Top SEO Strategies for Your Houston Business to Counter The COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis is one of the worst market crashes in recent history. The coronavirus has brought a massive drop in online shopping.
Customers stay home and limit their purchases to essentials like food and medicine. As consumers cut back on spending, so do businesses and brands. You need to take a proactive step to improve your business. And this is where SEO can help you.
While the impact of the pandemic on the entire economy is unknown, experts believe that it will be a long time before we recover. Suppose your business is already struggling due to the low demand for products. In that case, you can’t afford to wait for the economic recovery to return.
Let’s tackle a few points about how using the right SEO strategies can help your business.

Crucial SEO Tips for Houston Businesses to Counter the COVID Crisis

1. Be Mindful Of COVID Related Issues

Businesses need to keep in mind the impact of coronavirus-related issues. It can and probably has affected people in ways we might not yet know. Ensure that your marketing collateral aligns with the sentiments of the people.

Tips To Be Mindful Of Pandemic Problems

The key here is understanding what your audience is going through. Their lifestyles have changed drastically, which businesses need to acknowledge. Marketing of this nature can set you up for customer-centric engagements.
Here are a few examples of how companies give back to their customers during this tough time.

  • Ecommerce giant Amazon added a no-contact delivery option and free delivery options.
  • Loom has made its Pro version free for schools and universities.
  • LinkedIn Learning offers free lessons on their platform for all users.
  • Salesforce has created a coronavirus fund of more than $1.5 million.

Here’s an example of Apple displaying a shipping disclaimer on their website in light of the pandemic:

2. Focus On Local SEO

The pandemic has added more clarity to local SEO as a whole. More people are turning to local search for their daily needs. This means that more companies need to look at their local SEO strategy. It is a great opportunity to revamp it because there will be an increased footprint.

Optimizing Your Local SEO For Business

Customers are being subject to several limitations owing to the pandemic. It has become difficult to shop for things they want with curfews and lockdowns. Local businesses have stepped up their local SEO game to cope with the increased demand.
Let’s look at how you can improve your local SEO presence.

  • Ensure that you’ve optimized your Google My Business page for revised information.
  • Perform a local SEO audit of your website with suites like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
  • Monitor reviews for negative reviews with Reputology.
  • Use social media to reach out to your customers and address their problems.

You can perform an SEO audit of your website with a tool like SEOptimer:

3. Verify Working Hours On GMB

With the pandemic, a lot of things have changed for everyone. Ensure it is reflected on your Google My Business listing if you have an updated timetable. This includes the normal working hours of a business. It can help you serve customers better and improve your online reviews.

Strategy To Ensure Consistent Information On Business Listings

Most businesses have more than a few changes during this time. Businesses need to reflect that on their listing in various directories. The first place to start with would be Google My Business. The reason is simple - Google is the most used search engine worldwide.

  • Audit all online local business listings for your company. Ensure they have consistent NAP data.
  • Working hours and days have now become critical information for users.
  • You can opt for tools like BrightLocal and Whitespark to automate listing management.

Read: What are the Benefits of a Google My Business Listing?
Make sure your working hours are up to date on business listings like Yelp:

4. Be Consistent On Your Process

The pandemic has indeed brought about changes to the system of many businesses. But the key is to ensure that your core processes and deliverables remain the same.
Customers rely on other businesses in their area more than ever. Make sure that you’re able to stick to what made you successful.

Ensuring Business Pipeline Consistency And Relevance

As a business owner, COVID-19 has affected your ability to deliver services. But this cannot be used as an excuse because your competitors are gearing up. It is critical to offer your clients the same service levels, if not better. Let’s take a look at how you can manage your process pipeline.

  • Audit your entire process framework. It might take time, but the rewards are worth it.
  • Listen to what people are saying with tools like AnswerThePublic. It can give you new insights.
  • Analyze your sources of leads for more opportunities with tools like HubSpot.

