SEO Lessons Learned in the Time of COVID-19

2020 hasn’t been the year we all planned for. The biggest impact has come from dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and its effects. Getting through a pandemic, as we have discovered, isn’t easy. However, things are a little easier to handle when we take the opportunity to learn from these experiences.

Adaptability has become vital to businesses around the world and yours should be no different. There have been plenty of changes to how HVAC and plumbing companies perform their duties to account for the safety of their crews and customers. Additionally, we’ve all had to shift the priorities of our digital marketing strategies.

The approach to SEO for contractors is one part of the online strategy that has certainly seen plenty of changes. SEO can be a bane or a boon to your business. That’s why we want to share some of the key insights gained and lessons learned from managing the SEO and digital marketing strategy for local, essential companies in this time of crisis.

4 SEO Lessons You Should Know

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in drawing potential customers to your site via the use of keywords and phrases. Thus far, we have 4 key insights we’ve found to help you adapt your digital marketing strategy to the current world. 

1.      Adapt to Changes with Google and Local Search

Google made several changes and added some unique features to help support businesses and provide customers with added transparency.

The first was that Google paused Reviews for a certain period of time. While Google Reviews have returned, it is a good reminder that they aren’t your only outlet. When Reviews are paused it is a good idea to refocus on other “watering holes” (websites) where people consume information such as Facebook, Home Advisor, Houzz, and so on.

Another change came with that RED icon that was added to every Google My Business Profile. Placed next to business hours to draw attention to potential changes, this icon also can create doubt for customers regarding whether your business is open or not. You can combat this by remaining consistent and strong about your business information on all other channels. The more consistent you are, the more trust your customers have in you.

One last note in this trend is that we want to encourage everyone to be an early adopter of the additions that Google has made to your Google My Business (GMB) profiles. This includes adding a COVID-19 post to your knowledge graph section and adding as much information as possible to your Local Service Ads section. The more info you provide, the more transparent your customers will know you are.

2.      Updates in Consumer Trends and Search Behaviors

It’s likely that you’ve already hopped onto this trend but if not, now is a great time to start. Unsurprisingly, search trends for certain products and services such as “Air Purification,” “Air Filtration,” “UV Air Purifier,” and more have seen a huge increase. The increased interest in these search terms has gone up by 400 to 600%. While the interest will likely never go back down to what it was, we want to remind you NOT to shift your entire strategy to only focus on these terms. Remember, SEO strategy involves long-term solutions so make sure to continue looking at longer-term SEO rankings for things like “HVAC,” “AC Installation,” “Heating Repair,” and so on. Using both types of terms to your advantage will help you gain the most traffic to your site.

3.      Adapting Business Objectives and Messaging

Remember to take your customers' mindsets into account! They want to know that using your services won’t compromise their safety. You want to be transparent about your safety precautions, products and services, and your flexibility in regard to the delivery of those services (i.e. video call assessments). Customers will appreciate this transparency and the steps you and your staff are taking to ensure their health and comfort. Remember to be consistent across all of your online channels and avoid misinformation.

If possible, it may also help to offer flexible payment plans, Buy Now and Pay Later options, and other financial aids. This can help attract people to your site as they look for promotions, coupons, and deals that will allow them to get the work they need done.

It may be time to update how you ask for reviews too! When you have a raving fan, ask for a review and ask if they might touch on the safety precautions that your team took during the service call. This helps to address other customers’ fears in the future and can have a huge impact on how they perceive your brand. 

4.      Why SEO and Digital Brand Management Is Important

Last but not least we want to touch on the changes in search terms and habits. You want to make sure that your SEO strategy evolves as the industry continues to change during this time. This will breed long-term success if you take into account factors such as local trends and identifying keywords or phrases that will increase traffic to your website. If you haven’t already, try using Google Trends to take a look at some of the search trends that are currently out there. 

Your SEO strategy isn’t a quick fix, it’s a long-term approach. Keeping up with changes and trends like these will help you adapt your online marketing strategy in a way that will help your business get through the crisis and may even allow it to thrive in the long run.

Looking to optimize your SEO? Reach out to the team “Dedicated to Contractor Success”—contact iMarket Solutions!