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When I’m faced with a problem, I like to tackle it practically.

I’ve been contacting copywriters in my network and many have had projects cancelled or postponed. Work is drying up, and we don’t know how long for.

How is 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 in tough economic times.

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):

27 seo tasks to do during economic downturn

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The worst thing any of us could be doing right now is putting our businesses on hold because of fear. Fear of selling to our audience because we’re scared people will think we are heartless and insensitive. Fear of creating content that ISN’T about coronavirus because we think no one will want to know about anything else going on in the world.

This is the BEST TIME for you to be working ON your business especially if you don’t have any client work. I encourage you to keep marketing in an economic downturn.

Let’s look at the ways you can use SEO right now to help market and grow your business, so that when the economy starts to improve, you’ll be in the perfect position to get more organic traffic that converts into paying clients and customers!

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.

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27 SEO and marketing tasks to do right NOW

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!

During bad economic times, 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.

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.

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.

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.

5. Check your site is mobile responsive

How does your website look and work when used on a mobile device?

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”

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7. Write new blogs on trending topics

A couple of weeks 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.

Repurposing idea:

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.

Repurpose idea:

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.

podcast microphone

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.

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.

women sitting t table

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

Sign up to HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to Sourcebottle and look for media opportunities in your industry. Reply to any relevant call outs as soon as possible, following the requirements outlined.

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”

work harder neon sign

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!

Nat Alleblas SEO Sleuth

6 ways you can help me during the 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 worked with me in the past? I’d love a review- either email me a testimonial, or you can leave a Facebook review or a LinkedIn recommendation.

-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.

-My next free challenge is coming up in April. You can share the sign up link on your social media. Please copy and paste the following:

-Follow/like me on social media via the below icons.


Thanks for reading my blog! I hope you found it helpful. During this stressful time, my thoughts are with you all and hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Stay connected with me via social media:
27 SEO and marketing tasks to do during an economic downturn
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Nat Alleblas- SEO Sleuth: helping copywriters, marketers and web developers with their SEO needs. When she's not slaying SEO, Nat can be found with her head buried in a book or is smashing out a spin class. But not at the same time. Loves eggplant lasagna.

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