Semalt Tips On How To Build A Strong SEO Program During Covid-19

In March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic broke, it had brought everything to a standstill. Despite things slowly getting back to normal since June, its effects are still felt in several parts of the world and most walks of life. And one of the most happening areas right now is digital marketing.

The Internet has always been a crowded place, but activity levels increased manifold earlier in the year as a majority of people decided to stay indoors to protect themselves from the virus. People started working from home and entire organizations went virtual, giving an unprecedented boost to online trends. Naturally, marketers scrambled to take advantage of the opportunity and put their best foot forward by designing topical campaigns, SEO programs, and content marketing strategies. 

Semalt joined the bandwagon too, helping many of our clients put their positive messaging out and help them stay relevant during these tough times. We have tailored SEO programs depending upon our clients' business, their target audience, and most importantly, their industry. While the activities differed from campaign to campaign, our core principles remained the same.

Here are some of the most critical ones.

Tips to Build a Strong SEO Program in the Age of Coronavirus

This article is a summary of those core principles in the form of tips, program guides, activities, and guides. If you are still finding a way to engage with your customers online, these tips will help you.

Tip №1 - Review Your Analytics

This is perhaps the first and the most important action to do: reviewing your analytics account and observing any changes in traffic, impressions, conversions, and SERP movements of your webpages. There is a high likelihood that you will see drastic changes if you had maintained your SEO activities. Based on your observation, you can plan your campaigns.

For example, if an ecommerce website has noticed a spike in traffic and conversions on pages about face masks and other coronavirus-related products, it should focus on optimizing those pages better. Semalt recommends taking another look at them and improving their content and structure. This can be through optimized product descriptions, updated images and texts, and updating stock-keeping units (SKUs) if possible.

We did this for many of our clients in the ecommerce and retail businesses, catapulting their online business to astronomical numbers. This was through the activation of ecommerce SEO where you get a complete website and business analysis, internal optimization, link building, and continuous tech support.

Just visit this page, enter your website, and let Semalt take care of everything else for you.

Tip №2 - Mention Your Covid-19 Stand

Another critical part of a strong SEO program in the age of coronavirus is to inform your customers about your stand on Covid-19. Your customers (both existing and potential ones) will be anticipating communication from you.

Are you operating? What are some of the limitations of your business due to the pandemic? If you are an online business, do you provide delivery? Your customers will have all sorts of such questions, and you must respond to them. But we feel it is better to be proactive and inform your users before they even ask you.

One way to do this is to create a new section on your website which can welcome all visitors with a splash screen or a pop-up. Ideally titled 'Covid-19 Updates' or similar, it should describe your business' stand on the coronavirus situation and provide details about your operation.


Keep it short yet informative so that your customers don't end up wondering stuff. Semalt also recommends adding an FAQ subsection on that page to better guide your users and answer their common queries.

Doing this not only shows that you as a brand care but also keeps your users attached to you. Even if you are not operating, your users will appreciate the honesty and interaction. From an SEO perspective, this will help your website stay updated and in line with the current situation in the world.

Tip №3 - Improve Your Content

Something that most businesses have failed to ensure during this period is the extra vetting of their content. Each and every piece that is published on your website, blog, and social media should be double-checked for accuracy. This is even more critical if you are writing about the coronavirus and providing advice.

Google and other search engines take false information seriously, and any hint of inauthentic information on your website can harm you dearly. This is even more critical for mobile apps.

Tip №4 - Improve Local SEO Efforts and Update Your Listings

A corollary to adding a Covid-19 update section on your website is this. Check out all your listings and profiles online and update them. Make sure that your business' current standing reflects everywhere.

For example, have your working hours reduced now? Go ahead and update that in your Google My Business and other listings.

This is just one part of your overall local SEO efforts, which will help you be seen by potential users. If you are a business servicing a specific neighborhood, make sure you are easily reachable around the radius. This would mean optimizing for local and hyper-local keywords, adding new pages on your website, and continuously being on standby.

Tip №5 - Be Cautious While Targeting Covid-19 Related Keywords

As mentioned above, giving advice related to coronavirus will require extreme vetting on your part. While most businesses try to take advantage of the situation and write longform (and often unrelated) content about the coronavirus, it doesn't help them a bit. Instead, it comes back to bite them if they hadn't ensured authenticity.

Google and other search engines take coronavirus-related content very seriously. So, it is better to avoid treading that path.

A rule of thumb is to avoid writing about coronavirus if it is not related to your business. For example, if you are a general practitioner (GP) with a clinic or a pharma company, you may want to write about it. However, it doesn't make sense to talk about it on your site's blog if you sell wine racks. 

Tip №6 - Reoptimize Your Old Content

While executing tip #1, did you notice high readership for some of the articles on your blog? If yes, it would be a great idea to optimize them.

Make a list of all the articles and webpages that have received unusually high readership over the period of the last few months. Then optimize them individually to make them rank higher on search. It is okay to infuse trending keywords and terms in the content to make it more enticing to users. The goal is to use the page's existing PageRank and improve your traffic, and thereby, conversions.

You may use tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner for this purpose. Or you may get in touch with us and explore our AutoSEO and FullSEO programs that include these types of SEO activities.

Tip №7 - Focus on Creating New Content

While avoiding coronavirus-related content topics is a wise move, you should instead focus on trending topics in your industry. Digital is experiencing a boom currently, and all your target keywords are bound to have better search volumes than what they were in, say, February 2020.

So, the idea here is to run keyword research again and look for trends and new keywords. Use this information to build new content and push your business on organic search. It is possible that some long-tail keywords with very low volume before have now shot up due to the virus. People staying indoors and seeing a paradigm shift in their lifestyles has affected a lot of online trends in the past six months.

This is your chance to note those changes in your sector and act accordingly. And what better way to drive your SEO forward than creating fresh, usable content?

Improving your website's SEO during Covid-19 is not complicated if you have a clear idea about your current situation and your short-term and long-term goals. Actioning these seven solid tips while you work on your SEO strategy will help you think of better ways to push your website up.

The goal is to stay relevant and maintain your rankings. And the only way to do that is to use some of these tips in your existing strategy or let Semalt help you create one. Get in touch with us today and boost your SEO rankings.