We are all aware that the world around us is almost unrecognisable to this time six months ago. We are living through something that is going to be viewed by historians as chaotic, the pandemic has affected businesses of all shapes and sizes from across the globe. With no escaping its repercussions, no amount of experience and no one to offer guidance these are new circumstances for us all.
However, during this unprecedented time, we have noticed that there has been an interesting shift in digital marketing. SEO has become the top priority marketing channel for many businesses. Many of our clients are putting search campaigns as their biggest objective for the next couple of months. This is mainly due to a selection of reasons, the three we are finding most common are to be discussed within this article.
It goes without saying that every industry is currently living and working through the unknown and although as marketers we normally like to think we are the best educated at making the most of uncertainty, even we are having to adjust our approaches. With less people buying newspapers, less people going to events and a lot more people using zoom, it is only natural that online marketing has become the centrepoint.
The number one reason for this change in SEO is budgets.
Conductor, an organic marketing partner, did some research that found that 65% of marketers anticipate a decrease to their annual marketing budget.
In uncertain times, often one of the first changes to be made is reducing the budget, however this can be counterproductive. The goals of the business are likely to be the same or more aggressive and reducing the budget is likely to reduce conversions. Remember the age-old saying “do more with less”, which let’s be honest, rarely works.
SEO can come into its own in these situations. As the industry understanding evolves and more businesses appreciate the value of search and how an effective SEO campaign can be executed. With a consistent approach and spend search can continue to produce results.
The second shift is within the content, consumers always want information, however during this time content has been relied upon more to make decisions where normally they could look at a product or discuss the service with an advisor.
A very notable contribution is that consumers are online, they want to know how the product they are buying will make its way to their house and how the consumer can safely engage with your business in the physical world (that thing outside of zoom).
The third notable change is within the value proposition that your business shares. Ultimately this is telling prospective customers why they should do business with you rather than your competitors and it makes the benefits of your products and services clear. Many companies have been revisiting old messaging to make sure that it is current and on some occasions creating new, informed content.
During this it is essential to understand your customers’ concerns and needs. Creating relevant value propositions for your products and services.
SEO has evolved and more importantly awareness around it has developed. Yet we are the first to admit that this has happened gradually rather than with the same full steam ahead approach of other marketing approaches.
We are still shocked at the amount of businesses who do not have an SEO campaign, and often those who do, do not support them fully with adequate budgets, resources and authority.
Doing SEO alone is hard, we have a team of over ten professionals who work on our clients campaigns day in and day out. Each with their own specialities and skills to make your campaigns a success.
Search data gives us a real and unbiased picture of where we’re headed. As SEO professionals we read the data of your industry and recent updates to be the eyes and ears of your organisation. This allows us to understand opportunities within your industry and changes in the search activity.
We use all this search data to understand trends. Our friends at Google recently released their Trends, which is an educational piece that illustrates the shifts in consumer behaviour behind their searches.
Google has found five main areas where shifts have taken place. For instance “the quietest time to go shopping” search term peaked in popularity between March 22nd – 28th, as a result of the enforced restrictions and therefore queuing outside of supermarkets.
Following lockdown rules and the attractiveness to live outside of major cities, terms of “for sale” have seen a growth across different industries. “For sale kent” has also increased, potentially as a result of the decision to live outside of London. “Boats for sale” is another example of a term that reached peak popularity for the first time since 2016 between June 21st-27th, possibly linked to more people considering staycations.
Undoubtedly, we have all been baking (attempting to bake in my home), as we try to recreate bakery specialities. Searches for “espresso martini” and “how to make mcdonald’s chicken nuggets” also spiked.
If you were selling fitness equipment, the start of lockdown must have been very successful for you, as searches for “yoga mats” and “dumbbell sets” both peaked at the beginning of lockdown. Running then overtook gym (excuse the pun) as a search term for the first time in a year, however physiotherapists need not worry as this was followed by (and possibly the cause of), a spike in search for “lower back pain” and “knee pain”.
As the world around us changes so quickly, we are working hard to help businesses like yours adapt and continue to support your customers.
We specialise in providing enhanced knowledge as a result of our insight through search data.
The growth in SEO has meant that we have taken on many challenges and as a result can provide excellence in our service offerings. We want everyone in your company to understand:
- The concerns of your audiences
- The terminology they are using
- The companies and digital entities they are currently finding when searching for solutions online
- Importance of working with User Experience.
It is very important to us that SEO must been seen as more than a tactic, instead it needs to be considered as a cultural mindset, for instance:
- “I wonder how people search for that?”
- Or “I wonder if doing this to this page would help/hurt it?”
We work to make SEO more approachable and less mythical, a key part of this is a thorough understanding and key reporting. Our insights into search and our ability to adapt to these changes allow us to maximise the potential. In this time of uncertainty, search is the number one place that people are turning to for answers to their questions. Your business could be the answer they are looking for.
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“Richard and his team took a lot of time out of his day to come and visit us, see our products, see what we’re about and understand our industry. The results, they speak for themselves really.”
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