How Is Coronavirus COVID-19 Affecting SEO, eCommerce Sales & Online Order Fulfillment 2020
Data Usage At All-Time Highs during COVID-19
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has sent shockwaves around the world. Now it’s more important than ever that businesses tighten up and adapt as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here’s what you should know to navigate today’s challenging online market.
As a business owner or marketing executive during this uncertain time, you’re probably wondering how COVID-19 is affecting your business, your website, your employees, and those lofty sales projections that were agreed way back in January of this year.
It’s incredible how only a few weeks ago, can seem like many years prior at the current rate of daily policy adjustments to counteract or deal with the CoronaVirus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19.
The Effects of COVID-19 on US Businesses Are Widespread; From Digital Advertising to SEO, Video Content, Social Media Marketing and Online e-Commerce Spending for Small to Mid-sized Businesses in 2020:
How the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) has Deeply Affected the United States Business Community:
To say that times are tough would be an understatement. They’re downright unprecedented.
As every day passes, we are witnessing another day of history, and we are indeed in uncharted waters.
Unless you lived through the Spanish Flu, which we doubt you did, the odds are you haven’t seen anything like what’s happening right now in life.
While many are scrambling to sort out their personal & professional lives, small and mid-sized businesses are also being creative in finding ways to stay above water:
Here are a few Federal or Private Sector initiatives that can be of good use to your organization right now, and we are currently diving into the small print with legal to iron out the minor details of documentation on their advertising grant dollars.
- For those US Businesses of any size that are struggling at this moment; Please visit: The United States Small Business Administration regarding funding help for small business during this National Disaster Proclamation, which is found here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
- Facebook Small Business Advertisers Grant Program: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grant
- Google Advertising Grants for Small Businesses of $800M: https://www.blog.google/inside-google/company-announcements/commitment-support-small-businesses-and-crisis-response-covid-19/
- [COVID-19 SMB GUIDE PDF] corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final-alchemyleads-SEO-Calabasas <—– [Click here to download complete Small Business Resource Guides for SBA Loans]
- CDC Guidance for Small Businesses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html
- Grants and Financial Resources for Non-Profits (501c3): https://www.classy.org/blog/stimulus-package-for-nonprofits/
- HSBC Guidance on PPP Loans: https://www.us.hsbc.com/coronavirus-update/
“Millions of businesses have closed, reduced their operating hours, or capsized altogether.
Layoffs are rampant, and the future remains uncertain.
What is certain, however, is that we won’t move forward if we don’t try.
As far as the market is concerned, the game isn’t broken, it’s just that the rules of the game have changed.
As veteran executives have learned over the years, we have two choices; be adaptable to an increasingly changing business world, or struggle with being resistant to the wave of change and digital transformation only to get left behind in this ruthless business climate.”
“Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
“If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.”
- Stephen Covey
“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.”
- Jim Carrey
For many businesses, the sales generation strategy is simply to focus on staying in the black long enough to resurface ready to make a strong comeback after this pandemic has passed. It’s a safe and practical business strategy to employ during the epidemic. However, depending on what industry operating in, many businesses will be able to do significantly better than just getting by through this crisis. Many business owners will come out of this thriving rather than barely surviving.
COVID-19 Checklist for American Small & Mid-Sized Businesses
While the market might feel stifled, there’s still plenty that businesses can and should be doing right now. If you’ve been feeling stir-crazy, lately roll up your sleeves and get to work, because there’s a lot to do.
For one thing, you’re going to need to work a lot on your web presence.
You’ll need to start by making updates.
For example, many of the businesses that are still open are operating for fewer hours.
Other stores have reserved the first hour or so of shopping for the elderly.
All of these changes need to be reflected in your online presence.
Be sure to update any changes to your hours on GMB or Google My Business Page.
You can manage COVID-19 related updates by signing in to Google My Business.
Next, you’ll need to click on Posts from the menu.
You should see a COVID-19 update tab to click on next.
From here, you can update things like your hours of operation, offering takeout or delivery, support requests, etc.
You can also use it to offer updates on how your business is handling safety and hygiene.
The Best SEO Practices Are Evolving to meet Increased Digital Marketing Opportunities and User Demand
COVID-19 has flipped the way we live upside down in remarkably little time. It’s also been changing SEO and savvy businesses would do well to adapt and take advantage of these changes.
- One of the most significant changes of all has been how the pandemic has been affecting the way businesses ask customers for reviews on Google.
- There has been a heated debate over whether businesses should continue to solicit reviews from customers during the pandemic or not.
- On one side of the argument, one camp of SEO experts firmly believes that businesses should refrain from asking for reviews during this time. The other field thinks that it’s imperative to be actively listening to customers and seeking feedback.
