As all businesses are struggling to navigate through the effects that our current pandemic has had on our top lines, we at Active Web Group are hard at work servicing our customers and have some suggestions that you may find useful in mitigating both  the short and long term effects.

PPC – Short Term

Virtually overnight the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer search behavior and overall PPC performance. Here are some immediate adjustments companies can make to their Pay Per Click strategy to lay the foundation for success and help support their bottom line.

  • You should adjust your messaging to be more in line with current social distancing and these should include
    • Virtual Meetings including virtual sales meetings
    • Remove “Visit Us” Type messaging form PPC efforts
    • Shipping information: be sure to highlight fast and/or free where applicable
    • Update business hours if they have changed
    • Customer pick- up Information if available
  • Carefully analyze your ad schedule performance as searcher behavior is shifting due to changes in search habits. Search volume is increasing later in the evening- a trend that may be important for your business.
  • Shift messaging if possible and promoting products that center around current culture
    • Social distancing, working from home, homeschooling, family time, entertainment/streaming, essential and medical services
  • Acknowledge crisis and take a reassuring sales approach

PPC – Long Term

While times are uncertain right now, restrictions will be lifted and search behavior and trends will shift again. The business that implements long terms strategies will able to maintain brand awareness and create a road map towards success.

  • Continue to focus on brand awareness to stay top-of-mind. This will also allow retargeting opportunities once things have normalized. 
    • Consider Google Display, Youtube Video ads, etc.
  • Don’t focus on the short term by pulling spend budgets – this could impact momentum negatively affect audience retention
  • Keep an eye on audiences you are targeting with paid efforts. Consumer behavior has shifted during these times and your typical audiences may not be as responsive.

SEO – Short Term

While SEO is considered a marathon rather than a sprint, here are some ideas on the short term search side of the equation:

  • Brands should monitor organic metrics including sessions and conversions for the immediate future and should look to update forecasting
  • Monitor trending tools including Google Trends and Google Search  Console to identify shifts in search behavior around keywords and topics that are relevant to your brand
  • Evaluate organic and paid marketing campaigns over the next several months to balance both as part of the broader marketing strategy
  • As consumer behaviors shift, look to generate traffic with middle-of-the-funnel content that will benefit from future consumer behavior
  • Create SEO-friendly informative content around your products and services to support Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) signals

SEO – Long Term

With businesses seeing short term losses, planning future optimization initiatives will help ensure that your business is positioned well when the economy improves. Long term SEO suggestions include:

  • Ensure that your website ranks for relevant, high-volume, and competitive keywords that are likely to peak in Q4 2020
  • Evaluate ways to digitize your brand’s products and services to adapt to future trending
  • Invest in content development. Content created today will positively impact your brand in the future and can be updated to correspond to continuously changing business goals
  • Implement local SEO strategies and optimize existing site content for global, national, and regional audiences

Email

While most of us are being barraged by “we are here for you” email messaging, customers and prospects will need to know how your business, products, and services are being affected by the pandemic. Marketing has changed, but its basic rules have not. Continue to focus on your goals with the pandemic in mind. Do not make light of what is happening. Keep it as short and sweet as possible. Make your emails informative and useful and clearly outline shifts in your business strategies during this time such as discounts, shipping policy changes, store hours, etc.

Website

Your digital footprint has never been more important than now for your business.

  • Update contact information and hours if they have been affected by personnel.
  • Add a status banner or advisory to notify visitors about availability or temporary closures.
  • Create a new page or FAQ section with relevant links and content about the virus as it pertains to your customers may find helpful.
  • During this time, review your entire sites’ content for outdated information.
  • Think ahead with a wishlist of site upgrades and modifications.

Most of all, we at AWG hope you and yours are safe and well.  Rest assured, we are busy at work assisting businesses across the country in managing strategies in both the short and long effects of the pandemic.  We’d be happy to discuss any of these ideas with you.

In Conclusion

It has become painfully apparent that a strong and effective online presence will have a significant impact on the ongoing success of our businesses. Comprehensive strategizing and implementation are at the forefront of these efforts. Our world has changed, maybe forever. Proactive planning will help you navigate what the “new normal” of business in America will become.