Short & Sweet Answer: By updating their Google My Business accounts to update customers, making sure their website is mobile optimized, optimizing their site for local search and creating helpful and educational content, small businesses will thrive during the pandemic.
This pandemic has undoubtedly hit small businesses hard. But did you know that very few small businesses have an SEO Strategy. According to a new report “Top 5 SEO strategies for Small Businesses in 2020” 70% of 501 respondents said they didn’t have an SEO Strategy. When considering that 75% of searchers don’t scroll past Google’s first page, it doesn’t make sense to ignore having an SEO strategy in place.
According to the author of the report, Kesley Mckeon, now is the ideal time to have one in place. When small businesses are working out ways to cut costs, the cost effective nature of SEO makes having a working strategy imperative.
Our top 6 tips for small businesses to better handle corona are:
- Using Google My Business.
- Optimizing websites for Mobile.
- Updating website's messaging.
- Researching and using target keywords.
- Optimizing websites for local search.
- Creating great content.
1. Google My Business:
With Google My Business, you can manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. You can add your business name, location and hours, monitor and respond to reviews and add photos. The plus is that you can learn how and where people are searching for you. Even broad search queries with large volumes show in search results, which is something that owners of small businesses can capitalize on.
"So how can small businesses use Google My Business during this pandemic?"
Change and update your business description:
Your can change your - 750 character - description any time to update customers on any of your business operations.
You can put something like “Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our branch hours are varying. Please call the branch for our current hours”
Use Google Posts to keep customers updated with changes as they develop.
Create Event Posts:
Because nobody knows when this pandemic will end, select an event option and post a Google Post Statement while making sure you don’t specify the date. This makes sure the post stays up for the duration of COVID.
2. Optimize your site for Mobile
Build a fast mobile friendly website. It is simple. All you need are simple plugs for your CNS such as WordPress. This makes sure that all the content on your site is optimized for mobile.
Optimizing your site for fast load speed is one way to make your business stand head and shoulders above your competitors.
Optimizing your site for Google is also crucial for prospects performing local searches: research shows that nine out of ten mobile users conduct local searches.Some common that your prospects will use their mobile are:
- They’ll look up reviews
- Find directions and
- Search for contact information.
3. Update your websites messaging
Current customers and future customers want to know that you understand the current environment and possible obstacles that it presents. Make sure you show that your business has made the preparations and adjustments and can still provide products and services that your customers come to you for.
If your business provides services that have an extra value during the pandemic make sure you let people know about them. Businesses doing well during the pandemic are food prep and meal delivery services are taking the places of restaurants during the pandemic and their orders are up 40% from last year.
4. Research and target keywords
A great starting point for any small business is to understand what your audience is searching and looking for. Once you identify keywords for your business niche, you can optimize your site to get a high as possible ranking on Google.
The first step is to look for a topic that is relevant for your business on Google. Then use Google Ads to seek out high volume search with low to medium levels of competition. With the right keywords, you can start by adding them to different places on your website like your landing pages and home page.
Using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, you can spot gaps in your market which enable you to capitalize on keywords and convert at a better rate.
5. Optimizing your site for local search
Most small businesses serve local prospects and customers so optimizing for local search will position you to rank higher on Google for your industry. Keeping your contact information NAPS (name, address and phone number) up to date will ensure Google will see your site as relevant and authentic.
Many businesses make the mistake by including their NAPs within an image. The problem is “images can’t be crawled (read) by search engines like HTML text”. The most common place for your name, address and phone number is in the header or footer on your site.
6. Develop high-quality content
High quality content is always helpful to have your site rank high on Google, particularly if you focus on providing educational content that customers find useful and helpful - especially in times of the pandemic. It’s not only written content that quality needs to shine, it’s also your landing pages and homepage.
Small businesses need to target the local market. As Google continues to get smarter, a content creators job is more about writing content for users rather than for search engines. Rather than writing about generic topics that pull in a wider audience, why not focus on trends and news in your niche. That way you’ll be targeting for local search and you can build up authority as a thought leader in your niche industry.
Our Bottom Line: While business has been hit hard during this pandemic, the small businesses that adapt and use recommended SEO practices will not only manage, but thrive. Using these 6 tips is a great start to thriving.