The COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns have had global ramifications on the world. Many businesses closed their doors permanently because of the enormous pressures placed on them. Millions of workers lost their jobs. As more businesses tried to transition to remote working and eCommerce sites, understand SEO became essential in surviving this time. In this article, we discuss some of the SEO lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can apply this information into your business going forward to strengthen it.
Online Shopping is Important
Online shopping became vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. For customers, it might be the only way that they were able to get the things that they needed to buy. For businesses, it is a lifeline. Without online shopping, a month long closure can cause them to permanently close. If your business didn’t have an online store, there’s a good chance you invested in one to stay open. In a time when social distancing and avoiding stores is actively recommended, being able to sell products online is a must.
One of the first steps to building a good website is to focus on the user experience from the start – from the design through to the checkout process. User experience is highly important because it directly affects your visitors. When they initially see your website appealing, they’ll be much more likely to visit again – because it makes them feel good about your company and gives them a positive feeling about you and your product. Even if they don’t make a purchase there, a first impression is often enough to sell a website.
The importance of user experience can not by understated, as it is key in repeat visitors and search engine relevance. A website’s ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and so on greatly depends on its usability. You would surely like your website to appear on the first page or at least in the second page of search results. And the only way to ensure a good ranking on search engines is to ensure that your website is usable. Designing a website should be done in such a way that the entire browsing experience is pleasant and enjoyable. If a website is poorly designed, users would get frustrated and this would lead to them leaving your website immediately.
The importance of online advertising has increased dramatically in 2020, as the entire world became more connected through the Internet because of the pandemic. There is so much competition in terms of online retailers. Advertising is a key step in standing out and connecting with customers. It might seem as if it is more difficult to invest in ads now, with less revenue coming in, but it is also a time not to skimp on it.
Even internationally recognized companies, such as Walmart and Walt Disney World, increased their online advertising efforts. In a time of limited consumer spending, the fight for the last dollar remains even more competitive. It is too easy for customers to buy what they need from Amazon over trying to find a new store to try. Having your brand out there and visible might be the only way that customers end up shopping with your online store.
Be Able to Pivot
Perhaps the most important lesson of the COVID-19 pandemic is simply being able to pivot. If you operated an in-person store, capacity limits and closures changed how you are able to operate. Being able to start an online eCommerce store could literally save your business. If you invested heavily in social media ads targeting hospitality workers, they may not have the funds to buy your products any longer. Targeting a different segment of your target market might be a more effective strategy than trying to reach customers who don’t have the same needs at the moment.
A good example of this is Home Depot, Walmart or Aldi. Home Depot heavily emphasized online shopping and its new curbside pickup option, where contactless delivery the same day because a possibility for a store that does a lot of in-person business. Walmart amped up its grocery program, expanding its grocery delivery services and adding more grocery pickup spots. Aldi launched a partnership with InstantCart for delivery and pickup for a small fee. All of these companies pivoted well during the pandemic and found ways to thrive better than most.
There will be a time for business after COVID-19. As the pandemic highlighted, SEO is and will remain an important tool for companies to utilize in the future to survive and grow. KitelyTech is a full-service SEO, web development, and marketing agency. We are here to serve you during the times of COVID-19 and beyond. Get started with a free consultation by calling (312) 254-8248 to speak with a member of our SEO team.