PUBLISHED: Mar 30, 2020 5 min read

Cushioning The Impact Of Coronavirus On Your Organic Traffic

Let’s face it: times are pretty tough right now for many SEO professionals as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Aside from coronavirus being a health hazard, it’s also turning out to be a global financial cataclysm. 

The impact of government-mandated quarantines across the globe is a nightmare for many industries, particularly local small businesses, restaurants, and travel agencies.

SEOs are faced new challenges as with the implications this has on their clients across the board. For some sites, coronavirus has created big declines in organic traffic. But, like all things in nature we learn and adapt. Your success as an SEO will be highly dependent on how well you’re informed about changes in search behavior.

Some Niches/Micro-niches Will Naturally See A Rise In Searches

There are some businesses that simply can’t shift to an entirely online model: health clubs, spas, restaurants, and hair salons. These businesses (and unfortunately many others) are dependent on foot traffic and in-person visits to generate profits. Alternatively, there are some niche industries that will not only survive the impact of COVID-19 but will thrive as a direct result. Those include:

  1. Making money from home 
  2. Survival guides
  3. Digital streaming 
  4. Online learning
  5. Food delivery
  6. Home gardening 
  7. Home fitness & wellness
  8. Freight & logistics
  9. Video conferencing SaaS
  10. Productivity Saas
  11. Telecom
  12. Medical device manufacturers 
  13. Consumer goods (staples, not luxury)
  14. Emergency services technology

Because of the nature of our situation, people are searching for content or services that fit these new “quarantine life,” and “work from home” trends. Consumer habits have shifted, “quarantine shoppers,” “work from home spenders”—call it whatever you’d like—buyer intent has changed drastically. There is an increased investment – in terms of time and money – in health, productivity, safety, and finances. As a result, some well-crafted content can help businesses leverage this opportunity appropriately

How DIY (Do It Yourself) & At Home Content Could Help Cushion Impact

We’ve seen a steady rise in traffic for “DIY Projects” over the last 30 days.

If you’re in a niche that has the opportunity for DIY guides and online learning materials, now is the time to get in on some valuable traffic! Youtube videos are in high demand for “at home” content. You’ve been given a digital goldmine of people stuck behind their computers; use this opportunity to optimize relevant topics within your niche. Leveraging your SEO insights to prioritize topics will be your best friend, so the last thing you’d want is to waste time. 

If people can learn useful things from their homes, then they’ll be more inclined to come back to your website in the future after this crisis is over. Your main goal right now is to provide value where others see value lost. Your competition is either scaling back on their content marketing efforts as a result of the economic crisis, or they’re taking the time to rise above the competition.

Don’t Be Afraid To Inform Your Audience

Some companies are already beginning to create dedicated COVID-19 campaigns in their email marketing. Whether or not you’re in an essential service, you should be letting your audience know that you’re keeping up to date with CDC coronavirus preventative measures. 

We’ve already witnessed the launch of Google’s COVID-19 information website: helping inform users with authoritative information from health authorities. Some companies are already setting up dedicated COVID-19 pages; however, it’s important to keep pages in line with Google’s focus on surfacing high-quality, trusted pages with good E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) search queries. Google’s algorithms may devalue your content if it deems your information to be unsafe, irrelevant, or biased when it comes to people’s health.

The best practice would simply be to share and link content from an authoritative source such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization

Be Empathetic and Be Kind         

Some businesses are going to see more profit in these next couple of months than they’ve seen in an entire year. If you’re one of these companies, then giving away services, or donating resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19—will gain you respect in the eyes of your customers. It’s important not to come off as too “capitalistic;” people are going to notice brands that are taking advantage of these circumstances, and it will come back to haunt your business in the future. Keeping a clean nose and practicing empathy for not only yourself but other businesses around you will show you’re more than just a company, you’re a symbol of good ethics. 

SEO and Digital Marketing Support For Coronavirus 

If you’re a digital marketing professional looking to make a big difference in the community of businesses affected by this pandemic, here’s your chance to stand out. Our own Director of SEO, Lily Ray, has recently started an initiative to connect affected businesses and digital marketing professionals offering free support in the form of consulting, strategy, or execution of digital marketing services. 

As we all go through the implications of the pandemic, our SEOs have been steeped in the new trends and methods. We’re here to help you come out of the circumstance stronger. Reach out and let’s talk about what we can build together.