Staying Connected During COVID-19: Winning The SEO Strategy

Schools have closed. Sports are cancelled. Offices represent the barren wasteland of classic Westerns.

It’s no secret that we have collectively entered unfamiliar territory. Global leaders are reeling, trying to keep pace with the growing unrest rippling through communities who desperately need answers. As creative marketers, it is our job to be a voice of reason in unusual times- and respond in a respectful, valuable, and compassionate way.

We need to be mindful of changing landscapes and offer powerful language and insights to propel businesses past the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future. This is easier said than done. People are afraid. Companies are hurting. Technology has become a crutch.

The need for effective, unified communication practices between internal employees is at an all-time high. As Mark DeVito, President of Beyond Definition, said, “The goal is to have the ability to communicate your brand at any time, especially when it matters most. You can learn a lot about how the world perceives you and what your brand stands for in uncertain times.”

With a slew of information regarding COVID-19 coming out every second, dominating social media, news channels, and interpersonal communication, your brand may be left wondering, “How am I supposed to make our voice heard…?” As a strategy and creative agency, Beyond Definition drives clients forward by understanding their challenges and generating actionable solutions. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do for you right now. COVID-19 is here. Our team is ready to help in any way we can.

For brands, the key is to remain authentic, unique, proactive, and responsible. All of that starts with your SEO strategy.

So, here’s everything you need to know about winning the SEO strategy in an increasingly noisy world.

If you’re a newcomer to SEO, read this first.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essentially how your brand increases its presence and ranking online. From fixing broken links to identifying keywords, SEO has become a foundational component for effective marketing. Searchability as a creative agency is imperative as it builds credibility, increases web traffic, and impacts long-term ROI.

Now, onto the good stuff…

Audit Your Current Content

What do people do when they need answers? Turn to Google. And the unfortunate truth is that a lot of businesses will begin to implode if they don’t start carving out their spot on the internet right now. Especially during a crisis, you want to maximize your visibility in organic searches.

Every great strategy starts with a roadmap for success. While time is of the essence, executing a productive content audit will pay dividends down the line. It’s very difficult to provide value to your audience on the fly without understanding where you sit in the world of content. If you want to illuminate your own path in a media landscape that is still finding its footing, it can be helpful to analyze and allocate for all existing content to understand what resonates with your current audience. This includes studying your website, social media channels, and email marketing campaigns. Content audits are also necessary in identifying what the competition is doing. You can then produce new content with timely topics in mind that will be valuable to your audience while filling in the gaps that competitors might be missing. For example, we identified that a lot of agencies are stating that streamlined communication is important during COVID-19, without talking about what actions they are taking to help. This is why we developed our “Staying Connected During COVID-19” series.

Flex Expertise

Don’t emulate something you’re not. Your customers are with you for a specific reason- never assume they want you to provide answers outside your realm of expertise. The biggest mistake agencies can make right now is to assist with the spread of misinformation. Stay in tune with the latest information about COVID-19 from reputable sources, but don’t feel guilty about running “business as usual” to the best of your ability regarding the ideas, products, or services you offer. Chances are, you won’t win the search engine battle for information on COVID-19. However, you can bring visitors to your site by respectfully controlling your own space. People want to know that there are real human beings behind every brand. Show them who you are, what you offer, and how you are going to help them through tough times. Don’t drive home sales- the last thing anyone needs right now is a sales pitch. Instead, feed consumers a message and nurture leads organically from there.

Pivot Your Publishing

Website traffic is incredibly volatile. Consumerism is fluctuating. Social awareness is the name of the game. We’re all waiting for everyone else to make the first move. Why not be the leader in a crowded space?

Pivot your publishing schedule to provide your clients with a consistent channel to communicate. Maybe this is a weekly newsletter or blog series. Whatever your concept is, it’s probably a good idea to increase your normal output of content. But don’t publish for publishing’s sake either. You want to generate a mix of evergreen topics and timely posts that will actually resonate with your audience. To keep pace with other companies also pushing out their content, explore new channels and avenues to expand into. Live streams, webinars, and personalized workshops from the safety of someone’s computer will show that you still care about educating them and providing a service while staying ahead of current trends. For SEO, being able to adapt on a dime and curate optimized content with relevant keywords, (valued highest in your posts title, url, meta-description tags, image file names, and first 100 words of a paragraph) will drastically improve your page rank, relevance, and brand authority.

Always Be Backlinking

Backlinks are like references to your content in other places. At Beyond Definition, we want to leverage our experience and share our past successes to distribute advice and best-practices to brands who could use the assistance. A backlink like this one strategically placed in a blog can help us showcase that we have real-world examples to support everything we say. To ensure that your backlinks are positively impacting your SEO, keep a few things in mind. For starters, make sure that the backlink is going to a relevant page. Links to similar topics will generate more authority. Also, make sure your backlinks never break and link to trustworthy sites. Guest posting, internal organic links, and a running link analysis are some great ways to ensure backlinks are working for you, not against you.

Consider The Community

Altruism means everything right now. Don’t just tell your audience how you are going to help them through COVID-19. Show them. Posting a sympathetic response from leadership on Instagram is great – but we don’t need more of this. What we need is action.

SEO and COVID-19 will be linked for the foreseeable future. This is why you need to start paying attention to your brands SEO ranking before it’s too late.

Key Takeaways

A content audit is a free investment that will help your brand establish a foundation to stand on and build. Flex your expertise to differentiate, create keyword-focused content, and always be backlinking. Most importantly, consider what is happening to your community and how your brand can help. These are the key ingredients to a successful SEO strategy as we maneuver through COVID-19 together.

As COVID-19 pushes teams into remote, virtual workspaces, our “Staying Connected During COVID-19” series is here to help. Let’s commit to keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safe, one step at a time. Follow us for tips on how we can further your mission together.

Jonah Malin's headshot

Jonah Malin

Jonah Malin is a creative marketing professional, crafting story-driven content to execute a diverse range of digital, print, and social deliverables.

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