Marketing in an economic downturn: 27 SEO tasks to do right now to prepare you for economic recovery and success.
How’s your business coping right now?
To help you during this economic downturn, I’ve used my sleuthing skills to investigate and create a list of things you can do RIGHT NOW in your business to improve your SEO (and general marketing) so you can continue with your marketing.
Use these tips whenever there’s an economic downturn- and if you don’t know economics 101, the economy goes into recession on average every 7 to 10 years.
(The UN has been warning us about an economic slowdown in 2020 for the past couple of years. Read this article by The Guardian).
Don’t have time because the kids are screaming in the next room instead of doing their school work? Here’s the list (come back and read the full post for all the juicy details):
Marketing in an economic downturn: 27 SEO tasks to do right now to prepare you for economic recovery and success
If you’d like to use the above image in a blog or social media post, please link to www.natalleblas.com
Why you should be focusing on SEO even though it takes time to see results
It takes longer to see results from SEO than social media or email marketing. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid working on it right now. By taking small, frequent SEO actions on your website now, you’ll be rewarded in 6 to 12 months when you start to see increases in traffic.
When our economy improves, your potential clients will be ready to search for and buy your services and guess what? They’ll find YOU because you put the effort in when everyone else was busy fighting over loo paper.
1.Update your about page
This is no time to be shy- your potential clients want to get to know you and what you do and how you can help them. They want to know why they should work with you rather than Betty Brown. Tell them!
People are more cautious about how they spend their money and take longer to make purchasing decisions. Your about page can help them make that decision sooner.
From an SEO perspective, about pages are your way of showing your expertise, authority and trustworthiness to Google. Google emphasises good E.A.T. and the more you can provide evidence to Google of your E.A.T., the better for building your authority and growing your traffic.
On your about page, include your qualifications, credentials, awards and anything else that proves your expertise.
2. Create website pages for new products and services
Have you created any new digital products or services recently in light of the current situation?
Create a new web page promoting these new products or services and optimise using relevant keywords.
It could take a few weeks or months for these new pages to start ranking for keywords in Google, which is why it’s important to get onto this right away so that when people are ready to buy once the economy improves, your pages should be ranking higher.
Read my blog about how to update your SEO strategy when you’ve made business changes- it includes information about what to do if you’re adding or deleting products and services.
3. Check your website links
When was the last time you checked that your website links were working?
Using websites such as Dead Link Checker find out if there are any broken links on your website. If there are, remove or update these broken links.
Links are important for SEO because they help Google crawl and index your content properly, help your readers stay on your website longer and help spread link juice throughout your website which improves your page authority.
4. Check for 404 error pages
Run an SEO audit using the free tool Screaming Frog to find any pages with a 404 error code. These are pages that no longer exist and the URL can be redirected to another relevant page or your home page. Using a plugin such as Redirection to do a 301 redirect to another page.
Customise your 404 error page. Rather than using a standard 404 template, why not add some information, links to your best contact, an email address or even make it something funny and attention-grabbing?
5. Check your site is mobile responsive
How does your website look and work when used on a mobile device? This is important because Google indexes the mobile version of your website. Everyone’s moving to mobile devices, so you want the best user experience.
Take a look and check if the text is large enough to read, the buttons work properly, all your menu options are there and there aren’t any images or tables that are cut off horizontally.
I’ve created a simple Mobile Responsiveness Checklist that lists what to look for when checking for mobile responsiveness.
You can download your checklist here.
6. Find new product and service opportunities
Can’t run your in-person workshops and events? Do some keyword research to see whether people search for online versions of your services. Create new offers once you’ve found what people are searching for.
For example: “online xyz workshop” “online xyz courses” “online xyz events”
7. Write new blogs on trending topics
A couple of months ago I never would’ve thought I’d be writing a blog like this one!
Do keyword research to find trending topics and turn them into blog posts. Use Google Trends to search for trending topics in your industry.
What are your potential clients worried about right now?
What keeps them up at night? Write about it.
Even if you can’t find keywords to use in these types of blogs, write the blog anyway and promote it on social media. Social media traffic doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO but it does send a signal to Google.
Take a blog and turn it into an email for your list. Add a link to the blog somewhere in your email. This will help send more traffic to your blog.
8. Update your on page optimisation
When was the last time you did some keyword research for your own website? I work with copywriters doing keyword research for their clients. But I also do keyword research for my copywriting clients.
Now is a good time to check what keywords your potential clients are searching for in Google and updating any of your pages that you haven’t yet optimised.
Need help doing this? Sign up to my email list to get your free On-page SEO Checklist which shows you exactly how to optimise your page or post.
9. Create a YouTube video tutorial
Scared of doing video? I urge you to get over your fear NOW. Isolation won’t stop people craving human connection, but now it will be done online (and if you’re in lock down or almost, do it NOW before you get fatter, pastier and have regrowth! Ha!).
Human connection through video (live and recorded) helps you build trust with your audience.
Do keyword research to find potential topics to create videos for. Keyword queries with “how to” are great to turn into instructional videos that do well on YouTube. Optimise your videos when uploading to YouTube using your keywords and include a CTA.
You can also create videos for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. To find topics, go through your old blogs and past questions your clients have asked you. Look at questions people are asking in Facebook groups and online forums.
Get the video transcribed and create a blog post on your website, optimising the blog with relevant keywords and linking to other relevant web pages.
10. Record podcast episode
Have a podcast? Do keyword research to find topics that your potential audience is interested in. Turn these topics into podcast episodes.
Create show notes for these episodes and optimise for keywords. Internally link to other pages on your website that are relevant.
