Coronavirus: Analytics & SEO Trends

By Keenan-Nagle | May 12, 2020 | Category: News Reporting & Analytics SEO

COVID -19 has impacted every aspect of our lives. It’s been a challenge to figure out where things will go and when they will happen. Looking at Coronavirus: Analytics & SEO trends can give us a revealing perspective. According to Google Trends, we are in the midst of an unprecedented time of search trends and optimization. (1)

Coronavirus: Analytics & SEO Trends – Keywords:

Week to week, the search trends mirror the conversation climate we are all experiencing. Trending topics from Mid-March focused on ways that the lockdown would impact life. A sample includes:

  • “California Lockdown Rules”
  • “Are restaurants open?”
  • “When are taxes due?”

As time moved forward and the calls for flattening the curve were sounded, the search topics followed.  Searches which began to trend up included:

  • Instructions on “Sewing face masks”
  • “Donating PPE”
  • “Coronavirus tips for the workplace”

As we move into more restrictions being lifted, Search Ranking Managers would be well advised to model their keyword strategies around this movement. One benefit of this situation is that it does bring the narrative climate to surface, which allows for clearer forecasting of trends in focus. For instance, a restaurant by the name of Steve’s Deli, would have greatly improved their chances to be found in searches by following this trend by updating their keywords and landing pages from week to week with phrases such as:

  • “Coronavirus Update: Steve’s Deli”
  • “Coronavirus precautions: Steve’s Deli”
  • “Takeout at Steve’s Deli”
  • “Coronavirus: Limited service Steve’s Deli”

and now moving into:

  • “Coronavirus Reopening: Steve’s Deli”
  • and/or “Coronavirus safety at Steve’s Deli.”

Coronavirus: Analytics & SEO Trends – Social Media:

Utilizing social media is also a key. With user engagement in Facebook seeing a sizeable increase, having a higher post and engagement rate keeps your presence from being drowned out. Currently, posts and interactions are experiencing an 18% increase on Facebook with pages who are adapting and working with this new sense of “normal” seeing followers grow by as much as 175%. (2)

This trend mirrors previous events in history. Though we’ve never faced a situation quite like this, we have had similarly negative emotional and human impacts in our modern Internet age to use as a reference for ways society has reacted in the past.

Of the many tragic events, 9/11 stands out as a time where our country faced adversity and has stood together for greater nobility. The unity displayed during that time after closely resembles the spirit and common threads found in communities and social media during this pandemic.

This spirit of togetherness transcended into online behaviors with a Pew Research study finding that “19 million Americans rekindled relationships after 9/11 by sending email to family members, friends, former colleagues and others that they had not contacted in years.” (3) For businesses that naturally promote unity, family connection, legacy and other social ties, this becomes an important detail.

Information during this time also became more important to the every-person. The same Pew study found: “Notable numbers of American Internet users say they are using email more often, gathering news online more often, visiting government Web sites more often, giving more donations via the Internet, and seeking health and mental health information more often because of the 9/11 attacks.” (4) This indicates that while life will go back to normal eventually, a resonating shift may result in higher overall website engagement. Businesses that have adjusted to a stronger online model due to this situation could find more sustained online success after this settles. We are already seeing what will undoubtedly be sustained growth in industries such as tele-communications. Zoom, who benefited from this behavior, has had its active user count explode in growth with a 378% jump from the previous year. Microsoft has reported growth of up to 775% increase refers to growth in “Teams’ calling and meeting monthly users in a one-month period.” (5)

Coronavirus: Analytics & SEO Trends – Our Role As Marketers:

As Marketers, this spirit of connectivity is extremely important to adapt in our messaging. This has lead to many successful campaigns that look to partner for a greater good during Covid-19. From restaurant associations and supporting businesses who are raising money for healthcare workers lunches and equipment, to initiatives such as Keenan-Nagle’s campaign where we have brought more focus to the need for food for the needy, rallying around a human needs focus is working. These campaigns are sending a message of leadership and confidence which patrons are rallying around.

Regardless of the type of business you have, there is a leadership opportunity through this crisis to bear.  It is vital to get in front of the situation and retain as much of your customer’s focus as possible. To do this, a business of strong good core values would look to lead through this type of assistance and support. As Fast Company recently published: “Consumer behavior is still a thing, and we all still have various wants and needs. The best way that brands can address this—whether on Twitter or not—is to know themselves and the tone and personality with which they typically interact with people, and use that in a way that’s respectful and helpful. How can your product help? And when you figure that out, don’t hammer it home. This is a time for the restraint of a soft sell.” (6)

It takes tact to be able to show restraint but with the proper planning and tracking, you can have greater control on the results.

“I know half my marketing dollars are wasted. I just don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker

In this time in our industry’s history, these words are even more vital. Efforts must be made to both continue to stay in our customers’ headspace and those efforts need to bring positive returns. Though the instinct may be to conserve, there is an applied wisdom that shows the adverse to be true. “The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer shows most of the public turns to online sources (search, social media feeds and news applications) for information and discussion. This is especially true in the beginning stages of a crisis…During this phase, many businesses’ first reaction is to withdraw from the public space and limit external communications…But that’s not always the case.”(7)

While the future remains uncertain, we can follow a human nature path to connect with our clients, partners and community and in doing so, not only keep our brand present but also garner a new sense of goodwill and camaraderie that can introduce growth through adversity.

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