How SEOs can respond to the COVID-19 Impact on Search Traffic
It doesn’t leave much to say that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in more ways than we can keep a track of. At the time of writing this blog, the world has 2,210,668 active coronavirus cases with a death toll that has surpassed 258,026 (Source). As a result of the contagion, the social distancing protocol has been initiated across nations. The lockdown has caused innumerable businesses to shut down temporarily, and communities to stay indoors, only to come out in case of emergencies.
The impact of this sudden change in living conditions and shifts in priorities can be felt in the SEO world as well. Surely by now, most of the professionals working at the SEO agency in India have also noticed that the strategies that were working fine to generate sufficient search engine traffic before the pandemic are falling short inefficiency. This implies that certain changes need to be made in the SEO strategies, as a response to COVID-19 impact on search traffic.
Here one needs to understand the key factor that influences search engine activity, which is human behaviour. Any change that will affect the SERP dynamics too and to cope with the SEO professional will have to tweak the digital marketing tactics, to ensure that the business does not lose its visibility and search engine ranking.
In this blog, we will discuss a few such search pattern changes and ways in which an SEO can cope up with it by using the right technique.
With the majority of the internet using population stuck indoors, online activity has surged exponentially, and more than half of their attention is revolving around COVID-19. Stats show that in the past month the keyword coronavirus has generated an average of approximately 2 million searches.
At this point every online business should have a page on the corona pandemic on their website, to attract people and prevent loss of traffic. You don’t have to provide real-time updates on the disease but link it in a way so that it grabs the attention of the visitors.
For example, you can create a COVID page and declare about pledging a certain percentage of your sales to the relief efforts. Or else you can explain different ways in which you are helping your community or employees in this trying time. The application of the right set of corona keywords will not only generate more traffic to compensate the loss due to COVID-19 impact on search traffic, but an account of your humanitarian efforts will boost the brand value.
A Shift from Luxury to Essentials
The human spending behaviour has also drastically changed amid pandemic. People have shifted their attention from luxury to just the essentials like food, daily use products, and medical supplies especially the ones needed to fight the virus such as masks, hand sanitizers, etc.
According to a report, keywords like ‘hand sanitizer’ and ‘face mask’ have been reportedly generating average search traffic of 29.3K and 29.0K respectively. Similar spikes have been noticed for other products like toilet paper, wipes, thermometers, etc.
If you have an eCommerce site that caters the customers with all the above then you need to create a separate page that will make it easy for the customers to search for the essentials. Along with that, you have to crawl the page for error and monitor the log files to prevent search engine bot errors. The content in those specific pages should have updated content that reflects the real-time search query and user intent.
Health and Food
People who are stuck indoors are trying to stay healthy and fit and it shows in the search surge in topics related to physical and mental health. A search spike has been recorded for immunity-boosting food and recipes as well. As per the stats by SocialMediaToday, there has been a 17% increase in search trends for health and wellness information.
Here’s where you can apply your content marketing strategies. Create a page with catchy content in the form of blogs, videos, tutorials, infographics, etc on health and fitness, life coaching, meditation, and healthy foods. Running analytics on high ranking keywords will help you form content around it and it will pop up every time a search query is being made. Make sure to link it to any matching service that you provide and promote heavily on social media platforms.
These might be the most essential strategies that you can implement at the moment, however, it remains a fact that volatility is expected in overall all websites. So, at present, the focus of any business and the SEO professionals should be to give priority to human behaviour which in this case is the need of the consumer. Following that will help one to mitigate this crisis better.