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25+ experts on Corona Virus

25+ Experts explain how COVID-19 affects SEO and what you need to do?

“Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.” Charles de Gaulle

The current world crisis has dramatically changed the world of commerce in a very short period of time.  In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen pubs, restaurants and retail stores close – and, sadly, there are those (approximately 20,000 in the UK alone)  who won’t re-open due to devastating financial losses.   

As well as the changes we’ve seen to our high streets, online shopping has taken a hit (apart from grocery shopping) as jobs are lost and spending is curtailed. 

With more and more businesses temporarily closing their doors and the world we know changing beyond recognition, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s time for idleness.  

On the contrary, if your business is experiencing a downturn in customers and productivity, this is the ideal time to work on some of the projects that you may not otherwise have had time for.  

If your business is a brick and mortar establishment, such as a restaurant or retail outlet, you’ll no doubt be panicking about the future of at the moment – and the last thing you want to do is spend more money on advertising and PPC – even if you have an online store as well.  

From a management perspective, and working with many clients across multiple niches and industries, I’m already looking to see what some of the key lessons businesses and employees are taking out of this crisis, both shorter term and longer term.  

Some of the most important learning points I expect coming out of this from the business owners and managers side: 
Ohhh, we can actually have our staff work from home and get great results…. Should we save on our office costs in the future and make us less vulnerable to similar things happening?

Based on point 1, I expect more businesses will start hiring more remotely, both high level skills more globally, and also outsourcing more work to lower cost locations. Most businesses are often holding back as they feel it isn’t easy, but this crisis will force companies to look at costs.

Big things that bring down entire industries can happen – How do we guard more against that in the future? I expect more businesses will start doing more diverse offerings. This might not be an overall impact for businesses in general, but it will potentially help some businesses avoid similar situations in the future. 

From an employee perspective, I see similar things happening. 
Ohhh, I can work from home and actually do 99% of what I used to do in the office… I don’t have to sit in traffic for hours every day, spend a ton of money on nice clothes and buy expensive office lunches… maybe this should be something I should do longer term…?

The 4 hour work week in action… If you haven’t read it, I recommend reading it. 
Fundamentally, I see huge industry change coming out of this situation, however long it will last. Online specific recruitment platforms such as dynamitejobs.co will thrive as both employers and employees will be looking that way.

Keeping the wheels turning

Whilst it’s natural to want to focus on the aspects of your business which bring in income, such as advertising and sales processes, this is also the perfect time to take a look at some of your processes and strategies, including your IT.  

During this quieter time, many businesses are becoming proactive in making sure that all of their IT processes are up to date and working efficiently.  This is a great idea as, once we come out on the other side of the coronavirus, these companies will be in great shape to hit the ground running on reopening day. 

Alexandra Tachalova,
Founder
Digital Olympus

At Digital Olympus, we have decided to take this time to rebuild our internal working processes. We have built tons of links each month for our clients, but before the quarantine, we had no time to slow down and analyze our efficiency.

What we’ve discovered in the past couple of weeks is that we’re not always targeting the right type of link building partners. So, my team and I have set the goal of increasing the number of partners who can build links on a scale that matches what our agency does. That will increase the efficiency with which we serve our clients.

Slowing down can have some benefits, even when the reason for it is unwelcome. We’ve found it quite sad that we’ve lost a valued client’s business due to the coronavirus effect, and we have our fingers crossed that things improve for them.

As well as testing the tech and fine tuning your processes, there are two really important things that your whole team can be working on right now.  

Search Engine Optimisation

It may seem like working on SEO is pointless when you really want to be concentrating on sales but, this is very much not the case. When you put SEO practices in place, it takes around three months for you to see the effects – which is why right now is the optimum time for your optimisation.  

It may be that you think you know about SEO but, I am here to tell you that it moves pretty darn quickly and if you haven’t looked at yours in a few months, it’s already overdue for an update.  

Although we’re currently living in a bubble whereby there’s nothing on the news and social media other than the coronavirus, there will come a time when the world begins the long journey back to normal and, this is your chance to make sure that you’re ready when it does.

Vincent Bucciachio,
Founder
SociallyInfused Media

Think back to the SARS outbreak―disorder eventually concedes to normalcy. Football will resume. Festivities and events will return, and pubs will be bustling again.

