Featuring marketing tips, tech news, digital wonders, some personal things and everything in between . . .

SEO During COVID-19 | The Importance of Maintaining Search Engine Visibility

Monday March 23, 2020

Reading Time: 10 minutes

As the COVID-19 situation develops, hourly updates are released detailing changes to consumer purchasing habits, supply chains, and distribution. These events are a first for business owners; how do you navigate during a period of economic uncertainty? Industries that rely on consumer activities – event spaces, restaurants, brick-and-mortar retail storefronts – probably need to reduce their ad spend in the near future, but that doesn’t mean that you should suspend 100% of your digital marketing efforts. In the days ahead, SEO will become the most important marketing tactic for businesses worldwide.

Repercussions of COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has reduced demand for countless industries. Travel and hospitality have been all but suspended across the country. Restaurants have either closed indefinitely or switched to delivery-only business models. Even retail giants like Amazon have stopped stocking nonessential products and have prioritized the fulfillment of orders containing household staples. In an eerie repeat of the 2008 Recession, the DOW has dropped precipitously.

As a result, many companies have begun to panic.

This reaction sets up businesses for a long-term struggle to recover. While many companies may lose revenue in the coming weeks, the one certainty is recovery. This means that when the smoke clears, the same standards for success will still exist. SEO and organic search are long-term marketing efforts; this competitive space requires continuous nurturing and attention, especially when your rivals have stopped investing in it. Even if it seems counterintuitive, this is the time to invest in smart digital strategy.

Why SEO Still Matters

Right now, SEO can help your business zig where others zag. While your competitors shutter marketing departments for the foreseeable future, you have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Once the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has cleared, you can emerge with a boosted ranking. This means more traffic, more business, and more profit once “normal” life resumes.

As we mentioned above, SEO is a long-term marketing channel. This means that your results grow over time; it takes about six months to start seeing noteworthy outcomes. After a year, you’ll see even higher numbers. During this time, your company is pulling ahead of (and outranking) industry competitors. Unfortunately, SEO is also a zero-sum game. If you’re not pulling ahead, you’re falling behind. This means that if you suspend all marketing efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are likely to lose any previous progress made in years past.

How to Improve Your SEO during COVID-19

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to shore up your SEO and organic search efforts during this time. Most of these approaches center around creating smart, effective content that speaks to your customers’ needs.

Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. First, consider which of your services could be made available online. Legal professionals, for example, could provide remote sessions and consultations via video conference or a phone call. If you offer therapy, seek out secure, HIPAA-compliant software that will allow clients to receive teletherapy sessions. Build new pages explaining your novel approach to treatment during COVID-19. In the days ahead, it will be imperative to adapt to the “new normal” as quickly as possible; make this step your first priority.

Think Outside the Box. Remember that your services will still be needed during and after the coronavirus outbreak. For example, lawyers have seen high demand in response to the crisis – from advising employers on how to respond when employees test positive for COVID-19 to creating task forces that assist domestic and international clients in navigating these complex times, the need has never been higher for legal help. Even after the coronavirus pandemic ends, there will be countless contract disputes centered around event cancellations during this time. Be sure that your SEO is up to snuff in order to get your share of this business.

Help Your Clients. You can also create resources for potential and previous clients. For example, addiction treatment centers should make lists of guidelines about how alumni can protect their recovery during a pandemic. These resources will provide much-needed support for your clientele, with the added benefit of boosting your ranking.

Address the Issue. Next, think about building pages on your website that address the coronavirus and how your company policies have changed because of it. Have you transitioned to a fully remote staff? Will you be canceling all in-person meetings for the foreseeable future? Are you adhering to the protocols provided by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? This information is vital for your clients to easily find and understand.

Be Sensitive and Empathetic. Social distancing and self-quarantine have also created an unparalleled amount of online activity. Your audience is more engaged now than ever before. Be tactful in your posts to your blog and social media; don’t push products or make light of the situation. Rather, consider using your platform to share information about COVID-19 safety and company updates.

Spring Clean Your Digital Presence. This is also a great time to take care of those digital housekeeping items you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s removing outdated information on your website, responding to online reviews, or ensuring NAP consistency (name, address, phone) across platforms, there’s no doubt that you could start chipping away at that to-do list now.

