Now the first stages of easing quarantine have begun, and most enterprises have the opportunity to resume work as before. But the consequences of the last few months will not pass soon:
The decrease in the average income of clients – the freezing of the work of enterprises has left many without a job and a stable source of income.
Decrease in purchasing activity – the drop in customer income had a negative impact on both the number of orders and the average check.
Some changes are likely to become irreversible. These include the rapid growth of financial turnover in the online sphere and the slowdown in offline. This is a completely natural process that we have observed every year. For example, according to Internet Retailer, in the period from 2018 to 2019, the share of the financial turnover of online commerce in the global market increased by 3.4%.
The quarantine has worked as a catalyst for the growth of e-commerce and demand for online services. If earlier potential customers gradually mastered digital channels, then during self-isolation they had no other choice but to search for the necessary services and goods on the Internet. Thanks to this, most of them overcame the barrier of the first purchase on the Web and received the first positive interaction experience. Many have already developed behavioral patterns for searching and buying goods online.
In such conditions, an effective sales channel is needed, which will allow you to attract maximum customers on the Internet. At the same time, it is important that it be stable and have a high degree of payback. All of the above is about SEO.
Why SEO is the main sales channel during the crisis
It is search engine promotion that is used as the main tool for website development. It has several undeniable advantages over other Internet marketing tools.
1. Huge reach
In 2018, we conducted a small study of traffic sources to sites of various topics, which showed that at least 51% of all active visitors come from search engines. This is an average for a sample of Internet resources, where there were young domains and poorly optimized Internet resources that occupied low positions in the search.
For sites older than a year and with basic optimization, the share of search traffic is at least 64%. Therefore, we can safely say that it is SEO that provides the greatest coverage among all Internet marketing channels.
2. Long term result
Most marketing channels require ongoing investment. Once you stop allocating a budget, they stop producing results. This is how search advertising, targeted advertising, display ads in the Display Network and YAN work. Even content marketing and social media quickly become ineffective once you pause activity.
This is not the best feature in times of economic instability. After all, as soon as you have to reduce the budget for marketing, the snowball effect can no longer be avoided. If the marketing budget goes down, then so does the number of leads, and consequently, the revenue, and in the next month you will have to cut even more expenses on customer acquisition.
Search engine promotion has an advantage here. Improvements that have affected the visibility of an Internet resource in the search do not disappear anywhere. Even after the complete cessation of optimization, the site retains its position until it is gradually replaced by better optimized Internet resources. This is at least several months of consistently high attendance and orders without financial investments.
3. High rates of return on investment
Among all the tools for attracting new customers, online search promotion shows the highest payback rates. The only online marketing tool that has a higher ROMI than SEO is email marketing. But in order to launch a mailing list, you must first collect a database of customers and leads. Email marketing is designed to work with current customers, but it is not capable of attracting new ones.
The secret of SEO profitability lies in long-term results and minimal investment to maintain positions. The bulk of the work is done in the first months of promotion. Further, a much smaller budget is required for regular work on building links and writing content. So the cost of optimization is gradually reduced, and the profitability of the site increases.
4. Target visitors
The most active and interested Internet users come from organic search results. The conversion rate of search traffic, as a rule, exceeds the conversion of advertising.
The thing is that visitors who are already interested in your product go from the search results. They enter a query into the search box because they want to place an order or learn more about a product or service. Search ads have the same mechanics, but these ads are less trusted.
For example, according to a survey conducted by BestSEOCompanies.com, about 84% of participants – Google users – trust organic search more than paid results. Only 45% of respondents reported that they are ready to click on advertisements on SERP
How to get started in search
The basis for search promotion is the technical component of the site. This is where resource optimization should start. Namely:
Ensure correct indexing – set up robot.txt and sitemap.xml. In short, the robot.txt file is responsible for which pages will get into the index and which ones will not. Sitemap.xml allows you to improve the quality and speed of indexing, with its help, search bots better navigate the site and manage to crawl more pages.
Remove or update broken links on the site – these are links that lead to deleted or non-existent pages. You can find them using Google.Webmasters, Yandex.Webmaster, or various SEO services, such as Serpstat.
Eliminate duplicate pages – these are the same pages with different URLs, or pages with duplicate content. You can find them using ScreamingFrog, Serpstat and other tools.
Customizing microdata is a way to structure metadata on a site and make its content more understandable for search bots. Micro-markup primarily affects the attractiveness and information content of your search ads, which means the number of clicks from the search.
Ensure high download speed. The best service for checking is Google PageSpeed Insights. If the PageSpeed indicator is in the red zone, the site definitely needs improvements. Sometimes the problem lies not in the content or code, but in the geographic location of the server. If it is located in another country or continent, it is better to change hosting.
Ensure adaptability for mobile devices. The best way to check the correctness of the display on mobile devices is with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. It provides a report on the quality of optimization and recommendations for improving adaptability.
Of course, these are only basic actions, but they also give a tangible result. However, in highly competitive niches, only technical optimization is not enough for the site to displace resources from the TOP-5 and above. Further stages of promotion are, first of all, work with growth points, which will give additional advantages in search engines.