But what should we be concentrating on during these unprecedented conditions, before stability is restored?Of primary importance is ensuring the well-being of your employees and family. Next, be prepared for the future. Businesses need to resume selling again, and so they must advertise. Marketing plans need to be approved, scheduled and paid for, and organizations must look forward.

The point here is that we all have an opportunity to ready ourselves for a restart. We will get through this and, what you’re doing now will greatly impact where you stand afterwards.

It’s a really good idea to start with an SEO audit for your site. The purpose of this is to check the SEO health of your site by looking at: 

  • Any technical issues
  • Website structure issues
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Any potential off-site problems
  • User experience issues
  • Content gaps and possible opportunities
  • Competitive marketplace insights

If you’re currently watching your budgets, the good news here is that you can do this yourself for absolutely nothing. Online tools like Moz, SEMrush and ContentKing offer free trials of their products to help you figure out what’s going on with your site and how you can make it better.

Steven van Vessum,
VP of Community
ContentKing

Not only is this period a good time to take a good look at your site’s SEO, it can also be leveraged to do a website migration. Lots of companies can’t figure out a “good time” to do a website migration because they don’t have quiet periods. Chances are, even for them, now is a much quieter period.

If sales is slow, use this time to move forward with the migration and deal with the ranking drop when it’s not busy. Alternatively, if you have the budget, you can hire an expert to do this for you.   As well as looking at your own SEO, you can take the time to check out your competitors too and run a comparison.

In times like these, you may want to be sure of what activities any audit shows may produce. It may be best to test a proof of concept, low spend test on a subfolder or template of a website and decide whether it has the likely return on investment to roll out over the whole website.

Once your audit is complete, you’ll be perfectly placed to get to work on improving your SEO in order to get ahead of the competition. And the reverse is true as well: as the below image shows, you need to build momentum now to make sure you won’t be left behind when all of this is over:

For many brands, SEO is one of the more neglected aspects of the business during busy times – which is why it’s time that your SEO had a moment!  

Alexandre Sigoigne,
CEO & Cofounder
Myposeo

Search Engine Optimisation is a long term profitable investment. With the coronavirus pandemic, the number of search queries has increased greatly while PPC investment is lower than ever! Companies are finally understanding the importance of SEO. It’s just a shame that we’ve had to face such a radical situation to demonstrate that.

“Given the lockdown, people spend a lot more time working on their computers instead of going for meetings or spending time by the coffee machine, and are finding SEO monitoring very useful! Google keeps improving the SERP format and the fact that PPC is decreasing massively is changing the SEO game.”

“With the reduction in PPC spend, there is more space available at the top of the page. This means that there are new opportunities for listings that previously ranked lower on page 1, to now rank above the fold, allowing them to bring in more and more traffic. Companies that were waiting to invest in content and technical optimisations however, would miss out on this opportunity.”

“As an SEO platform, our activity has skyrocketed during COVID-19  since a lot of companies are now calling us saying, “Hey! We waited too long to start investing in SEO, and content to bring in “free traffic”. Let’s start now and monitor how we do.”

“Finally this crisis will probably help companies think differently and start focusing more on organic traffic instead of investing everything they have in media buying. This will be a good change for the industry as well as a lesson for companies to stop depending on paid results for their traffic.”

Cracking content

As I’ve mentioned, although it may not seem like it at the moment, there will come a time when we (thankfully) put the coronavirus behind us – and, when we do, there’ll be lots to talk about. 

At the moment, a lot of brands are making the mistake of focussing their content on the current crisis. As well as the fact that, by now, most of us are desperate for a break from the doom and gloom, a lot of the content being published is simply regurgitated and isn’t saying anything new.  

This is a really good time to get your whole team working on some great content ideas which don’t have even a single reference to coughs, fevers or government sound-bites.  

Try holding Skype meetings with your team in order to brainstorm some brilliant and uplifting ideas. You can also take advantage of this unexpected lull by starting to look ahead to the rest of 2020 and putting together your content in advance including: 

  • Summer holidays
  • School holidays
  • National events such as elections
  • Halloween
  • Guy Fawkes
  • Christmas

Of course it’s impossible to know what may happen in the next six months and, so, you’ll most likely be adding to your content file as we go along but, getting some of the obvious stuff done now is a great head start.  

