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Why You Should Invest in SEO During the Pandemic

04.21.20 // MacKenzie Hawe

As companies scramble to cut costs amidst the impending recession due to COVID-19, many businesses find their marketing budget on the chopping block. However, investing in your SEO strategy during this pandemic could be beneficial to both your organization and your prospects.

If you choose to slice your marketing budget, affecting SEO, then you will be losing your share of voice in search engine results. This will result in a drop in position, therefore a decrease in visitors. A decrease in visitors means a lack of leads and revenue, which could have a detrimental long term effect on revenue.

 At a time when everyone is working remotely and therefore spending more time online, it is imperative that you are there to answer their questions or their needs when they go searching. 

In this new survey by Conductor, 65% of marketers anticipate a decrease in their annual marketing budget, but more than half of marketers believe that SEO is more important during this time.

Every industry will feel the effects of COVID-19 but using this time to focus on your share of voice in organic search now could give you the upper hand against your competitors when life goes back to normal later.

Obility conducted research across the industry and compared companies who invested and used our SEO services and those who did not. Those who used our SEO services got back to positive organic growth by the beginning of April.

Customers who use SEO vs customers who do not.

 

And overall Year over Year data for March showed that clients with SEO services outperform those who do not use SEO services.

March Year over Year Organic Traffic with SEO

 

If that raw data is not enough to convince you, then here are some ways you can test out yourself to see if SEO can help you during these times. (Hint: It will).

Fix Your Technical SEO

Have you had technical SEO issues that you have been putting off for lack of time? Now is the time to tackle those problems.

Take this time to clean up your website. Does every page have a title and meta description? Are there broken links? It’s about time you performed some spring cleaning on your site.

Understanding Technical SEO can be tricky. You can use sites like ScreamingFrog to help understand technical issues. You can also allocate some budget toward an SEO specialist to tackle these problems for you.

 

Create New Content

Has your content expired but been put on the back burner due to more pressing issues? Can blogs be updated with more relevant information? 

Creating up-to-date content is essential to SEO and also for consumer interest. They want to know that you are taking the time to provide commentary on the industry, current events or your product. You know your product the best, providing stimulating and relevant content can boost both your SEO and your sales.

 

Save Money and Increase Leads

The best part about SEO is that it is a low-cost channel, making it a budget-friendly way to ensure that you are reaching your marketing goals despite the pandemic. Plus, you know that SEO works. Sometimes you spend thousands of dollars on events or paid search, only to end up with useless leads. Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day. By investing in SEO and in turn, raising your rankings in Google, you will see more traffic to your website which can lead to more leads and business for your sales team. 

 

Advance Your Brand

You have probably seen a lot of companies pivot to COVID-19 related commercials and ads. SEO is a tested branding tool, and this pandemic is no different. If you provide solutions that can relate to COVID-19 relief, tweak some of your content so that your brand stays relevant. 

If your brand has absolutely nothing to do with COVID-19, say trendy office furniture, then you do not have to feel pressure to infuse COVID-19 content into your business. Sometimes, your brand is that it is a welcomed break from all of the news. Take this time to understand what value you are bringing to your customers and what your brand really means to them.

If you do decide to infuse COVID-19 into some of your branding, please do this carefully and with good taste. We all love a meme, but these are trying times and the subject is no laughing matter.

 

SEO Takes Time

Think of SEO as the houseplant you are continuously trying to grow through your window. SEO takes time. Unlike PPC marketing, SEO is a continuous process that shows its value over time. If it is not nurtured, then it will stop working very quickly. All of the time and money that you have put in will go to waste, as search engines are still receiving inquiries daily and your competitors are still investing in SEO. Using this time to continue your SEO efforts will not only ensure that you are showing up during this time of need, but that you will show up, perhaps higher than your competitors when life goes back to normal.

Life right now is weird, but you still do not want to lose your business. And without a proper marketing effort, it is very hard to stay top of mind for customers. Marketing equals leads, which then equals sales, which turns to cash. 

 

Use the SEO insights for Future Reference

During times like this, it is important to keep a close eye on search trends. With such a drastic change being presented in everyday life, people will learn to reinvent themselves. Some may look for new hobbies, and suddenly your business that specializes in party video conferencing is booming. Perhaps this trend will carry on after the pandemic, where everyone now has an online party every month. 

For example, the app HouseParty has seen a dramatic increase in downloads since the stay-at-home order was implemented, even though the app came out in 2016.

Line Graph of House Party Downloads since March 18th
Source: https://www.similarweb.com/app/app-store/1065781769/statistics#overview

 

You can also gain insight into whether or not you have a product that is more successful than you originally planned. This year, you have focused on selling and advertising printers, but you have seen a lot of results from your home phone system product page. Maybe it is time to pivot priorities and start putting more money behind your home phone system product. 

These are uncertain times for everyone. But one thing is for certain, SEO is not going away, and neither should your business. If you find yourself impacted by COVID-19 and are looking for resources to help you improve your share of voice and revenue, see how Obility can help you with their professional SEO strategists.

About MacKenzie Hawe

MacKenzie is a Senior SEO Coordinator for Obility working from Boston, MA. She specializes in content creation, driving organic traffic and optimizing site health. In her spare time, you can find her playing guitar and cooking. View all MacKenzie Hawe’s posts >