations make movement tricky.

In a drive to support more local businesses in one’s area, local search will put smaller businesses on the map (excuse the pun). Businesses that have invested in SEO will reap these rewards and those who have been slow on the uptake of SEO services, will be enlisting these services very quickly.

If you are looking to improve your SEO and give your business the competitive edge online, get in touch with us for a quote on our services. We look forward to helping your business succeed.