Once we’re all up and running again, things are no doubt going to be busy so, by putting together a store of great content, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in the months to come. 

Things are pretty tough for most of us right now – but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to stay that way. As the saying goes, ‘Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change – and courage to change the things that I can’.  

As we all face an uncertain future, you can at least make sure that your digital presence is on top of its game – and you can start today!

Below you will find more thoughts on this. Read them through leave the comment and share your thoughts on this. If your business has been affected by COVID there is a good chance some of experts in article might help you!

Chris Simance,
Speaker
chrissimmance

Now may be the best time to look in detail at your link profile. For a couple of reasons:

Lots of bloggers who rely on link sales for income may be becoming a bit desperate. Whilst this could look like a good opportunity to save £ on Linkedin in the short term, it may be harmful in the long term.

Reason being: if they are desperate, they may take lots of bad sites on to link to and diminish any value they provide you and if your competitors go out of business, not nice to think about I know, you may want to run an audit of their link profiles to ‘scoop up’ any of the links they ‘no longer need.

Bibi,
The Link Builder
Bibibuzz

Big changes are hard – especially when everything you built up seems to have vanished overnight. But it’s your reaction that determines the long-term outcome.

Creativity and resilience will give you the resources to adapt right now, and eventually grow. If your audience won’t be able to use your products at the moment, provide valuable resources that will help them immediately, and they will remember you later.

Investing in SEO is perfect as it’s a fairly low-cost investment compared to ad spend and big PR campaigns. While all your competitors are scrambling to get their sh*t together, you can lay the groundwork for online domination after the storm has passed.

And it will pass – ask anyone in the travel industry as they have dealt with multiple crises over the years. So adapt and build, and keep your eyes open for new opportunities in a changing landscape.

Jonathan Kiekbusch,
Managing Director
SEOButler

How many times over the course of the last few weeks and months have you heard and seen the word “unprecedented” being thrown around. I myself have been guilty of using the term. And honestly if I could retract it, I would! 

Let me tell you why, while this situation is a global tragedy, and while there was never a time of such extreme lock-down measures during many of our lifetimes. I do NOT believe that for businesses this time is unprecedented.

Sure, it may seem more abrupt than previous “disruptions”, it may seem more all encompassing. I get it. But just think back to the list of events that changed the world and forced businesses to adapt; 

  • That volcano that stopped all flights over Europe
  • The great depression
  • The invention of the internet
  • Streaming technology
  • The release of smartphone technology 

All of these were huge disruptions to life and business as we know it. Remember Nokia? How about Blockbuster? 
We are operating in an environment that is changing, and its changing fast, quick and in a hurry. 

But you have two options now, do you panic and struggle to survive? Or will you assess this new environment that you are in and figure out how you can thrive in it? 

I don’t need to tell you that SEO is a long term game, so there is no point in even discussing whether or whether not to keep working on your SEO campaign, of course you should. 

You will find yourself not only more at ease, but you may just start to thrive. 

Jason Barnard,
Tutor
Kalicube

Perhaps take this opportunity to take a step back and have a good long, hard look in the mirror. Search your [Brand] (exact match) and look at what Google shows your audience when they check you out…

Is it positive, accurate and convincing? If not, make it so – that is your business card and can make or break your business. But there’s more! Google has by far the most data about your brand’s ecosystem (and in particular your marketing strategy)… so that Brand SERP is the best reflection of your digital ecosystem you’ll find.

Look at that reflection (in the Brand SERP mirror), identify your strengths and (particularly) your weaknesses, and set out a more balanced and effective digital marketing strategy. 

Arnout Hellemans,
Seo Consultant
Onlinemarkethink

This is the time to reflect on what is happening on your site; fix your analytics and skill up, there is time to take some online courses on SEO or other topics like consumer psychology and way more.

If you are only doing SEO, I would wholeheartedly recommend diving deeper into UX, consumer psychology and take a Google analytics course. This will make you a better marketer and will work well on the side to help you or your clients to get more from the traffic you are sending to them through your SEO efforts.

Now is the time to maybe even pivot into CRO or Analytics, that is where there is a huge gap in good consultants. To be honest, I went from doing PPC and SEO into Analytics about 5 years ago and I think it made me a way better consultant and marketer.

