We are dealing with a global pandemic at this moment, one which has literally brought the global economy at a complete standstill. But is it wise for businesses to stall at this moment of crisis? Are those businesses clever, the ones which are hoarding their revenues and ducking in their bunkers to weather the storm?
Well businesses are shifting strategies as we speak. Some are hoarding cash and preparing for the worst and the others are trying to sail above the crisis. So a question might pop up in your mind right now that how can your business catch the right wind?
Well it might seem like fairytale and a whole lot of gobbledygook otherwise but we are here to break it down for you in simple terms. Business in reality can thrive in downtimes. All just boils down to the survival of the fittest. The winners will choose to invest heavily in search engine marketing.
We are just providing you with a few reasons why you should continue with your SEO efforts:
- Generate revenue more easily
Businesses that have a good cash flow can thrive and haul through an economic crisis. Liquid cash is the best solution for businesses to survive in the middle of a state of emergency where the business is dwindling day after day.
Opt-in email lists are the best marketing strategy that provides a good ROI. The only problem is that you cannot buy a list online which provides a reliable stream of revenue.
Search engine marketing is the best way to create such a list which taps into the interests and demands of your consumers.
SEO also helps in reach the consumer when they are looking for something they need. Both paid and organic marketing will help during this period as the mindset of the consumers is constantly in a state of need.
If overall sales of your products and services is down because of the pandemic you can avoid making more losses by focusing your efforts and revenue on a strategic search engine marketing plan which will help you to reach those that are still in a buying mood. Search engine marketing helps generate a lot of sales and leads for your business.
You have to simply cut the queue and leapfrog to the front so that you can cash out when a buying decision is made by the consumers.
- Quantified Results
In times of budget crunch it’s always best to focus on consumers who have more buying motive than the ones higher up the funnel.
Search engine marketing helps you target only these customers. Furthermore it also helps you understand if your efforts are bringing back results or not. A quick glance at the analytics will provide you with a clear picture of the sales and leads procured from your SEO efforts.
Search engine marketing in its very nature is reactive. Competent search marketers know when exactly to tweak keywords in order to cater only those customers whose search has a higher purchase intent than others.
All that matters during a period of crisis is that you exactly know where your Ad dollars are being spent and how effective they are in terms of ROI.
- A person in need, search indeed
Just before the lockdown started we saw a wave of panic buying among the common mass. People started stocking up essentials and soon we found all the malls, markets and even the local shops had run out of essential items.
Scarcity of goods will be the new normal now. Since people will avoid going out for groceries on a daily basis and risk getting contaminated.
So it will be normal for consumers to search for scarce goods online. They will also search for alternatives. So if your business caters to this section and appears in search results then you can take advantage of the situation.
Capitalizing on SEO early will be the key. Keyword costs for scarce items will increase over time as the demand for them rises.
- Demand will never die
Since it’s not the end of humanity, demand for products and services will be there as always. Both paid and organic search engine marketing works best for serving those consumers with unquenchable needs and wants.
It takes only a few moments to setup and run a Google Ads Campaign. Though search engine marketing may not be a one solution for all problems but it works for most cases.
We would highly recommend focusing on search engine marketing now especially if you haven’t done so yet.
- Stability is just around the corner
Life as we know it may or may not get changed a little but things will stabilize soon. There may be a new normal around the world which we have to accept eventually. Though it may seem hard to digest right now but we humans have been known to adapt to situations and go on with our lives.
In this supposedly new world, search engine marketing will still be relevant maybe more than now. It will be one of the most effective ways to reach a potential consumer.
Those who will invest in search engine marketing now will reap the benefits in years to come. A small but wise decision now will help your business to pull through the tough times that are yet to come. Search engine marketing is the most reliable and effective way to market your business in this period of crisis.
So drop those second thoughts and get started now.
Google in their latest update revealed that the search behavior is changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have concluded based on their data on search trends the top 5 ways in which the search behavior is changing.
Google has revealed this data to assist marketers and brands in being more helpful towards their customers. Since no organization is immune to the effects of the changing consumer behavior we suggest that everyone should take note of these insights.
Google has classified their findings about the change in consumer search behaviors in the following 5 broad categories:
- Assembling critical information
- Discovering New Connections
- Adjusting to the changes in their routines
- Praising everyday heroes
- Taking care of themselves and others
A detailed outlook is provided below:
Assembling critical information
The rate of consumption of online content has increased exponentially due to the quarantine measures taken by governments worldwide. Consumers or the common mass needs this to get by and adapt to the recent changes in their life.
It is suggested that businesses and organizations should have a clear line of communication with their customers with respect to when, where and how can their customers get the things that they need.
Google has been explicit that search interest has spiked for the following topics:
- “can you freeze” different types of food
- Home delivery
- Mortgage rate suspension
- Short term work employee
Google also offers these recommendations:
- Acknowledge the new reality.
