What are the top SEO strategies during COVID-19?
How is this new situation impacting business?
Under this new situation, more consumers turn to organic search as a source to find and purchase different products and services. This research produced by Bazaarvoice, using data from over 6.200 brands and retailers’ sites which is updated monthly, shows an increase in orders by 57% YOY for June 2020. People who didn’t even think of buying online items like clothing or food, took the step at the beginning of the pandemic and are now mastering the art of buying online.
With a higher number of potential customers using search engines to find and purchase products and services, more companies are moving their activities online in a try to retain those customers, and your niche might be soon filled with some new players who can pose a risk for your brand.
Search Engine Optimisation strategies are now more important than ever to protect your client base and develop your sales, luckily SEO is a very cost-efficient marketing tool based on actions to improve the user experience across the entire purchase funnel. A well-implemented SEO strategy can keep leads flowing to your website even in the direst situation, and the long term return you can obtain surpasses by far any other potential sources for traffic.
We have put together the best three tips which will help your website to make the most of this new scenario and improve its traffic and conversions from Search Engines.
Tip 1. Analyse your current audience and create the right content
As this study by Conductor shows, delivering educational content can seriously boost your business’ awareness and trust, but in times like this where people need more time to decide before purchasing products and services, due to the higher risk perceived as a consequence of the current economic situation, many users will be shifting back to the awareness and consideration stages of their journey, making educational content even more important than before.
Analysing your audience’s search behaviour, will lead to key information to generate educational content using what it really matters to them. The Affinity Category report in Google Analytics, it’s a great tool to help you analyses users’ interests, passions, and lifestyle to get a better idea of the most common persona types within your audience.
The information offered in this report is thus perfect to create content for brand awareness for both your website and external websites where you promote your brand.
By using the information from this report, you can figure out who your most common and valuable users are, and the type of information they search for during their top of the funnel stage. You can then create different content pieces adjusting the tone and the focus to such different profiles.
Tip 2. Use this time to improve your website technical profile on key areas for performance
Having a technically-sound website has a positive impact not only on rankings and traffic but especially on user experience. Most of the technical changes required to improve SEO also improve the user experience while navigation across several devices.
The top areas to pay attention are:
Crawling and Indexing Process: you can gain insights about your website status on different search engines like Google and Bing from their Webmaster Tools suits. In Google’s case, this suite is called Google Search Console and it contains a report called “Coverage” which includes all the indexing problems found on your website.
If the number of indexed pages in this report doesn’t coincide with the number of indexable pages on your website, you probably need to check which pages are out and analyse the cause or causes of this problem. Some of the most common problems are:
- 3XX and 4XX Internal links: links to outdated content redirecting to a newer version and broken links, will require more crawling resources and will also slow down your website processing.
- Duplicate content: caused for example by filters adding parameters to reorder the disposition of the page items (products). If those alternative versions of the same page are crawled, they will be internally competing, and Google will need extra resources to decide which version is the best to serve on search results.
All that extra time and resources required by the search engine to process the website, can cause some important pages processing to be delayed or even excluded if a duplicate is indexed instead.
Core Web vitals: improving page speed and page experience, in general, leads to a better experience for users and a lower percentage of such visitors leaving the website. The new Core Web Vitals report available in Google Search Console, provides valuable insights about how your website pages score in terms of content load and interaction.
In an even more competitive scenario with more people willing to buy products online, a good page speed, especially on mobile devices, becomes crucial. But additionally, to such quickly increase on competition, Google has confirmed page experience to become a ranking factor soon, and this tool obviously gives website owners clear insight on areas which need improvement towards a potential ranking boost.
Consider what types of markup would benefit your business and proceed to implement them. Local business, FAQ pages, articles and products, the variety of structure data types which could be included on your websites can be overwhelming. Thankfully, Google‘s search gallery includes a functionality from which you can find the types of structure data that would apply to your website category.
Tip 3. Analyse trend changes
With change comes opportunity, and variations on how users search for products and services could lead to new opportunities you could possibly benefit from. Website owners have two potential sources of information for this purpose, internal website traffic data, available from your web analytics tool, and external data about trending search terms.
From your website traffic data, you can review which areas of the website are converting better, collate a list of categories and product pages that are actually converting better than this same period last year. Analysing those pages could lead to a tactical switch towards focusing marketing and promotion efforts on specific areas to improve your return in the short term.
Insights from Google Trends can help you spotting search terms related to your industry/niche which are currently trending. Are there any trending keywords or topics which may suggest new product groupings to satisfy your customers? If the answer is yes, you could materialise these new groups creating extra categories on your website.
I hope these tips help you towards generating new ideas for your website’s strategy. Having a solid but flexible SEO strategy will help your business during the different economic situations it may face. At New Horizon we are always innovating to create new strategic approaches to SEO to help our clients thrive, so if you are looking to get some extra advice regarding your SEO Strategy, please contact us, our team will deliver value and honest advice.
Article by Joaquin Morales,
Search Director at New Horizon