So, upskill yourself on other topics (not just SEO), this will help you in the future, whatever happens. 

Ashley Segura,
CoFounder
TopHatContent

In times like these, businesses and SEOs need to focus now more than ever on their customers. Each business has multiple customer personas, usually having at least 2-3 different customer types. It’s crucial for business owners and SEOs to know what each persona is and how they’re individually being affected by this pandemic. 

Knowing this, pivot your business and your brand messaging to address their current concerns and questions. If that means creating a new service or product that is adaptable for the current conditions, do so.

If that means further expanding on pages adding additional content to address new questions, do so. It also means creating new content, virtual content, that each customer persona can still connect and convert with. 

As industries, businesses, and SEOs around the world take a hit from this pandemic, there are still things we can do to stay afloat and keep our clients ranking. Now is the time to get innovative and think of not just how your business or clients can survive, but how they can thrive. 

Julia Nesterets,
CEO
Jetoctopus

Small wins always inspire. Right now, when the whole world is depressed and the achievements  are tough we need small wins which will inspire us even more than usual. 

What have we done in JetOctopus that inspires us every other day apart from the circumstances? We’ve decreased our prices dramatically so our clients have a chance not to switch off and become SEO blind but to keep the needed Tech SEO tools and to get small SEO wins day after day.
The 80 Euro all inclusive package is at help for every SEO expert.

The pandemia will finish sooner or later and our customers have all the necessary at hand to make their websites more visible for search bots and to get more organic traffic at the end of the day. And do morning exercises. It brings you positive energy. And positive energy increases your immune system. 

Sam Harries,
Freelance SEO

With a temporary economic downturn in which there is more reticence to spend money from not just the consumers but the brands, there is much that can be done to improve future outcomes. This time is ideal to improve internal processes, as well as those with your external suppliers. 

There is a lot more headspace for the strategic partners in a business to assess how things have always been done, to improve the day-to-day running of a business.

With a newly streamlined approach your business is on the front foot as confidence returns to the market, allowing your business to already be half way down the track as the competitors are still doing up their trainers. It is useful to be reminded during these times of the sorts of innovations that have historically come out of hard-ship, great or small.

From the great, such as Disney’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit giving way to Mickey Mouse, to the incredibly petty, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings crediting coming up with the idea after a $40 BlockBuster late fee. While we have this breathing room, do question what you’re doing day-to-day, and if you need to be doing it.

There very well may be a better way. In a search marketing world this may lead you to reconsider things that you’ve taken for granted, such as the structure of how your deeper content is supporting your money-pages, or a whole subset of a tangential customer-base that isn’t being supported enough by your content.

Judith Lewis,
Founder
Decabbit Consultancy

It might sound counterintuitive, but I’m being asked to do even more audits and SEO work now, possibly because instead of fighting daily fires now is a time when some businesses can also address underlying issues.

I’m also being asked to deliver SEO upskilling training, as well as digital marketing training to ensure that the workforce remains at the top of their game during this enforced lockdown. 

Delivering training online means staff can self-isolate while still learning a new skill which will help the business (and their own professional development) in the future as work returns and restrictions are lifted.
Probably one of the things I’ve been talking about for years that businesses should be doing now is creating personas and building out a solid strategy.

Ensuring you have a formally designed, structured plan which is being worked on during this down time will ensure your business returns to offline action stronger than before, and increasing online reach now will ensure that while offline might be slow, online continues to gain momentum.

Press is not stopping, PR isn’t stopping, websites mostly aren’t stopping, lots of family run businesses are not stopping – now is not the time to simply shutter everything but to find ways to pivot.

One client is looking at affiliate marketing as a possible way to increase visibility, another small family-run business is looking at some M&A strategies, and other businesses are still working on building new and better websites, improving existing websites, and increasing the quality of their offering.

It is painful for many businesses right now but if yours can afford it, step back, make a plan, understand your customers, build a site that addresses their needs and pain points, and build visibility. 

Create worthy stories for your business, get positive press coverage, cut through the CV-19 chatter with a positive message because journalists still need to report something and positive news is getting more visibility. Now is the time to shine and build resilience into your business, your staff, and your online presence because if not now, then when?

