7 Ways SEO Can Help Local Businesses During Covid-19

Local Business Marketing Tips During Covid-19

Image source neilpatel.com

Right now, life is different than any of us have ever experienced. Most things have essentially been put on pause indefinitely, with weddings, funerals, parties, conferences, festivals, and more all postponed due to COVID-19.

When a pandemic such as COVID-19 hits, there isn’t a rulebook or regular plan to follow. It can feel overwhelming and confusing, especially when your relationships and businesses have been greatly affected. 

Small and local businesses are facing a number of issues since they have had to close down or begin operating on a smaller level. There is a real fear and worry among business owners who are unsure of what, if anything, they can do as the crisis continues.

The good news is, the pandemic will end. Businesses will open up again. The economy will get rolling and slowly, life will get back to normal. In fact, many people are simply awaiting that green light so they can get out into their communities and start spending money.

While that image of the future looks appealing and might just make your mouth water, the fact that it exists in an unknown time frame is disheartening for a number of business owners. They feel like there is nothing that they can do but simply wait for things to get back to normal and hope that they can stay afloat until then.

However, there are some things that local businesses can and should do while they are awaiting the lifting of restrictions and the opening up of the economy. By focusing on SEO, businesses can help to keep themselves going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using SEO During Covid-19

SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is an essential tool for businesses when they’re regularly operating and business is moving along as usual. It is one of the top digital marketing tools for increasing traffic to your website and gaining visibility. SEO can really help a business grow and prosper.

Along with COVID-19 has come an influx of online activity. More people than ever are spending their days at home, consuming digital media for entertainment, connection, shopping, business, and educational purposes.

Even those who had previously refused to enter the world of online shopping and payments are letting their guard down and venturing into the world of eCommerce. Ever popular, search engines are getting more use than before, as consumers have begun using them to find online stores that carry the products they once went out to purchase. 

With so many people searching for products and services online, SEO is essential for local businesses that are looking to sustain themselves during, and after, the COVID-19 crisis.

Here are 7 ways that SEO can help local businesses right now:

1. SEO Can Offer Your Business Life Preserver

Business certainly feels different during this pandemic. You can’t open up shop and you can’t serve customers in person. No matter what type of business you run, it feels different. It is different. 

For many businesses, this feels like a death sentence. However, with SEO, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

SEO is a life preserver for small and local businesses. Everyone is at home and online, which means that in order to keep your business going, you need to be relevant and visible online. Focusing on SEO will help ensure that your business is able to keep gaining leads. 

Even more, if you move your business to an online platform during COVID restrictions, you will be able to keep producing and increasing conversions. Utilizing SEO will give you more website traffic, which will lead to the conversions you need.

2. Your Business Stays Top Of Mind And Can Even Increase Brand Awareness

Visibility is everything in business. If you aren’t visible, your target market probably doesn’t even know that your business exists.

In an online business climate, the only way to gain customers is to ensure that people are aware of you. They can’t just walk down the street, see your store, and go inside. There needs to be something that shines a spotlight on your business and makes your target market aware of you; that something is SEO.

You can use SEO to make people aware of your brand and your products, ensuring that they buy from you when they’re ready.

3. You Can Out-SEO Your Competition

Many businesses are essentially shutting down shop during the pandemic. Unsure of how to proceed and run their business, owners are giving up on the idea of making a profit, as well as simply marketing their business for an advantage after the crisis. 

Since so many businesses are putting the brakes on their marketing efforts, it’s even more important for you to step on the gas! Your competition is basically hiding in the shadows, yet your target market is standing in the light looking for someone to come forward. If you focus on your SEO, you’ll be the obvious one standing there. 

Those looking to convert now will find you instead of your competition when they check out the search engines. Those just searching for a business in your industry will find you instead of the competition. You will be the visible business, the one with the website traffic, and the one that consumers turn to when they’re ready to buy.

Covid-19 Marketing Benchmarks

Image source HubSpot

4. Updating Your Website Can Give Your Business An Edge

SEO staples, such as updating your website with fresh new SEO optimized content, can help to make your business better looking than before. This is important because not only do search engines look for websites that are relevant, up-to-date, user-friendly, and simple in their consideration for ranking, they also want your website to provide great content that makes visitors engage with you. 

By keeping your website consistent and updated, you are making sure that search engines such as Google are keeping you with a top ranking.

Those looking to convert now will find you instead of your competition when they check out the search engines. Those just searching for a business in your industry will find you instead of the competition. You will be the visible business, the one with the website traffic, and the one that consumers turn to when they’re ready to buy.

5. Your Customers Are Doing More Research Than Ever Before

Things have definitely changed in the mind of most consumers ever since COVID struck. They are sitting home with unlimited internet access and a whole lot of questions. Some questions are COVID related, some are news-related, and some are simply about a certain industry or person. 

The truth of it is that people are bored and curious. They’re looking at everything that they can think of up. That means that if you want to be discovered by your target market, you need your business to be a result of their search. 

This is the time when you really have the ability to make yourself visible and stand out in your industry. Your target market is actively looking for businesses like yours, so make sure you are able to be found.

6. SEO Should Always Be An Important Part Of Your Overall Marketing Strategy

SEO is something that you need to invest inconsistently for the best results. Search engines are one of the main ways that consumers find products and services. Even without a pandemic, you will need a great SEO strategy that helps to give you a top-ranking and high website traffic. 

However, during a pandemic, you’ll want to keep your SEO strategy going, while tweaking it to be relevant to the current crisis. Update your website, PPC ads, and listings so that they are reflective of your business during this time. Provide website content that meets the needs of your audience, while being relevant to your brand and COVID-19.

7. Eventually, Things Will Get Back To Normal, Don’t Get Left Behind

The COVID-19 pandemic will end. Building the economy backup will be a long, hard road, and yet, it will happen. Every small business is going to have to spend time internally rebuilding and planning. 

The businesses that didn’t just stop functioning completely during the crisis are the ones that are going to have an easier time jumping back into their daily operations and success. The tell-tale difference between businesses that have to climb a mountain to get going again and those that simply have to increase their pace on the road will be the simple factor of whether they kept going or whether they stopped. 

It won’t be easy to keep your business operations going, especially if you’re not seeing much fruit from them right now. However, when all is said and done and society opens up again, you won’t want to be one of those businesses that are basically starting from scratch. Keep your SEO going, increase your visibility, gain awareness, reach your market, and be at the forefront of businesses in your industry. 

You can make it through this crisis and come out on top when you keep a focus on SEO. It may seem counterintuitive, yet as you’ve seen, it’s the only way to ensure the customers will be there for you when the world wakes up again.

Thanks for reading.

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