Updated: Feb 20
Last Updated: May 15, 2020
I am hoping that this article will inspire you, to get down to work and act on the opportunities outlined in this article!
Understanding the Impact
First, let's understand impact of the Covid pandemics on businesses. With over 1MM jobs lost in March in Canada alone, the Covid'19 pandemics already had 10x more impact on the job market compared to the economic crisis of 2008.
Working closely with businesses, we've seen three things happen to multiple Clients we work with:
Pulled Marketing Budget - Most businesses pulled their investment in Digital Marketing, at first. This gave them time to take a step back and understand what is happening and how they will respond.
Dealt With Problems - once you understand the crisis you are dealing with, you respond by adjusting your costs, investments, getting refinancing etc.
Get Ahead & Prepare - now is the time to act. There is a unique opportunity in Digital Marketing right now. In a nutshell, it's an ideal time to prepare for your next move, time to actually get ahead in SEO or, to Find Budget Waste in your current advertising and start getting more results for less Spend.
This article will focus on unique opportunities that companies have right now. We'll put together a list of tasks that you can focus on to come out stronger from the crisis! Let's get it started!!
It's Time to...
1. Develop a Rebound Strategy
That's where we as an agency spend a lot of our time right now, planning with our Clients the best ways to approach the market once the economy returns back to normal.
Below is a couple of steps we follow to prepare for Rebound Strategies for our Clients.
Plan timing - as in every Marketing Campaign, timing is the key. You don't want to start too soon or too late. Think what will indicate that it's time to launch your plan?
Key Value Proposition - what will the offer be that will allow you to stand out from the crowd? Is it Extended working hours (say, for a Hair Salon that has a line of two months in advance), or is it a discount for your store people couldn't visit during the quarantine?
Main Message - now take your ideas and summarize them in one key message that will clearly communicate what your offer is.
How Will Your Reach the People - is it Facebook Ads? Organic Social Media posts or an Email to your past customers? Think what channels would work the best, using multiple platforms and channels is ok, as long as you are already established there.
Actually Build It - you need to be ready to launch any moment. So plan and prepare in advance. If it's Facebook ads that you want to use, create an account, prepare your images or videos, create targeting. If it's an Email campaign, create a draft of the email, make sure you have the emails list.
Since this article was published, we already launched a couple of "Opening" campaigns for local businesses in the US and Canada. We found that one of the biggest issue is that there are just too many advertiser on the marketing competing for the same local clients.
In case you are already opening your store, check out this strategy on the workaround we found to get Leads and Sales during the Covid reopening.
2. SEO - Unique Opportunity
There is a HUGE opportunity in SEO right now. From what we see in multiple markets, most businesses are pulling back their advertising and, unfortunately, that has hit SEO as well.
In a nutshell, SEO is all about making fresh, relevant content available to visitors on an optimized website. In other other words, two major pieces here are Frequent Content + Optimized website.
There is a HUGE opportunity for SEO Content and Optimization right now. Because multiple businesses are cutting budget, the content is not created as frequently as it used to. Websites are not optimized as often. This means you can see SEO results much sooner than before!
Follow the list below to optimize your website, get those extra points from Search Engines & prospects!
Create a Strategy - we highly recommend developing a strategy before you start the work. If you are doing your SEO yourself you need to do the research and outline tasks. Do it once and your SEO work turns into a routine. And that's a good thing, as it will allow you to keep consistent. It's one of the key factors in doing your SEO properly. When you develop a strategy, it will help you find opportunities your competitors missed and allows you to prioritize your SEO tasks based on impact vs effort. This creates achievable goals based on data, so you know it will work.
Site Optimizations - below is a list of the most popular simple optimizations we we start with when doing SEO:
User Experience - big piece of SEO. Think about it this way, Google sends you their "customers", of course it will want them to have the best experience. That's why having a well-optimized website is a crucial step for getting Visits. Same applies to you, you want to make sure that the traffic you attract actually stays on the page and is happy with the results.
