The Impact Of Covid-19 On Ecommerce SEO And What You Can Do About It
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has done a number on the global economy. During this unprecedented challenge, supply chains have been disrupted, businesses have shuttered, and consumer behavior has shifted.
So what does all this mean for e-commerce? Keep reading to take a closer look at the ways the world of e-commerce has been impacted as a whole, with an emphasis on the most important element of online sales and marketing: traffic.
The quality and quantity of traffic and its effects on SEO will always be a reflection of people’s search behavior and underlying interest.
There is no doubt that people are searching differently during this traumatic time and marketers should take note.
In the midst of this turmoil, there are some classic trends and patterns that we can detect that can help us with our SEO efforts.
For example, in times of crisis, the first products that consumers move away from are luxury products. The reasons are as follows:
- Economic hardship
- Appetite for buying basic supplies instead
- Uncertainty about the future
We can see that countries that are at the peak of their crisis create the most acute hit to e-commerce websites in their respective regions, while those that are before the peak or recovering, tend to come around rather quickly.
This indicates that a crisis is never truly global at any given time, and there are always SEO efforts we can strategically implement according to various regional considerations given their evolving situations.
Search Style And Intent
People overall are currently searching for more abstract terms, which are informational, navigational, and news-based. Brand names are searched for less, which clearly shows that the appetite is there for knowledge and less for buying. However, as always, stores that have blogs are faring well at the moment.
What Can You Do SEO-Wise?
Based on the three shifts described above and the observations that complement them, here are some SEO tips and tricks that will assist with ensuring your traffic levels and conversion rates do not suffer during this tricky time.
- Focus More On Content - Knowing that people are currently searching for knowledge more than products or brand names, you should adapt your SEO angle and incorporate informational content pieces into your strategy. Making useful and quality content the new top of your funnel is a good move right now.
- Update Site Information - During this period, you have to be more thoughtful about the clarity of your website, with an emphasis on your terms and conditions. Visitors who would have usually asked you questions in-store will be turning to your website for basic information so make sure it is accessible.
- Keep Up With Demand & Listen To Your Customers - Check out competitors and be part of relevant forums to see what your customers are looking for right now.
- Stay Ahead Of The Curve - Anticipate what your customers might need in the near future, with an emphasis on lockdown situations or other Covid-19 ripples of influence. Having an idea early can keep you ahead of the competition. Test these anticipatory ideas into your SEO strategy to see what works.
- Refresh Metadata - This might be a good time to highlight your fast deliveries, your hassle-free returns policy, or anything else that will address the needs that customers encounter at this moment when it comes to delivering a fast and easy online shopping experience.
- Invest When Others Are Not - During the 2008 crisis, those who invested in SEO at the most counterintuitive time emerged stronger when conditions normalized.
- Optimize Your Promotions - Free shipping or other competitive promotions are certainly the way to go right now, and incorporating “Stay At Home” messages in your ads will be great for your SEO efforts.
- Take The Time For General Housekeeping - If traffic is low, this might be a good time to brush-up on elements of your SEO effort that you typically fall to the bottom of the priority list. For example, this might include health checks and tech audits.
- Test Riskier Strategies - When there is less traffic, it might be the safest time to try out a more adventurous strategy you otherwise would have avoided. There is less traffic in general, less traffic at stake, and therefore a unique opportunity to test out new strategies.
- Offset The Downsides Of This Situation With The Upsides - At the end of the day, people are spending more time at home, and buying online is the preferred or only option for many. Whatever your niche, you should explore ways to expand your online community while ideally bringing in more traffic and sales.
- Social Media - Activity on social media is excellent for the SEO results of your website and this is the perfect time to connect with your community given engagement is up.
- Switch Focus To Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) - SEO is often confused with CRO. While the former deals with driving traffic to a site, the latter focuses on optimizing conversions. This means working on the funnel and website itself to make the most sales out of traffic.
- Think About A New Schema - There is a new type of data structure released by Schema.org that addresses the Covid-19 global situation. For example, the “eventAttendanceMode” type could help websites show event details in the SERP, and this is especially useful for those businesses which have fully transitioned to online sales.
When it comes to e-commerce traffic in the age of Covid-19, we have a mixed bag of downsides and opportunities. Knowing how to leverage the positive aspects of this event will be the key to managing the crisis and emerging stronger.
From the list above, it is clear that there is a lot we can do for our SEO efforts right now, and this is clearly a glass-half-full situation. This kind of thinking is always needed in the world of e-commerce and SEO, especially now.