This year has been absolutely crazy and insane. Though I always tell clients that they need to measure the right things to make the right decisions. With SEO, though more traffic is generally positive, you want to make sure you focus on the right traffic that brings in business. A local business is helped more by local traffic that converts than they are by a blog post that gets global eyes on it. The post is helpful in the grand scheme of things for other reasons, but it is a good example of making sure you are looking at the right metrics for the right decisions. Never in my history of digital marketing has a year been so difficult at focusing on the right numbers. COVID has clearly had a major impact on many businesses. Many of my clients are succeeding in the current environment because we pivoted and aimed in the right places. However, if you have had big drops in traffic, calls, or conversions in 2020, it may be difficult to tell if it is COVID or your SEO that has dropped off.
Is Your SEO Company Dropping the Ball?
I have met with a few prospects in recent months that had clear declines in performance and their current SEO provider just chalked it up to COVID. To be fair, COVID has definitely sent some industries into decline in general, but SEO may be one of the best tactics to jump on while everyone is at home searching. How can you tell if your SEO has dropped off or if it is just the virus changing the way people act and search. I wanted to provide a quick checklist of things you can check on to get a sanity check on what is going on with your SEO.
COVID SEO Checklist
- Is Your Traffic and/or Conversion Down?
- COVID may have a bearing on your target search terms. Are you measuring what is succeeding with Analytics and Conversion tracking? Is your SEO explaining what is going on each month and how to adjust?
- Are People Still Searching Your Main Keywords?
- Use a free tool like Google Trends to see what has been going on with your main target keywords. Your rankings may hold but the search activity has just changed in the current environment. Now maybe the time to target new opportunities like “curbside” and “virtual” versions of what you offer. You can jump on an opportunity rather than just sit and wait it out.
- Is Your SEO Provider communicating to you what they do each month or just sending traffic reports?
- If you don’t know what they are doing for you, they may not be doing anything, and you are just riding the waves whichever way COVID takes you. There should be a plan in place and they should be aware of what has been going on in Google My Business and the algorithm, as well as continuing to build you strength and adjust your site for the current environment with suggestions and fixes.
- How are you trending?
- Try a free tool like SpyFu to see your general ranking trend. Keep in mind that rankings are not traffic. You may get 80% of your traffic from two keywords, and the other hundreds of ranked terms don’t do anything for you. This is just one metric but gives a light idea of the general trend in ranking strength. It is another way to take a look at your data other than just traffic if you are worried your SEO isn’t serving you.
These are just some quick things to take a look at and reflect on within a difficult situation. SEO has been tough this year, but it has also had a lot of opportunity. With changemthere is opportunity. It is good to know that someone is at least taking care of putting you in the right place, even if traffic and demand is down a bit during COVID. Also, keep in mind that a very basic SEO plan may not be able to address all of your issues or problems within a month or two. SEO takes work over time, especially if attacked with a lower budget. Just make sure that your SEO is actually doing work and not sitting back and riding out the pandemic and using it as an excuse.