Impact of COVID-19 on Search Engine & How to Tackle

Started from China, the Coronavirus has rocked the whole world. Every country, numerous industries and the whole world’s economy is feeling the weight of COVID-19. It is expected that the global economy would shrink by 1% in 2020 due to COVID-19.

RIP Economy

Impact of Coronavirus on Business

With businesses struggling to survive and the marketing ecosystem experiencing massive changes every day, the virus has affected every industry. While some businesses have reported a surge in traffic others have not been so lucky and as a result, have seen a significant drop in the website traffic.

Below are the categories of businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The Winners

  1. Remote working platforms
  2. Entertainment & video streaming websites
  3. Gaming websites
  4. Online gambling
  5. Online courses
  6. Cooking websites

The Losers

  1. Travel & hospitality websites
  2. Restaurants
  3. Sports websites
  4. Business-related topic websites

Google Traffic/Advertising

The pay-per-click campaigns on Google have been impacted by COVID-19 as well. The Google campaigns have witnessed a rise in Click Through Rate (CTR) for mobile devices.

Now, while CTRs have been going up, there has been a steady decline in cost per click, which makes sense since there is less competition for Ads.

  1.  Increase in CTR across various industries
  2. Decline in Cost-per-Click
  3. Decrease in search impression

Another surprising trend that was observed was the decrease in activities on the mobile device during the pandemic, which was quite unexpected & hasn’t happened in many years. Though it makes sense that desktop activity has gone up since we are on our computer/laptops during the lockdown.

Social Media Surge

Before the lockdown, an average user spent around 150 minutes/day on social media. However, during lockdown the number jumped to 280 minutes/day – a whopping 87% increase. People are flocking towards social media channels to stay in touch with their socially distant loved ones.

During these times of uncertainty, the customers often turn towards people and brands they trust for useful information. This can be a prime opportunity for the brands to build trust & long-lasting relationships with the customers.

The goal should be to put out useful or funny content to keep the users engaged without focusing on a hard sell.  Here are some ways in which brands have been using social media to spread information mixed with humour:

Zomato Precautionary Message
Amul Tweet on Coronavirus
Nike Encouraging Social Distancing
Netflix: Social Distancing 101

Talk to Customers

If you have been collecting email addresses and engaging with your customers, now is the time to further increase engagement and establish strong trust with your customers.  

If you have a blessed content team like we have at Clevertize, you should pivot your focus from conversion-driven content to educating them.

Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  1. Email Newsletter: Talk about how operations have been affected and keep the customers informed whether you’re shipping your products (For e-commerce business).
  2. Video Content Strategy: The rise of TikTok has shown people’s desire for shorter and faster videos. So, if you have been toying with the idea of experimenting with videos, now is a great time to get into action.

Boost SEO Efforts

With any kind of economic downturn, including the current ongoing situation, businesses always look for ways to cut down on the cost in order to streamline their operation to prepare for the worse.

So, should you cut down on your SEO efforts?

This article written by Rand Fishkin in 2008, during the Great Economic Depression, has suddenly become relevant today. He talks about how there was a sudden interest from companies to invest in SEO during the economic downturn.

Faced with a similar situation in the current time, it would be an ill-advised decision to cut down on SEO efforts.

Now, for the companies who are invested in SEO, this is the right time to make improvements on your website that will set you apart from your competitors for the years to come.

  1. Website Audit: Do a thorough website audit, which you have been postponing for months, to find the areas to make improvements on your website.
  2. Technical Fixes: Focus on the development fixes that have been long pending or ignored.
  3. Content Idea: Content is what drives traffic to your website, so this is an ideal time to plan out your content calendar and rework on the content marketing strategy.

Clevertize is one of the Top Integrated Marketing Communication Agencies in India. It has worked with many national & international clients like eBay, Nando’s, David Lloyd UK, METRO Cash & Carry, Sobha Ltd., TATA Motors, Barbeque Nation to name a few.

Clevertize is an Award Winning Agency, known to marry marketing with technology.

Some of the services that Clevertize provides are Creative Services, Performance & Digital Media Marketing, Visual Identity & Branding, Campaign Management & Analysis, UI/UX & Website design, PWA, Video creation, Media planning & buying, Chatbot & more.

If Return on Investment is critical for you, talk to Clevertize!

Akash Dubey

SEO Executive

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