At this point, you and your business should absolutely be taking the safety precautions which have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to protect yourself and your community. Many federal governments have continued to step up with policies in order to protect their workers from the economic impacts of widespread self-isolation. In one of the hardest-hit areas to date, Italy, the government had negotiated an accord with banks in order to suspend mortgage payments until they open up, for example. In Canada, the waiting period for unemployment benefits has been eliminated. For self-employed individuals and small business owners, unfortunately, especially in the United States, help is a lot more difficult to find. So what can you do to prepare for the economic crash during the Coronavirus, and to help your business survive throughout the pandemic? Read on to learn more about what you can do through the coronavirus pandemic in order to optimize your SEO marketing. MyCity Social is a top provider of SEO services Tampa residents trust. Call MyCity Social today for your digital marketing and SEO needs!
Don’t Panic. It Will Be Okay
It’s essential to take a deep breath, keep calm, and optimize on. This is not the time to panic and make decisions you may regret later. Some clients are unfortunately pulling their contracts from SEO and marketing firms and shutting down marketing operations until further notice. This knee-jerk reaction may be setting your business up for a long-term, uphill struggle to recover. No matter if you own a landscaping business, a family-owned restaurant, a small retail shop, or some other privately-owned company, you may experience revenue losses in the coming months. We are all bracing for a hit, from product or service business, ecommerce or brick-and-mortar. There is a lot of economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, especially with a confluence of different factors which mean we are heading into a dangerous economy. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the fact that we will recover from this pandemic. The concept of “flattening the curve” works as a method of mitigating the damage of a pandemic by not only lowering the volume of cases and therefore the strain on social systems, but also spreading the cases out over time, so that they are able to be handled more effectively. Organic search is a zero-sum game, where your gains or losses are balanced exactly by the gains or losses of others in the SERPs. We understand paid search and social as a live auction, but unfortunately many people don’t’ tend to think of organic this way. Organic search is very much a living, breathing, competitive space, and it’s key to never stop actively moving ahead, because if you’re moving then you’re falling behind.
Budgeting For SEO Marketing Throughout The Coronavirus Pandemic
If you’re doing anywhere between $1 and $5 millions in sales per year, the U.S. Small Business Administration advises that you should be spending 7-8% of gross revenue on advertising and marketing. MyCity Social, a top provider of SEO services Tampa business owners rely on, has worked with fairly high-growth companies who budget 10-12% per year, but even just for maintenance 7% is a bare minimum. This means that for every $100,000 in gross revenue you make, you need to earmark at least $7,000 for advertising and marketing per year. It is key that you maintain at least this level of marketing investment throughout the coronavirus pandemic. If your business is suffering and you can’t afford to grow right now, that’s fine. Cutting back on some forms of paid advertising for the time being can make a lot of sense in certain situations (for example, say if your employees are unable to come in to serve customers so there’s no point at the moment in trying to attract them to your location) which is why you may need to make such decisions.
SEO and inbound marketing, however, are a long game. Building your processes and workflow, consistently measuring data to ensure data quality, building an audience and customer base, and creating quality content that ranks is a true investment. Moreover, you can count on the fact that your competitors are going to panic and underestimate the impact of an emotional decision on their six to twelve month business horizon. Their engagement will drop, their publishing cadence will slow, and their review volume or quality may fall off. They may lose traction across channels. In such cases, you will have the opportunity to push ahead and come out on top. This is the time to stay the course and deal with all of those potentially impactful SEO and marketing tasks that you’ve kept on your back burner. In such times, the importance of having professionals handle your SEO needs comes to the forefront; outside professionals are less likely to panic and more likely to work with you to strategize long-term. No matter if you’re working with an agency like MyCity Social or handling marketing in-house, these are tasks that you can get your team working on while they are self-isolating and working remotely.
Tasks To Do Now During The Coronavirus
- Interview your employees and customers- You can utilize Zoom or Google Hangouts in order to host and record video calls. Chat with your employees and customers and learn about their unique experiences with and knowledge of your products, services, and culture. These transcripts and videos will be a fantastic source of insider info for your upcoming blog posts, social content, media releases, and more.
