This is an article “How Small Businesses Can Leverage the Power of SEO During the Pandemic “ by Marc Primo Warren
Now that the holidays are coming, more businesses struggle to keep up with customer demands, amid the disruptive pandemic. More companies invest in search engine optimization (SEO) on Google Search alone, where 3.5 billion searches are registered daily. However, for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) trying to penetrate the online market, a different kind of struggle is in the works – mainly attracting more visitors to their landing pages. It takes efficiency in SEO strategies designed for SMEs to at least land a position on page one.
This year, metrics matter more than ever, especially in such elements as link building, off and online traffic, social media engagement, and conversion rates. Considering the busier holiday season, marketers know better to expect these metrics to evolve and how certain consumer behaviors might change in the coming months. A quick review of Google's current algorithms will also work wonders for any SEO efforts since those, too, change from time to time.
Why do you need SEO right now?
SEO will always be a complex undertaking for any marketer because most of its elements and every search engine's algorithms change frequently. It remains an essential factor in how any type of industry conducts business today, especially for SMEs. However, only 49% of SMEs invest in the strategy.
What many still don’t know is that SEO can make any brand a contender, regardless of scale. Brands will only get buried deeper on search engines without it, and they can lose potential engagement, traffic, and profit.
Following the four tips below can help you weather the upcoming holiday storm, which promises good profits despite the current health crisis. And once the season has passed, you can work your way to improving your strategies with or without the challenges of the pandemic.
Invest in artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence and other related technology, including machine learning or virtual and augmented reality, are fast becoming mainstream channels to promote brands online and boost traffic. The name of today's SEO game is automation, and the better you can personalize what you deliver to your target audiences, the better engagement and leads you will gain. Good thing Google already uses AI features, which make it a bit easier for you to focus on your audience's search intent.
Utilizing AI features on your social media business pages, blogs, or websites will also strengthen your audience metrics, specifically their preferences and purchasing history. Since you can collect data from your customers, you’ll learn to create more appropriate content to drive them to buy. Plus, AI has other valuable benefits that can optimize your keyword research, link building, and platform features, to name a few.
Optimize your content
Good advertising, of course, should always be created with utmost integrity and authenticity, and the same applies to how you come up with your online content. Let your brand stand out with striking images reinforced by easy-to-absorb copies that tell consumers what you want them to know. Avoid copying from your competitors, as this won't do you any good when it comes to Google's algorithms. Instead, always go for original content in various formats, including static, GIFs, videos, or carousels, when posting paid and organic ads on social media or the Google Display Network.
Remember that whatever you publish adds value to your brand or product and presents a voice or language that should be familiar to your audience. To make it easier when drafting your content, apply Google's EAT principle. That means showcasing your expertise through copy, asserting your authority via design and imagery, and reiterating your brand's trustworthiness by encouraging engagement.
To achieve this, most SEO marketers would share relevant data and statistics to point out how reputable their brands are. This tactic is known as 'thought leadership,' which can best work in your link-building efforts. Just make sure that the numbers you present on your blogs and social media pages are up-to-date, and are helpful to your audience.
Make 'video' the star
We've all heard the phrase 'content is king.' While this remains true, video has become everyone's SEO star nowadays. Yes – the same medium that killed the radio star is now making a killing on social media with 1 billion users tuning in on YouTube and 500 million users watching video content on Facebook daily.
Optimizing your video content, whether for Facebook or Instagram Feeds, Watch, Reels, or Stories, on Twitter, or on TikTok can significantly help your brand exposure. While social media does not directly contribute to SEO ranking, they can help direct audiences to your landing pages, make your content shareable, and boost local search.
Use your best-performing keywords on your video descriptions and meta tags then provide a clear overview of your YouTube channel. Since the platform is part of the Google network, you can expect the same algorithms and AI when determining the best search experience for their users.
And aside from utilizing your keywords without resorting to overstuffing, draft catchy headlines that can capture attention and add the necessary tags to your videos. YouTube uses these tags to identify your videos for recommendations to its users, which can quickly boost traffic to your channel.
Always go for a great user experience
A good SEO campaign should always offer a memorable user experience. The most common solutions for problematic website experiences are optimizing loading speeds for improved interactivity, image optimization, and data structuring so that Google's algorithms can better understand your content. You can achieve this by reviewing Google's Core Web Vitals, which will show you figures associated with your page's user experience.
If you discover code bloats or unnecessarily long programs that can make your site performance slower, try to eliminate or at least reduce them to lower your bounce rate and site errors. Do this by moving all your scripts and cascading style sheets CSS files away from search engine spiders constantly looking for unique content.