Why SEO is more important than ever for small businesses


The outbreak of COVID-19 has created upheaval right across the globe as entire economies and individual businesses make adjustments in order to slow the rate of infection and support healthcare systems.

Governments around the world have imposed a series of strict measures which restrict foot traffic and movement, which has forced some business owners to identify creative ways to deliver their products and services virtually or to temporarily hit the pause button on their operations. Conversely, other industries are experiencing unprecedented levels of demand and are working hard to keep up to avoid disappointing any potential customers.

The coronavirus outbreak has also seen online search behaviour shift markedly, which has had an impact on the types of content search engines are displaying for individual search queries. If your business has been feeling the COVID-19-related strain or you would like to use this time as an opportunity to refine your optimisation strategy, let’s take this opportunity to run through a few ways your business can use digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) to your advantage.

Conduct a small-scale audit of your content assets

A comprehensive audit takes both expertise and time but if your business is experiencing a slow period, now could be the ideal time to conduct a small-scale audit that will help you to improve the performance of your content.

Start by compiling a spreadsheet which groups content into different types, such as blog posts, emails, videos and eBooks. From here, you can evaluate each piece in terms of its quality, how much traffic it drove and how many social shares or backlinks it secured. This process might highlight new opportunities to optimise pieces of content with new keywords or CTAs, integrate new internal links, or identify ways to incorporate fresh content that will drive new streams of traffic to your site.

Utilise data to better understand your audience

Your analytics data can tell you a lot about your ideal audience. Although you might already know a fair amount about your customers, there might be things you haven’t yet picked up on that could prove invaluable when ensuring that your SEO strategy is shaped to deliver the best possible results for your business.

Now could be the ideal time to look into what you can learn about the potential customers who opted not to shop with you or engage your services. You might also find it beneficial to look into data points that you might have overlooked until now, such as the types of devices your potential customers are using to browse your website or whether there are any commonalities between their geographical locations. This information could help you to make refinements to your SEO strategy that might seem small but could, in fact, be game-changing in terms of the level of success you can ultimately drive from your efforts.

It’s time to embrace video

The potential impact of the coronavirus on businesses that aren’t open to making significant alterations to the way they operate and approach the digital landscape, particularly those in established sectors that have long been resistant to change, cannot be overstated.

Previously offline businesses are adapting by wholeheartedly embracing a variety of digital technologies in order to establish a strong online presence for their brands. From gardeners to yoga teachers, sole traders and businesses are using their creativity to identify ways to overcome the losses they are incurring as a result of lockdown.

Google Hangouts, Houseparty and Zoom, all of which offer video communication and conferencing tools, have seen their web traffic, the creation of new accounts and daily usage soar in recent weeks. From group live-streaming classes to personalised one-to-one sessions, technology is helping many businesses to remain productive even throughout the most uncertain of circumstances.

In many ways, a level of predictability is essential to the running of a successful and functional business. But after years of Brexit-related uncertainty and now having seen first-hand the impact a global pandemic can have, it is not unreasonable to argue that uncertainty must now be deliberately factored into the future plans of all businesses as standard.

As Joe Cox at UK based SEO agency Superb Digital, states “Coronavirus is not only uprooting and decimating long established sectors but it is changing the way we shop and consume…There is every chance that some of the shifts we’re seeing in online behaviour and business activity, necessitated by lockdown, may become the norm.”

Maximising your optimisation potential

For businesses really looking to capitalise on the unique opportunities this unprecedented time in our history is providing, working closely with an experienced SEO agency will ensure you start to make progress and generate results much faster than you would be able to do alone.

Learning about and implementing effective SEO strategies is difficult to do well when you don’t have any prior knowledge. The SEO landscape is incredibly intricate and an understanding of the variety of approaches that are available to you will help you to identify the course of action that will deliver the best results, both now and into the future.