Doc Sheldon,
Founder
Intrinsic Value Seo

While you’re optimizing your website and business processes, take advantage of the opportunity to optimize your brand awareness, too. Building reputation and relationships takes time, and that’s something you probably have a surplus of at the moment.

Most of us are spending some portion of our day staying up to date on the coronavirus pandemic – and so are many of your potential new clients out there. Be a valuable resource for them. You don’t have to constantly post information on infections and deaths – everyone’s already inundated with those numbers.

 But taking the time to vet some of the many resources out there – a couple of which, sadly, bear malware – and sharing links to the reliable sources can help the less savvy folks find solid information. You could also debunk some of the dangerous misinformation that pops up. Be visible, be helpful, be remembered.

Some other good information you can share is ideas on how a brick & mortar business that’s enduring reduced or halted business can break into an online channel. How viable that is, of course, depends on the niche and the market.

But for some, it can be the difference between survival and economic ruin.Use your imagination – you might come with some ideas that’ll work for both you and others. And it can only help you to stick in their memory.

Kosta Bankovski,
Growth Hacker
Netpeak Software

Almost everyone tells me that it’s a good time to rethink your lead generation process. If you have not enough traffic now, use this quarantine to prepare your website and processes for future demand. Eventually, chaos will be over.

Some useful tips for you:

Start creating video content. People in quarantine spend much more time online than usual. Videos can give you some of their attention while offline connection is impossible, even video made with your phone is fine, people are not as picky as we think.

Don’t forget about customer care. Take your part in making them confident in the future, they are as scared as you are, but you can’t show it, so use it to increase loyalty to your brand.

Integrate more tools on your website: chats, call-back button, pop-up engagements from your support team, better user behavior analytics, etc.

Optimize internal workflow, I’m pretty sure that you have some SOPs or checklists in your mind which will look better if you write them in a spreadsheet.

Damian Salkowski,
CEO
Senuto

The current crisis proved once again that the SEO industry is very much polarized. Now it split into two groups:

Extreme optimists – I’ve got an impression that in panic some SEO specialists started to put lipstick on a pig, acting as if nothing wrong was happening. In a crisis it’s not really a good strategy.

Extreme pessimists – a group of people, who get panicky too much. This in turn may result in snap decisions.I personally try to stay somewhere in the middle.

On the one hand I wouldn’t advise anyone these days to increase their spending (unless it’s a business that benefits from the current situation). On the other hand I also wouldn’t say they should stop doing marketing at all (unless it’s one of the businesses that lost the opportunity to earn money whatsoever).

I try to follow the rule ‘hope for best, prepare for worst’. To be honest, I don’t think there’s anyone who could forecast what our reality will be like in 2-3 weeks from today. That’s why it’d be smart to prepare for different scenarios. 

Many experts shared their opinion that in all this commotion e-commerce will be the winner. But let’s just look at it from another perspective – with less money in their pockets, people will spend less on goods and services which in turn will have an impact on the whole economy. 

My own analysis showed that in the 2nd and 3rd week of March 2020 almost everyone lost, while the 4th week was already much better. Spending their time at home, people surf the internet even more (just imagine how many shows you can watch!), what is visible when you check the average search volumes for different keywords. They’re growing.

Thus, my recommendation is to rely on a short-term strategy and restrain from taking snap, radical decisions – there will be a better time for this.

Nikola Minkov,
CEO
Serpact

During the times of crisis, every business should consider eliminating the processes that are inefficient and focus on what delivers results.
The goal is for every dollar invested is to get $3 back. Or at least a dollar and a half. Organic traffic is the way to do this. The confidence in SERP’s natural traffic is highest, the bounce rate is the lowest and the conversions are good.  

That’s why we’ve noticed that the businesses that think analytically and in the long term, know that the crisis will eventually end and they need to come out of it even more prepared and with a better-optimized workflow. They are contacting us during the time in order to help them prepare their site, tidy it up and improve it so that it can grow after the crisis.

Difficult moments sift out the fake – the marketing gurus with just theoretical knowledge full of fancy words. The time has come for people with real qualities and practical experience. 

