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COVID-19 Consumer Trends and Post-Pandemic SEO


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COVID-19 Consumer Trends and Post-Pandemic SEO

  1. 1. Digital You Can Trust | PANDEMIC SEO
  2. 2. Digital You Can Trust | Leann brings forth over 7 years of experience as a Search Engine Optimisation specialist committed to continually advancing her industry knowledge through innovative SEO strategies. When she's not playing in the spreadsheets, you'll likely finding her planning her next adventure or making lists of restaurants to try in different cities. LEANN SEO SPECIALIST
  3. 3. Digital You Can Trust | COVID-19 CONSUMER TRENDS & POST-PANDEMIC SEO
  5. 5. Digital You Can Trust | Search Interest in ‘SEO’ Peaks Source: Google Trends Region: Australia Date Range: 1/1/14 - 13/11/21
  6. 6. Digital You Can Trust | When clients enjoy free SEO from the pandemic... Source: Google Analytics Channel: Organic Date Range: Jan - Oct (2020 v 2021) Organic performance of a retailer website offering in-store and online shopping
  7. 7. Digital You Can Trust | SEO ‘musts’ to survive and thrive through a pandemic TRUSTWORTHY CONTENT E A T REPUTATION MANAGEMENT LOCAL SEO TARGET TRENDING THEMES
  8. 8. Digital You Can Trust | Google’s focus on quality content ● Changes to Google SERP ensure less trustworthy results remain off the first page ● YouTube search results also focus on serving users accurate information ● Partnership with government agencies to communicate accurate information ● Google’s coronavirus SERP demonstrates the importance of high-quality information.
  9. 9. Digital You Can Trust | Educational content as a core focus ● Keep prospects engaged about your brand ● Personalise content ● Focus on problem solving ● Show your human side
  10. 10. Digital You Can Trust | Reputation Management ● Review marketing short to medium term marketing campaigns ● Update your Google My Business page ● Monitoring of search demand and social media mentions ● Keep an eye on Google Search Console Keeping a pulse on brand sentiment allows you to respond to customer questions and painpoints in a timely manner.
  11. 11. Digital You Can Trust | Marketing campaigns that make you go hmm…?
  12. 12. Digital You Can Trust | Local SEO ● Explore ‘Near Me’ searches ● Google My Business (GMB) Optimisation ● Improve your presence on social media
  13. 13. Digital You Can Trust | Exploring ‘Near Me’ searches Increased search interest for ‘near me’ queries since December 2019 Source: Google Trends Region: Australia Date Range: 1/11/16 - 16/11/21
  14. 14. Digital You Can Trust | What to optimise on Google My Business Top Elements for Optimisation: ● Opening hours ● Trading status (e.g. Is it temporarily closed?) ● Health & Safety ● Service Options ● Menu ● Reviews ● Regular posts and updates
  15. 15. Digital You Can Trust | Evolve with the trends ● Think outside the box ● How can you solve human problems amidst the pandemic? ● Innovate ways to bond with fellow humans while keeping business afloat Interest in ‘bread recipes’ peaks in April 2020
  16. 16. Digital You Can Trust | Key takeaways ● Any information published relating to COVID-19 must pass Google’s standard for high-quality relevant information ● Create content that answers real-life problems ● Educational content is always a good way to capture organic traffic, build authority and trust, and engage prospects ● Local SEO is more important than ever as travel restrictions push consumers to shop more locally ● Be proactive about your SEO no matter how well you are performing!!!!
  17. 17. Digital You Can Trust |

Notas del editor

  • It has been exactly 2 years and a day since the first case of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported, yet its profound effects continue to be felt around the world. Isolation, contact restrictions and economic shutdown completely changed way we live and subsequently our consumer behaviours have changed with this lifestyle shift.
  • Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 has affected consumer behaviour, and in what ways have businesses had to evolve their operations to stay afloat.

    Social distancing and lockdowns have forced changes in demand for certain products and services, and in turn have posed new challenges to businesses. We’ve seen rapid adoption in technologies that were much less prominent in everyday life so businesses can continue operating, for example;
    QR codes replacing physical menus at restaurants, or in electronic check-in systems for contact tracing or;
    Contactless payments and delivery options have spread to a wider range of merchants
    Rise in demand for personal hygiene and protective products

    One of the few good things that have come about this pandemic is the greater emphasis on health and wellbeing that are also affecting the way brands create their marketing campaigns.

