Since the global pandemic of Covid-19, our behavior online has changed just as much as our behavior in real life. While we have been social distancing from one another, online we have been shopping, streaming and searching more than ever. At the beginning of May, the Irish government outlined the 5 different phases Ireland will go through as we manage our way out of the Covid-19 lock-down. This had a direct impact on search trends in Ireland as Google proved this by releasing Ireland’s top search terms at the beginning of May. It showed that the population began to prepare for life after Covid-19 and businesses had started to prepare for re-opening. The top search trends released by Google showed us that above everything, users are looking for accurate information, transparency and guidance. Here are 5 ways in which your business can use these search trends to benefit your own site’s SEO.
1 – Update your Google My Business Listing to Keep Your Customers up to date
Arguably the most important factor in Local SEO is to keep your Google My Business up to date with the current information from your business. There are people searching every day for information about when hairdressers, pubs, hotels and most importantly Penneys will reopen. Many of these people searching could very well be your future customers so make sure they have all of the information they need to decide to visit, book or buy from you. Make sure your Google My Business account has the correct phone number, photos, address, services, amenities, map location and opening hours visible on your listing. Also, you can now add a Covid-19 update via your Google My Business listing to keep your customers updated on your businesses status during Covid-19. Adding a post can also be a useful way to inform your customers of when you are reopening or if you have any current offers (Hotels cannot add posts via Google My Business).
2 – Keep Customers informed by updating your site’s content
Your business may be closed right now during this phase of Covid-19 but your website will still attract your visitors while the majority of your visitors will find themselves on your homepage. The easiest way to keep the visitors to your site informed is to add any updates to your website homepage. For example hotels may add a header or a banner that reads ‘We will be re-opening on July 20th”. Other businesses may be planning to open on different dates but whatever is relevant for your business, you should be making that information visible and hard to miss on your site. You could also add a pop up with relevant information such as reopening dates but make sure it doesn’t affect user experience on your website.
3 – Show your customers what the new normal will look like at your business
In the current times of social distancing, there are some behaviours in our day to day life that will change forever. These changes may make some people feel unsure when they are going to visit your business so make it clear what is expected of customers, guests or visitors when they are at your business. It would be beneficial to post a video or images of how social distancing would work at your business, pub, shop or hotel. The video or images should include images of how your business is safe, clean and how new practices such as table service only or a one way system in and out of your store would work.
4 – Include Covid-19 or Social Distancing Questions in your FAQ Schema
FAQ Schema is a useful way to answer questions your potential customers may have before they even click on to your site. Many people may be unsure if they are expected to follow new rules at your business so by adding in this information to your FAQ Schema, they will easily find this information in the SERP.
Make it clear if your business expects the following:
- Do customers need to wear face masks?
- Does your business only accept contact-less payment?
- Is your business only offering table service?
- Does your business only allow a certain amount of customers in at a time?
- Has your business improved hygiene standards or been deep cleaned recently?
- Does your business offer takeaway/click or collect
- Does your business offer contactless delivery services?
5 – Gain More Traffic to Your Blog by Using How To Schema
Many of us are still going to be working from home for another while and our social lives won’t be returning to normal any time soon so we need to find ways in which we can keep ourselves occupied. There has been a huge trend of people learning new skills whether it be baking, arts & crafts or fitness. If your site is a blog or has a blog then there is no better time to write some educational or how to blog posts than now. Teach your users how to make pancakes like how the chef at your restaurant does, how to do some workouts to stay fit at home or how to make their own face mask so they feel safe when they return to your store. Once your how to blog post is done then implement some HowTo Schema so your blog post gains more visibility, a strong CTR and a featured snippet where Google sees fit.