Deepak Shukla,
MD
Pearllemon

Execution matters more

Here’s some practical things we’re doing during this corona crisis:

I posted a Facebook status update asking how many SEOs in my network – I’m now crowdsourcing an internal audit of our sites from 5-7 SEOs to further improve our own collection of websites

We’ve increase by 25% our outreach messages to work on landing more clients

We’ve increased our own internal link-building efforts by 10-15%

We’ve bought an affiliate business and will buy another to diversify our company income, learn more about affiliate marketing websites then ultimately also offer it as a service.

Omi Sido,
Senior Technical SEO
Canon Europe
Omisido

Be ready for the coronavirus global recession


If history always repeats itself, the global economy will eventually recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but the idea that this is going to be a V-shaped recession in the first half of 2020 followed by a recovery in the second half of 2020 looks absurd after the disastrous events of the past few weeks. 

With that in mind, the question I wanna ask you is ‘Do you have a plan?’ And I sincerely hope you have a plan. But just in case you don’t have one: start thinking about it now! 

Kevin Indig,
VP Seo & Content
G2

We need to realize that there are two ways to deal with this crisis: One, we don’t know what exactly is going to happen. Two, we must keep a steady grip on things. 

One of the biggest mistakes is thinking you know what’s going to happen. You don’t. Especially in the COVID-19 crisis, which the world has never seen before in this form.

In a situation like this where the economy is uncertain as a business, you need to legit ask yourself ‘If I didn’t make one more pound (dollar) for the next six months, what do I need to do or what do I need to have to be okay?’And I know quite often small business owners are afraid to look at the finances – especially in times of crisis – but trust me there is power in knowledge. 

There is a lot of power in knowing what to do if suddenly a lot of your employees are sick or nobody is buying from you because people have to stay at home or nobody is buying from you because your product is not considered to be ‘essential’. 

I’m not saying that all of a sudden we have no money and the world is ending tomorrow and it’s a zombie apocalypse. No. No, quite the opposite: coronavirus is an enemy that we are gonna defeat. 
But for now “Hope for the best, plan for the worst”.

Peter Mead,
SEO Consultant
Petermeadit

SEO has always been, by its very nature, a slower game than other marketing disciplines. So I often talk with clients about how SEO is an investment. At this time it might feel like the world is coming to an end, but this is a similar analogy with any other form of investment. This means for an investment to grow it needs to be invested in. SEO is a similar business investment. 

Take the time now to invest more into SEO, and the dividends will pay higher when the investment matures. Even if your business has now suddenly seen an overnight growth, then invest more in SEO.

Or if your business is in a slump, you can take the time to get to work on that technical SEO issue you have been putting off when you were too busy. Some folks with businesses that have dried up, have decided to sit it out until things recover.

This is the perfect time for them to undertake some larger SEO undertaking which previously may have caused too many fluctuations in the SERPs. This could be the time to drastically improve your Content SEO by improving your articles, videos, ebooks or other content. 

It may also be a good time to rebuild certain areas of your site that have been suffering from difficult Technical SEO issues, so as to improve performance, crawling and indexing. Build your brand, work on Semantic SEO, use Schema, influence the knowledge graph. There is always so much that can be done. 

Sadly we know many businesses will not survive, but if your business is in a position to weather this severe global storm, then this is the time to invest more into your SEO to see those valuable dividends. 

Juliette van Rooyen,
Head of SEO
VR Squared

Right now we’re seeing an incredible amount of flux and uncertainty which is massively impacting people’s typical search and shopping behaviour. As a result of that flux, this is  really important in ensuring that we’re continuing to focus on SEO.

A number of companies of all sizes are cutting back on all areas of marketing, but SEO continues to be the most cost-effective marketing channel.With the behaviour changes we’re seeing, there needs to be a strong move away from our traditional reliance on historical data and instead look at current search trends.

We also need to think far more about how people are feeling in the wake of this chaos and how this is impacting their search and shopping behaviour.We seem to be dividing into segments based almost entirely on our job/income status on a day to day basis.

This is leading to a far greater focus on price points and a reduction in searches for areas that would be classed as ‘discretionary’ spending such as fashion. This will continue to be the case for the medium term as the employment circumstances lead to significant economic issues in the next 6-12 months.

Additionally, in the short term, the lockdowns / shelter in place restrictions on movement, there have been sharp behaviour changes. Massive drops in searches for areas such as makeup, perfume and deodorant as people are less concerned about in-person appearance. 

