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How COVID Changed the SEO Game & What You Can Do To Keep Growing

Last year when the coronavirus became international news, everything changed. People started staying home and working from home, whenever possible. Businesses shut their doors and shifted to an online model (sometimes exclusively). Because of all of these changes, SEO changed too. When COVID-19 made everyone retreat indoors, online habits increased. In fact, 2020 saw a 44% increase in online sales compared to 2019. Let’s take a look at how COVID changed SEO, and what that means for your ecommerce business.

In June 2020, every brand’s SEO results went through the roof, because brick and mortar stores got shut down and online became the go-to. In response to customer demands and market trends, the website and other digital platforms became one of the strongest foundations for a business’s growth through a challenging time.

As customers went online, brands had to shift to a digital experience. Some brands did this better than others, and were able to capitalize on the changes in the market. Brands who already had a foundation of SEO were most successful, because SEO is a long-term strategy. But even brands that were brand new to SEO saw increased organic search traffic and keyword rankings at the beginning of the pandemic. 

4 Tips to Continue SEO Growth Post-COVID

Organic search volumes are always going up (except obsolete technologies). Even as the pandemic restrictions come to an end in the coming months, the shift to online shopping is here to stay for many consumers. How can you make the most of the changes COVID brought to SEO? Here are 4 ways you can focus more on SEO in order to keep up the ecommerce momentum.

1. Create more content. People are consuming more and more content online all the time. Content is important for SEO because Google looks at the quality of your content when deciding how to rank your pages and where to show it on their search engine results pages. By creating more content that is useful or informational for customers, you are able to get in front of them at various stages of their buyer’s journey, and improve your organic search results and sales. You may not even have to create all new content; if you have old content you can update or repurpose, that can be a great first step to improving your SEO content on your website.

2. Run an SEO audit. By conducting an SEO audit, your business will be able to understand what’s been working for you, where you’re doing well right now, and what you can focus on for future improvements. An SEO audit has many different parts to it, and using an ecommerce SEO agency can often yield the best results. They know what to look for and what recommendations to give for strong organic search improvements, and they have the tools to help you grow your ecommerce sales.

3. Focus on local. Now, whether you shut your doors temporarily to a physical location or you stayed open through the pandemic, it’s likely that you are back to almost full capacity for in-person operations with your staff members. If you welcome customers into your location, you may be seeing an increase in the number of people coming back to shopping in-person instead of online. In order to bring in more customers who are ready for that in-store experience, focus on local SEO. Make sure people know that you’re open for business again, but that you can still handle their ecommerce orders in case they aren’t quite ready to be back in the open yet.

4. Optimize your website. When you optimize your website for SEO, you can make sure that the keywords you want to target are in place and the technical elements are ready to go. Optimizing the website, creating content, and developing a backlinking campaign are all elements of a good SEO plan to ensure sustainable growth. 

In order to continue to see success in the newly reopened post-COVID world, ecommerce companies should renew their efforts in SEO in the long term. By partnering with an agency specializing in ecommerce and Shopify SEO, organic search can grow your business. Get in touch with ELK today for a free analysis of your site’s organic potential.