- Give people credible, detailed, and current information about your operations. Reinforce that you’re there to help.
- Regularly update communications across your website, blogs, social handles, and Google My Business page.
- Be flexible. Help customers with cancellations, refunds, and customer service.
Connections & Relationships
As everyone has been forced to practice social distancing, they are eventually discovering new ways and methods to cope with this. Making virtual connections and strengthening connections within the household is becoming the main areas of focus.
Search interest has increased in the following topics:
- “With me” videos on YouTube
- “Study with me” videos up 54%year-over-year
- “Bulk cook with me” and“disinfect with me” are also trending right now
- Multiplayer video games
- Virtual happy hour
Google’s recommendations for helping consumers:
- Look for ways to connect your customers, locally and globally.
- Consider if your brand has a role to play in creating or enhancing shared experiences, virtually or otherwise.
Adjusting to Changes in Routines
A lot of people have started adapting their daily routines according to their new lifestyle at home. “Do it yourself”, “stationery bicycles” and “dumbbell sets” has picked up interest according to Google Trends. Interest in late-night talk shows has also increased due to the fact that the hosts have started recording videos from their homes. This helps the common mass in relating themselves with the hosts and coping with their new way of life and accepting it gradually.
Google’s recommendations for helping consumers as they adjust to new routines:
- Let people know that solutions are available whenever, wherever.
- Assess when people need you most, whether through your own first-party data (like site analytics or email opens) or Google Trends and adjust your communications strategy accordingly.
- Update or publish often. There’s a need for content that informs, entertains, connects, and promotes wellness.
Praising Everyday Heroes
Search interest for “thank essential workers” has increased lately due to the fact that many people are risking their own health to continue their jobs. Health care workers, cashiers, delivery personnel, and many other people are fall in this category, and they deserve a lot of respect and praise for doing so.
Google offers these recommendations for helping consumers with supporting everyday heroes:
- Look for people who are helping, and find ways to support or celebrate them.
- Consider who the heroes are among your employees, your customers, or even your local community.
- Consider whether you have nonhuman heroes that can contribute, like your technology, your operational rigor, or your equipment.
Taking Care of Themselves and Others
People are trying their best to attend to their physical and psychological needs of themselves as well as the ones around them. Search interest has increased lately for activities that can aid one in dealing with boredom, anxiety, and uncertainty. People are searching for more for topics like “relaxation” and “puzzles” as well as virtual tours.
Google offers these recommendations for helping people find new ways to enrich their lives:
- Facilitate virtual collaborations with outdoor spaces and the cultural institution’s people yearn to visit.
- Join the conversation about home-based health and well-being.
- Pivot to platforms and formats that make sense for people staying home.
Google concluded its report by emphasizing the fact that the usefulness of businesses now will be a major factor as to how they will survive in the long run.
84% of US consumers say that their loyalty depends on how the companies act during this period of crisis (according to a survey conducted in late March).
Search Behaviors and keyword trends have gone for a toss in the past week. Social distancing and home quarantine have resulted in irregularities in click behaviors across all sectors. Grocers, Restaurants, Hotels, Productivity sites, and E-commerce are the spaces that have seen the most action (or the least in some cases).
If we take a glance at Google Trends the growth swings are quite evident. Most of the surges in search volume has been around representative search terms in the bulk, grocery, and online productivity categories. Social distancing and lockdown measures have forced people to turn their attention solely towards the internet for most of their activities ‘at home’. People are forced to prepare food at home since restaurants and online food delivery services are temporarily closed. The keyword “groceries” saw a whopping 446% increase in terms of search volume for the week ending March 21compared to the same period in 2019 as per Google Trends data. “Online groceries” and “grocery delivery” are the closest related keywords which saw a similar growth pattern.
To avoid gatherings and in-person events many conferences have moved online and travel plans have been postponed. Most of the companies around the world has shifted their employees to work from home scenario. These factors led to a surge in the usage of many online peers to peer work platforms and video conferencing apps.
Trends data clearly shows an increase in search patterns for Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype. All of these platforms saw their highest search interest with YoY growth ranging from 270% for Skype to1057% for Zoom.
On the contrary, keywords like “hotels”, “restaurants” and other local businesses have seen a significantly low amount of search interest which is normal in the current scenario.
This is an unforeseen situation and all types of businesses are being affected as a result of this. It is advisable for all businesses to hold on and try to adapt to the situation in order to accommodate the new set of customers’ needs and also to find new solutions for their workforces who are working remotely. Nobody knows for how long this situation will last, it might continue for several weeks, if not months.
Search behavior is a reflection of the users’ preferences and it’s clear that people are now more focused on tackling their new way of life and preparing themselves for the long run. They are less likely to concentrate on leisure activities for the time being.