The pandemic is forcing businesses to scramble for ways to continue generating profit and engaging their audience, and there is a simple and straightforward solution waiting for them: SEO. Businesses that have long invested in SEO are now seeing their desserts, which take the form of extreme amounts of organic traffic. However, businesses that are ignorant of SEO and its power might soon be dabbling in the marketing tactic — or else shutting their doors forever.
For those not in-the-know, SEO stands for search engine optimization, a method of manipulating how Google and other search engines find and categorize a webpage, typically with the intention of ranking higher within search results. Almost regardless of what industry you operate in, you need SEO — and you need it right now. Here are a few reasons to invest in SEO ASAP.
Consumers and Businesses Are Moving Online
It should go without saying that the internet was a valuable resource before COVID-19 struck, and slowly the rates of home internet use and remote working were climbing. However, as most states have put stay-at-home policies in place in the hopes of flattening the curve of infections and reducing the load on healthcare centers, almost everyone has been driven online in one way or another. Students and workers at organizations that can continue to operate are logging into their responsibilities over the web, and everyone is increasing their reliance on internet-based communication, entertainment, retail and more. Early research into this phenomenon suggests that internet use overall is up more than 70 percent — and you should be interested in harnessing some of that use for your own business.
Though different businesses have differing SEO goals, for the most part, SEO is intended to drive organic traffic to a business’s website, content and products. By building strong SEO, you will make links to your web assets more prominent within search results, and thus, you will net a larger percentage of web users. Because so many people are using the internet with such great frequency, SEO could be among the only ways to drive traffic to your website, so its return on investment is likely to be exceedingly positive.
SEO Is a Cost-efficient Marketing Strategy
Speaking of ROI, it is worth mentioning that SEO is among the most affordable digital marketing strategies in addition to being among the most effective. Not only are SEO services relatively low-cost, but SEO ultimately saves your business money by reducing its reliance on paid advertising and other expensive online marketing. Unlike PPC, which only functions for a short span of time and demands high expenditures, effective SEO can increase the traffic driven to your site for a long period and reduce in cost over time.
Admittedly, SEO is an investment, an ongoing expense, not merely a one-time cost. You should be working with an SEO agency, which has the experience and tools necessary to develop and enact an SEO strategy customized for your business’s industry, position and interests. Though there are tips and tricks for managing SEO yourself, doing so will increase your costs and lower SEO’s effectiveness. The internet is always changing, so you should perpetually participate in some level of SEO to maintain or regain search ranking.
Businesses That Don’t Move Online Might Die
After only a few weeks of social distancing, hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar businesses are on the brink of failure — and public health officials are suggesting that we should continue quarantine measures for many months more, if not more than a year. Though several small business owners have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in pivoting their offerings to cater to a homebound clientele, the vast majority of businesses that exist wholly offline are all but doomed.
If you don’t yet have a robust online offering, now is the time to develop one — and SEO should be the cornerstone of your strategy for building a web-based audience. Even if stay-at-home orders lift in the next few months, it is highly likely that a vestige of the upsurge in internet use will remain, so prominent online businesses will continue to thrive. The sooner you begin to excel at SEO, the sooner your business can gain security in these uncertain times.
Before COVID-19, a few businesses could survive and thrive without touching the internet, but today, consumers and businesses rely heavily on information available online to make purchasing decisions. By investing in SEO, you can remain relevant in these increasingly digital times and endure the plague with minimal damage to your business.