COVID-19 has changed the world of Search for the foreseeable future. The effects of the quarantine and social distancing can be felt across the landscape of digital marketing as it has driven people around the world inside and has altered user search behavior on the internet. There has been a drastic increase in the number of people using the internet to meet their needs, whether that need is for new ways of getting everyday goods like groceries, shopping for work-from-home supplies, finding new ways to pass time, or searching for answers online. Statista.com reports that, out of 2200 respondents, 9% of participants in the survey ordered a product from the internet for the first time. Why should companies continue their SEO campaigns during Covid-19? There has been an increase in first time users shopping online. There has been a general increase in online searches and shopping. This is a time when brands can stand out and raise brand awareness. This is a great time to finish projects that have been in progress or delayed that will have benefit in the future once things ramp back up. Many companies plan to or already have decrease their marketing budget to prepare for whatever may happen. According to a survey conducted by Marketing Land, 45% of companies plan to decrease their marketing budget for the foreseeable future. SEO has been an essential part of any company’s online marketing strategy, especially in periods when other marketing tactics are down or paused. If searchers are searching relevant queries related to your business, it is important to show in the result for those searches. If paid efforts are decreased or removed, SEO can help ensure a business is still showing in the organic results. Recent studies show that organic search is responsible for 53% of all website traffic, making it clear why it is important to have a strong SEO strategy. How Has Social Distancing Affected Online Shopping? We have seen an increase in the number of people who are shopping online for the first time. With the current Social Distancing orders in place, consumers are required to stay inside, which forces them to buy all types of products online that they would have otherwise bought in-store. This trend will continue after social distancing requirements are removed as consumers learn how easy it is to shop online and build those new shopping behaviors into their shopping habits. Due to the increase in online traffic, it is more important than ever to be the brand in front of your target audience while they are searching for your product or service. This is an ideal time to gain new customers and build loyalty, thereby increasing awareness and sales. Any marketing efforts with these goals in mind will also increase your reach within the current market at lower rates as competition lowers budgets and digital consumption increases. There are many ways companies can capitalize on the changes in search behavior to build their business for future success during this time. What if my company is not experiencing an increase in traffic? While many industries and companies are seeing some growth in sales and conversions during this time, some companies may experience a lull in traffic, creating the perfect opportunity to finish any projects currently scheduled for their website. This could be anything from a new website build or redesign to implementing different types of structured data on a website. When these projects are paused in progress or midway through, it gives Google more time to pick up on uncompleted work and index content that is not ready to be indexed. These types of mistakes can adversely affect a site’s current ranking with Google and can lead to recovery times that could even outlast the effects of the Coronavirus. Completing these projects and adding value through SEO during low traffic times will prevent issues and generate positive, long term traffic results. What are the Effects of Pausing an SEO Campaign? Loss of SERP rankings resulting in lower-traffic to your website and potential sales or conversion loss depending on your company’s goals and metrics. Problems with the indexation of your website, such as a loss of pages being indexed or potentially having duplicate content indexed. Reductions in site speed and/or user experience. Incomplete site redesigns or rebuilds. These projects are always especially important to finish and involve more than just development implementation as you also must ensure that everything is fully optimized to appear in the SERPs. SEO requires long term strategy and planning to acquire organic traffic that can lead to higher conversion rate. Stopping or pausing these strategies can have many unforeseen side effects on a website. When a website’s SEO campaign has been stopped midway through engagement, it is unlikely that the whole SEO strategy that was planned will have had the time needed to be completed. This means that your website will not be able to see the full effects of the planned strategy and this could lead to the rise of many different types of issues. In Conclusion Consumer search habits and advertiser budgets have changed for the foreseeable future. With these changes in mind, it is important to continue to show in the organic search results when potential consumers are searching for related goods or services, especially if your paid budgets are reduced. If you are looking for the best way to not only increase your site’s traffic but also increase sales during periods when not everything is certain, turn to AVX Digital.