There is no denying the fact that Covid-19 has had a big impact on businesses. The pandemic has been affecting different industries in varying ways. The event industry is trying to find innovative new ways to combat the impact of Covid-19, with the business event sector seeing 74% of all conferences and exhibitions postponed to the last quarter of 2020, with the remainder cancelled altogether. Meanwhile, a rise in homeworking has led to a 37% increase in cyber attacks with people turning to the tech industry for solutions. It might seem like an inopportune time to be focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO). Quite the opposite. SEO presents the chance to pivot your digital marketing strategy, turning adversity into opportunity.
Why should I focus on SEO during lockdown?
Since lockdown began, internet usage has surged by between 50% and 70%. This means that your brand will be visible to a higher number of people, provided that you employ the right digital marketing strategy. If you’re in an industry that has slowed, this is an ideal time to focus on your web and content strategy. Why not try out some new tactics to engage your audience, or reach a new one. If you are working in an industry that has experienced a recent surge in activity it is important to employ strategies that will increase the likelihood of customer retention. Essentially, use SEO to ensure that your business is in the strongest possible position when we return to the new normal.
That sounds good, but how can I improve my SEO strategy?
Research keywords and latest SEO updates
Research is the foundation of your SEO strategy. The most experienced SEO experts still need to research keywords and algorithm updates because search behaviours and algorithms are constantly changing, even when there isn’t a global pandemic. Covid-19 has led to big changes in search behaviour so your research needs to be founded on what keywords and SEO strategies are being used right now. When you’re researching keywords, concentrate your efforts on websites that collect real-time data. Google Trends is one that we recommend.
If you’re an SEO novice, you might find that your research presents you with more questions than answers. That’s why we’ve defined some of the most commonly used SEO terms:
- Keywords – These are the words your searchers enter into browsers. By researching keywords and using them in your web content, you will be able to boost your ranking on Google.
- Search terms – These are what people search for on Google. Unlike keywords, they are a complete term, rather than just a word or phrase.
- Backlinks – These are links on someone else’s website that go back to your content.
- SERP – This acronym stands for search engine results page.
- Domain Authority (DA) – This is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on SERPs. A Domain Authority score ranks from 1-100. 40-50 is considered average, 50-60 is seen as good, and over 60 is viewed as excellent.
- Page ranking – This is where a website appears on Google. For example, a high ranking page could be the third result on the first page of Google. Whereas, a low ranking page may be the 10th result on the 46th page of Google.
- Keyword stuffing – a negative SEO practice that will be penalised by Google. It involves including as many keywords as possible in an attempt to rank highly on SERPs.
Write optimised content
Now that you’ve done your keyword research, you’re ready to start writing content. But where do you start? If you have a blog on your website, this can considerably boost your page ranking. The reason why blogs are so effective at boosting page rankings is because Google’s algorithms value websites that have consistent content updates.
If you already update your blog frequently, you will need to make adjustments to the type of content you upload. First and foremost, ensure that you are delivering content in a way that is sensitive to the current situation.
Build keyword research into your content writing. If you’re in the education technology sector your research may have shown that people are using ‘at home’ keyword modifiers when entering search terms. For example, before Covid-19 people may have been searching for “French courses” but there may now be a higher number of searches for “French courses at home”. Build these keyword modifiers into your content writing by including modifiers such as “online”, “from home”, and “during lockdown” in your blog titles and headers.
When you are writing the main body of your content, ensure that you are peppering your writing with keywords. However, balance is integral. You should focus on using one or two long-tail keywords per blog post to avoid keyword stuffing, which is something that Google’s algorithms will penalise you for. If you want to stay on the good side of Google’s algorithms, focus on longform blogs (1000-2000 words) but be aware that the current algorithm also favours consistency, so when you’re deciding how many blogs to post, choose a number that you can keep up with.
The best SEO writing answers popular search terms and provides value to the reader. For example, if you are working in education technology, tips for educating children from home would be a good blog post topic. Don’t forget to let your social media following know that you’ve published a new blog post as this will increase traffic to your website. For more tips on social media, have a read of our blog.
Make Your Website SEO Friendly
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool used by businesses to manage their online presence across Google and is a useful tool for improving your search ranking. Google gave advice to their GMB users to update their Google listings with any alterations in operating hours. Expanding on this, we would also recommend that you update your website with a coronavirus statement that appears on the homepage, informing visitors of any changes to services, such as delayed delivery times. If you have an FAQ section on your website, it is advisable to also update this in line with your current operating procedure.
Website speed is another simple update that can be made to improve your SEO. This is a tactic which will add value to your website in the long term. To improve your website speed compress large images and use the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool to get bespoke recommendations for improvements.
Links are another simple update you can make to boost your SEO. If you have previously written content where you have referred to some statistics, or mentioned an article you’ve read, link back to the original source. There are two types of links you can include on your website: internal and external. Internal links send the user to another page of your own website, while external links send them to a different website.
Remember that keyword research? Now is your chance to use it. If your website has a blog, go through old blog posts and update them according to your keyword findings. You can also do the same with the other pages on your website. Just be careful you don’t overstuff them with keywords.
So what are you waiting for? Go forth and optimise! If anything in our blog piqued your interest, get in touch to have a chat about SEO.