The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious effect on marketing for most SMEs – everything from cut paid marketing budgets and furloughed staff to anomalies in search behaviour have made life pretty challenging for marketing staff and business owners over the past five or so months.
It’s in times like this that sometimes the best approach is the simplest one – what can be done easily, quickly and effectively to hold the fort or make solid gains without stretching yourself too thin?
If paid marketing is off the cards, then your best strategy is to maximise results from SEO and organic content marketing.
Quick Win #1: Get top level insights with minimum effort
Review your top-performing content pieces from the last 3-6 months using smart tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Trends, SEMrush and your social media insights.
Analyse what queries these content pieces are ranking for, and list them by Page 1 ranking, Page 2, and below Page 2.
Quick Win #2: Work with what you’ve already got
Now that you know which pieces are achieving Page 1 ranking, review these with the aim of updating, tweaking and adding new value to the content. You’ll likely jump up a couple of spots, or maybe even achieve a featured snippet.
Focus your content to answer very specific search queries, make the new content as relevant as possible to the current situation, and if necessary add new sub-headers or sections to categorise the content in a user-friendly way.
For Page 2 rankings you’ll need to work a little harder, but take the same approach – you may well earn promotion to page 1 simply by improving the structure of the page, or creating a new standalone page for the content, with richer information and backlinks to the main page or section.
Quick Win #3: Better results from Consolidation
For pages that rank below Page 2, the chances are there’s a bit of a divide-and-conquer failure – you may find that the content on these pages is a bit thin, and likely competes with similar content on your website, or that there are significant overlaps which create confusing search results.
Solve the problem with a unite-and-conquer approach – consolidate content that is thematically linked into one page, giving the website not only a fuller, richer page of information but preventing pages on your website from competing with each other for a search result ranking.
Quick Win #4: Let your FAQs work much harder for you
It may sound complicated, but marking up your content with a FAQ Page rich snippet code brings significant gains in terms of the snippet that users see in search results.
You’ll probably want to stay away from writing the code yourself, but luckily there are tools to help you do so – have a look at https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/seo/tools/faq-rich-snippet-generator-tool/ for example.
Quick Win #5: Produce shorter form content for Right Now
Whilst the pandemic will eventually subside and things will return to normal, right now it’s important to let your target audience know that you’re on top of things.
Whether that means writing daily updates on your operating hours, useful information to reassure customers that you’re available to help them in some way, updates on sales and special offers or simply a kind message, producing daily content that’s relevant to the current situation will build you affinity and trust that will last long beyond.
Quick Win #6: Use free tools like Google My Business
GMB is a simple, effective tool to help communicate information like business hours, temporary closures, news posts, offers and more. It’s free, simple to set up and use, and highly effective.
We’re all looking forward to a return to normal as soon as possible, but in the meantime implementing the above strategies can and should really help you maintain and even improve your digital presence.