A good number of businesses thrive off the study of people’s habits. What do they eat? What do they shop for? What’s their favorite TV channel?  As much as habits rarely change, consumer patterns are shifting at a rapidly alarming rate.

Few months into 2020 and Coronavirus has redefined how nearly everything is done. The COVID-19 crisis is having a dramatic impact on search behavior and consumer habits. Businesses who want to come out the other side stronger have to adapt to the “new normal” and adjust accordingly. 

Marketing campaigns should be reviewed to strategically alleviate risk. 

According to a survey quoted on Search Engine Journal, the news of coronavirus has changed the shopping behaviour of 1 in 3 consumers. Surprisingly, while Google search ads lost 7% of their impressions from January 2020 to March 2020, SEO has been seeing a sharp rising curve. 

An example of this is Dailyburn, a provider of video daily workouts who saw a 300% increase in organic search visibility and verywellhealth.com with 153% increase in their search visibility!

Screenshot from Path Interactive.

If you have not started considering it, now is the time to invest in your SEO.  There is an opportunity here to create content that drives conversions and rewards your brand for a long, long time. 

We have some tips on how you can go about this. Ready? Let’s dig in. 

  1. Update your listing on Google My Business

Businesses that rely on foot traffic will undoubtedly be most hit during this period.  But if your business has an online presence, the first thing you should consider is to update your Google My Business listing. 

If you’ve changed your business hours for instance, you should update that. In your business description, explain how your business has been affected by Coronavirus and what you are doing about it. 

As the change in listing is subject to approval by Google, you should know that Google announced they will be prioritizing reviews of critical edits to business information for health-related businesses. 

Screenshot from Google My Business

  1. Monitor Google trends, new search habits and keywords

Did you know that businesses have recorded a rise in late night searches and ad impressions in their PPC campaigns?

Due to the fact that a lot of us stay at home, we stay online later than we normally would. Add in a dash of anxiety, and you have people searching for news on COVID – 19 late at night. 

This is a simple question of when is my audience online? But it could change a lot of things about your strategy.

Similarly, the rise of searches containing ‘coronavirus’ or ‘COVID -19’ are becoming increasingly attached to everyday searches like travel booking. 

As an online food store, the search team “Are supermarkets open?” should be right up your alley. An unplanned, new audience is actively seeking you out. Be there. 

What to do? 

  • Review your traffic source and determine if you want to double down on that stream of focus your attention elsewhere. 
  • Monitor the time peaks of traffic. If it’s late at night, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s the new normal, make the best of it. 
  1. Review your previously designed campaigns

By this, we mean take a bat to the whole thing and pick it apart.

 The last thing any business should be doing right now is being tone deaf. 

Corona made that mistake and it was not pretty. 

Your SEO managers should have and share valuable insights on your customer’s sensitivities. 

If you’re unsure about what campaigns to run, you could try building short-term content for the current searches. Figure out which of your products are experiencing the largest changes in search volume and take advantage of the changes. 

Google Trends is also super useful. You can see emerging patterns in search behaviour and get ahead of it before it becomes a sensation. 

  1. Secure your site better than Fort Knox

Literally.

Hackers are taking advantage of the current situation to use malicious malware in promoting fraudulent coronavirus discount codes and promos. As a business promoting trust, this is the last thing you need.

Below are some suggestions: 

  • Before you install any free plugin, find out if it has been updated more than 6 months ago, it may be dangerous
  • Also pay attention to the number of downloads and stars.
  • Ascertain that the plugin is compatible with the wordpress version you are using. 
  • Do not use your WordPress backend login details for any other website. Hackers can use this information to log into your servers and create all manner of things. 
  • Download themes that are free by nature as opposed to a paid theme that you can download for free on some site.

Have you had to update your 2020 SEO strategy in response to COVID – 19? Share with us in the comment section.

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Growth is the only essential thing you need to be a startup. Startups are created to grow fast. Everything else that happens within a startup is a derivative of growth.

Everything – ideation, product validation, product management, team building, fundraising – follows from growth. Without growth, early stage startup is just a small business losing money.

That is why founders are encouraged to focus on one metric – the one that matters. This is because, as a startup, your limited resources are a deterrent to wasting your time trying different things.

Depending on your type of business, growth will mean different things to different startups. And your one metric that matter changes over time. Getting rid of distractions enables you to focus your already limited resources – people, time, and money – on the one thing that moves the needle.

What is the one thing that signifies that your business is growing at a particular point in time?

In the beginning, growth for a lot of startups has more to do with user acquisition and engagement than revenue. The advantage of defining your growth metric is it tells you the most important thing about your startup and how should drive it.

You need to consider the followings when choosing your growth parameter.

1. Your business model

The way you monetize your product is an indication of the value that will be created by your business. It’s not always about the money, but revenue metrics provides a standard benchmark for growth metrics.

2. How you acquire your customers

The rate at which your products gets into the hands of users is a substantial measure of how scalable and successful your product can be. Inherent in the DNA of startups is the ability to build products that have the potential of being ubiquitous and viral within a short time frame.

That is why most startups are tech-enabled companies because technology enables innovation not just in the way products are made, but how they are distributed. You can measure your growth based on metrics such as unique web visits, page views, app downloads, partner signups, user signups, conversion rate, churn rate, etc.

3. The stage of your business

The stage of your company will determine what to focus on. Early stage business should be obsessed about metrics that validates their product-market fit more than mid or late stage companies.

In the beginning, your growth metric is based on time-based milestones you need to reach such as partnerships, signup at a particular time, user signup rate, number of feature releases, etc. It is important that you wrap this with specific numbers as much as possible to measure progress.

4. How you measure growth

Answering this question will help you make right decisions. Let’s assume you decide to measure your growth by the number of subscribers to your email list. First, you’ll have to optimise your product, website, app, content and every potential user interactions to grow this list.

You then measure the results of all your actions on a regular basis against this metric. You hold yourself and your team accountable with data and see whether you are making progress or not. You deep dive into all your acquisition channels to identify where you are getting the most number of subscribers. You look at the numbers every day and experiment with various tactics and tools to see how you can grow the subscription rate.

As you focus on a particular growth metric and optimise your products accordingly, magic happens. You identify particular big hairy destinations to drive your startup towards and you can measure the how and the rate at which you are getting there. And as you grow, your goal may change, and you redefine your growth metric.

You build, you measure, you learn.  And you continue the cycle until you reach your true north.