The government imposed lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is having a widespread effect on businesses of all sizes in the UK.
While some businesses might have temporarily shut the doors or implemented cost-cutting measures, others will be seeing revenues soar as demand for their products skyrockets.
For those businesses that have the luxury of weathering the financial storm, the most sensible course of action from an online marketing perspective would be to focus on the long term and get everything lined up to ensure maximum success when the economy restarts.
This is, of course, relevant for SEOs teams too, in fact, SEO is a channel that is seeing some increased investment at the moment since any work completed now is likely to bear fruit within the coming months; hopefully in-tandem with the easing of the lockdown measures.
While the fundamentals of SEO remain the same, regardless of any outside factors; i.e. ensuring that your site contains comprehensive content that addresses query intent and that you’re acquiring good quality backlinks on a regular basis; there are some tasks that could benefit site specifically in this lockdown period.
Let’s explore a few.
Google recently released a new type of Schema mark-up that allows site owners to inform potential customers about any closures or temporary changes to their business that have arisen from the pandemic.
Unlike other Schema types this can be configured directly in Search Console. At present, this Schema type is only for government organizations, schools, and public transport providers, according to Google, but they may well extend this.
To configure the markup for your Search-Console verified site, click here https://search.google.com/search-console/special-announcement
Concentrate on Long-Term Tasks
We all love a quick-win in SEO, but if you are a business that’s had to shut up shop for the foreseeable, or one that’s experiencing very low traffic and sales volumes, now would be a great time to focus on the more laborious, longer-term tasks.
Review your site ensure you’re dealing with any crawling or indexation issues, dig into your log files to see if you can spot any problems or opportunities, create that long-form piece of content you’ve been planning for months (years?) or create a list of target sites you want to promote your business on.
Make sure you’re in the best possible position once a sense of normality is resumed.
March YoY Search Volumes
If you own a business that’s affected by the pandemic, it’s likely that the demand for your products will have changed significantly since last year.
Checking Google Adwords, Trends or 3rd party tools such as SEM Rush will allow you to gauge how much demand has changed for your core products or services since last year. March 2020 is likely to be a pivotal month with big swings in some keywords.
If you are a business lucky enough to have seen increased demand off the back of the pandemic, then re-optimising and improving existing content, or creating new content to cater for emerging areas of demand could yield some great results, both in the here-and-now, and when the lockdown measures are lifted
Pausing Your Business
While taking your site down may be necessary in some extreme, isolated cases, this certainly isn’t advisable.
If business is on pause, keep your site live, but inform visitors using a banner, interstitial, or another form of clear messaging.
If your purchasing or booking functionality is still operational, why not give customers a discount for booking in advance?
If you run a business that offers both physical and experiential products like a Museum, why not upsell the physical experiences such as admission tickets at the checkout for people purchasing physical products?
While lockdown presents grim financial prospects for many, there are businesses that have the option to pivot their offering or get to work on getting into a great position once lockdown is over. For some, this period could be a great opportunity to steal a march on competitors, ensuring that they emerge stronger than ever.