It’s a strange time for many businesses at the moment. Some have been forced to close and furlough staff, others have had to change their business model and some are busier than ever. The one constant is that many marketers and business owners have found themselves wondering what they need to do from an SEO perspective during this period of uncertainty.
Whether you have extra time on your hands and can finally sit down to some of the SEO tasks you’ve been putting off, or find that you’re more committed than ever to maintaining a strong search presence, these are the things really worth focusing on right now…
Structured data markup
There are 818 different types of schema so it’s a good bet there’re a few that you could be using, but aren’t. Structured data has long been important for SEO but has taken on new significance during the pandemic.
You may have heard that there is a new COVID-19 schema. At the moment, this is just for health and government sites but it’s possible that it will be more widely supported in the future. In the meantime, existing schema can be used to communicate timely updates and service information to search users covering things like changes to opening hours.
Taking time to add structured markup to your site gives Google more data to insert into the knowledge panel, which can greatly enhance your search engine results. Recent research also suggests that schema use can boost site ranking, increase traffic and push up impressions with a 20-30% improvement when using an average of 40 schema types and 130 attributes and properties.
Google My Business
There is little doubt that local SEO has taken on new significance during the coronavirus pandemic, with local listings and knowledge panels a key resource for consumers at this time. Ensuring you’re doing everything you can to keep your local listing up to date is a good way to maximise all sales opportunities if you are still trading during lockdown.
Even if you’ve been forced to temporarily shut up shop, this is a great opportunity to do the work to better your local search visibility, ready for better things when you can reopen.
Google My Business is a great starting point, given that it emits a number of ranking signals back to Google. Your most pressing task is to ensure that your opening hours and contact information is up-to-date and reflective of any changes you may have had to make. Over and above that, be sure to use features like Posts and FAQs to enrich your listing, update images and add videos or service information if your profile is a little lacking.
If you have Google Reviews, be sure to answer all of them as this also dictates search position. No reviews to answer? Draft up instructions for your clients to let them know they can review you on Google. Talks them through the process with step-by-step instructions and images if need be. The more reviews you receive, the better your search visibility.
Add timely content to your site
We all have more questions than answers at the moment but, there will be questions you do know the answer to and should share with your clients. For example, how long will shipping take? Are their delays on receiving products? Is delivery contactless? Can customers still contact you via phone?
Add a FAQ section to your site if you don’t have one already to address these common queries. If you already have FAQs, they may need updating with coronavirus-specific questions and answers.
Content is a powerful force for ranking improvement so, if you do have more time than usual right now, consider drafting up a content marketing plan and get to work creating useful, original and informative content to add to your site.
Work on page load speed
Page load speed is a ranking factor but it’s also a deciding factor – if your page takes more than a couple of seconds to load up, your search traffic will go elsewhere. Google’s research says that page loading times of 1-3 seconds increase the probability of the user bouncing by 32%. The probability of a bounce soars to 90% for pages that take up to five seconds to load.
Have you done everything you can to speed up your page load times? If you haven’t really honed in on this aspect of SEO before, now is the time to do so.
If you need further direction on improving your SEO at this time, contact the Adrac team and claim your free review today.