Business Paper

How Covid-19 has impacted the SEO Industry & Search Trends.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world on its head, almost every industry would have been affected one way or another. If it has not affected you work wise, it would have from a personal perspective as isolation & lockdowns became the new norm.

 

As we slowly re-open different industries, I wanted to take a look at how the pandemic has specifically affect the SEO industry. When the pandemic first hit, I saw desperation from some parts, suggesting now was the time to invest in digital marketing. In some cases that might be correct, in other it might be a bad move. Our approach to digital marketing during this period should be calculated and well thought out.

 

What Changes Have We Seen So Far?

 

 

Well according to a survey carried out by conductor, although 65% of marketers expect to decrease their budget, more than half expected SEO to be of more importance during this period.

 

Google trends search

 

A quick look into Google trends will give you an idea of what is being searched across the globe. As you can see from the above covid, face masks and health related terms are increasingly on the rise as people search for guidance online.

 

It is increasingly important that what we put online has substance and is not just for our benefit.

 

Increase in Online Search

 

When people say that SEO increased because more people are at home in lockdown searching online, it is out of context. When we are online, we do more than just search via a search engine.

Yes, there was an increase in search engine use, but we also saw an increase in.

  • Emails being sent
  • People using news websites
  • Social Network Use
  • Online Banking
  • Sent instant messages

 

Online searches post covid 19

 

So there certainly has been an increase in search volume, it seems to be more across health-related & news websites or industries highly relevant to the pandemic.

 

SEO will look different for each and every industry, new website is seeing an increase in traffic and could potentially demand more from advertisers based on this.

 

Whereas non-essential shops or businesses who have been forced to close, SEO will be a lot less important for them.

 

Demand For SEO?

 


 

According to Google Trends, the term ‘SEO Agency’ is the highest it’s been in the last 5 years. This fully supports the idea that marketers are looking to engage in SEO as a cheaper form of advertising through this period.

 

As an SEO it shows there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future of the industry, as a business owner it shows that rankings for your most profitable keywords is going to get more and more competitive.

 

 

Why What We Put Online Is More Important Than Ever

 

 

As mentioned at the start of the pandemic I saw sales managers from large digital marketing agencies & PR agencies essentially suggesting that everyone should pump more money in digital marketing. This might be ok for some industries, but what about the travel industry for example?

 

Some companies who rely on travel to the US will have to wait a whole 12 months before they can send customers away on their holidays. Should they pump loads of money in while conversion is low?

 

 

Conclusion

 

There is no doubt that this pandemic will go down as a dark time in world history. As marketers should strive to provide expert advice to any brand looking to increase or decrease their spending without thinking of our own gain.

 

The trend suggests SEO is a marketing channel companies will use to find their feet again. I have worked with a few companies’ other past few months who although their industry has been struck badly, they’ve performed well against their competitors because of their long-term SEO strategy.

 

If you are looking for any SEO advice, get in touch today.


Introducing Google’s New Ranking Signal & Algorithm Update: Page Experience.

Google continues to improve the search results and experience for their users & webmasters and business owners we need to make sure we continue to monitor any update and algorithm change they make to ensure our business is as visible as possible for Google and other search engines.

 

 

Google made the announcement on the 28th of May and provided the following information.

 

I would advise all webmasters to have a read through Google’s official update. Below is a summary of what to expect.

 

- New Algorithm Update Will Be Launched sometime in 2021.

 

- It will be called: Page Experience Update.

 

- Google will give webmasters 6 months’ notice before launching.

 

- Page speed and cumulative layout shift are now coming from the "Core Web Vitals".

 

- Google has announced this will essentially replace AMP.

 

- Top story results will be a available to NON-AMP results.

 

- There is no indication of how vital or the weight of this ranking factor.

 

- Google also announced content is still more important & that you can still rank well with poor page experience but great content.

 

Here is a chart that Google came out with to explain what is part of this Google Page Experience update:

 

 

Core Web Vitals - MR SEO

 

What is page experience?

 

Many of you may be wondering, what is page experience? I am going to give a brief explanation.

 

Page experience quite simply the experience your user has on your website. From Google’s perspective, they will be looking at that that suggests that users engage with your website and that you have a good page experience. Page experience could be any of the following factors.

 

- Page Speed.

 

- Https / Website Security.

 

- How well the website displays across different devices such as mobile and tablet.

 

- Are there intrusive ads on the page?

 

As well as this Google is looking to refine further factors that will add to their page experience update. Although we do not know specifics on this, it is likely to be looking at speed and usability.

 

What are Core Web Vitals?

 

As the image above shows, Core Web Vitals are a range of metrics that google uses as signals for understanding a websites page experience.

 

In short, the metrics are:

 

 Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): how quickly a page loads. The LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.

 

 First Input Delay (FID): how quickly users can interact with a page. Pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

 

 Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): the visual stability of a page (jumping buttons, etc.). Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.

 

There are 6 tools you can use to gauge how well your site performs against this.

 

• Search Console

 

• PageSpeed Insights

 

• Lighthouse

 

• Chrome DevTools

 

• Chrome UX Report

 

• Web Vitals Extension

 

Although this isn’t an algorithm you should be panicking about right now, if you’re looking to future proof your website in preparation please get in to contact today and we can discuss how we can help you increase page experience and in turn you organic traffic.

 

Author: Michael Ryan is the Owner of MR SEO and SEO Agency in Essex intent on providing ROI for their clients.