9 Reason Why You Should Focus on SEO During an Economic Crisis

Is your business riding the spike in online shopping? The pandemic COVID-19 or numerous crisis currently happening around the world has seen plummeting retail sales in brick and mortars, and conversely, a sharp rise in online shopping. In the United Kingdom where people were strictly instructed not to go out, online shopping was the only option to get food and other essential items. Accordingly, web marketers are rushing to take advantage of this spike in online traffic to grow revenue, and position their brands for post-coronavirus. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a top priority in this realignment and for several reasons;

Web traffic origination 

Search engine traffic still takes the largest share of web traffic, with Google and its subsidiaries (YouTube and Gmail) taking over 75% of web traffic. Being visible to these engines is mandatory for any marketer intending to increase traffic.

User experience 

This has become a leading ranking metric for search engines, especially for the mobile web. SEO improves relevance, typography, and website navigation.  Website visitors spend more time, improving product exposure. 

Brand authority and trust

A steady increase of low bounce rate traffic draws more attention from search engines, which in turn recognize the brand’s authority in the industry. This is achievable through effective & clean user experience, backlinks and optimized pillar content. 

Higher conversions 

Local SEO is about pulling traffic from the vicinity. Listing on Google My Business ensures your brand comes up when potential local customers search for products/services you offer.  With people’s movements limited to within their locality. Local SEO can help pull in the limited foot traffic available. 

SEO is adaptive 

Tactics that may work in 2013 may be ineffective in 2020. Implementing SEO helps to keep tabs of marketing tactics and their effectiveness. 

SEO is not a new marketing strategy, arguably it had lost some steam in favour of new methods like social media marketing. But marketers are increasingly relooking into what has been proven to work because SEO has a proven record as a well-performing marketing strategy. There are several reasons SEO is a worthwhile marketing strategy for a majority of economic crisis;

Cutting costs 

Investing in SEO during a crisis is not without precedent. Although the 2008 downturn was of a different type, a sharp rise in SEO deployment was also seen.  During this crisis, businesses have slowed down across the board, except for those in basic essential goods. While people are spending more time online, they are not buying. This means that in the face of dropping revenues, businesses have to find ways of cutting costs.

This makes SEO the preferred path as it is essentially 'free traffic.' Other than the time resources spent, there is little cash deployment. Fortunately, time is plenty during the downturn.

Focusing on SEO to improve the performance of the web platform sales channel makes a lot of sense. It is the channel with great ROI because of its lower costs. It is also the channel with promising potential in terms of the market acquisition. 

Better insights 

The marketing data from increased web traffic during this crisis will be very insightful. With more time to spend online and conservative spending habits, people are doing more product comparisons and burrowing deeper into websites for information. Search engines have seen more searches especially those related to remote productivity, health, and finances.  

The fact is that web traffic has been unscathed by the recent COVID-19 crisis. Instead, there has been a spike, which has even seen some ISPs throttling data usage.   Marketers have a wealth of raw data that they have not seen before. It is also higher in quality because more people with more time at home are doing more deliberate searches. 

Businesses faced with downtime have a good opportunity to look at these insights and reposition their marketing strategies. Leveraging SEO is apt to give good ROI when people start spending again on the products/services they were searching for. 

The downturn offers an opportunity of sorts for businesses that are seeing slowed down activity. Websites can be redesigned and SEO deployed less disruptively. 

Paid search is losing flavour 

People spending more time on their phones has given a new impetus to user experience as a ranking metric.  Google takes a dim view of some paid ad’s methods, like interstitials on mobile websites. It all boils down to the fact that people would rather spend time on a website seeing relevant info, rather than click on yet-another-ad. 

Web browsers & plugins are also becoming smarter at identifying and blocking ads, which drastically reduces the effectiveness of paid searches. SEO improves user experience, especially on the mobile web.

Long term strategy 

The gains from SEO tend to be longer-term than paid strategies. Organic traffic growth is accompanied by improved brand awareness, trust, and authority.  Gradual traction from SEO during the crisis is very likely to translate into conversion after the crisis because buyers will go for familiar and trusted brands. 

The coronavirus crisis is an opportunity for marketers to test and perfect SEO tactics for lower costs, increased traffic, and ultimately higher conversions. The lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic will be useful references to thriving during crises in the future.

Our in house SEO consultants, digital designers and web developers are on hand to ensure every SEO campaign runs smoothly and delivers the desired results. We take pride in our transparent, ethical SEO approach and we’re confident that we can increase your website’s online authority and get those sales and leads rolling in!

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