- The first camp believes that seeking reviews right now could be risky because you could end up with a lot of negative reviews. After all, customers are panicking and will be more difficult to please than ever before.
- On the other hand, if you stop seeking reviews altogether right now, your customers might feel abandoned by your brand and without a voice.
For client satisfaction Five Star Reviews, please visit our GoogleMyBusiness page today.
Both sides have their merits, and it’s recommended that you seek advice from a knowledgeable digital marketing firm like AlchemyLeads before making a decision.
Diversify Online Sales Platforms to Fulfill Orders – Engage your Customers by Online Selling on Amazon, Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram, Facebook & all Social Media Channels
Although there are some differences in the way that every business responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of them have been diversifying their sales channels.
“We are getting a lot of inquiries about new ways to sell and customers looking at new platforms.
We are all for this and think now is a great time to diversify traffic sources and double down on your current winning traffic sources.
Selling on Amazon or eBay, Etsy, Instagram or increasing your audience from Pinterest, Google Adwords, (also launching a grant PPC program) Facebook traffic via cheap FacebookAds (Grants) especially in combination with other more organic and list-building methods like email marketing, sales, product demo videos, customer video reviews, niche forums, audio podcasts, masterminds, and educational or resourceful webinars (just to name a few) are extremely solid and affordable ways to further expand your business footprint online while providing real value, fostering real customer connections, communicating your brand messaging, and truly engaging with your customers for the long term.” – Sean Chaudhary, CEO
If your company got most of your business before the pandemic directly through your website or even on-site at a brick-and-mortar storefront, you’d need to diversify your sales channels if you want to come out on top.
- You can also start your website on WordPress, Shopify, or other platforms and cut out the middle man in some ways: https://redstagfulfillment.com/start-your-ecommerce-website/
- 17 free tools to use to boost your brand’s Instagram: https://www.alchemyleads.com/top-17-instagram-tools-every-marketer-should-use/
- Utilizing Snapchat to Target younger demographics: Boosting Social Media Engagement Using Snapchat Marketing
- Understanding the unique key performance indicators or goal tracking metrics for your upcoming advertising campaign: Redefine KPI’S of the Social Media Campaigns | AlchemyLeads
So far, there have been a lot of businesses that have moved their merchandise to other more popular sales channels like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
Some of our friends have been clever enough to find ways to promote their merchandise on Pinterest and Instagram and selling inventory directly through the newly redesigned Instagram social platform.
You should follow in their footsteps as fast as possible. Making a listing on Etsy or building out awesome Pinterest boards can take a while, so it’s also a great way to pass the time during quarantines and social distancing.
The reason for the dramatic uptick in online usage from consumers onto other platforms is that internet traffic is at an all-time high because of the sheer volume of people who have been affected by COVID-19 that have had their daily routines and livelihoods disrupted.
However, just because more people are online looking for content to consume and products to purchase, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that digital consumers are going to find your website quickly if they find your site at all.
Search engine optimization campaigns are picking up in their competitiveness as even more online businesses have identified the next 90 days as a high window to dominate the SERPs.
Developing Facebook Messenger Chatbots is something we have good experience with and is also a new marketing channel that has increased promise through this outbreak, as most Fortune500 companies are using automated chatbots, filtering and direct the increased demand and support requests made by customers during COVID-19, routing them to the appropriate team member, extension, or department.
By placing your products on these sales channels, you will be giving yourself a better chance of being seen. You will be able to offer multiple touchpoints in any sales cycle with your customers, enhancing data attribution between each platform at the same time with the proper goal configuration tracking in google analytics.
- Read more about enterprise Google Analytics and Google Search Console Setup to Perform Keyword Research: https://www.alchemyleads.com/how-to-use-google-analytics-and-google-search-console-for-small-businesses/
- Sure, you’ll have to pay a percentage on each sale to Amazon if using FBA, but most would agree that it would still be better than losing everything on a website with little or no traffic at all.
- There are also many solutions to drop-shipping your products without having to store inventory on your own, and still being able to fulfill massive amounts of orders. A host of Third-Party logistics and service providers exist in the market, each with their fulfillment warehouses locations across the United States of America that have broad experience in fulfilling orders for e-commerce and online order fulfillment, etc.
- What is dropshipping?
- Here is a good explainer on the difference between dropshipping products vs. third party fulfillment
Small businesses got hit hard by COVID-19, especially those that just started between December of 2019 and March of 2020.
Whether it was fate or unfortunate timing is irrelevant.
What matters is that while many new small businesses created during that time frame will sink because of the pandemic, many can still be saved and turned around, we are hoping businesses small and large will pool resources together to ensure the less fortunate business owners among our circles and in our local business communities will come out on the other side, more durable than before.
- COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES: https://scorpioncoatings.com/covid-19-disaster-loan-assistance/
If your business falls under this category, get everything you’re selling implemented on Amazon, Etsy, or both and then start making improvements to your SEO to build up the search ranking for your website slowly.
Businesses are helping each other and local communities via buying from other local companies affected by this and by supporting other business associations, chambers, networks, and ventures. Please visit one of our excellent client’s job boards to help those unemployed by the recent COVID-19 crisis in the United States.
“We are busier than ever, but many companies are not. We are grateful to be in a viable position but are incredibly wary of the responsibility that comes with being fortunate. We plan on doing a whole lot more for others in need, and we plan on being a Shepard of Good within our broader community — locally, nationally & internationally.
I think what we see now more than ever is that no matter who you are as an individual, we are all proud Americans.
We are human beings first. This COVID-19 episode (or horror / thriller / drama) has definitely re-inforced humanity amongst our team at AlchemyLeads, and that no matter our small differences; we are all one. Most importantly, “…We are all connected.”
- Links to help work remotely: https://www.splashtop.com/coronavirus-remote-work-resource-center
- A blog to help transition to telecommunication and remote work: https://blog.hubstaff.com/remote-worker-software/
- How-to DIY Guides for outdoor activities: https://www.thesawguy.com/category/how-to/
- Software to help remote work: 15 Top Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketers
- What to do with our energetic kids while they are bored at home: https://www.thesawguy.com/55-things-you-can-do-to-keep-your-kids-entertained-at-home/
Don’t Forget to Think and Plan Ahead
While paying Amazon a percentage now might not seem so bad, it’ll be unnecessary to keep doing it out after things turn around, and you’ll want to be able to shift back to selling primarily through your storefront or website as soon as reasonably possible.
Small businesses should aim to be weaning off alternative sales channels like Amazon and Etsy after the pandemic has slowed down. This also depends on how long the situation goes on for, and what the lasting trends from the pandemic will be when it comes to online shopping and internet usage.
The key is to keep working on your website and search rankings so it’ll be ready when things go back to some fraction of normal.
This is the best time to hunker down and spend 3-6 months optimizing your website to meet the increased demands that will ultimately be felt the more the US consumer population is at home, on their mobile, tablet, and desktop devices consuming all kinds of entertainment, content, and shopping online for all types of consumer goods and services.
Capitalize on the Extreme Surge in Nationwide Internet Traffic & Mobile Data Usage during the CoronaVirus (COVID-19)
Internet usage has gone through the roof since the onset of COVID-19. As more people hunker down isolating themselves and working remotely, they have been online literally more than ever before.
Although some of the folks online are stress eating in pajamas and binge-watching everything they can find on Netflix and are incredibly active online, now more than ever, and business owners far and wide should compete to engage this audiences’ precious attention.
What’s Trending in the Pandemic?
While it might sound counterintuitive to consider what’s trending during the pandemic, it’s a smart idea. Even with all of the chaos going down, there’s still plenty of opportunities to be found.
Marketing media like audiobooks, podcasts, video conferences, video content webinars, job boards, and pretty much anything involving digital video are becoming increasingly important. With people cooped up at home, they’ll be looking for as much visual content they can get their hands on. Podcasts are also going to be an excellent way to reach people, especially those who like to try keeping busy in their homes.
Many people enjoy listening to an engaging podcast while getting work done around the house. Make sure your podcast is what they’re looking too!
Give Yourself the Best Chance of Success, Backed By Actionable Data Science
If you want to give your business the chance of succeeding and coming out on top after the pandemic, you’re going to need some help.
Digital marketing agencies are in the know, and they can guide you through these uncertain times. They keep track of the data, watch the trends, and know-how to position your business both during and after the pandemic.
Most small businesses won’t have the technical know-how and marketing muscle to navigate today’s market effectively. Before the pandemic, savvy businesses considered digital marketing agencies to be a necessity rather than a luxury. Today, they’re more necessary than ever.
Businesses who decide to go it alone have a much higher chance of falling behind and failing, while companies who partner with a digital marketing agency will be more successful.
Why AlchemyLeads Is Your Best Bet in an Uncertain World
Whether it’s COVID-19 or alien invasion or a future zombie apocalypse… AlchemyLeads is your best bet for success in uncertain times.
AlchemyLeads is a highly exclusive digital marketing agency. It only takes on a select number of clients, being able to fulfill to our best ability, and retaining our long-time clients are our top advertising agency priority.
If you’re lucky enough to be a client, you’ll enjoy concierge service and the confidence of knowing that your firm will be making all the right moves in a time when everyone else is scrambling for answers.
Small business owners don’t need to be bogged down and bewildered, trying to leverage SEO on their own.
Effective use of SEO takes years of skill and experience that most business owners don’t have. In-depth SEO knowledge is more vital to running a successful business than ever before.