As soon as the immediate impact of COVD-19 touched down, it was no surprise that we started fielding questions from nearly every client across industries. And while the knee jerk reaction for some clients was to completely pause all marketing investments and campaigns, it’s more important than ever to consider how you can pivot your marketing strategy during COVID-19 to appropriately address your target market and prepare for recovery in 2020.
1. Technical SEO & Organic Search
Consider organic search as a long-term investment in your business. As Search Engine Journal notes, the only other marketing tactic that produces a higher ROI than organic search is an opt-in mailing list. Not only will having a well-executed organic search strategy pay off in the long-run, but it can also generate revenue to help your business now. In addition, staying consistent with your organic search objectives while other businesses are slowing their content generation can significantly pay off because the fewer competitors there are for targeted search terms, the easier it is to rank for those terms.
During this slower period, consider running a content audit on your website. SEO-wise, what content can be improved to move the needle of your website? To determine this, we recommend that your website undergo an audit.
Take inventory of your content, including all site pages, blog posts, eBook, videos, etc. After you have documented all of your website content, take a step back and analyze its performance to determine if there is room for improvement. Look for pages that are important to the business and have dropped in ranking over time. Prioritize updating that content over content that is still ranking well. Look for all on-page SEO elements, such as URLs, alt-text, header tags, targeted keywords usage, etc. optimized? Make your dollars work for your business by investing in your SEO and organic search strategy during COVID-19.
2. New Content Initiatives
Speaking of SEO and organic search, it’s vital that your blog or website content generation stay consistent during this time to stay relevant to your audience. The SEO benefits or potential losses in ranking due to eliminating new content initiatives cause risk to your ROI in the short and long term. However, your content strategy may need to be adjusted based on how your business is responding to COVID-19.
Companies are focusing on the services that address their customer’s needs during this time. Therefore, your business may need to pivot and make important business decisions quickly. The silver lining is that your ability to adapt can become a competitive advantage over others in your industry. For example, if you’re in the product manufacturing industry, you may need to focus less on your B2B offerings and add more focus to the products that your consumers need right now.
While tactics during COVID-19 may be less promotional, they are sure to keep your brand at the top of your audience’s mind.
3. Conversion Rate Optimization
Whether the impact of COVID-19 has been a positive or a negative for your website traffic, conversion optimization remains a key component to realizing an ROI. This optimization generates more value for your business from the visitors that are on your website. For example, if a landing page on your website has a conversion rate of 5% and receives 5,000 visitors a month, then the page generates 250 leads a month. Now, if you improve the conversion rate by a mere 2%, this would mean 100 more leads each month.
Take a moment to identify the most impactful landing pages and site pages to optimize through A/B or multivariate testing. Optimizely states that the first place to start should be the part of your conversion funnel that receives the most traffic, as this will be the most impactful. Is there a simple design change or content edit that can better resonate with your audience? If so, this is the time to test, test and test.
A few examples of the website variables to test for conversion rate optimization include:
- Website form length
- Form location: above the fold, below the fold and sidebar
- Landing page copy
- Call-to-action colors and locations
- Adding video
- Page templates
We consider this the low-hanging fruit for your business to tackle during COVID.
4. Enhance Your E-Commerce’s User Experience
Mandated stay-at-home orders may have hurt your brick-and-mortar business, but they can have a positive impact on your online store or services. Now is the time to optimize and perfect your online platform. Forbes states that due to limited inventories, consumers may be willing to purchase from new brands that have the goods or services they need. Ensure your e-commerce strategy, including all on-page SEO, is well optimized so your brand has the potential to reach new customers.
Think about different ways to improve the user experience on your website’s product pages, mobile website, pricing, online upsell strategy and workflows. Be agile with the products or services you promote on your website so they align with the customer’s needs now. That’s the benefit of having an online store, you’re able to test a new product or service offering quickly and change your strategy if needed. The ability to change to quickly adapt can become a competitive edge over others in your industry. Forbes notes that only 37% of brands test and optimize their content to improve sales performance. If you’re one of the few brands that are constantly testing and optimizing your e-commerce store, you have an advantage over your customers. Smart changes can increase sales and recover lost revenue from abandoning website visitors.
5. Update Your Online Review and Ratings Strategy
As you know, your online reviews can help increase sales for your business. In fact, 93% of consumers state that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. It turns out that online reviews are exceptionally important during the COVID-19 pandemic; Power Reviews found that both conversions and review engagement more than doubled in less than a month. These figures mean that more people are making online purchases and using social proof to help make their decision.
With this in mind, does your business have a clear strategy in place? There are a number of ways to promote positive reviews and provide customer service by responding to reviews. Keep these tips in mind for responding to online reviews for your business:
- Quickly respond to all online reviews, both positive and negative
- Write conversationally
- Ask frequent, loyal customers to leave you a review
- Be consistent with how you respond
- Admit mistakes when you are wrong and try to make things right
- If necessary, take the conversation to email or phone
Take advantage of the extra time you may have and create your company blueprint for responding to online reviews.
6. Long-Awaited Projects
Do you have projects that you and your team have always talked about, but have never had time to execute? It may be a good time to dust off those projects that were once put on the back burner and bring them to the light during COVID-19. Depending on your industry, customer demand from clients may have increased or decreased, making it a good time to re-visit some of your previous strategy ideas that have been put on the back burner. It’s a good time to look inward and navigate the changes you can make to encourage short and long-term growth.
While some marketing investments may need to be paused, this still opens up an opportunity to revise your strategies and come out stronger because of it. Look at this as an opportunity to reposition your business for growth. Again, many brands will not adjust their marketing strategies; be the business that does to increase your share in the market and come out on top.
Want to discuss how a digital marketing program can help your business today and beyond COVID-19? Our inbound marketing specialists can help and better yet, show you results.