There have been a few new podcast launches recently, including “Course Creation Bites” by my mate Sam Winch, which are “bite sized lessons for busy business owners creating, launching and selling their own course”.
11. Guest pitch to other podcasts
Want to pitch to be a podcast guest? Give the host a couple of ideas for potential podcast topics using what you found during your keyword research.
12. Create a lead magnet
Rather than creating a lead magnet you assume everyone wants, do some keyword research first to find out what your potential clients are searching for.
Keyword queries with words such as checklist, pdf, guide, worksheet, download and template are great examples for potential lead magnets to get people on your list.
13. Ask past clients to leave a Google review for your business.
Note: On March 20th Google announced that new Google reviews would not appear on Google My Business listings during the COVID-19 pandemic due to being short staffed.
When sending a message about leaving a review include a link directly to your Google my business listing so they can easily find where to leave the review.
To help your clients, send them a template they can use to complete to help them write the review. Use the reviews as testimonials throughout your website on relevant pages.
Repurposing: Create a graphic for your review using Canva, that you can share on social media.
14. Collaborate with complementary business
Which complementary businesses can you collaborate with to help each other with link building and other marketing activities?
Reach out to complementary businesses in your industry to see how you can both collaborate for mutual benefits. Writing guest blog posts and linking to each other’s content are a couple of ways that you can work on SEO collaboratively.
15. Pitch to media outlets
This is a great way to get links from other authority websites, and some extra referral traffic.
16. Find what people are searching on your website
If you have a search function on your website, find out what keywords people are searching. This tells you what content people are looking for on your website and if you don’t have content for these keywords, write it.
Don’t know how to do this? I’ve written a blog about how to find what people search on your website.
17. Check which keywords your site is already ranking for
You will rank for keywords that you haven’t used on your website.
Using Google Search Console, find out what you’re currently ranking for and if there are keywords that you haven’t used or written in-depth content about, consider adding these keywords to existing content or writing new content.
18. Create an infographic on a topic in your industry
Either find a graphic designer or use Canva to create an infographic on an industry topic. I created two that I used in my “blogging for your business” blog post.
Make your infographic unique and helpful, which will increase the chances that someone else will use your infographic and link back to your website. A great way to build links!
19. Run a webinar on a topic in your industry
It might sound hard but if you can record a video, you can run a webinar!
Using the blog topics that you researched and wrote about, pick a topic that you could go in depth with and run a 30 minute live or pre-recorded webinar.
Offer the recording to those on your email list, or turn your webinar into a lead magnet to get new list sign ups.
If no one shows up live, who cares! I ran my first 3-part webinar series without anyone turning up live and still had about 20 people watch the recording and 5 of these people ended up signing up for my online course.
20. Create a resources page
What are some tools, resources, blogs, books, webinars and other information that your clients regularly ask for?
Create a resources page that is a great starting point for your audience when they need help with the basics (this is something I’m working on RIGHT NOW as I’m always getting asked about SEO tools and subscriptions worth signing up for).
Focus on making it as helpful as possible, so that people will regularly visit it.
Do some keyword research to find ways to optimise your resources page. Search for keyword phrases that include the words “best”, “review”, “comparison”, “choose”, “vs”, and “cheapest”.
For example: “best keyword research tool”
21. Create an email signature
You probably already have an email signature, but does it include a link to your most recent post or some other piece of content? Tools like WiseStamp can help you do this for free.
22. Leave a review for a service you’ve used
A few months ago just before Christmas, the topic of my weekly email was to leave a review for a service you’ve used. Pay it forward! I’ve mentioned asking your past clients for a review for yourself, but you can do the same for others.
Email the review to the business, or leave one on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn or anywhere else they hang out.
They will be so grateful, and it will make you feel good too! Karma points!
23. Republish a blog on Medium
Medium is a syndicated website where people publish existing content from their website. Google knows that Medium is a syndicated site and doesn’t treat the content as duplicate content. You can also get a nofollow link back to your own website.
24. Open a Quora account
Quora is a forum website where you can ask questions and get answers from anyone. Sign up to a free account and start searching for questions relating to your industry. Answer these questions, providing as much valuable advice as you can. Don’t spam with promo posts or always promote yourself, but this is a great way to become known for what you specialise in, and you can add a link to your website if it is relevant to the question being asked, which gives you a no-follow backlink.
25. Open a Reddit account
Reddit is also an online forum where people ask questions and share answers. Reddit is a lot stricter when it comes to self-promotion, so make sure you read and follow the rules. People have mixed success with Reddit.
26. Look for local online business directories
I’ve recently seen new online business directories popping up, due to more businesses shifting to online only.
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or business association to ask if there are any online business directories you could join. Many are free, some are paid.
27. Join new relevant Facebook business groups
Look through Facebook’s group suggestions to find business groups to join that suit your industry and target market. Follow the group guidelines and contribute. If you find that the group isn’t that great, leave it and try another one!
5 ways you can help my marketing in an economic downturn
I work with copywriters, so if a copywriter’s client work dries up then so does mine! If you’d like to help my business in a small way, here are some suggestions:
-Are you a niche copywriter? I’m updating my contacts list (for my personal use) as I often have businesses come to me asking for a copywriter. I’d like to update this list and include your niche so that if I have a relevant potential lead, I can let you know.
-Have you done my free SEO challenge? I’d love a review please either via email or on Facebook.
-Share this blog with people in your network- either in an email to your list, or on Facebook or LinkedIn. The best way to do this is not to copy the link into the post itself but to put it in the comments, and you can copy and paste a paragraph from the blog into the post.
-Follow/like me on social media via the below icons.