SEO vs. Covid-19. Why you shouldn’t give up on SEO in a pandemic crisis

Karolina MatyskaKarolina Matyska
Published: 10.01.2021
5 minute

In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, we must decide which budget cuts will save our business. Here are a few points to consider before changing your SEO strategy.

1. Theoretically, a smaller number of clients gives your company more time and resources for new tasks

A difficult time is upon us. Some clients will walk away. Some will be forced to close their doors entirely and let their teams go. However, if you are not up the wall, unlock the potential hidden in this situation – your time and resources.

Is the IT department less swamped than usual? It’s an excellent time to keep them occupied with tasks that were always low-priority, such as implementing the recommendations from your SEO audit, which they’ve been putting off for months. You could also get your head down and create content – another thing that we normally never get around to. It’s a viable option for people such as clerks who are no longer at their posts in the shopping malls.

Remember that you can accomplish a lot with your own resources. We gave you a few tips on what to do yourself in SEO and what to solve with money.

2. SEO gains are deferred in time

Even though the corona epidemic does not show signs of slowing down, eventually our lives will go back to normal again. Many topics may not be trending at the moment, but the demand for them will come. How does that affect your SEO strategy?

SEO takes an average of 3 months to kick in (check how long you have to wait to see the results in various sectors). This implies that your efforts should bear fruit – hopefully – after the end of the quarantine, when everybody will be getting back to work. By gaining (or cementing) high rankings in the SERPs, you improve your chances for a smoother recovery and the return of a steady income. Think of SEO as an opportunity to bounce back with double power.

Besides, remember that a pause in SEO efforts may cost you the results you’ve already achieved. Regaining your current position will be more expensive than maintenance. It is especially advisable to continue optimization if your rankings are high rankings and your competition – fierce.

However, if you’re still mulling over the idea of giving up on SEO, consider limiting your budget instead of a full-blown shutdown.

3. Many companies opted for budget shifts

SEO is an alternative to Google Ads for browser traffic acquisition (I’ve discussed the advantages of high visibility in the SERPs in my article on the benefits of SEO). If you have no use for paid ads now (because you’re running a restaurant or a dentist’s office which is closed), but you’ve still got reserves to invest in business growth, you could bank on SEO.

According to our data, e-commerce businesses recorded an average browser traffic loss of 20% (less than other companies, which faced a 31% drop). When the epidemic recedes, the demand should go back to normal. If you can, change your strategy and invest to gain an advantage against the competition after the epidemic is over. SEO will be a pertinent choice because, as we already mentioned, it produces effects deferred in time.

4. We don’t know how long it will last

We all hope that the corona epidemic will soon die down. However, nobody knows how long it will take. Keep it in mind when planning your nearest weeks and months.

Even if your revenue has fallen slightly or not at all, the number of clients may drop as the market recession sets in. Even if you can afford paid advertising such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads now, it may prove too expensive in the longer run. In contrast, SEO is a relatively cheap source of traffic, as you don’t pay per click, and the cost of acquiring a single user typically decreases with time.

5. We still need products and services, but in another form

Life goes on… on the internet. In line with the #stayhome campaign, we don’t go outside and spend even more hours glued to our computers and smartphones. Google is more of our daily companion than ever before – also in situations which we used to handle offline.

Make the most of it. Be visible and stay where your clients are looking for you – in the search results. This advice applies particularly to chains up-till-now focused on brick-and-mortar sale points. SEO is a way to maximally tailor your offer to the client’s needs, fight for the high rankings, and get a chance to balance out losses generated by closed stores in the shopping malls.

SEO should also be on the to-do list of the businesses which are now generating profit, not loss. Those include news portals (Google News!), online pharmacies, streaming sites, online bookstores. Now is the time when SEO will bring you the highest income.

Interestingly, the demand for services such as web hosting and domains spiked by around 20%. It could be a sign that many businesses opt for going online.

Attention! This article aims to present the most important arguments for continuing your SEO efforts throughout the epidemic. However, they may not suit every business and every situation. Basing on your company data, you have to make your own assessment of how SEO will impact your profits and improve your company’s condition in the nearest future.

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Karolina Matyska

Lingwistka, copywriterka, online marketerka, ale przede wszystkim – fanka dobrego content marketingu. Z contentem związałam się zaraz po studiach, z Senuto i SEO – w 2018 roku.