The situation with COVID-19 has changed the way the world does things. The common phrase used is “finding your new normal”. At least SEO wise, the hope is that we can utilize the down time now to make the new normal better than the old. Most SEO tasks are time consuming and slow moving, so now is the ideal time to act in order to reap rewards later on.
Here are some ways to use your time to the best future advantage:
Interview your brand’s community
This is integral to building out new content assets and creating strategy moving forward.
Use one of the free video chat services (like Google Hangouts or Zoom) to host and record video calls.
Interview your customers and employees about their unique perspective. Talk about their knowledge of your products, services, and culture.
Get the videos transcribed and, voila, resources you can plumb for insider information for months. They’ll help you build out a content schedule, media releases, on-site copy, and so much more.
Create Shareable Video Content
While speaking on video creation, I have to say – videos are an excellent way to perform SEO. It’s a more competitive sphere, but the pluses outweigh the negatives.
Remember – YouTube is one of the largest search engines out there – only second to Google.com. If you rank well there, it’ll transfer over to higher conversion rates and sales.
Review your records once you’re done transcribing. Pick something timely and create a shareable video. Once you have, you’ve set yourself up to pop-up in YouTube search results, target long-tail keywords, and trigger featured snippets. You can also use them for other content, such as onsite blog articles and social media posts.
Assess creative assets
When was the last time you reviewed all of the shareable content your brand puts out for users? Now is the perfect time to start, or to update your running inventory.
Create a workbook in your favorite program (both Excel and Sheets work just as well), and create a new tab for each of the following categories:
- Blog posts
- Externally published articles
Once listed, review the items with a critical eye and record your answers. Ask questions like:
- Which pieces were most popular on site? Or received the most backlinks?
- Which items can be reused on other channels?
- Which pieces are dead weight?
The answers to these questions will show you where opportunities lie to
- Update with fresh content
- Reuse promotions when business picks up again
- Adding internal links to related products/services
- Optimizing with new keywords
Plan out Webinars
Webinars take advantage of two things: youtube’s search engine and transcriptions that aide in rankings.
Plus, it offers a way to do the following:
- Position your brand as an expert on a topic
- Introduce any and all of the following:
- New team members
- New products
- New services
This works best in the B2B arena as 91% of professionals say webinars are their favorite learning format.
Diversify Your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)
Most websites end up ranking for a set of core keywords that are the focus of their optimization efforts. These are usually keywords with pretty large search volumes and are considered safe for the company.
Why not take a stroll down the road of possibility and check out some related keyword verticals?
Look – developing content, especially in a world that is basically stuck at home to either stare at screens or use them to create, isn’t that big of a risk. Absolute worst case, the new pages don’t rank well, you can pull them, and you have a reference piece for future development.
Best case scenerio, the pages rank and actually bring in new users that convert.
Additionally, you can try to to get into more than just the organic listings – use this opportunity to try and enter into the Local Business Results, Knowledge Graph, and Rich or Featured Snippets. While these entries don’t always bring users to your site, it shows you as a trusted expert on that topic.
Setup (Or Adjust) Your Online Review Strategy
Did you know it’s best practice to look over and respond to online reviews customers have left on the internet?
Locating and keeping track of new online reviews is a great way to get ahead of and manage the way your brand is interpreted. Now is the opportune time to sign up for notifications on platforms and claim business listings.
Remember to exercise good judgment in responses. It’s a little late to respond to a 7 year old review, but something posted within the last few months is fair game.
Update your Google My Business (GMB) profile for local customers
Let your customers know what’s changed by utilizing the GMB tools in the dashboard.
Google provided advice on what businesses should do with their Google My Business listings if they’re affected by COVID-19. Here’s a direct quote from them:
To assist customers, businesses affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to update their Google My Business profile with with the most accurate information.
Here are ways to make sure your customers have the latest information about your business:
Change your business hours
If your business hours have changed, update the times when you’ll be open or closed. The hours will show when the customer visits your Business Profile, and they’ll know exactly when to visit. Learn how to change your hours.
Manage your information
Explain whether or not your business operations are affected by COVID-19. You can share information about any extra precautions your business is taking, such as moving to takeout or delivery only. You can also share if you’re providing any extra services to the community, or whether you’re experiencing delays. Learn more about editing your business description.
Create a post
Share more detailed and timely updates about what’s going on with your business through Posts. For example, add information about closures or reduced hours, or suggest the purchase of gift cards to support your business. You can continue to use Posts to directly communicate with your customers on a regular basis as your business changes. Learn how to create a post.
Tip: To make sure COVID-19 content is more noticeable to your customers, use the new COVID-19 post type on Google My Business.
Connect with your customers
Download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging as a way to help your customers reach you. If you aren’t reachable by phone or it’s after your business hours, messaging can help customers get the support they need.
Tip: To let your customers know your business status, you can write an automatic welcome message.
You can now mark your business “Temporarily closed” on Google. Google also relies on authoritative data sources, where available, to mark certain types of places as “Temporarily Closed” on Google Search and Google Maps.
Perform a backlink audit
Did you know the quality of the sites which link to your site affect your site’s ranking in organic search engines?
Take a look at your site’s backlink profile through majestic.com or ahrefs.com. Both of these services have clear quality signals for websites. They’ll alert you when poor quality sites link to yours and let you ensure that your backlinks are to actual entities and not a result of spam or negative SEO efforts.
Deep dive into your data
And last but not least: how well do you know your prospects and what influenced their decision to become customers?
Now’s a great time to find out.
Go through your analytical data and look at points that you haven’t reviewed in a while. For example: which type of mobile device converted best on your site? What correlations can you draw from that device’s use on your website compared to others?
If you have a storefront, compare offline to online trends and see if there isn’t a change in there you could implement online.
Not sure what to do next?
Thor has set aside two hours every weekday afternoon just for digital strategy calls. He’s the guy who will put your digital footprint back on track and advise on taking the next step. Click here to schedule a call.
Also, check out the next blog in our series: PPC tasks.