Search engine optimization or SEO, the practice of increasing quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results, is a long-term digital marketing strategy. Which means SEO may not be the first tactic companies turn to in a global pandemic. But as the COVID-19 crisis continues, digital marketers are starting to reassess their strategies to cultivate relevant content going forward.
In a recent webinar discussion on Digital Marketing Strategies in a Pandemic, SEO expert and instructor in UVM’s Digital Marketing certificate programs, Bill Rowland explained how search terms have shifted and how businesses have responded to the changes in user behavior online.
“People started searching for more things that were needed, rather than desired,” said Bill.
Almost immediately Bill says he saw variances or common terms in searches that related to the current crisis. For example, adding in variables to content such as “at home,” “homeschool,” “remote,” or “indoor,” started to become more frequently used in SEO tactics.
Even though most SEO efforts—even adding new variables to content—take between two and three months to gain traction, Bill recommends that companies consider what they can do right now to become more relevant during the pandemic while also creating evergreen content.
“Covid-19 and everything around it, has shown how an investment in SEO up to the point where the pandemic started, can really benefit,” said Bill. “It’s almost the textbook SEO strategy of creating evergreen, great content, that can carry a business through this time or a future business disruption.”
Content Planning During the Pandemic
Basic information about what’s going on with the organization is a solid first step when creating a content plan to address the pandemic. Bill says that up front, businesses want to create the logistical content first such as hours of operation or how their operations are affected by the pandemic. But then organizations should quickly follow up with the development of overall strategies that can help in an evergreen way by expanding content that shows expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness or E-A-T. Content that can fit into the E-A-T model can help add value to a website, and in Google’s eyes, could impact your rankings.
Bill also recommendations that businesses take the time to do a basic or foundational SEO audit to make sure the website is performing well to allow the organization to pivot in the future if needed.
You can learn more SEO tactics to respond to the pandemic or to outline future digital marketing strategies in the Advanced SEO course in UVM’s Digital Marketing School. In the online, 4-week course, students learn and apply Search Engine Optimization tactics that can be used for both short and long-term digital marketing planning. Registration is now open.