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Keeping your customers (and your SEO!) up to date in a crisis

by Jack Higgins | 09.04.2020

Coronavirus content is everywhere and updated in real time. With consumers spending more time online, whilst at home, they expect to be able to find essential up-to-date information from businesses too. It’s imperative that businesses understand customer queries (as they likely will have changed significantly!) and ensure key information can be found easily.

The ongoing pandemic continues to affect so many businesses therefore, it’s crucial that information surrounding your business and coronavirus, or more broadly any very important information on about your business, can easily be found by both humans and search engines.

Understanding How Consumer Search Behaviour Has Changed For Your Business

While some questions and answers may be relatively straight forward to identify, it’s important to understand how your customer’s behaviour has changed and is still changing.

Businesses should be reviewing this daily as it will provide valuable insight into understanding customers’ needs and concerns as well as guiding content creation and business processes.

Keeping Your Customers Up To Date In A Crisis:

  1. Create Coronavirus Content

Edit the hero section on your homepage to highlight your business’ key message at this time, you can also create a relevant dedicated page on your site to include all essential information. This is a clear and simple way for website visitors to find the information they need as well as serving as a signal to search engines that this is an important page which should be crawled and indexed in order to deliver relevant organic search results.

  1. Update Your Local Business Listings

You can use your Google My Business (GMB) profile and other local listings to highlight how your business operations may have changed during the current period. Where applicable, update information and business descriptions to reflect change in service or reduced hours.

Google My Business also allows listing owners to create local Posts to keep customers updated on the current status of business. These can remain live for 7 – 14 days and appear in Search as well as in Maps. Using these tools correctly and effectively, so your customers can continue to see relevant updated information, will help them to feel reassured.

  1. Create FAQs To Address Safety Concerns

Review and update your online FAQ pages to demonstrate how things have changed for your business i.e. new safety polices, promoting working from home, increased hygiene initiatives, and an overarching commitment to safety.

Create new FAQs, if relevant, to answer questions your customers are regularly searching for.

  1. Implement Product Availability Schema

Update product availability in as close to real-time as possible. Retailers should be adding ItemAvailability Schema Mark-up to their product pages and feeds to ensure this information is continuously updated. Consult your SEO team for more advice on product schema and how to handle out of stock items.

Communication Is Key

This pandemic has affected our daily behaviour and the way we communicate, shifting consumers’ needs and changing what they are searching for online. Ensure your business is communicating correct and relevant information as consumers will remember businesses who were most helpful during Coronavirus.