Posted on 03 Jul 2020
This is a question that business owners all over the country are asking themselves a thousand times over. There are many SEO agencies that will tell you that this is the best time to invest in your business, but is that actually true? It’s about time someone gave it to you straight, so here is our verdict on whether SEO is right for your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest draw for investing into SEO at this time is the potential to leap past the competition at never before seen speed and this is down to two factors: Firstly, according to Bloomberg, the UK economy has taken a hit of 20% already and non essential services have been cut even more. Although this may seem like a negative, there is an argument to made that because so many businesses will be looking to cut costs right now, their SEO budget will likely be part of it. This means that there is an opportunity to bypass competition that have dominated a market for a very long time, especially given the precedence Google have given to relevant and recently updated sites.
Following on from the previous point, it is also fair to expect that as there will likely be less competition, you will see a greater return on your investment like never before. Where you may previously have have had to pay thousands to match the budget of your competitors, you may have the opportunity to match their spending or even exceed it at a fraction of the price, providing that they have made cuts to their marketing budget.
Despite the bleak opposition the economy is currently in, there is a possibility that once lockdown measures have been lifted and we start to return to normal, the economy will bounce back quicker than it ever has before. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has predicted the economy will “bounce back” unlike any other recession we have faced before, mainly due to the circumstances which caused it. Unlike the 2008 housing market crash, the causality of the recession is something unforeseen but also not due to any residing issue with the economy.
According to Ivestopedia, a V shaped b ounce-back is defined as “a sharp rise back to a previous peak after a sharp decline in these metrics.” A V shaped bounce-back would see a sharp injection into the economy and many businesses will see sales return to a similar level fairly quickly. Investing in your SEO now could give your site a major advantage being more visible when normal buying habits resume.
As if 2020 has not already provided enough wildcard moments, Google announced that they have sneakily released an update in the midst of the pandemic. This means that millions of sites that were optimised in accordance to previous updates may now be at risk for failing to hit the criteria that Google is now looking for. If you’re not an SEO expert, chances are that you have likely missed the key parts of the update and possibly left your site vulnerable to penalisation. Hiring an SEO team can help update your site to the new requirements and make sure your digital marketing is modern and strategised.
Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the May 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) May 4, 2020
Now, having said all that, there is a possibility that investing SEO right now might now be right for your business at your time. SEO is not a “copy and paste” type of industry. It is a curated and specialised form of digital marketing that takes into consideration many different facets to optimise your site best for your audience. There are certain websites that are seeing a boom in traffic and business right now, such as delivery services, E-commerce and porn (With the latter having 25% increase of traffic since COVID began) but there are also businesses finding their services obsolete during lockdown. Many escort agencies have cut back on the SEO spending because of the lockdown due to the fact that they are simply not securing enough bookings. Despite traffic rising for many agencies the business lost in those few months has been substantial enough to warrant caution when investing back into their marketing.
Many experts believe that although restrictions are being lifted, we are no way near the end of this pandemic and we could see regional lockdown laws activated regularly to help control the spread of the virus. This means that your business could be forced to close its doors at anytime in the next couple of year of so, with little warning. To make matters worse, there are no presumptive measures you can take to stop this from happening so you truly are at the mercy of the government and the general public to act responsibly.
Leicester was the first city to be forced into a “local lockdown” but the Government have warned that it is prepared to put any city that poses a live threat to national security into a lockdown with little warning.
Despite some people having the belief that the economy will bounce back fairly quickly, there are also just as many experts who believe that the damage of a 20% dive for our economy will be disastrous and take a decade to truly recover from.
When asked about the longterm economic effects if COVID-19, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was “not obvious that there will be an immediate bounce back”, adding that if firms reopened, households might still be reluctant to start spending again. The Office of National statistics reported that job vacancies dropped by a fifth since March, or roughly 155,000, the largest drop since records began, more than an indication of what could be to come for the next couple of years. Investing in marketing during a time of such uncertainty could be a massive gamble considering the sharp decline in national GDP.
As a company that provides SEO as one of our key services, we’re not going to tell you that you should not invest in your SEO. SEO is a fundamental part of any website and is crucial to secure your place as the authority on the keyword you are working towards ranking for. If you already have an established and growing client base, SEO can be the perfect catalyst to propel your business upwards. However, there are companies and business that will not benefit from an SEO package right now and we will be the first ones to tell you if that applies to you. For a free consultation, get in contact with one of our SEO experts today and we can help you make an informed decision on whether SEO is will help your business/agency at this current time.