Should You Pause SEO and PPC During a Crisis? [VIDEO]
In 2020, all business owners are faced with a challenge that none of us have ever dealt with before. The government-mandated shutdowns mean for a lot of companies they have no way to offer their products and services to the public. Other companies are finding ways to innovate and move their business to an online and remote service model where they can.
Due to a drop in revenue, a lot of businesses think that it’s time to tighten the purse strings. And one way that some business owners believe it’s smart to save money is by stopping their online marketing.
It seems that stopping SEO, content creation, and even PPC at a time like this makes sense. There might be fewer customers, or you might not even be able to service the demand if customers want to buy.
But is this the wisest choice for the long term? Here are three things to consider if you are looking at pausing your digital marketing efforts during this crisis.
1) Is Online Attention Likely to Increase?
If you look at the current behavior of most people, there has been a significant surge in the volume of online activity and ecommerce over the past four weeks. In March 2020, home internet usage was up 38% year over year. This spike is caused due to people are avoiding shopping in person, and also because they’re confined to their homes.
But looking towards the future, it seems likely that this trend will continue. Ecommerce sales have been growing year over year for more than a decade. In 2019, consumers spent over $600 Billion online, which was an almost 15% increase from 2018. The world is primed and ready for ecommerce to become the number one way most people buy.
What does this mean for your business? Those that invest in ecommerce infrastructure and online advertising now will reap a bigger benefit in the years to come.
2) How Much Do Search Engine Results Affect Your Business?
Gone are the days when we could depend on word-of-mouth referrals, or printed media to drive a lot of sales. Today, all business owners are reliant on search results to gain new customers.
A recent report by Internet Live Stats showed that 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. And overall internet search volume is growing by at least 10% per year, every year.
The position your business ranks in search results matter a lot. The first five organic results of a search account for over 67% of all the clicks. Then remaining results in positions six to ten on the first page only account for 3.73% of all clicks. This huge variation is why SEO and SERP position matters so much for every business today.
Another important aspect of online search is your local listings, which are managed through Google My Business. Appearing in local searches for your business is incredibly important. Over 50% of people who conduct a local search contact that business the same day. And 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone will visit that business within 24 hours.
How does this affect your business? Even if you have not focused on your Google rankings until now, this is a crucial time to start. Investing in SEO to grow your SERP (search engine result pages) positions could hugely impact the bottom line in the months and years to come.
3) What is Your Competition Doing Right Now?
Most business owners in the market will have people who are trying to win the same customers and clients as they are. In times like this, it’s essential to consider what your direct competitors are doing and thinking.
If all the other businesses in your local area (or business niche) are slowing or down their online marketing and advertising, then this can be an opportune time to ramp up.
Most SERP listings are changing every few days. The online marketplace is incredibly dynamic, and those companies that keep investing in SEO, paid advertising, and creating useful content for their niche will do incredibly well in the months and years ahead.
Why does this matter for your business? If you are noticing a slowdown in your competition’s advertising, now can be a great time to seek an advantage.
Now is the Time for Innovation
During a crisis, it feels like waiting is a wise option. Seeing what ‘the market’ or your competitors are doing seems less risky. However, following the lead of others is the surest way to become obsolete.
Innovation and creativity at times like this matter most. Your business was built by taking risks and being willing to try new ways of doing things. During this pandemic, while the world is shut down, you can gain an advantage by investing more in your future plans.