Coronavirus and SEO

Stretching Your Search Marketing Budget in Tight Times

It might feel like everyone is limiting their spending to toilet paper and hand sanitizer but this is not true! Not only are people getting takeout on a regular basis, many small businesses are actively finding ways to support their fellow small business owners. Some neat ideas I’ve seen:

  • Use your Airbnb credits to book a place in which you’ll never stay – the owner gets paid. It was suggested to do this in an area hardest hit by the current pandemic
  • Buy a gift certificate for future use at your favourite hair salon

Our customers for the most part are staying the course – frightened like everyone else and ever more conscious of getting a return on investment. Here are some tips for these trying times:

Get Creative With SEO

Google launched a Coronavirus dashboard that shows trends in certain search terms that are related to COVID-19. One of the terms that is visible today is “How to Take Off Acrylics”. If you are a spa owner that is shut down, you could be creating videos for social media that show people how to maintain their beauty regimes until they see you again. And then put that content on your website to further gain traction with the work you did creating the videos!

If you are a financial advisor, you could weigh in on the various stimulus packages that the government has been announcing – help people understand the pros and cons of deferring their mortgage!

It seems that every business is finding a way to get online – even physiotherapists!

Stretch Your Advertising Budget

  1. If you are doing Google Ads, focus more on your branded terms or terms that have a history of converting
  2. Shift your focus from Google Ads to Conversion Rate Optimization or Search Engine Optimization. Improving your website will improve your Google Ads performance when you resume.
  3. Focus on updating existing content or creating new content based on what people search for (Google Search Console, People Also Ask…)
  4. Avoid keywords, ads and landing pages that focus on Corona Virus keywords as they fall under Google’s “sensitive event” policy (content that may be deemed as capitalizing on or lacking reasonable sensitivity towards a natural disaster, conflict, death, or other tragic event) and will not be permitted.
  5. Use Google Shopping via Google Merchant Centre to get your products online
  6. If you are showing your ads on the display/partner network, they may be getting seen on a slew of new sites but not getting as many clicks or conversions; trim the fat by preventing your ads from being shown on sites that do not convert well
    • Also revisit the imagery of your ads and landing pages. Avoid images of people congregating.
  7. Consider not running ads for products that are selling quite well – like toilet paper, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. – no need to pay for advertising of those items!
  8. Add messaging to your website that reassures your customers that:
    • you are open for orders
    • you are taking care of your staff (are they working from home?)
    • you are maintaining the bricks and mortar store to decrease the chance of infection
  9. Look at your budget division between mobile and desktop traffic. With more people working from home, it is possible that you will have a change in demographics and this could influence cost per click and therefore overall budget.
  10. Shift some of your Google Ads budget to Social Media Ads. With more people home, the social networking sites are bulging at the seams with attentive viewers – why not capture them there (and then remarket using Google Ads obvs). It’s easy to add YouTube to the mix!

Many Industries are Flourishing with Google Ads Currently

According to Wordstream, the following industries are currently doing well (increased volumen and/or performance) with Google Ads:

  • Non Profits and Charities
  • Health and Medical
  • Business Management (think helping set up remote teams)
  • Finance (lots of insecurity here)
  • Beauty and personal care (more likely soap and hand sanitizer than eyeshadow and mascara)
  • Streaming media (Netflix, Disney+, etc.)
  • Cards, gift baskets and flowers – with people being physically separated we are seeing more acknowledgement of celebrations with cards and flowers than in person get togethers


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