Covid-19 has proven to be the rocket that has every business right now scrambling to shift their businesses online. From traditional bricks and mortar businesses to in-person-service-providers, to minimise the impact of Covid-19, everyone is running fast. The challenge is making sure that you’re leveraging every possible angle you can to remain in business.

SEO is confusing at the best of times but if you don’t do it ‘right’ you can reduce your ranking in Google and not show up in searches. If you do it wrong and you rely on search traffic, you can be ‘blacklisted’ by Google and disappear from the search results altogether. Here’s how to avoid that and set you up for success from the start.

1. Being SEO-short sighted (a la Covid-19)

There is no better time than right now to help your audience understand how you can help them while we all manage (muddle?!) our way through the crisis that is Covid-19. However, if the only content that you’re creating is in relation to Covid and your SEO rankings are based on this, you’ll have a lot of work to do to get back to ‘normal’. Some companies are thriving during this time where others quite frankly, are not.

For your business to be ranking in the searches post-Covid-19 make sure you are creating content that is topical and also timeless. This is the ultimate leverage.

2. Not knowing your audience

SEO is all about optimising your website content for the audience you want to help. If you don’t know who your audience is specifically, it can make it very hard for you to populate your website with relevant content for them.

Secondly, if you don’t know who they are and you are getting traffic directed from Google to your website, it’s unlikely that it’s going to be the audience who you want to buy from you, resulting in low conversions from visitors to sales.

Spend time getting to know your desired audience and create great content for them, so that when they land on your website, they know they’re in the right place.

3. Failing to use key words

People tend to type straight into Google (or other online search engine) specific words to find the resource they’re looking for. For example, a self-publishing author might search for “Book printer”. If you are a company that prints books, you want to make sure your website contains “Book printer” in your blogs and in other sections of your website. If you cater for self-publishing authors, you might also use “Self-publish author book printer” words in your blogs as well.

4. Not putting new content up on your blog

There are ‘robots’ that search websites for updates and if there have been no updates in your site for a while, the algorithms may work against you and have you not showing up in a search result (or further down in the search results).

Ensure you put up new content in the form of blogs and updates regularly.

5. Buying white label content

There are companies out there that sell white label content, which can seem appealing on first glance. Yet, what is suggested is that you change ‘a few words’ and then publish it on your blog.

The problem with this, is if it looks similar to another site, you can end up penalised by search engines for having duplicate content on multiple sites. You are disadvantaged as well as the other sites.

Don’t buy white label content. Create your own and spend the time putting that up on your website.

6. Putting all your eggs in one basket

The algorithms of the various search engines change all the time and whilst it may be tempting to rely solely on the traffic that comes due to search results, the risk you run for doing this, is that it doesn’t consistently work. You can end up continuously spending money on SEO trying to update your site to keep it ‘in the top search results’, however, this is an endless task.

Rather than relying only on search result traffic, create a strategy that drives traffic to your website. You might use Facebook advertising or LinkedIn marketing for instance, where you have people click on an advert and that sends them directly to your site. This is called ‘Direct response marketing’.

The bottom line is to use the free tools that you have available to you right now (as above) and combine them with a strategy that drives people to your site. This way, you know that audience who are landing on your site are more likely to become clients and customers.

Nicola Moras is an online visibility expert and author of Visible, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. Nicola helps clients around the world achieve online visibility, impact and profits. Find out more at www.nicolamoras.com.au