There are also huge rises in search for appliances and home gym equipment as people seek to replicate their outside world within their houses. This will likely only continue as long as the restrictions do, and likely will result in a flood of second hand items into marketplaces once the restrictions are lifted.

Businesses need to be paying attention to what will come after the restrictions lift and we move back towards ‘normal’ life, not what we have seen in search behaviour in the last few years.

SEO marketing plans need to be very clearly defined into phases so that they can start being enacted quickly and rolled out to get the best possible position as we move to each new phase.

Fernando Angulo,
Head of Communications
Semrush

This coronavirus pandemic is a total human catastrophe, it will affect even more industries and the final damage has yet to be accounted for.

This is the key moment for businesses/brands to show much more solidarity and flexibility with its users than before, the most proactive has even come to open their products or services for free or have opened themselves to donations and unprecedented discounts because they perceive the social and economic impact that this situation will cause in the very near and imminent future.

It is time to be close to the user/client in a professional, empathetic and above all in a very human way, which is the basis of an effective communications strategy.

Surprisingly it is a very good moment to be more connected than ever, people are replying to emails, chatting, scheduling online meetings and just calling more. So I would say that is the best time to implement your outreaching strategy.

I will suggest that you:

  • Empathetically answer to any comments and questions related to the covid-19
  • Be flexible with collaborators, partners and maintain confidentiality
  • Publish educational, informative and inclusive content to show that you are not outside this situation 

Julia Logan,
Consultant
IrishWonder’s SEO Consulting

This is a difficult time for many businesses, but this is also a push to evolve, reinvent yourself and improve. I have shared my thoughts recently in this semi-serious post.

If there is a way a business can offer their services or products online, they absolutely need to be online and figure out a new way to reach their customers, even if it’s something they have never done before.For those businesses who already have online presence, this is the time to optimise their online performance, make it more efficient, make the most out of it. And SEOs can help with this.

We can suggest ways to improve their sites, we can lead them towards making their sites more visible and help them reach their customers at the time when it is largely only possible online. 

For my clients, I sometimes even act as a source of feedback in general and let them share their ideas about their business so that I as an outside observer may offer some perspective they never thought of before.

No matter how long this crisis lasts, we will eventually learn to live with it as a new normal, and those who manage to evolve and adjust stand the best chance of survival as businesses.

Michal Suski,
Cofounder
Surfer SEO

I can see the crisis from two perspectives – SaaS and the SEO Agency. These two businesses are connected and affecting each other. Agencies lose clients or put projects on hold, which lowers the revenue and makes owners look for cutting the costs. 

Keep your team busy – this is the best I can say to the SEO Agency owners. The profit margin on links acquisition is much smaller than services, even writing and optimization. 

Clients are lowering budgets. Spend time on writing content and optimize existing pages instead of spending money on links. All the money stays in the company.

Even if the client lowers the budget by half, you can still keep the team working on pages optimization, because you are not buying links. Spending money on staff hours seems to be a much more reasonable move in the recession.

All the money stays inside the company. It is not a shame when you ask an SEO to write something good for the agency’s blog when there is no clients’ work in the pipeline. 

Content is the best place to allocate your team’s resources.
From the SaaS perspective, I can tell you that the growth slowed down, and users share COVID 19 as the cancellation cause. It is not that bad as for the SEO Agencies, because having a decent toolset is a must-have if you want to keep your services at the same quality standards for the clients who stayed.

Freelancers and SMBs are the types of clients who resign most frequently in our case, while agencies are looking for new ideas to keep the team busy. 

Quite a lot of them figured out already that the content services can save their business from the recession. That’s is why we didn’t get hurt that much.

What do we do now? The same things as before – continuously improving the product educating the SEO community, and extra features to our free tool – Keyword Surfer. 

Harry Sanders,
Founder
Studio Hawk

In a short summary, COVID is an opportunity to go back to the basics, making sure that you have covered off all of your bases, titles and all the little things that we don’t normally have time to do.

Are there staff members that now have capacity to help with this? What other initiatives can you work on? Take the time now to be proactive, rather than the mad scramble that accompanies business. Look into your site’s architecture, are you happy with how everything is structured? What about when you perform a site: command on your website, everything check out?

