seo is the leading marketing channel in 2020 - cover image large

Three months into living through a global pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that the year of 2020 will be a defining one for both the economy and general society. In terms of marketing a business, the dramatic ebbs and flows of COVID-19 and the current protest movement are permanently changing the way business owners need to approach and consider priority marketing tactics.

During these unprecedented and uncertain times, it should come as no surprise to learn that the internet and online usage has increased exponentially. For some industries, COVID-19 has been unforgiving and savage. For others, they have thrived under the pressure of e-commerce demands. One of the biggest surprises for businesses this year is that many are finally gaining an understanding of the sheer value of SEO and the shifting SEO priority in marketing plans for most businesses.

2020 Is Highlighting the Value of SEO As a Priority

In our eyes, Search Engine Optimisation has always been the number one marketing channel for businesses to reach their potential online. An industry that has been around for almost 15 years, SEO has always played a crucial role in the way users interact and engage with content online.

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of SEO in an Holistic marketing plan

However, the increasing number of online users means that only now, are the general population beginning to understand how Search works. In 2020, most businesses are aware that SEO is an intrinsic element of successfully marketing a business. The current climate that we are living in means that the online demands of society are highlighting the true value of SEO.

With expanses of cities and large communities of people having to stay home, the limited foot traffic and service opportunities for businesses means that many organisations have shifted their focus to improving their online presence.

In a time marked by relentless questioning and a significant trend in at-home activity, online search volume has undoubtedly increased, with a focus on news and health-related queries. It’s these volumes of organic search queries that mean that the effects of SEO have become stunningly clear to many. With such a massive influx of users online, SEO efforts are only being amplified in the midst of the global crisis.

As more people spend time at home, the effectiveness of traditional marketing and advertising avenues has significantly reduced. The differentiating element of focusing on organic search means that SEO is proving to be the determining factor of whether a brand has continued to experience customer engagement during this period.

53% of all website traffic comes from organic search

The Volatility of Organic Traffic Today

It’s no secret that some industries are doing much better than others online. The dramatic upturn of COVID-19 in combination with the current civil unrest means that many sectors are either seeing ridiculous increases, or steep declines, in online traffic. And yet, having a sustainable and good SEO strategy in place has been helping in either case.

If your business industry is seeing an increase in organic traffic, an SEO strategy in place will have your content ranking higher; allowing for more clicks, traffic, and leads than ever before.

If your business operates in a non-essential industry, you may be experiencing enormous declines in online traffic. The importance of SEO in these circumstances is that while your industry itself may not be receiving much search volume; if you’re ranking well, you’re going to get the majority (if not all) of the clicks that are coming through.

Staying Ahead of The Game With SEO

During the pandemic, one thing has become abundantly clear: SEO is the priority marketing channel for businesses owners to satisfy existing customers, find new customers and simultaneously navigate a global crisis. Here are the main ways SEO can successfully support and improve a business’s position in these times:

why SEO has been so resilient during covid-19

Content Creation

The content being put out by brands is one of the critical elements that will set apart the successful from the not so successful. The priorities of content creation have changed a lot over the last few months. As marketers, we now need to create and update content that explains more of our business model than ever before. Users are relying on content to find out how businesses are approaching the current climate, buyers require information about how their purchases will safely make it to their homes, and consumers need to know that they are safe to engage with physical storefront and businesses offline.

Improving User Experience

Good SEO goes hand in hand with enhanced user experience (Google recently announced that they are ramping up their efforts to reward sites that abide by UX as a design principle). During these pressing times, users are spending more time online, and more time on websites. A solid and supportive SEO strategy will naturally improve the user experience of a website. More time spent online means a demand for a higher quality experience – people are looking for new and updated information, seamless navigation, attractive branding, education and entertainment.

Building Trust

If there’s one thing you should know about an SEO campaign, it’s that it’s a long-term strategy. SEO really boils down to building trust with consumers, other websites, and search engines. Building this trust takes time and a sustainable marketing strategy. Implementing an SEO strategy before or during a crisis means having a solid foundation of trust with Google to withstand anything that is thrown your way in the future. The sites that have a history of building authority, trust, and accountability are the same sites that are only becoming stronger during these times.

Analysis of Data

A large part of search engine optimisation is collecting data and using it to better understand your customers. For many businesses, the current climate presents the perfect opportunity to take a step back and reassess their marketing strategies. Data collection and leveraging gives marketers the chance to observe and react to trends and understand and act on consumer behaviour. One major element of data analysis is implementation. Once you can figure out what is working for your content and what isn’t, you can continuously optimise to improve content and pages on your site.

Wrapping Up

Times are tough for business in 2020. But there is hope – the silver lining in this situation is the exponentially high volume of people turning to search. At the forefront of digital marketing, SEO as a priority has never been more important for a business experiencing the impacts of an economic crisis.

It’s the businesses that have successfully adapted to the changing marketplace that has not only been strengthened by the global pandemic but will have set themselves up for future successes. As a team of passionate SEO experts, we couldn’t be more invigorated by the growing awareness into the value of search engine optimisation.

It’s not too late to turn to SEO into a priority if you’re worried about your business. If you’re amongst those affected and want to learn more about how you can use this time to strengthen your future successes, get in touch with Safari Digital for a no-obligation consultation. Safari Digital is Australia’s leading experts in helping small to large businesses grow and improve their online visibility with SEO.