SEO

COVID-19 and SEO :The Affected and Gained Sectors

February 9, 2021

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The outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken the world.

How COVID-19 is impacting my website’s organic performance? Perhaps this is a topmost question buzzing all the time in an SEO person’s mind.

The answer is the same, ‘It Depends’ !

The pandemic has brought about a significant shift in user search patterns. For example, the searches and impressions have been increased for non-perishable food products during Lockdown in India. On the other hand, queries related to ‘nearest hotel’, ‘how to reach Goa’ etc have seen huge drop in search. To avoid going out, most of the people have switched to online shopping mode. There is a tremendous rise in search terms associated with online shopping.

The websites related to food delivery services have seen around 8% growth through website traffic. E-learning platforms, movie websites, online banking, online news media etc are some other sectors that showed positive results.The hospitality industry has taken a hit of 38% decrease in website traffic. Same as is the case of car rentals and related services.
COVID-19 season has also raised some new queries like, ‘N-95 masks near me’, ‘open shops near me’ etc. In short, we can say that the pandemic has drastically changed the way how and what users search online. Marketers need to be more thoughtful while looking for the right keywords. Taking an account of previous month search volumes and patterns will help in creating effective SEO strategies.

Let us see in detail the search trends and impact of COVID in various industries.

Some Gainers:

Essential E- commerce Store

The pandemic has caused an increased demand for hand sanitizers, face masks, thermometers, sanitary wipes etc. These are some of the e-commerce essentials people are looking for.
Fitness and exercise equipment

To maintain social distance, all the gyms have been closed across the country. Now, people are looking for fitness equipment online and this is leading to a huge rise in traffic associated with fitness equipment websites.

News and Media

Online news publishers are gaining more search traffic nowadays. People are continuously searching for news updates to know the latest happenings about the pandemic.

Online Tutors or Online Education Institutes

The online education platform has gained tremendous growth in the major COVID affected countries including India. The government has launched nation-wide remote learning platforms to facilitate online classes. This ultimately results in an enormous spike in traffic on such mediums.

Medical and Related Healthcare Services

The new trend we saw in search results is the addition or influence of the word COVID in search terms. Some of the examples are – ‘vegetables to eat during COVID’, ‘how to boost the immune system’, etc. This clearly shows how intensively the pandemic is affecting our lifestyle. People are more conscious regarding their health and looking for the information online. This is causing high traffic on websites related to healthcare.

Soft Skill and Personality Grooming

The nation experienced a complete lockdown for more than 2 months. Many many people started to utilize this time by learning some new skill that could help them in the future. So this lockdown period was very fruitful for industries associated with soft skill and personality grooming services. The online sessions and seminars provided by these platforms helped to boost the traffic to such websites enormously.

Affected Sectors:

Tours and Travels

Travel restrictions and quarantines have caused a huge loss for several tours and travel companies. People have postponed their vacations and other travel plans for their safety.

Hotels and Hospitality

While the travel restrictions continued across the world, the hospitality sector also suffered along with it. Resorts, hotels, amusement parks, entertainment centres etc. are facing a huge economic loss.

Study Abroad Consultancies

Students who had decided to travel abroad for higher studies had to put their plan on hold due to the crisis. Most of the foreign colleges and universities have been closed down. This has adversely affected study abroad consultancies.

As we discussed above, the impact of COVID-19 aka coronavirus is not the same for all industries. For some industries, it has brought positive results but for some others, it has caused major losses.

Now the question is What to do next? How to gain the lost traffic and clicks? Let’s look at some of the immediate strategies we can implement to boost conversions and sales.

Post-COVID SEO strategies

Analyze Google Trends

Being a prominent digital marketing agency in India, we have analysed the changes occurring in search patterns and search keywords volume. We have found some surprising results.
The drastic change in search volumes

The rise of new keywords

The above image shows the constant decrease in average search volume during the pandemic.

Yes, it is a very serious issue. The decrease in search volume directly affects the website traffic. So, this is a peak time to analyze Google Trends and research what terms the users are searching for. So be a smart digital marketer and do an audit to get ideas of users’ intent and new search trends.

Focus on Conversions

Once you have analyzed the trending search terms, the next step is to test it. With the traffic you have got on the website, do A/B testing. We at Webdura analyses GA and GSC to know which pages are facing the largest decline and highest bounce rate. Based on this, we perform A/B testing by modifying the content based on new search trends. This helps us not only gain some quality traffic but also see a hike in conversions.

Market Brand

People are quarantined in their homes and are searching for products to survive during this pandemic. They are worried more about their job, health and economic stability but that doesn’t mean they are offline. Try to build a good relationship with the users by sharing tips and ways to stay healthy. Show them that you care for their wellness through good messages.

The image above is not promoting any services but just advising the users to utilize their precious time by learning something new. By this way, you should try to improve your brand’s online presence without selling services.

Include Covid related Search Terms in Content

Pandemic forces us to stay at home as much as possible but remember Google has not stopped working. People keep searching and Google delivers the results. It is high time you go through the search patterns, update and optimize the content. Optimizing particular terms associated with the pandemic will be a great game-changer.

Implement Location-Based Strategies

If the business has a local presence and serves its customers locally, you should optimize the landing pages and Google My Business listing to be more relevant to the present scenario.

For example, if you have a local restaurant, just change the status of ‘dine-in’ to ‘take away’ or ‘delivery’ options. In Google listings, update the business hours, website links and other relevant information accordingly. Try to highlight how your business can assist the customers in this pandemic season.
SEO is a game of patience. Staying updated, implementing white hat tactics, and waiting for the results are basic rules in SEO. The industries that suffered huge web traffic loss don’t have to panic. Just implement these tactics depending on what users like to see and what search engines prefer to rank. Believe in “This too shall pass”.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Stay Connected (Digitally 😜) If you have some inputs to share about how Covid -19 impacted you or your business, please type below in the comment section!!

Thanks For Reading !

Author - Webdura

We believe in inbound marketing, it means doing useful marketing. We tell your story in a way that your market will understand, drive engagement and conversion. At Webdura, we help businesses to grow with a sustainable model for marketing, ie Inbound Marketing.

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