Whether or not the economic shifts caused by COVID-19 have derailed your 2020 media plan, now is a great time to look at your organic options for strengthening your digital presence. During this time, people are turning to the internet for information, necessities, and more, which means your brand has the potential to connect with and help your audience. To do so, consider re-evaluating your brand’s SEO strategy, a high-impact channel for reaching your audience that requires notably smaller investments than paid media.
The Importance of Prioritizing SEO
In 2019, 66% of marketing professionals saw SEO as their top-performing channel. Investing time and energy in your brand’s SEO today will have a significant impact on your performance, even after recent economic shortcomings have resolved. Furthermore, your SEO performance can actually improve and inform the other media you have running—many of the practices used to boost a site’s SEO ranking can also apply to PPC landing pages for an improved quality score.
Using Today’s Trends to Inform Your SEO Plan
Rise is seeing search trends change very quickly during COVID-19, so we’d recommend you prioritize your most highly-searched categories first when reviewing and improving your SEO strategy. Use Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to understand how searches related to your site are changing. It’s true that SEO is a long-term game, but don’t be discouraged; targeting the right keywords in your content can make a difference sooner than you think. For example, according to Google Trends, interest in the search term “Home Gym Equipment” increased by 394%+ from the week of 3/14 to the week of 3/28.
Performing these analyses in Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner can also help to identify categories that are increasing in importance. Prioritize optimizing toward keywords and categories that are increasing in search volume, if applicable to your brand. One Rise client saw an increase in traffic to their recipes by 80% YoY, which gave them an opportunity to build relationships with those new users through their top-of-funnel content.
Leveraging SEO for Your Unique Business Circumstances
Investing in your SEO strategy is worthwhile even if your services are location-based. Don’t assume that people aren’t still interested in your brand during this time period; a Rise client that provides services through locations throughout the country had a 90% YoY increase in organic leads focused on finding out more information about services (even if physical services are not currently as easily accessible).
Inventory and delivery issues are affecting many brands right now. However, if you have out-of-stock products, it doesn’t mean you need to completely stop marketing. In fact, take this opportunity to build relationships with customers through thought leadership and content to stay top-of-mind for your audience. Optimize the content for products that you do have in stock to increase traffic to their pages. Moreover, as it relates to your products, ensure that you have content on your website around curbside pickup and other compliant business processes. More COVID-19 compliant messaging should also be included in your schema strategy, according to the new schema markup released in March.