Updated July 30, 2020, 12:16 pm
We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and perhaps almost as troubling, a global panic.
Virtually every part of our daily lives has been impacted, with businesses closing—one hopes only temporarily—schools being shut down, events being canceled, and more.
During all this, businesses and individuals alike are having to come up with strategies on how to weather the storm. For many, that has meant developing a hoarding mentality, followed by settling in to wait it out. But what if this nearly unprecedented challenge has also brought with it some opportunity to make some positive changes?
In fact, it has.
When everything eventually calms down and we return to a new normal, we will be left with winners and losers: those who took decisive long term action and those who did not.
And many of those who emerge as winners will be those who continued to invest in their business and in improving their organic position on Google (Search Engine Optimization) as a continued long term marketing strategy.
It is said that one of the biggest issues business owners will have is having not planned for the “bounce back” and losing market share to competitors that did. As a leading Canadian digital marketing agency we are using this crisis to double down on our own SEO efforts, to give us that long term boost we will need to grow into 2021 and beyond.
Search engine optimization, whether we are discussing local search or the main organic search, it’s all about connecting with consumers in need. Sales come from reaching those who are searching for the goods and services that you are offering.
Although lives are being disrupted in a major way, one thing is unchanged: your customers still have needs. In fact, their anticipated needs are heightened at the moment due to their fear of items becoming unavailable. This isn’t to take advantage of their fears, but to show them that the products they want are in fact available and you can help them with that. Further, with fewer activities to distract them, many people will likely be spending more time online, and that will lead to more online searches for products.
The end result? Having your brand out in front and highly visible means more consumers knocking on your virtual door.
While you may still see fewer sales than you would have had without the pandemic, you will be offsetting your losses by attracting those who need your products and services. More than that, you are creating an image of being available and reliable even during times of crisis.
Search Can be Measured
Search engine optimization puts you in touch with those that are ready to take action. Rather than marketing to the top of the funnel, you will be connecting with those with intent.
Intent to buy, intent to book – people looking for what you do, right now.
More importantly, you are going to be able to easily measure your success. Simply check out your sales or leads in analytics, review your daily position on Google. This gives you the ability to adjust your budget and efforts as needed. This is important because, over the course of the next few months, buyer behavior is bound to change significantly.
Search Engine Optimization is reactive; marketers need to make decisions based on good data. This will let them move their budget to those keyword phrases with stronger buyer intent, or which might appeal more to the consumer mood of the moment.
With Greater Scarcity Comes More Search
We have already seen how the perceived need for items has created the very scarcity that people feared. It’s easy to find examples of panicked shoppers fighting each other to get all the toilet paper they can get their hands on.
When items become scarce, consumers in need will search high and low for them. If those goods should become unavailable, they will search for analogous products. If your product is front and center during all those searches, you can benefit immensely.
Most of us have never experienced the type of shortages that we might encounter in the coming months, but those with foresight will be seeking opportunities to capitalize on the scarcity of goods and services and will be working to rank for them as well as any and all related topics. SEO pros will be creating link-building campaigns centered on products that are either extremely difficult to find or suffering from grossly inflated prices.
Acting fast to capitalize on SEO is important as keyword costs related to scare items will only increase with demand.
The Need for Products and Services Has Not Changed
Going into voluntary quarantine does not erase the need for goods and services, and while some might be proclaiming otherwise, the world is likely to continue long after this pandemic has passed. Consumers will continue to have needs and demands.
We’ve already mentioned that search marketing, paid, local or organic, is the best way to connect with those consumers with intent to buy. Creating a Google Ads campaign can be done relatively quickly, and while it may not solve all your problems, it can help reduce the impact of the pandemic upon your business, especially if this is your first foray into the world of SEM.
This Too Shall Pass
Although it may not feel like it right now, the Covid-19 pandemic will pass. It may leave us with some permanent changes in our lives, but things will eventually return to normal, even if it’s a new normal.
When that happens, search marketing will still be the most effective way to connect with consumers, and that means that those who properly implemented search engine marketing during this time will be in an excellent position to maintain dominance. This is particularly the case for those who invest in Search Engine Optimization.
While it doesn’t tend to have an immediate effect, SEO can show results in a relatively short period of time. Still, during this time of panic, taking the initiative to create an effective SEO campaign could benefit your business for many years to come.
Those benefits may also be responsible for producing the revenue that sees your business through future difficulties.
So, rather than seeing the challenges that our present circumstances are creating, look instead to the opportunities that are opening up.