Where to Focus Digital Marketing Efforts During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For those businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, use this time to focus on a couple of very key areas of your business’s Digital Marketing Strategy to mitigate any losses and to come back stronger once Covid-19 passes. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

It goes without saying, things are tough right now for most businesses around the globe. Very few industries & businesses are actually profiting from these dire circumstances (Deliveroo, Netflix) but this does not mean however that those suffering should sit still and let the storm pass, especially with reference to digital marketing strategy. Instead and whilst traffic and sales are likely reduced, use this valuable time to focus on a couple of very key areas of your business’s Digital Marketing Strategy to help offset any losses and to come back stronger once COVID-19 passes. We know from experience that these are two vital areas of digital marketing strategy that often get forgotten about or put on the sidelines for a lot of SMEs. Now however is prime time to grab these two digital marketing bulls by the horns and come back stronger once business operation is back to normal. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

SEO

Now IS the time to focus on SEO. Numerous companies we are working with are experiencing huge reductions in traffic, some up to 60-70%.  This, in turn, leads to less new opportunities and ultimately sales. As such many organisations have cut back on their Digital Marketing Advertisements due to a fundamental lack of demand. Whilst this is obviously an awful situation to be in, this does leave ample opportunity to really focus on SEO efforts and to action some of the more significant SEO updates that have perhaps been put on the back burner until now. 

By way of example, with one of our clients, we are using this as an opportunity to completely restructure their site’s page hierarchy in an effort to improve search engine rankings for their highest converting pages and key landing pages. Up until now this was put on hold due to the disruption this can cause on-site among daily users, but also due to the short-term negative SEO effects that are caused by any bottoms-up website restructuring project  – now is that time to take the inevitable short-term SEO hit with the aim of dramatically improving things for the longer term. 

Other potential SEO tasks you can focus on are;

  1. Link Building – now is a fantastic time to take the time to really delve into the data, identify link building opportunities and reach out to the third party involved. It’s a pretty mind-numbing task but one that can lead to serious SEO improvements when done correctly. 
  2. Keyword Strategisation – too often, companies identify their keyword strategy, implement it and then forget about it. This is a big mistake. As a manager or business owner, you need to be constantly monitoring search engines, applicable industry-related search terms and optimising your site accordingly. We understand however that this is no small task.
  3. On-Page Optimisation – many businesses we work with simply do not have the capacity to trawl through hundreds if not thousands of site-wide SEO errors and warnings presented to them from SEO Audits on a frequent basis as part of their digital marketing strategy. This sadly is a common area of neglect for many SMEs, but it does not have to be while this pandemic plays out. Obtain an SEO Audit and begin cracking on with the often time-consuming task of fixing all the pertinent SEO issues on your website. 
Women at Computer Digital Marketing COVID-19 Strategy

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Often, conversion rate optimisation is neglected a little bit because of the time it requires to really dig down into the data (website, CRM, call logs and so on) and because it is quite simply a pretty dull arduous task. During this current downturn, however, (unless you are Netflix!) you can really focus on all applicable and pertinent touchpoints throughout your customer journey, sales funnel and CRM with the aim of creating a strategy and changes to implement once the storm passes. 

This could be anything from altering the header banner of a key landing page in a bid to reduce bounce rates and exit rates and increase conversion rates from that specific page to something more macro such as adding an additional lead nurturing touchpoint in the form of an SMS. Every business differs dramatically in terms of their sales funnel (Website, CRM, Calls etc) and so there really is no set formula here but as a process, it works like this; 

  1. Identifying your key touchpoint. 
    1. Example: Website User Filling out Application Form
  2. Identify the Conversion Rate Metric[s] you will measure and improve
    1. Potential Metric 1:  Application Form Completions / Application Form Views (The rate of people visiting the application page to those that apply)
    2. Potential Metric 2: Website Users  / Application Form Completions  (The rate of people visiting the website that complete an application)
  3. Measure the conversion rate across that particular touchpoint for a certain time period using analytical software, record this in some form of A/B testing sheet. 
  4. Strategise how you can improve this conversion rate ready for when the current downturn passes. 
    1. Potential Metric 1:  Application Form Completions / Application Form Views
    2. CRO Improvement Strategy: Paginate Application Form to make it more digestible. 
  5. When ready,  implement the proposed strategy and select a time frame you will measure this over and record results in your A/B Testing sheet. If the results after your time frame are positive, keep the change. If not, feel free to conduct another A/B Test or revert to what it was previously. 

We hope the above offers some insight into the actions you can take as a manager or business owner to help you get through this abnormally tough time but to also help you come out the other side stronger from a Digital Marketing perspective. If you require any advice or help with the above please do get in touch – as specialists in SEO and Conversion Rate Optimisation, we can help you. 

 

Founder & SEO/PPC Expert at Atomic Digital Marketing – Matthew Carter 

Matthew Carter, Appleton, Cheshire

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