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COVID-19 and SEO: What is the True Impact?

An outbreak of unprecedented proportions, the Coronavirus has severely impacted countless individuals, families, businesses, and the economy across the globe.

Eerily deserted streets, shops showcasing “Closed” signs, and quiet neighborhoods are growing increasingly common.

Human lives are the most serious concern regarding the virus – and they are ever disturbed by the severe impact COVID-19 has as “non-essential” organizations are required to close and social-distancing quarantines keep most at home.

As businesses reel from the unexpected, search marketing efforts often fall from priority in exchange for survival tactics and sparing finances.

However, current trends in consumer behavior offer insight into the importance of search marketing efforts in current crises such as this.

In the content below, we seek to offer a glimpse into the true impact of COVID-19 on SEO as we understand at this time.

Current Trends

Shop from home

Influenced primarily by a reluctance to leave home, buyers have shifted substantially towards online shopping.

While the majority of businesses, both online and physical, have experienced revenue and conversion losses, omnichannel and pure-play ecommerce organizations demonstrated greater potential to succeed once the virus subsides.

Event cancellations

Major cancelations, including professional sporting events, certainly sent a ripple of concern among humanity.

In the search marketing stratosphere, important events have also been canceled, rescheduled, or scheduled to stream.

Among these events include Google’s CloudNext conference (previously scheduled for April 6th in San Francisco) and DealMaker London by Rakuten Advertising.

Product shortages

As international entry ports along the coast have closed, supply has also decreased.

As a result, higher demands and less inventory resulted in rapid product shortages across multiple industries.

Post-Coronavirus Search Marketing Opportunity

Despite confusing, uncertain circumstances, organizations currently invested in search marketing efforts should begin strategizing their post-Coronavirus planning – now.

Opportunities seized now could give you a head start in impact growth and development at the close of this pandemic.

Stay on top of Google trends

A clear correlation between people being at home is people searching online.

According to Forbes, internet use has increased by nearly 70% since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.

What does this mean for digital marketers? An inquiring audience may now be asking new questions and conversations about your industry, company, or competitors.

Therefore, staying on top of trends allows marketers to craft cutting-edge content in response to relevant conversations.

When sales increase again, your organization will stand out, ready with helpful content and ultimately leading consumers to your website over a competitor’s.

Depending on your industry, you may experience an increase in website traffic.

Analyze the available data to learn which pages are excelling and which are suffering.

Is this trend consistent with pre-Coronavirus data or have traffic patterns changed as a result?

Perform an in-depth analysis of available data into your website and make strategic changes when necessary.

Stay on top of keyword rankings

Monitor keyword ranking changes via Google Search Console or your SEO tool of choice.

Unprecedented circumstances bring about unpredictable shifts in search interest, user intent, and demand.

Observing keywords closely will enable you to change your approach for an individual query or campaign strategy as the opportunities arise.

Use time wisely & plan ahead

You have the time – build your content bank! Write top/mid-funnel content that draws consumers into your sales funnel.

Begin crafting and stockpiling excellent content, ready with a distinct competitive advantage when the time comes.

Unfortunately, sources are unsure exactly how long the pandemic will continue.

Regardless, most businesses realize that Q1 and Q2 numbers will probably fall below an initial forecast.

As a result, double-down and brainstorm your Q3 and 4 initiatives now.

Plan ahead for how you will earn your losses back during the remainder of the year.

Simply put, be prepared to succeed once the economic outlook recovers.

Search Engine Journal insightfully explores the idea of using time wisely:

More of a “catch-all” for marketers is simply using your time wisely. While content is likely the first SEO task that comes to mind, now is the time to focus on SEO as a whole.

  • Ensure your page speed is where it needs to be.
  • Update your website with fresh photos.
  • Check your URL structure.
  • Create a user-experience exercise.
  • Ensure your content is easy to find.
  • And so much more.
As Warren Buffet said: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.“

Essentially, the best time to double down is when everyone else is backing out. During economic turmoil, many businesses experience less competition.

For organizations looking to succeed in the long-term and strategically improve, do not stop search marketing efforts. Continue seeking opportunities to develop, plan ahead, and perform insightful research on unprecedented trends that gives you the advantage over your competition.


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