Going Viral During the Virus

How SEO Strategies Impact Businesses During COVID

The data emerging from the second quarter of 2020 looks bright for businesses with an established, growing online presence. The more optimized you are today, the more immunity you have to the woes of the traditional brick-and-mortar businesses in the age of COVID-19.

It figures. Who had heard of Zoom before March of 2020, outside of us in the online marketing space? It was in infancy for the great majority of people … but in just a few short weeks, everybody knew who Zoom is and what they do. We shouldn’t be surprised internet commerce is trending the same way.

As you can imagine, this frightening chapter in human history hasn’t been much of a scare for us at Offline Sharks. We’re losing count of how many new clients we enroll, who were sitting on the fence in February 2020. They were attracted to the online space, but too scared to take the leap. Now, they don’t have much choice. 

As Doc Brown said in Back to The Future III, “It’s the future, or bust.” If you also need a jumpstart, we have some practical ideas on how to improve your SEO here.

Why SEO Needs More Attention Than Ever

While people who avoided the internet marketplace face an immediate, severe “do-or-die” scenario, I think it’s good for those of us who’ve been chipping away at this block to take note. If the best of the internet is yet to come, we have our work cut out for us.

We need to make sure we’re optimized, and constantly refreshing with new content. We need to leave as few “question marks” about who we are, what we do, whom we serve or what we charge. Remember, a prospective customer visiting your website only needs one excuse to leave.

So if you’ve come this far, and your business is profitable and earning a good income, be advised. The internet’s going to get more crowded, as more and more people who once worked physical jobs will turn to digital ones.

As a practical matter, that’s likely to increase the amount of people competing over keywords and phrases. How Google and other search engines will respond to it remains undefined. 

But if you have twice as many merchants trying to get noticed, it’s not hard to imagine how they’re thinking about it, at least from a monetary standpoint. Search engine optimization is going to be a big deal for your online business.

So, let’s make a big deal about your SEO ahead of the curve. Find out some more in-depth ways to improve your optimization at this link.

How SEO Performed in Q2

HubSpot has an excellent report that shows how COVID-19 changed participation in the digital universe. There are winners and losers, as with any significant change to the marketplace. But what this report shows is that engagement via the internet is going north in all the right places.

  • Site Traffic. Overall website traffic spiked by 16% more in the second quarter than the first. That part isn’t surprising, but it’s especially good news if you’d already been diligent about SEO before lockdown. Properly optimized websites enjoyed the lion’s share of the surge.

 

  • Customer Initiated Chat went through the roof, in every category. Prior to COVID, there was already a race to get ahead of the AI chatbot curve, to simplify responding to inbound traffic. With customer initiated chat rising by as much as 45% in the second quarter, it clarified the importance of being optimized - so that if customers decide to reach out to anyone, you have a better chance of making the cut.

 

  • Sales E-mails. Global e-mail sales volume grew by as much as 59% higher than it was prior to the pandemic. Although there’s a caveat here … you’d think, if e-mail sales conversions are exploding in growth, it follows that you send more e-mails. That isn’t true; the conversion volume is much higher for companies that send infrequent (but consistent) messages, than for spammy ones who e-mail every day.

One thing’s clear from this information: search engine optimization is the pathway that leads to the “doorstep” of customer interaction. The more your target prospects know of you, the likelier they are to engage you directly (via things like online chat or e-mail subscription).

This makes logical sense; we’ve long since walked away from most traditional broadcast advertising to find products and services we want. But we can still be engaged in the virtual marketplace, where we spend most of our spare moments anyway. You may as well find your way to “bubble up to the surface,” and get on your customers’ radar.

We have many resources and vendors we recommend for SEO at Offline Sharks. Check out some other useful tips you can use to improve your SEO, and make sure to stop by our list of recommended vendors, tools and services if you need additional help.