Like many, you may be considering how to adapt your marketing to the current pandemic. You may be considering entirely withdrawing your marketing or SEO spend, and you may have lots of questions at this very uncertain time (some of which simply can’t be answered, by anyone).
However, there are lots of questions we can answer, right here, right now to help you with your SEO and Marketing during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the questions we’ve been asked:
Has Google Stopped Algorithm Updates?
I produced the below table to look at exactly the number of updates to its algorithm Google had rolled out during world pandemics. It includes COVID-19, and the answer is pretty clear that to date Google has no intention of stopping updates to its algorithm — this would in turn mean shuffling of rankings too.
However, the caveat to this is pretty simple. The longer the coronavirus pandemic goes on and the longer Google and Bing remain on lockdown the less likely algorithm updates will be. This means we will see lower volitliaty as we move forward through the pandemic, but this isnt to say we wont see it — as of course search engine engineers are still working from home.
All of this still points to one thing, no website is safe from a ranking movement up or down and all websites need to be aware that SEO best practice and maintenance should be remembered even during this period.
What is Google doing to support my business in terms of SEO?
This is a bit of a moving picture, and in the past few days a few things have been announced — we expect even more to be added soon.
In terms of local business — on Google My Business, there is now a special closure type to allow for temporary closures, there is also an ability to add a COVID-19 post/update should someone search for your business name.
Google Maps in line with the above will show both if a location is temporaily closed and such posts. Editors/recommendations to the ends of temp closures will be prioritsed to ensure services are correctly listed.
Additionally, Google announced SMEs using its adwords platform since January would recieve a special adwords credit to help during this period. Its not immediately available as they are still building the system — I will update this post when I hear it can be accessed, but it will just appear in your account.
Should I turn off my marketing and SEO?
In short, budgets are going to be tighter for almost all businesses at this time and I dont think there is a simple answer to this question that applies to all businesses.
For instance for online stores or services offerings it makes little sense to switch off marketing at this time, and indeed there could be an arguement to certainly look to improve it.
However, for brick-based retailers or lesiure sector organisations this isnt the case and turning-down marketing is ceratinly something to look at. This said, as mentioned above, switching off SEO isnt something that may be a great option as Google isnt going to switch off its algorithm. Therefore it would be a good idea to review and maintain a presence with a plan, even if this is at a lower level than previously.
Is there one way I can improve my site right now?
If I had a pound for everytime I’ve been asked this…
Honestly, I have always said content is king! and I wasn’t joking.
So, update your content across your website and ensure it’s the best content you’ve written. Make sure it’s highly targetted to your current audience (have you changed from a national to local audience, just as this page targets specifically SME’s and smaller businesses?) and write some new awesome content!
Finally, take care of the details — update your meta tags and update the images.
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