    It’s clear that businesses have been forced to think outside the box in their marketing efforts in order to reach more customers with many savvy marketers already making shifts in their strategies and investing more SEO.
  • According to Google Trends, the search term “SEO” and related terms have seen a spike in interest in Australia since February 2020.

    As businesses work hard to remain relevant to their target customers throughout this pandemic, maintaining a strong digital presence through SEO and content marketing is and will be one of the most important steps they take. As physical stores make a slow recovery in terms of foot traffic, digital advertising and ecommerce has become more important than ever.

    Apart from increased interest in SEO, and COVID-19 search terms there has also been an upward trend in non-COVID related websites, mostly in the to hobbies & interests as well as fitness and wellbeing categories.
  • A specialised Aussie website selling products relating to a hobby category
    Saw an influx of organic traffic when COVID was declared a pandemic in March 2020
    It was recommended to them that while they ride this wave of COVID lockdown SEO traffic, they also need to sustain this traffic by continuing with their SEO efforts!

    So what were some top-level recommendations made to them..?
  • Majority of the recommendations made to them fell into these top 4 categories, but of course this is not an exhaustive list.

    More often than not, and as I had experienced first-hand with this particular client, technical changes to their website were out of the question. So here are some SEO elements offered to them that required little to no web development resources but remain more important than ever. Even after the pandemic.
  • Google’s focus on trustworthiness of content is immediately apparent when you search for anything related to COVID-19. The SERP focuses on the latest news and information from the WHO and the CDC and purposely ensures that low-quality results, such as conspiracy sites, remain off the first page of Google.

    The same can also be seen on YouTube’s search results.

    Google’s carefully selected coronavirus SERP demonstrates the importance of high-quality information. So if a client’s industry has been directly impacted by border closures and lockdowns, it’s important that any information published relating to COVID-19 passes Google’s standard for high-quality relevant information.

    So how do we approach this as SEOs from a content perspective?
  • Studies have also shown that brands that deliver educational content are more trustworthy than brands that don’t. And that is why going back to basics never hurts when it comes to content and SEO.

    Keep prospects engaged about your brand and the products or services but don’t overwhelm them with unrelated marketing content.

    Personalise your content and stitch it together, so it does nothing but help in problem-solving.

    It might even come across as a bit tasteless to harp on about the additional features your product or service at a time like this which is better served in a later occasion while you try to solve only their current needs.

    Blog posts – How to deal with aches and pains of WFH
    Blog posts - Best air purifiers
    Video – How to be more productive during lockdown
    Guides – The ultimate guide to homeschooling during the pandemic

    As a side note: The more we show our human side, the more we can all feel connected - even if we are physically apart.
  • On top of creating educational content to demonstrate your trustworthiness, it’s important that your short to medium term marketing campaigns are tactful and relevant to the current circumstances.
  • There was an attempt where McDonald's Brazil showed their support for the idea of social distancing by separating its Golden Arches into two separate arches. While also promoting its drive-in and delivery services, along with good hygiene.

    The responses weren’t pretty with one angry twitter user responded with - “F - - k right off you award-desperate morons,”

    And another chiming in pointing out the low wages the food giant pays their workers.

    The Corona brand copped an earful on social media when they released their new line of hard sodas as the COVID pandemic unfolded back in February last year.
  • Local SEO is more important than ever as travel restrictions push consumers to shop more locally.

    This is more important than ever for essential services providers like medical centres and health specialists, restaurants, convenience and smaller grocery stores etc. but also include retailers offering COVID-safe shopping options.
  • According to HubSpot, there was a 150% growth for phrases such as “near me” since the the initiation stage of the COVID pandemic.

    This trend can also be seen on Google trends where the first spike started in December 2019 as the coronavirus became more apparently in the news and again in April 2020 when the pandemic was declared a global emergency.

    So while there is no sure-fire way to optimise your website for ‘near me’ search terms, focusing your efforts on aligning your location landing pages with information provided on Google My Business improves your changes for extra visibility on local search.
  • Opening hours and trading status are two extremely important elements to get right - god knows how many times I’ve driven up to a restaurant that was marked open on Google but ended up being temporarily closed because of COVID!

    The Health & Safety fields provide users with the confidence that you take public health seriously; These were new attributes added in September last year;
    Information like if appointments or reservations are required, if customers are required to wear a mask, and how else your business curbs the virus from spreading.

    Offering this information on your Google My Business listing and posting any last minute changes to trading conditions helps you manage customer expectations, and build rapport.