With people remaining indoors and commuting less amid the pandemic, time spent online has significantly increased. This is reflected in the sharp rally of tech stocks, like Facebook and Netflix. However, people are doing much more than posting on social media and watching their favorite series. 

People are searching for information on the internet, comparing prices, and shopping for online courses, apparel, footwear, home appliances, and more. So, while the COVID-19 outbreak has presented numerous challenges for businesses, it has presented great possibilities and opportunities for businesses to reach out to their target audience and generate leads online. 

Does Your SEO Really Need Any Changes?

SEO plays a key role in improving the discoverability of your business online, specifically through a search engine. So, it’s critical to get it right. What companies need to remember is that SEO is a long-term strategy and shouldn’t be tweaked with every turn of events. On the other hand, the impact of the pandemic could continue to last for months, if not years.

COVID-19 has resulted in some permanent shifts in customer behavior, rather than what was earlier thought of as temporary changes in the face of adversity. Your SEO and overall marketing strategy needs to adapt to these changes, even if the changes are just minor. For example, local marketing strategies have become more important, as businesses try to go out of their way to trigger sales amid the pandemic. So, here are some ways to change your local SEO strategies during the COVID-19 era:

Google My Business (GMB) Optimization

In July 2020, Google accounted for over 86% of global search traffic. And, GMB helps people find information quicker and more easily. Ensure your GMB listing is updated with the main information about your business, including your contact information and website link. In the COVID-19 environment, you could add changes in timings and the facilities you offer, like dine in, home delivery, and curbside pickup.

Consider sharing the social distancing measures you follow so that people feel safer to step into your store, and don’t forget to add a CTA. While the text limit is 1,500 characters, only less than 10 words appear above the fold. So, choose the content carefully. Remember to use keywords in your GMB posts. 

Adding photos is important too. Businesses that add photos get more clicks throughs to their websites and receive requests for driving directions, says Google.

Change in Content Strategy

Content consumption has increased during the pandemic and everyone has COVID-19 on their minds. To keep your content strategy relatable and relevant to the times, depend on analytics and research to stay abreast of the challenges your customers are facing and their changing priorities.

Businesses are using banners and pop-up messages to let visitors know about changes they’ve made to adapt to the COVID-19 situation, like video calls to address queries, everything made available online and no contact delivery. If the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in major changes in your operations, ensure that your website has an updated content section on this topic. 

Consider using region-specific keywords, as people are relying more on local businesses during the pandemic.

Customer Reviews Count

More than 54% of people read customer reviews before making a purchase online. While businesses are forced to curtail their services due to COVID-19, customers are looking for more support than earlier. This gap has led to an increase in negative customer reviews.

It’s critical for businesses to stay in touch with their reviews, address the unfavorable ones, and do not ignore them. Consider even giving an incentive to happy customers to post reviews.

Local SEO – The Way to Go in a COVID-19 World

Local SEO strategy has created a more level playing field for smaller businesses to compete with big brands. This has become even more important as people are giving preference to local businesses during the pandemic.