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SEO and The Pandemic: Adapt Your Marketing During COVID-19

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While some brands have had to put little to no effort into SEO marketing throughout the Coronavirus, others have had to readjust some, if not all, of their content to be able to reach even a minuscule amount of customers to their eCommerce sites. For example, the grocery industry has had an overbearing amount of consumers flocking to their stores and online sites, as highly searched phases during the peak of the pandemic were already embedded into the field’s content. This industry had had search terms such as hygienic items, disinfectant, hand sanitizer weaved into their sites’ content, as opposed to retail brands that have had no initial need for these terms or even have the inventory, as it doesn’t relate to their targeted consumer needs and overall business purpose.

All sorts of industries have had to redirect their content to a pandemic focused marketing approach but as time carries on, brands begin to wonder of the importance of SEO during COVID-19.

Managing SEO In Crisis

As mentioned previously, stores that revolved around selling essentials have ultimately come to a halt with their SEO efforts as this industry is already having a hard time keeping up with customers’ needs and inventory. The health and wellness field specifically has also seen a surge with people in need of these necessities, as well, with people in need of medicine, vitamins, supplements, etc. 

In contrast, the brands that should be focusing on their pandemic strategies and how to better manage SEO during the crisis include fashion and beauty, travel and hospitality, and restaurants. While these sectors have previously looked at materialistic and entertainment-focused content, they’ve never had to think of incorporating terms and phrases related to crises into their messaging.

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So, answering the question: should you pause SEO during COVID-19? The answer will depend on how successful or in-need of business your brand is.

SEO Tips During The Pandemic

Especially important for SMB’s that may have been having a hard time gaining an audience on their online platforms, SEO during coronavirus, and after, will be crucial for the success of the business. For your own company, SEO is a great way to adapt your marketing during COVID-19. Below are several tips your business can consider:

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Shift Your Content: Without having to start over with all of your content to cater to more pandemic-related SEO terms, using existing content may be a smart approach your business can easily accomplish. This can be as easy as changing product and service descriptions or adding an extra sentence or two related to the current situation at hand. Overall, this will help your SMB extend its reach and search result ranking.

Think Long-Term: Your company should be thinking long-term when it comes to the use of SEO. This is a time where your brand should be researching different keywords and phrases that are growing in popularity and not just of seasonal use. For example, adding the keyword “masks” with inventory will likely have longevity compared to the keyword “fall outfits” which by next season will no longer have the same popularity. Your business should also keep in mind that not only pandemic-related content will have longevity, so performing research and finding phrases that already relate to your business’s content will help with extending reach, as well.

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Research: Your business should be performing keyword research often and staying updated on keywords that have steady popularity throughout several months.  The more of these keywords and phrases your company implements into its content, the longer your brand’s searchability is likely to remain. Your eCommerce site should also be looking for words that are rising in popularity as this is a great way to improve the ranking of your platform before competitors.

Post-COVID SEO: Post-pandemic keywords and phrases should be integrated into your content as consumers are looking for answers past the current chaos everyone is dealing with. Your business should consider adding keywords that will help confirm the customer’s hope for the future, as well as show empathy during the current times.

Additional Offerings: Offering new services to consumers is a great way to attract people to your online business. Along with these new offerings should come along SEO-keywords that relate to your services. For example, restaurants moving online in crisis periods may want to add keywords and phrases, such as “curbside pick-up” to attract customers to your website. Retail brands could add phrases such as, “buy-online-pick-up-in-store or BOPIS” to reach new consumers and help with sales.

All industries should be aware of the importance of SEO during COVID-19 as this will affect everyone. These tips are especially useful for SMBs and the sectors that have been impacted hard in response to the chaos caused by COVID-19, however the industries that solely offer essentials may also need to reconsider the use of SEO-friendly content, and possibly work on restocking inventory and other issues at hand.

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Key TakeAways

The pandemic has ultimately led to immense changes with SEO-content. All industries should have this as a priority, whether companies are flourishing with their reach using SEO keywords and phrases or having to find ways to incorporate this strategy into their business plans. From the article, businesses can learn the following:

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●      Companies should consider pausing SEO-growth if their eCommerce site already has a solid reach. This should be a time where a business can focus on inventory and restocking, instead. 

●      Businesses should be thinking long term when creating an SEO strategy.

●      eCommerce companies should be doing in-depth research on the longevity and popularity of SEO keywords and phrases before integrating anything within their content.

●      Pandemic related content should be integrated throughout an eCommerce site and its platforms to help reach its consumers in an empathic manner.

●      Instead of a business changing all of its content to better reach consumers, companies can work with existing content and alter it slightly to include SEO keywords and phrases.

●      Companies should keep away from keywords and phrases that fluctuate in popularity or have a constant decreases in searches.

Overall, SEO will continue to have a large impact on the future of businesses’ success, meaning all industries should be prioritising this within their marketing strategies.

About Author:
Hannah O’Brien is a passionate content writer, she writes for creative agency Appnova, which specializes in luxury branding, bespoke digital marketing strategies and ecommerce solutions.

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SEO

Googlebot Crawls & Indexes First 15 MB HTML Content

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Googlebot Crawls & Indexes First 15 MB HTML Content

In an update to Googlebot’s help document, Google quietly announced it will crawl the first 15 MB of a webpage. Anything after this cutoff will not be included in rankings calculations.

Google specifies in the help document:

“Any resources referenced in the HTML such as images, videos, CSS and JavaScript are fetched separately. After the first 15 MB of the file, Googlebot stops crawling and only considers the first 15 MB of the file for indexing. The file size limit is applied on the uncompressed data.”

This left some in the SEO community wondering if this meant Googlebot would completely disregard text that fell below images at the cutoff in HTML files.

“It’s specific to the HTML file itself, like it’s written,” John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, clarified via Twitter. “Embedded resources/content pulled in with IMG tags is not a part of the HTML file.”

What This Means For SEO

To ensure it is weighted by Googlebot, important content must now be included near the top of webpages. This means code must be structured in a way that puts the SEO-relevant information with the first 15 MB in an HTML or supported text-based file.

It also means images and videos should be compressed not be encoded directly into the HTML, whenever possible.

SEO best practices currently recommend keeping HTML pages to 100 KB or less, so many sites will be unaffected by this change. Page size can be checked with a variety of tools, including Google Page Speed Insights.

In theory, it may sound worrisome that you could potentially have content on a page that doesn’t get used for indexing. In practice, however, 15MB is a considerably large amount of HTML.

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As Google states, resources such as images and videos are fetched separately. Based on Google’s wording, it sounds like this 15MB cutoff applies to HTML only.

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It would be difficult to go over that limit with HTML unless you were publishing entire books’ worth of text on a single page.

Should you have pages that exceed 15MB of HTML it’s likely you have underlying issues that need to be fixed anyway.


Source: Google Search Central
Featured Image: SNEHIT PHOTO/Shutterstock



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