Everything is chaos right now, and understandably, we’re all worried about a lot of things that aren’t related to our search engine standings. We’re all worried about our health, our families, and of course, our livelihood.

If you’re a business owner, you are probably concerned about keeping afloat, retaining employees, and paying the bills. And I get that. As a business owner, I totally get that.

You might be thinking it’s time to take a break on your website and SEO efforts, because searches are down across the board. If you are in industry that’s been forced to close due to state stay-at-home orders, you very well may wonder what the point of driving traffic to your site is right now. Especially because your site’s traffic is probably going to go down for the time being, and we don’t know how long that’s going to last.

SEO during COVID-19

Here are a few reasons you should consider thinking about your SEO now.

SEO takes time. Yes, searches are down right now. You may not even be able to work right now. But rising in the search ranks doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Months. Even a year to begin to see results. If you haven’t been working on your SEO, now while things are slower might be a great time.

One day this will end, and when it does, you’ll be better positioned to pick back up. Just because less people are searching right now, doesn’t mean you can’t start rising in the ranks.

Less people are probably focusing on it right now. It’s true, now might be a good time to capitalize on SEO because it’s possible you may have less competition.

You have time to focus on it. I always say that content is king, and you can’t make strides in SEO without having great content on your site. If your business has slowed down, or if you are shut down altogether, now is a great time to start writing content that your users are looking for, and have it ready to go when things start to improve.

Things you should do:

  1. Assess your site critically. Does it answer your user’s questions? Is it easy to use? Is it really mobile-friendly? Is your content up-to-date? There’s no point in working on SEO if your site isn’t up to par. Now’s the time to work on your content, check your site for errors, work on your site’s speed, navigation, and functionality.
  2. Does your site have great content? You can’t have good SEO without great content. Does your content answer your user’s questions? Does it have a compelling call-to-action? Does it have enough context that Google will understand what you are writing about?
  3. Keyword research. Don’t just guess at what keywords people are searching for. You may be surprised that some of the things you think are good keywords aren’t actually that great. Use a keyword search tool like Ubersuggest or KWFinder to see what people are looking for in your area, and make a list of keywords that are appropriate for your site. Remember, your site should be an appropriate site for the searcher’s intent. Driving more traffic to your site isn’t necessarily better. You want to drive people who are actually looking for what you offer.
  4. Page Optimization. You should make sure that your pages are optimized for the keywords you’ve chosen. Want to learn more about how to optimize your site? Check out this free webinar that my friend Tara of Design TLC and I did for GoDaddy.
  5. Link Building. Getting backlinks is the most effective and fastest way to start rising in the ranks in the search engines, and it’s also the hardest to acquire. Now is the time to start looking for opportunities to get links back to your site. Can you submit articles to trade websites? Go on podcasts? Submit your site to (reputable) online directories? Do you work with vendors or other companies? Those partners should be more than happy to link to your website.

Unless you own a grocery store, your business is probably going to slow down for the duration of this epidemic. And that’s hard on everyone. But you can do some work to prepare your website to be ready when it’s over.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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