Right now feels like possibly the worst time to recommend that clients invest in marketing. The news is awful, the financial markets are terrible and many companies may not survive the lifetime of this virus.

But for SEO, it is absolutely the right time to hold or boost your investment.

I’ve been running profitable SEO campaigns for 20 years, spanning shock downturns including post 9/11, The Financial Crash and more recessions than I care to remember.

From my experience and from watching the current trends, here’s 5 reasons to keep faith with SEO:

1. Consumer behaviour is shifting online 

Since lockdown was announced in the UK, on March 23rd, online usage has surged. In less than a month, Virgin had reported that daytime Internet use had more than doubled. This trend has been replicated globally. In business, online collaboration tools like Slack, Teams and Zoom are seeing stratospheric growth in the past few weeks.

2. Online shopping replaces offline shopping = massive opportunities

Where were you in the great toilet roll battles of 2020? Google trends shows an unprecedented spike in searches for toilet rolls as the stores run out and panic sets in. The offline demand quickly translates to online demand and we are seeing a spike in searches for toilet roll.

3. Brand New Customers are coming on board 

The best way to grow a business is tap into a brand new customer base, not chip away at the customers of your rivals.

These tectonic shifts in consumer behaviour could open up a brand new customer base, or reach new segments such as older audiences, which can only be a good thing. As a veteran online shopper for non food buying, I tried online grocery for the first time the other day and now I’m a convert.

Mintel reports that online sales account for 7% of the total grocery market in the UK, the research company predicted that this figure will hit 10% in the next five years. However, I would expect the virus to accelerate this growth exponentially because people who would not normally use it, will trial it sooner and love it.

4. E-commerce will become the new normal. 

These changes are set to become the norm. Shops in Italy are closed, Shopping Centre giant Intu warns it could go bust. But people still need to buy stuff, people still want to buy stuff.

If they can’t get out to the shops, they will go online. Where do most online journeys start? With a search. 

4. YouTube consumption will rocket 

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. With more time spent online, and less opportunities for entertainment (no sport, no cinema), we can expect a rise in YouTube usage will also offer more opportunities to get your optimised message in front of another audience and support your efforts to combat no click searches.

5. SEO is long term, The Pandemic is predicted to be short to medium term. 

Success from SEO takes time to build. There are definite quick wins that can drive early traffic but results for the most valuable terms will take time to achieve. Getting to the top with your target positions may take three, six or even nine months, depending on your investment. In loose terms, you could be hitting higher search volumes as the virus ebbs away and we get back to normal. Waiting for the virus to leave the population may leave you three, six or nine months behind your targets, which are already behind because of the virus.

Finally, when things recover, they will recover fast. Within days of the 9/11 tragedy we saw search volumes for business travel start to return, followed later by personal travel.

We wish you and your business all the very best in these unprecedented times. The health of your family, loved ones and colleagues must come first. After that, if you want to chat about our SEO consultancy then please leave us your details below. We won’t share your personal details with anyone else and you won’t be joining our mailing list.