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Ali Soudi

COVID-19: How SEO Could be Helpful for Small Businesses During this Pandemic

May 10, 2020

 - Head of Digital Marketing

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimization

Article Overview

10min read

COVID-19: How SEO Could be Helpful for Small Businesses During this Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a global health emergency and a global economic slowdown, where unemployment rates have soared, our daily lives are under tremendous uncertainty and stress. The pandemic has forced many businesses – be it big or small – to shut down for the sake of public health. Even though it is certainly a stressful time for all, small business owners are more into trouble because they have much smaller reserves to sustain them. In this condition, being panicked, many small or local businesses stop their SEO or digital marketing. But, pausing your organic SEO or digital marketing campaign during this pandemic is not a great move. Because this current crisis will end and if you drop your SEO campaign all of a sudden it might pose a problem for your business.

SEO based digital marketing strategies can actually be pivotal to your small/local business success both during and after this pandemic.

Why SEO during COVID-19?

The pandemic has skyrocketed internet usage exponentially, at the same time Google search trends and pattern data also shows that traffic to websites from search results – both paid and organic—is in decline for a lot of businesses. So, does this indicate that SEO is useless for your small business right now? Absolutely not.

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As consumers search for information about how businesses are handling COVID-19 restrictions, assess their decisions for buying essential needs, adjusting to remote work and education, and trying their very best to stay engaged and sophisticated, a search is now more important than ever. Even though internet use is the highest it’s ever been, it does not refer exclusively to online search. Besides search that focuses on health, news, and other highly relevant industries during this pandemic, internet use includes an extensive range of activities such as virtual meetings, gaming, electronic transfers, movie streaming, mobile apps, e-learning, social media, and more. As a result, a decrease in traffic to nonessential business websites (many of which are small businesses)—from both paid and organic results – is noticed. Here, SEO acts very differently depending on the industry, that is,

  • For significant and essential businesses, SEO is necessary to stand out and get preferred over competitors in search results.
  • For nonessential and temporarily closed businesses, SEO seems a lot less important, in fact worthless.

The perception that SEO provides regarding consumer behavior is crucial amid this volatility and demand fluctuation period – especially when looked at in real-time. In fact, SEO will guide companies through the economic storm that this COVID-19 leaves in its wake. SEO, being a consistent practice pivot to protect the brand and on through position its products and services for success in the future.

While there have been a lot of fibs hanging around, many facts remain that highlight the importance of SEO – especially for small businesses – despite a decrease in search traffic.

  • COVID-19 is trending.
  • Consumers curbed to their community are seeking out local businesses.
  • Evergreen content is a staple of SEO.
  • SEO is not just about traffic.
  • SEO gains are long-term.
  • Search is going to be more important in our lives after the pandemic.

5 SEO Strategies for Small business

SEO is very important for small and medium-sized business (SMB) during this pandemic because:

  • Travel restrictions cause customers to search out for nearby businesses.
  • Consumers are looking for SMBs to support.
  • SEO helps SMBs to stand apart from competitors.
  • SEO is free and all you need to have is some time to implement.

With the help of SEO, small business owners can create quick, well-structured and user-friendly websites that will rank better in the search results and drive more traffic to your page. These websites will also bring more eligible potential customers to their sites and eventually increase conversion rates.

If you are a small business owner, check out these 5 SEO strategies that will take your website to the next level by building a strong web presence and sidestepping your competitions.

1. Opportunity to show empathy: When a pandemic strikes, it’s the time to be an understanding friend and show empathy towards your customers through certain words like “we understand, we care, valued customers” and so on. Rather than shoving your products to your consumers, show some empathy to them. Watching the human side of your business might make people more content thinking that they can relate with a business and the business understands the situation. If your business is helping the community in some way during this pandemic, don’t hesitate to share that in a newsletter or find a way of including it in your content.

2. SEO provides outstanding long-term traffic equity: Even though SEO does require an upfront investment of resources, it’s a fact that earned search engine rankings can stay for years.  The content you produce, optimize and publish now will serve your brand in the future and can be updated to reflect evolving business goals throughout the economic recovery. Similarly, you now also have a chance to assess your top-performing content, updating and optimizing for the current conditions.

3. SEO provides global reach: As search is in high demand, make sure you are positioned to appear in response to your customer’s relevant queries. Be it a local retail store or a global franchise, make use of this great time for you to invest in better optimizing existing content for your specific city or region. Especially for local businesses, optimizing their content during this time, would help them in global reach. You might find that resources are available at corporate to hold up the brand with thought management content that can be circulated and promoted globally.  With the guidance of SEO and marketing professionals, local employees from any department can help provide the hyper-local context needed for great local content.

4. MiniAudit Your Content Assets:  Instead of a thorough content audit, which needs time expertise, do a mini-audit to your content during this slow period as it will help to improve your content performance. Evaluate each content with a critical eye.

  • Which high-quality content and images can you repurpose for other channels?
  • Which pieces got the most social shares and the most backlinks?
  • Which ones get the most traffic on-site?

Evaluating all such small detailing may open to opportunities for:

  • Refreshing with fresh content.
  • Optimizing with new CTAs and keywords.
  • Adding internal links to new products/services.
  • Repromoting when business picks up again.
  • Keep an updated inventory of your content assets and if you want you can track articles others have published about your business, too.

5. Stay relevant: Enhance your online presence, as people are now spending more time online. Focus to create SEO strategies for your business, as it gives you a chance to stay important during this pandemic.

Leverage the power of SEO by using it to build your brand and to boost brand awareness. An experienced SEO company in Dubai can assist businesses to start or update their websites with necessary SEO updates

Even if the coronavirus situation changes, SEO is a consistent practice that remains the most effective method of understanding and responding to the customers’ needs now and in the future.

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing

is a Google Certified Digital Marketer with 10+ years of industry experience. He is a prolific writer on business-related topics, regularly contributing articles to leading digital marketing and business websites.

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimization
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