Keywords Research - in the absence of a full strategy, you should start by selecting the keywords you want to target. A general rule of thumb here is to select five keywords for each page. One of these keywords will be your "core" keyword. The remaining four, will support the core keyword (semantic optimization).
Optimize Meta Descriptions - crucial task in SEO! Meta description is essentially a summary of your page. It helps Google get a perspective of what the page is about, so you want this one to be relevant to the keywords you selected earlier. Make sure to include your core keyword. Think what is the promise that you make for the user on this page?
Optimize Headings - every page has multiple different types of copy. For example, the paragraph you are reading right now is just a paragraph. If you scroll back up "SEO - Unique Opportunity" is a Header 2 type item. While a title of this article is a Header 1. Google knows that a Header items divide content on your site and from Google's perspective give site Visitors better experience on the page. So review your text and make sure that your copy is categorized properly.
Optimize URLs - few rules here. Keep your URLs short because it makes them easier to read. Also, if a heading (Header 1) of the page is short, you can include it in your URL.
Duplicate Content - that's a big no-no! Search Engines watch content to make sure you don't copy someone else's articles. Even if it's your own content, make sure it's not duplicated on the site, otherwise you may get penalized by Google. There are multiple free tools you can use. SEO Review Tools and Siteliner are the popular ones.
Write That Article - or create that piece of content, I should add. Now is most definitely the time. Remember, a big chunk of SEO work is focused on having fresh and relevant content at all time on your website.
Mobile (Responsive) Website - this task should actually be at the very top of the list. However, it takes a considerable amount of time to complete, so if your website is generally alright for mobile version, I would recommend prioritizing simpler tasks, but not forgetting about this one. According to Google, more than 50% of searches are now Mobile. Make sure that the website has a good mobile version. This way you'll know that everyone who visits your website is happy with the results.
Optimize Image Sizes - it impacts page load speed. If you are posting a full resolution 5MB images on your website, they will reduce your page load speed as a result your website will rank lower and you won't get as many Visitors.
Optimize Image Alternative Text - another simple, yet important task - describe the image you posted on the page. This is how Search Engines learn that the image is important and understand what it is about. Plus, will give you some extra point in the image search! Most website builders and CMS systems have this capability here a couple of guides on how to do it, here is a quick guide for WordPress websites.
The list above is a great starting point for your SEO. Prioritized on Impact vs Effort to help you #GetAhead sooner.
3. Remarketing - Target Only Interested Users
97% of Sales and Leads come from Returning Visitors. It makes sense because these Visitors are already familiar with your company. Plus there is almost always a window of time that it takes before you make a decision to buy or reach out to a company.
Another thing to consider here is that there is almost always one, two or three actions that Visitors take on your website before finally making a purchase. The simplest example would be, adding a product to cart before making a purchase online.
What is you could focus your approach to Advertising online to target Visitors who took already took an action on your website and we know they are likely to make a purchase?
Yes 2 out of 10 will buy anyways. What if we turn two into 5?
This advertising tactic is called Remarketing, checkout this Page for more information on how this service works and what you need to get started.
4. Audit - Find Marketing Budget Waste
Another way to prepare for the future or get better results starting today, is to look for Keywords and Settings that bring a little to no results.
Digital Marketing is complex. Auditing your approach and account can apply not only to Paid Search Ads, but also to Social Media Advertising and even the SEO. That's because if your approach is incorrect, you could be wasting dollars on labour and time it takes to achieve results.
One of our clients, during a Google Ads audit, saw a 45% of their monthly budget saved simply by removing things that don't work.
Let me give you a super-simple example. Let's say we find a keyword on your Search Advertising. It doesn't spend much money, say $2-3 dollars/month. Now, imagine this keyword has been on your account for 6 months already. It never got you any results. Let's turn it off, will save you $18 a month. This won't have much impact.
What if you had 10 of these keywords. Turning them off would save you $180.
There are hundreds of metrics and settings to review! When we first start working with businesses we generally see hundreds of keywords and settings that just waste their budget bringing little to no results.
I hope this piece inspires you to be pro-active and act! Remember, It's time to work towards your goals!