With the UK government recently announcing that the Coronavirus lockdown could last a further six months, there can be no doubt that we have now entered into unchartered waters.
Not only will the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic be massive in terms of our health, but also in regards to the economic meltdown which is likely to ensue as a result. Economists predict that it could lead to a great depression like that seen in the early 1900s. Many millions of people could potentially be unemployed almost overnight. A horrible thought!
Millions of self-employed and smaller businesses will be particularly concerned at this time. Many self-employed and freelancers will already be struggling to make ends meet and this won’t help them one bit.
Small businesses will also find it hard to make ends meet. Hopefully, the financial measures that the UK government recently announced will be sufficient enough to get them through the other side.
Of course, one of the first thing that gets dropped during any economic downturn tends to be the marketing budget. This is understandable. Small business owners need to be certain that sales will continue to come in so that they can warrant the financial outlay of promoting their business. Like the economy, uncertainty is never a good thing and tends to mean people stop spending and businesses stop investing.
However, it doesn’t have to be the case. There is actually a huge advantage in maintaining the same levels of activity or a good percentage of it during such a time.
A number of my clients are continuing with their efforts in promoting their websites and I have no doubts that this will give them a big boost in the long-term. You should be too!
Anything you can do, whether it is something you pay someone else to do or do yourself, it can only help to keep your online business on track, ready for when we eventually break free from all this.
I quite often think of a well-known quote made by billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Buffett says, “When people are greedy, be cautious. When people are cautious, be greedy!”
So what has that got to do with SEO or marketing your business?
Although Buffett was speaking in terms of investing in stocks and other commodities at the right time, an analogy could be used for promoting your business online.
The point is that the majority of your competitors will stop their digital marketing efforts during an economic downturn as they will be over cautious. This can be an opportunity for you to double down on your efforts and move further up the rankings by doing SEO tasks you may not usually have the time or budget to do. For example, link building and creating new content to promote.
This will help to increase your domain authority and help you to rank for more keywords, both important for driving new visitors to your site.
I wouldn’t promote any new content at the moment though as most people’s interest is going to be elsewhere for good reason. Any new content you do create now will be ready to let loose once things have settled down.
Even if your business is primarily a bricks and mortar business, putting more effort into promoting your online presence will put in you in good stead once we are through the worst of things.
So what kinds of things can you do?
Create new content – As I mentioned previously creating new content on your site is ideal. Publishing new content is the #1 thing to do if you want to improve your rankings and organic traffic. So do some keyword research and start getting creative! If you already have evergreen content on your site, give it the once over and make sure it is up to scratch. Updating content is always a good thing. It keeps it fresh, relevant and quite often gives you a rankings boost.
Build some links – Building links can be time-consuming so this would be a good time to network with others and see if you can get some links back to your site. If you have to pay to advertise in some way, it could be a good time to haggle for a discount!
Do a site audit – If you have the time, do an audit of your site (preferably using software) and tidy up those pages that may be returning a 404, have long titles, missing meta descriptions or are on the slow front.
Improve the usability of your site – Take time to go over your main landing pages. How do they look in the search results in terms of title and description? Can these be improved by adding more benefits to the customer? Rankbrain is a part of the Google algorithm which promotes sites on how the Click Through Rate performs in the search results. Once the user hits that landing page you want them to stay on the page for as long as possible and hopefully click through to other pages on your site. Focusing on the user journey can help push the site higher in the search results. Just a position or two for broad keywords can sometimes mean significantly more traffic.
Develop a new site – Developing and deploying a new website is always a pain and can have a negative impact on things like traffic and rankings, at least for a short time. By doing this during this lull, you minimise the impact it can have on your business ready for when things bounce back.
There you go!
There are many other things you can be doing with your time while things are slow.
By taking advantage of this quiet time, you could do your business a massive favour and push it higher in the rankings ready for when we eventually, get back to normal. Whenever that might be. Soon I hope!
Stay well! 😉