It is interesting that some will minimize or misunderstand the importance of SEO in marketing. Without good SEO you cannot have great SEM. Especially in times like we are currently in now, there are some that will look to cut SEM. And that might be appropriate, but SEM spend is based on demand, so be tactful if you are cutting SEM budgets. But what is more interesting is that in the U.S. there has been a big increase for SEO queries over the past 90 days. This timeframe coincides with the Coronavirus COVID-19 timeline. Are smart businesses realizing that their SEO efforts can go much further than a short term SEM plan? Could it be in a time SEM is getting cut, SEO is arguably more important?
One tactic to keep in mind is Googles guidelines to write content for E-A-T, also known as Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Your content HAS to be “trustworthy.” So, the more trust you can build with your web site content, the more likely users will click on your content in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
If you build your content with Trust in mind, Authority will come with it. This will eventually end with you being the Expert in that subject matter.
Be sure to update or replace old content with new content. But don’t just replace 2019 with 2020. Read your own content and ask yourself if it is up to date as well as Authoritative and Trustworthy.
Here are a few tips for managing your online brand during COVID-19:
If you are an essential business and open:
- Update your Meta Description to include a “We Are Open” or “We Are Essential” Message in the front of your description but do not go over the maximum character count (about 160 characters) or pixel width (about 920 pixels).
- Update your GMB description to also include “We Are Open”.
- Remove any videos of handshaking or crowds of people in the showroom and replace them with current messaging of social distancing. For Dealerships, this could be sales people on the phone or computer, consumers at home shopping for vehicles. A vehicle being delivered to a customers home. For restaurants it could be a consumer ordering food online with the meal being delivered.
- Create 6 second bumper ads. Bumper ads use target CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding. Your pay each time your ad is shown 1,000 times. Use Retargeting and display advertising.
- Update your Google My Business (GMB) listings. Add a GMB Post that you’re open, Add your ability to order via online services, Use a CTA of Call Now in your Post to encourage phone calls. If you have adjusted hours, make sure these are reflected in your listing. These are most important as consumers will see these hours before ever visiting your web site. If you are temporarily closed, use the new GMB feature to let people know. This will not harm your rankings when you do open back up. You can choose to use the new COVID-19 message post also. No image, just text with a CTA. I suggest a Call Now button.
- Add your new photo’s and videos to your GMB photo section. GEO tag your images with software to help boost your GMB local profile.
- Lastly, use UTM’s in your GMB links. This way you can separate your GMB links from regular organic traffic.
Here is GMB’s new COVID-19 Post feature.
Target new keywords especially in this current environment where people are buying online. Here is “buy online”
And here is “Delivery”
All advertising channels require one thing done well, A good SEO plan. Make sure your web site landing pages correspond with all marketing messages. Don’t just land your traffic on the home page. Select a good landing page or create one if you don’t have one.
Be safe, be smart, be productive. SEO is not dead.