We are deep amid a fierce global pandemic that will require both logical and creative solutions to survive and come out stronger next year. COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to look at alternative strategies to ensure some form of revenue is maintained.
Even if your business is considered non-essential, you must work on keeping lines of communication open with your customers, preserve and in some cases create more trust in your brand.
Working with an SEO Company or SEO specialists at this time is a smart move to help strategize on search engine optimization to connect with clients and businesses.
Here are 8 SEO tactics to improve communication between your business and your audience.
1. Building trust - Communicate changes you have made due to COVID-19
Be sure to advise people of any changes that have occurred and how you are dealing with COVID-19.
In these times people are unsure of who is providing the best and safest products or services.
In this current marketplace, people need to trust you, especially that you have their best interests at heart. They want to know what they are paying for will get delivered, and safely not just for themselves but throughout the supply chain for employees too.
Ensure you are open about safe handling, social distancing, the wearing of masks, sanitation, transportation, any increase on delivery timeframes and why, and that the goods are not putting anyone in the supply chain in danger.
Building trust online has never before been so instrumental in determining whether a potential client becomes a client, so be sure to work with an SEO company or SEO specialists to create the right content to ensure the potential client is fully informed of what measures you have put in place to keep your employees and customers safe.
A simple list of new safety procedures and policies and a regular COVID-19 update will help build trust in your brand.
2. Your homepage and all location pages
Be sure to update your homepage first with details of your daily operations which are safety-driven.
You can use sliders or banners to highlight more detailed procedures or policy changes. We have seen a recent trend among business in Western countries offering ‘contactless transactions’ to help reduce potential infections.
In the food and beverage industry free delivery and take out menus must be accompanied by some educational material to ensure the customer is compliant and understanding of the lengths you are going to ensure safety, albeit not the dining experience they would prefer.
Remember many countries have had differing responses to COVID-19 so you must consider that. Delivery without physical payment requires you to instruct the customer to embrace a ‘contactless delivery’ system.
3. Get your meta descriptions updated
Upon appearing in search results online you are in a position to immediately inform your customer of how you have adapted to ensure a safe environment for employees and the consumer.
Change your meta descriptions to highlight relevant changes. Having a COVID statement can stand out against other competition who may well have just gone into their shell and pulled back on website marketing, and updating their sites in general. It’s time to stand-out and push forward.
4. Google ‘My Business Listing’ must be updated
Google recently added new sections to Google My Business Listing to assist you in communicating any status change to your business. You can look at your GMB profile as an extension of your website and use it to communicate as much new relevant information as possible.
Remember transparency equates to trust over this period and will help in assisting your current SEO strategy that you should be working on closely with an SEO company or SEO specialists for the remainder of the year.
Keeping information up-to-date is currently one of the most effective ways of attracting localised business right now. Google has implemented a temporary solution for companies to show their current status next to their brand name, such as, ‘virtual classes only’ or ‘deliveries available’ etc.
For companies that are temporarily closed, it is advisable at this time to share that through your GMB dashboard. If you have just changed your hours of operations be sure to list this on your: Profile, Website Homepages and Location Pages.
5. Keyword strategy – time to re-assess
COVID-19 has produced many new search trends and a shift away from traditional searches. Some sectors have flourished others have been hit badly, so this is the time to be aware of the changing trends, so to have SEO specialists who uses all the relevant tools to track and monitor these changes are essential unless you are already familiar with the tools yourself, if you are able to do so then get data collecting ASAP. Change keywords where necessary, and be flexible you can always change back next year.
6. Run a ranking report to separate keywords
The first thing to do is run a ranking report on your keywords, then separate first-page and second-page rankings into two separate groups. These are the keywords you should be basing a short-term strategy around.
Page two rankings may need additional content sections to make them more competitive, or some supporting articles to start to push on up.
Page one may just need some snippets, FAQ’s or ‘people also ask’ content. Sometimes a tweak is all that is needed to be in the featured positions.
7. Add new additional keywords due to popularity
Try to look ahead of how the landscape will change, in tandem with the points above be sure to maintain a content schedule that does not directly relate to COVID-19 issues.
More content and after you have looked at the new trends add some more keywords and content to match will help you be robust when the global economy starts to return to normal.
8. Implementing schema
Schema is your relationship with the search engines, so adding schema will increase the information that the search engines pick up on. By communicating more with the search engines your page relevance will increase. Google recently made an update concerning new schema for COVID-19 related announcements for both health and government sites.
There are over 800 kinds of schema that can be incorporated into your pages to give you the edge over your competition. Be sure to ask SEO Specialists or an SEO company the best way to go about adding this.
This is your opportunity to address COVID-19 head-on to your customers, explain how you have been disrupted, how you have overcome obstacles, discuss the supply chain, explaining how it is safe for employees and consumers and do this with honesty, it will pay off for your brand in the long-term, gain trust and respect.
To compensate for losses due to the economic slowdown it is time to improve your on-page SEO, make technical adjustments and improvements to get more traffic now and when we return to the ‘New Normal’, good quality content and constant analysis will see you through. Good luck.