Many countries and industries are putting a lot of effort into navigating their way through the post-coronavirus world after the COVID-19 lockdown. While some local businesses have been considerably changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, others still have a hard time surviving on the market.

The SEO world was not left untouched. Search engine optimization has also been severely affected by COVID-19. The virus has a strong influence on search traffic and SEO-related workload alike. A recent Twitter survey showed that COVID-19 had increased work for about 48.5% of SEO workers. Approximately 31% of SEO experts claim they didn’t notice any change, whereas around 20.5% said that pandemic had decreased their work.

In this blog post, we will explain how Coronavirus has changed SEO and search behaviour. We will also give you some tips on how to build an effective SEO strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How COVID Changed Search Behavior

At first, the COVID-19 pandemic soared many topics to the top, including news, entertainment, and sports. However, as a growing number of people have become aware, and as time passed, the number of articles shown for the terms ‘COVID-19’ and ‘Coronavirus’ had started to decrease steadily. This applies to both social media channels as well as major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

You may wonder what people looked for on the Internet over the past few months. The first Google topics related to COVID-19 was mainly informative. As the Coronavirus pandemic continued to progress, people have changed their searching behaviour and started to look for advice. Most people asked ‘What is’ at first, and after some time, they started to ask ‘How to.’

Search trends have had an effect on search engine optimization amongst other things. SEO has had a tough time adapting to these Google search trends and behaviour changes. Here are a few ways  in which coronavirus has changed searching behaviour and what people wanted to find online:

How COVID-19 Affected SEO

We have seen a completely new side of technical SEO and search engine results during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SERP sensors aimed at measuring the SEO landscape health were surprisingly quiet and normal. However, we’ve witnessed significant SEO changes other than these sensors. E-commerce has experienced the biggest changes.

Furthermore, Google’s main page has been changed due to COVID-19. It now makes it easier for people to look for content or information they’re interested in. That made a big difference in how data was accrued and categorized. You may notice a category-style main menu now when searching on Google.

Short-Term SEO Changes

We have seen a completely new side of technical SEO and search engine results during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SERP sensors aimed at measuring the SEO landscape health were surprisingly quiet and normal. However, we’ve witnessed significant SEO changes other than these sensors. E-commerce has experienced the biggest changes.

Furthermore, Google’s main page has been changed due to COVID-19. It now makes it easier for people to look for content or information they’re interested in. That made a big difference in how data was accrued and categorized. You may notice a category-style main menu now when searching on Google.

Long-Term SEO Changes

As for the long-term SEO changes associated with COVID-19, most search engines have permanently transformed during the pandemic. In fact, they have gathered in Schema.org — a collaborative online place created with the goal of building, maintaining, and promoting schemas (as its name implies) for structured data. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has indirectly forced many people to work on building out their online profiles in block entities. Once they get the hang of how it works, they should fill in the blank sections so that their sites are ‘surrounded’ by Schema.org for the best results. That should actually be one of their main SEO goals in 2020 in order to improve their digital footprint during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Run Successful SEO Campaigns During The Coronavirus Pandemic

There are a lot of reasons to keep running your SEO campaign during the pandemic, including:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent time to complete your SEO projects, whether they have been delayed or already in progress. Once you are able to ramp up your digital marketing again, you'll reap the benefits of these projects.
  • This is a good time to build brand awareness and stand out from the rest.
  • Many companies have seen the rise in shopping and online searches during COVID-19, as well as the growth in the number of first-time customers.

Nevertheless, many businesses have cut their marketing budget in these difficult times. That’s because they want to be prepared for whatever might happen next.

Do not pause your SEO campaign. This can cause:

  • A decrease in web page load times
  • Bad user experience
  • Website indexing issues
  • Google ranking drops

What SEO Strategies & Techniques To Implement During The COVID-19 Pandemic

When other digital marketing tools have been paused or down, SEO has continued to be a key part of many marketing strategies. It comes as no surprise considering that website traffic largely depends on organic search. But that’s not all.

  • Link building: Many SEO experts have changed their link building tactics to line with news and advice updates to make sure their backlink profiles are up to date. They tried to gain links on top-tier sites while providing content that meets the new requirements and demands of their users.
  • Content creation & optimization: Writing and optimizing website content was an effective way for many companies to capitalize on lockdown. As searching behaviour changed during the pandemic, they monitored the evolving interests and trends. That helped them create and optimize their web pages in accordance with the needs and interests of their users or clients.
  • Keywords: Targeting COVID-related long-tail keywords is another way to increase traffic. This short-term SEO strategy can do the trick. You should also consider targeting trending themes and topics related to coronavirus besides more comprehensive themes relevant to many industries. By combining broad search terms with COVID-specific keywords, small businesses can compete against high-authority websites and build domain authority.
  • Video content: Since the COVID-19 outbreak, more and more people have been consuming video content. Online videos and broadcast television are the primary choices across customers of almost all age groups. Many businesses have been developing video topics and creating YouTube videos based on trending topics their consumers are searching for.

Conclusion

Coronavirus has had a direct effect on both organic and paid search as you may have noticed in Google search results. It has dramatically changed search behaviour. While the search topics have changed, most SEO methods have remained the same. Companies and website owners should have a good understanding of the intents behind online searches and prioritize webpages that give advice or answers.