It’s a difficult time for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to get your house in order ;-).

Lukasz Zelezny,
Founder
SEO.London

This is indeed a difficult time for many. Working with clients from various industries I can clearly see what websites gain and what websites lose traffic. 

Just to clarify – gain and loose of traffic is not because of ranking changes. Its mainly because of demand change.

Gaming and adult industry is booming. Same situation with heavy tool e-commerce stores. April was the best month in history. If you want to buy a saw or drill to do some DYI in your house, apartment or garden you want to buy tools online because of lockdown.

On the other hand taxis, airport transfers are really suffering. 

But that time can be very productive. It may be a moment to take a breath, leave a hamster wheel and think about what business can change, do better, etc. 

Wojtek Mazur,
CEO
Elephate

How you should react to the COVID-19 crisis in relation to your SEO efforts depends on two things: does your business depend on online presence? And two, how well were you prepared for the recession?

Of course, no one could predict the pandemic, however, securing appropriate duty savings for the “hard times” during “good times” should be one of the important objectives for every healthy business. 

Considering that SEO is a long-term game, any short-term slowdown shouldn’t ruin the results of your previous activities. But at the same time, competition for top rankings is ongoing. It can turn out that those competitors who didn’t put their efforts on hold or even intensified them during the economic downturn, will take the lead in search results and harvest benefits once the economics starts rising again. 

So, if your business is highly dependent on organic search presence, and as long as you were financially prepared so you can afford it, you should normally continue executing your long-term SEO strategy during the COVID-19 recession.

Founder of Senior Care Clicks

Karina Tama-Rutigliano,
Founder
Senior Care Clicks

Senior Care Clicks offers Digital Marketing Services for the Senior Care industry. Our clients are Home Care Agencies and Senior Living Facilities. Now, due to COVID-19, we have seen an increase in demand for our services because older adults are the most affected population.

Senior Care is one of the winner industries during this time. There are different situations happening: 

Families can’t visit their seniors because senior living facilities don’t allow visits. Then, families are desperately looking for services to send extra help to their loved ones.

Families are taking their seniors back home in order to protect them.

When seniors are already sick, their families prefer to take them home so that the seniors can spend their last days surrounded by family. 

All these scenarios have increased the need for home health care services. 

COVID-19 has strongly affected the healthcare industry. Many changes are happening fast. It has been a challenge for us as well because we have to adapt to the new regulations in an industry that already has regulations and privacy policies. This is not an easy industry. It is a constant learning curve besides SEO learning. 

I highly recommend my clients to invest in Local SEO because in this industry most of the presence is local. Now that the demand in the industry has grown exponentially. There is no better time than now to invest in SEO. 

It is of utmost importance to appear on Google map and to provide information about relevant topics such as “ Prevention of COVID- 19 and Seniors”. Families are looking for help within their communities. They are looking for answers online and we want that our clients are the ones answering this question to their potential clients. 

On the business side, we are investing in SEO, paid ads, and salespeople. We know this is an opportunity for us and we are putting our resources in it. 

Emanuele Arosio

Emanuele Arosio,
Head of Global SEO
Triboo Digitale

This is the perfect time to reflect without pausing digital strategies and especially SEO, trying to better understand internally the Brand where to better manage the research intent and especially in which markets to be able to take as a strategy.

SEO must be the perfect digital partner to collect research data and transform it into business data for the company. International markets are fundamental as the Brand’s needs to increase turnover are fundamental.

The Covid-19 takes some time to stop for a moment and start better organized than before.

What we are doing in this period is precisely to support customers with the right choice through global market analysis with respect to the research and demand trends of their product to work closely with the UX team and create a perfect CRO strategy.

Here is a list of the reasons I invite you to do:


What are the markets that are resuming the online shop after Covid-19?

Analyze the market opportunity with respect to your products

Add value to online content with text and video

Optimize the presence on MarketPlace, especially with SEO’s strategies 

International SEO consultant, speaker, and blogger. Throughout his career, Milosz has been consulting and devising growth tactics for small businesses and start-ups, particularly within financial services. Prior to the acquisition of Chilli Fruit Web Consulting, Milosz has been involved in growing Plus Guidance (an early-stage UK tech start-up, now acquired) and Sigma Digital Marketing Agency based in Oxfordshire.

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