Digital in a Time of Coronavirus

We know things are uncertain right now. Instead of panicking, continue to invest in your business in the ways that make sense: long-term efforts that will pay dividends in the future. If you have any questions, we’re happy to help.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Have You Been Asked to Work from Home?

Over the last week, Nashvillians have had to do a lot of adjusting. As we piece together roofless homes and wait for NES to restore power post-tornado, we’ve also received word of school closures and federally recommended quarantines. As coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreads throughout the country, many employers have asked their staff to work from home. If you’re worried about how to be effective from a remote location, never fear – we’ve put together your guide to work-from-home productivity.

Carve Out Space

One of the most challenging aspects of any remote position is finding a place to concentrate. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, this problem takes care of itself! However, even if you’re not equipped with a posh desk space, it’s possible to get some great work done at home.

First, be sure that you’re set up in a quiet corner of the house, preferably at a desk or dining table. You want to find somewhere that will automatically place you in “work mode” (hint: not your bed or couch). As long as you’re sitting upright and can get in some hours while undisturbed, you’re on the right track. Also, try to avoid high traffic common areas, especially if you make a lot of phone calls. If you live with roommates (or have children), ask for some privacy during working hours; they shouldn’t disturb you unless absolutely necessary. 

Next, be sure that you’ve got all the equipment necessary to do your job. If you regularly use a second monitor or standing desk at the office, for example, bring them home for the days ahead. Don’t forget to grab some noise-cancelling headphones; these can be a lifesaver for those working in shared spaces. Make a list of all your must-haves and gather them before you get started.

Routine, Routine, Routine

One major plus to an office environment is the sense of routine associated with the workday. You probably wake up, shower, get ready, drive to work, eat lunch, and drive home at roughly the same times each day. When you’re working from home, on the other hand, it’s easy to let that structure fall by the wayside. Don’t be tempted to sleep in or work past the times that you usually eat.

If your day is unscheduled, it’s easy to wind up ignoring your physical needs. Wake up, get ready, and feed yourself on a consistent timetable. Furthermore, be sure that you’re moving around as often as you normally do. Whether you track this on a Fitbit or Apple Watch, keep an eye on your steps and take a walk if needed.

Take a Break

Separating your professional life from your personal life is challenging in the best of circumstances. When you’re working from home, those lines blur even more. Don’t allow yourself to be accessible to your supervisor 24/7; have clear start and end times for each day. Set reasonable deadlines for assignments and build in some time to adjust to your new schedule. If you find yourself becoming stressed, take a breather – take the dog on a walk around the block or get some fresh air on the porch.

Working from home also means that you’ve got time to take care of a few (realistic) household chores. Toss in some laundry when you’ve got writer’s block or roll the garbage can to the curb during a lull. The ideal chores are those that take a few minutes at most, but even in a short time, they can provide a much-needed brain break. Don’t try to undertake massive projects that require a lot of energy; these distractions can jeopardize your effectiveness and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Be Professional When You Work from Home

This tip is a bit counterintuitive. Many of us assume that getting to work from home means lazing around the house in sweatpants. However, donning more professional attire can make a huge difference in your perception of the workday. This is especially true for those conducting virtual meetings via Skype or Facetime; not only will you feel more put together, but you’ll be dressed appropriately for conversations with clients and coworkers.

Don’t Forget to Socialize

As Americans try to navigate “social distancing” recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus, we’ve also got to remember the importance of human contact. If you’re used to working in a big office and chatting around the water cooler, working from home can be an isolating experience. Even the most introverted person needs to reach out to friends, family, and peers to stay sane. You can call your boss with any questions, send quick messages to your coworkers on Slack, or get in touch with your friends to discuss how your WFH days are going. Just make sure that you’re reaching out to a few people each day.

You Can Do It!

Even when it seems like the world is ending, working from home has its perks. You’ve got the flexibility to set your own schedule, minus the time it takes to commute, and your family will be safer from an international pandemic. If you find that you’re overwhelmed in the days ahead, we encourage you to reach out to your employer for additional support and resources. With the right level of preparation and structure, working from home can be a breeze.

Questions About How to Work from Home? We’re Happy to Help.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA. If you would like to make a donation to tornado relief efforts, visit cfmt.org.