No need for me to lay the groundwork for this article. All everyone’s talking about these days is the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that’s in place. Let’s talk about the negative aspects of the coronavirus lockdown for SEO professionals and then talk about the opportunities.
Businesses will take a hit (no new customers)
As SEO professionals, we want businesses of all types to succeed. Successful businesses mean more employment opportunities, more commerce, more progress, more work for SEOs. However, a lot of businesses are struggling as a result of the lockdown. Those that are continuing operations are struggling with a loss of productivity and sales and a lot have had to minimize operations. Organizations are thinking of new ways to cut their expenses, and customers are looking to stock up on supplies. For SEO professionals, this means a significant drop in new customers, since most people are not thinking about SEO right now.
Organic traffic will go down
People are searching for a lot of information on Coronavirus right now. They are looking for the latest updates, information about their part of the world, how the virus is affecting other parts of the world and so on. Those in quarantine or isolation may be searching for home workout videos, self-help stuff, things to do when you are bored, game guides and more. If you are an SEO professional handling medical websites, good for you. But if your customers are real estate agents, plumbers, dentists, electricians etc., chances are your organic traffic will go down even if your rankings remain unaffected. This may affect your relationship with your customers, which brings us to the next point.
Your customers will want to cancel their contracts/subscriptions
This has been reported by multiple SEOs in various groups on LinkedIn as well as Reddit. Customers are trying to cut costs and a lot of them think that SEO is something they can cancel for now and resume later when things get better. You will have a tough time convincing some of your customers that SEO is an ongoing, continuous process and you can’t just push the on/ off button on it like you can with PPC. You may lose some customers.
Productivity will be an issue (You will find it difficult to concentrate)
A lot of us in the SEO business are pretty used to working from home, so the usual distractions will be easier for you to handle. However, the situation that we are in presents a different set of distractions. Most of the world is in a state of partial lockdown and we do not have any idea of when a cure or a vaccine will come out, when the lockdown will be lifted, and when it will be safe to get back to work as usual. If you are anything like me, you will find yourself on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, searching Google for updates. This means that you will find it twice as hard to meet deadlines and follow the roadmap for the month.
Prices will go down
A lot of businesses have slashed their prices by 50%, are offering massive discounts, or have even made their services free for a month or two. You will also face the temptation of reducing prices because of the lack of new business in addition to your customers trying to cancel their contracts. This is bad because low prices make customers wonder about the original price, and at some point in the future you will need to raise your prices again which will not be a pleasant experience for your customers. If you do not drop your prices right now, your competitors will, making it difficult for you to acquire new customers. It is a tough situation with seemingly no right answers.
You are used to working remotely/from home
Most SEOs are used to working from home. SEO freelancers almost exclusively work from their home offices and those that work for agencies are also used to the occasional work-from-home day as well as working remotely if needed. So what happens to be a major shift in dynamics for a lot of your non-SEO peers is nothing new to you.
This is a good time to analyze data and create plans
The thing about productivity going down is that it will happen across the board for everyone, so no one will be expecting you to build links at a rapid pace this month. Use this as an opportunity to study trends, see what the keyword search volume is telling you, and create new strategies to take your websites to the next level. This is a good time to study up, create roadmaps, and analyze data.
This is a good time for controlled experimentation
Not a lot of people are putting up new content at the moment, so this gives you kind of a less crowded playing field. You remember that SEO experiment you have been wanting to do forever? Now is as good a time as any to do it.
Have something to contribute to this topic? Let’s talk in the comments section.