In these uncertain times, while we await news of self-isolation, lockdown, and quarantine, it’s understandable that marketing priorities are up in the air. Knowing what messaging to go with, which campaigns to press on with, and how to proceed with activities in general is difficult.
Especially as the ‘best advice’ changes daily.
While an immediate reaction to stop certain marketing activity can make sense (any events for example should unfortunately now be cancelled), SEO is a long game. With it being so competitive, with it being so reliant on what others in your industry are doing online, halting activity won’t just pause growth; it’ll likely send things backwards.
Maintaining a certain level of marketing activity through coronavirus is a wise move.
At a time where your competitive space is arguably at its least competitive, you can capitalise on the hard work you’ve already done in building an engaged audience, a solid bank of quality content, and a product/service that delights your customer base. So pushing ahead now may well stand you in better stead when things recover.
Use this time to hammer the SEO ‘maintenance tasks’ that haven’t been a priority while you’ve been launching your latest whizzy social media actions, or refining your newest PPC campaign.
The content audit
If you’ve been building a bank of content over time, it could be that you’ve got loads of assets all over the place. Webpages, blog posts, guests posts, and images/video… but what’s working and what needs work?
Now is a great time to be gathering a list of all these assets in one place (hellooo, big-fat-spreadsheet) for a review and evaluation. Can you refresh or repurpose that whitepaper? Can you update that ebook? How often was that video shared on social media? Which channels? How many backlinks did that blog post generate?
Maybe applying a little keyword research could give that poorly performing post a shot in the arm? Some strategic internal linking could give credence in a newer product/service you’re offering? Maybe it’s something to rerelease when things bounce back?
If you take the time to create a thorough inventory of your content now, it could be something you revisit quarterly as an ongoing activity, and it’ll be way easier to keep on top of it in the future.
The link audit
It’s a sad fact of SEO-life that not all links are created equal. Take a deep-dive into the backlink profile of any website – no matter its calibre – and you’ll probably find links of varying quality. Maybe it’s time for a review so you can lose some of the crappier ones that could be harming your search efforts?
Links to disavow: those from link farms/schemes/networks, low-quality directories, any you’ve found in blog comments,
Links to action: if you’ve found evidence of links made via a link exchange, you need to make a judgement call. If it looks crap, then Google probably thinks it’s crap. Similar with site-wide footer links, and make sure widget links like those from foursquare badges are nofollow. You need to update links you might have from an old domain too, rather than relying on redirects.
Webinars for face-to-face from a safe distance
Those meetings you’d set up with new business, the training you were going to provide existing customers and clients, they’re probably on hold for now. But a webinar to introduce your company, talk about your product/service, and answer any commonly asked questions creates an interim-touch-point (with zero touching!) that you can call on again and again.
Maybe you could create instructional videos about how to use one of your products, or a guide walking people through how to do something themselves that your service would normally provide (that could be anything from a simple IT repair to make up tutorials). Recording a live webinar ticks the boxes for customer interaction and an ‘evergreen’ resource.
Could you work with a client and record their online training session? Depending on your product/service, that could even become a valuable piece of collaborative marketing.
User generated content
I love user generated content. A lot. And I think reviews are a particularly valuable source because you can find out exactly what people think of your product/service, and discover exactly how they’re talking about it.
Get search-y and collect as many reviews as you can. Not just for your business, but for your competitors too. Break them out into themes so you can see what people like and what they don’t like about what you do. Feed that back into your efforts and improve your product, step-up your service, and build customer personas for better marketing in the future.
While you’re trawling review sites, hunt down any reviews about you that haven’t seen a response… and respond. Then make a plan for keeping on top of these in the future so you don’t get into this pickle again for goodness sake.
Keep going now and think of the future
Unfortunately Covid-19 is likely due to impact almost everyone in some way shape or form, revenue-wise or otherwise, and while it may feel silly to talk about business as usual at the moment, the more you can keep going now, the less you’ll have to do to recover in the long-term.