- Mini-audit your content assets- A full-blown content audit requires substantial time and expertise, but there is a lot that you can do while you have time on your hands throughout this slow period in order to improve your content performance with a mini-audit. If you haven’t kept inventory of your content assets to date, then this is the perfect time to begin.
- Use Webinars- You may be looking for ways to answer frequently asked questions about your approach to small engine repair. You may be looking to introduce new team members, products, or features to your customer base. You may want to inspire seasonal bookings for later this year. Now is the time to try out your webinar game if you’re just freaking out in an empty office twiddling your thumbs. This can be an especially effective marketing tactic in B2B, as over 90% of professionals say webinars are their favorite content format for learning!
- Fine tune your administrative messes- There are plenty of things to do while business is slow to set up for maximum efficiency when things start going again. Some things you can do right now to clean up your administrative messes are:
- Administrative work- clean up files, delete things you don’t need anymore, close open contracts that shouldn’t be open
- Website- Assign some posts you’ve been meaning to get to that have evergreen advice, and then have your SEO marketing team do an overdue SEO clean up
- Webinars and Podcasts- look up some that you can pitch to, and also work on some pitches and ideas for the future
- Books- Get to that stack of marketing books you haven’t gotten to!
- Take aim at different types of SERPs- The majority of small business owners at this point in time haven’t had any free time to even think about getting any more sophisticated than having a decent presence in search, and possibly trying to balance your organic and PPC efforts for good coverage. Now that you may have a bit of time and space to dig deeper you are able to plot your domination of position zero, video carousels, paragraph snippets, and so much more!
- Start recording videos!- Videos are great SEO fodder on their own, and can help you target long-tail keywords, trigger featured snippets, appear in relevant YouTube searches, and other great benefits! They can also be the basis for all types of other contents as well.
- Progress your online reviews strategy- There are so many online reviews on the internet that companies haven’t gotten back to. You don’t necessarily have to go back to the beginning of Yelp time and answer every single query or review, but now is a great time to make sure that you provide a thoughtful response to your more recent reviews. You should start a reviews policy, and if you have a good candidate, train an employee now to manage your online reviews going forward. Write some template responses and then go over your brand messaging with them. You can coach your employees on how to respond to negative reviews, and also to escalate legit customer services issues to the right person. You should hand your employees the tools they need to monitor reviews and get alerts. Show them what you expect as far as measuring the value of reviews and monthly reporting.
- Get behind digital more than ever before- Get your online storefront popping so that people are able to shift from personal shopping to parcel delivery. Improve your video services.
- Update your Google My Business Profile to attract local customers- Are you operating on special hours? Are you taking special care to avoid the spread of COVID-19? Google wants local businesses to utilize the tools that are available within the GMB dashboard in order to allow customers know what’s changed. Update your hours and business description. Share Google Posts with updates and offers, and also ensure that your contact information is correct in case people are attempting to reach you.
- Sniff out unnatural links- Here at MyCity Social we’ve seen some pretty compelling stories about the importance of seeking and destroying unnatural backlinks. In one specific case, a site had received a manual Google penalty, but ended up achieving a top 3 positioning within weeks of removing a disavow file and removing more than 1,900 unnatural links. In another, a site lost 82% of its traffic after building thousands of unnatural links. There are many different ways that unnatural links can occur, and they’re definitely not all innocent. An unscrupulous SEO here, a shady competitor there, and you may suddenly be stuck wondering why your SEO efforts just aren’t paying off!
- Think about an outreach strategy- Whether or not reaching out to your customers throughout the pandemic may or may not be appropriate, as it depends entirely on your type of business, your existing relationship with customers, and the purpose of the communication. If your customers are already used to hearing from you regularly via email, SMS messaging, or social media, then don’t let that relationship wither. However, don’t engage in tacky disaster-related promotions, as it is poor taste. Get creative and think of how you are able to provide reassurance, social connection, or tangible assistance to your potential clients and current customers during the pandemic.
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MyCity Social is a top provider of SEO services Tampa business owners trust. Call MyCity Social for your SEO marketing needs today!