When the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of Coronavirus a public health emergency, internet use skyrocketed. Through the lockdown, the internet has been our primary substitute for human interaction.
People are more focused on topics relevant to the current situation. Most popular searches are related to health or the news. Some people look for home projects, learning, or highly-topical businesses. People have specific questions that need answers. “Can you freeze milk?”, “How do you end a professional email?” — this type of query is popular at the moment. You can use tools like Google Trends to see what people are looking for right now.
Search Engine Optimization is a strategic process. With it, you can improve user experience and use technological solutions to help a website rank higher in the search results. We live in a time where the primary way of buying non-essential products is online. So it’s in your best interest to rank as highly as possible.
How to Improve Rankings during a Pandemic:
#1. Get Ranked in Snippet Using Schema Markup
This form of optimization is probably one of the most powerful but the least used methods. Schema Markup is a piece of code that you integrate into your website to help search engines offer users more informative content.
By using this method, you can tell the search engine not just what your text is, but also what it means. This will help you let more people know that you have the answers to their questions—before they even come to your website.
You can use this markup on the page you feel is the most representative of your website or the page that is of the most interest. Here’s an example of this method being used on a schedule page:
#2. Write for People, Not Search Engines
While you should always keep SEO in mind, you shouldn’t forget who you’re writing for. Don’t try to just check a couple of boxes to artificially rank up your website. What good would that do? If your content doesn’t help your readers in any way, they’ll stop reading it and go elsewhere.
Keep your content informative. Your audience has questions so try and answer them. Never forget that the purpose of your writing is to help people. Add value to their life — or perhaps distract them from their problems. Whatever your intention is, never forget it.
#3. Follow current trends
As mentioned, the pandemic has shifted the rules even for online searches. Nowadays, people are looking for more educational content, work-related, home projects, if not the news.
Try to find what people are needing right now. More tutorials? Creative projects? Entertainment? Your best shot is to try and anticipate what your audience will look for online.
No matter your domain, you should try to find some topics related to the trends. Adapt your content to what your audience is searching for at the moment. Not only will you provide valuable information to them, but they will also keep reading your posts.
#4. Start Link Building
If you don’t already have a link building strategy you should seriously consider it. This is basically the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites linking to your own. In a few words, this tells search engines that your website has great content that other people should read.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by guest posting. Write informative blog posts for other websites and open the door to a whole new audience. And, in exchange, you create a link between the host and your website.
However, this can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. There are many services that can help you with this, such as Linkdoctor.io. You don’t have to do everything alone. Especially since this is a complicated, lengthy process that is far more easily done by a team of people.
#5. Have an amazing design for your website
You know the saying “First impressions matter”. If your website is disorganized and unpleasing to the eye, it’s probable that your readers will look for answers somewhere else. One easy way of doing this is looking for Bootstrap themes online.
The same goes if your website isn’t mobile-friendly—since now most of the web browsing is done on smartphones. You can find many tips and tricks for designing your website online.
Additionally, if you’re considering link building, the design of your website has a great impact. When you approach a blog to write for them, you should look like someone they can trust. Like someone who knows what they’re doing.
Your website should be inviting, making people dive deeper. Having a poorly designed website will make your job harder than it needs to be.
#6. Stay True to Your Brand
When everything around you is changing, show consistency. Don’t completely change your main topic or brand design just because something else is trending. People will see that you’ve turned 180 degrees to try and get more views. And if you don’t already have a brand strategy, you should hop on the train before it’s too late.
Your brand should be something that you believe in, something that tells your story. Changing it just to match the direction of the blowing wind suggests that you’re unreliable. It’s wise to adapt but do so as you stay true to your core message.
So what if your brand has nothing to do with any pandemic-related topics?
People can’t read the same type of topic all the time. When they land on your blog, your audience will feel as if they took a break from the whole situation. And if you’re still worried about your brand, you can find plenty of tips on how to make it stand out.
#7. Fix Any Technical Issues With Your Website
If your website runs like clockwork, it is set to improve its ranking. Things like loading speed are important for both SEO and your audience. The patience of our readers is very short. Imagine you went on a website and you have to wait 30 seconds to see the content. Would you stay? Or would you skip to the next website?
#8. Try to Write Evergreen Content
As the name suggests, evergreen content is SEO content that will stay “new” for the readers, as it is always topicall. Just like the trees, this type of content is sustainable and lasts for a long time. Such topics could be tutorials or tips for something that everybody is doing.
While it might be tempting to only write evergreen content, that wouldn’t be effective. Writing on trending topics is extremely valuable as well and can be your gateway to a new audience. The best strategy here is to try and have a mix of these two.
#9. Use analytics/ keep measuring your data— how do you know what you’re doing works if you don’t measure it?
How do you know if your strategy is good if you don’t have a way of measuring it? No plan is ever perfect—so we need data to improve it. To do this, you need to set a few parameters to follow, according to what your goals are.
These parameters could be the organic search traffic, domain authority, or the traffic on your targeted pages. What is important is that you see how your actions influence these parameters. By doing this, you can see if you’re on the right path or not.
Linkdoctor has surveyed hundreds of SEO professionals and one of the questions was asking what kind of metrics they use to see the authority of a domain. And these were their answers:
#10. Consider Press Releases
Press releases used to be a great way of link building—until it got overused and turned into spam. This shouldn’t discourage you. If used well, press releases can be a powerful method of gaining external links.
You should try and give your press release as much authority and credibility as possible. Only link to relevant content. And never spam people with your press release. Instead, try and find influencers in your domain that could share it. And always put your press release on your website—this will make people link to your page.
The internet has replaced a great deal of human interaction. Everything gets digitized. Therefore, we spend most of our time online. But the way we spend this time has changed to some extent.
Search trends can change overnight. However, this pandemic has dominated what people look for online as well. Our online behavior changed. And, as always, in order to stay afloat, we need to adapt to this change.
You should try to adapt your content to the newest trends while writing some evergreen posts. Definitely consider link building—with guest posting and press releases being your most powerful strategies.
But, perhaps, most importantly, never forget who you’re writing for. It’s for your audience. And these people are going through many of the same dramas and worries as you. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
What would you like to read about? What questions need answers? If your focus is on your audience, you’re one step closer to success.
About the Author!
Daniel Martin loves building winning content teams. Over the past few years, he has built high-performance teams that had produced engaging content enjoyed by millions of users. After working in the Aviation industry for 9 years, today, Dani applies his international team-building experience in LinkDoctor in solving his client’s problems. Dani also enjoys photography and playing the carrom board.