Here’s an example of AnswerThePublic showing what people are saying about Amazon’s delivery:

5. Ensure Your Team Is Safe From The Pandemic

Safety has become an increasingly important aspect of business with the pandemic. Businesses are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Your team needs to be safe, especially if they interact with customers daily.

Keeping Your Team And Customer Safe

Employee safety is an important part of every organization. The approaching pandemic has become a focal point of all businesses. This is especially true when your team interacts with hundreds of your customers daily. There are a few things that you need to get right.

  • If working from home is not possible, ensure that you follow social distancing norms.
  • Companies like Amazon and McDonald’s are covering employee sick days.
  • If you are a delivery service, consider free delivery or discounts like DoorDash and UberEats.

You can refer to this page to learn more about creating a safe workplace for your team during the pandemic:

6. Touch Base With Your Customers

Another aspect that your company has to look into is customer communication. As part of maintaining good customer relationships, this is an essential part of the process. It helps you connect with them better in times of their need. It improves your brand perception, which is critical for building trust.

Tips For Better Customer Communication

Several companies are intent on building better customer platforms with their brand. They’re reaching out to their present and past customers through various platforms. It helps them build the trust factor and get better brand reach.

  • Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach your customers.
  • Create communication channels dedicated to people affected by this through Slack or Asana.
  • Email outreach programs for people who do not have access to the above,, and Mailshake can help.

Here’s an example of how McDonald’s uses Facebook to communicate with customers:

7. Work On Your Content Marketing

Content marketing has always been pivotal to SEO success. But with content, you can do more than just improve business. You can build relationships with your customers, which is invaluable in these times.

Improving Your Content Marketing Pipeline

The pandemic gives businesses a chance to evaluate their content marketing processes. Keep it focused on offering assistance around the pandemic-affected people. Use your team to pitch in different content ideas to revamp your strategy.

  • BuzzSumo helps you gather intelligence about content marketing in general.
  • Unbounce helps you revamp your landing page content.
  • Video has become the new standard for content; Vimeo and YouTube are great platforms.

Here’s how BuzzSumo helps gather data about the performance of content across the web:

8. Keep An Eye On Trends

If you’re into marketing, you already know how volatile it has become over the years. But post-pandemic, it has completely changed for all businesses. The trends align on getting the right kind of brand image amongst customers.

Tools To Keep In Touch With Changing Trends

There has been a sea change in trends after the pandemic has hit. Brands are even more customer-centric today than before. There are considerable changes to the keyword profile used by companies regarding SEO. While it can be difficult to keep track of, you can use tools to help you out.

  • Google Trends and Search Console provides a lot of insight into what is trending in your niche today.
  • SEMrush and Moz Pro have several tools to give you the required data.
  • KWFinder narrows down the right keyword and monitors competition.
  • No tool can beat research. Ensure that you spend time understanding the new marketing trends.

Here’s an example of Google Trends showing how ‘beyblade’ has been trending over time:

9. Refresh Long-Form Content

The break-in business is a great time to take another look at your long-form content. You can augment existing blogs and articles with data and information. This can bring it up with current content standards improving their ability to get more readers.

Tools To Help Audit And Improve Blogs

Blogs and articles are a huge part of the knowledge base for companies in any niche. You need to focus on improving content to better align with your current audience. If there are pandemic measures you’re taking, it is a great time to reflect on your articles.

  • Google Analytics has a lot of potentials to audit your blog.
  • Yoast is a plugin for WordPress which works well for SEO.
  • HotJar can help highlight ‘hotspots’ where customers interact with your website.
  • All-inclusive SEO platforms like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help as well.

Here’s an example of Yoast displaying SEO analysis results:

10. Opt For A Digital-first Approach

With this pandemic, the world is moving towards a more digital future. Everything and anything that can be digitized is already being carried out. This means customers are now looking at brands from a purely digital standpoint.

Implementing The New Digital-First Strategy

Digital marketing and SEO have already been accelerating sales for businesses. But with the advent of COVID, it is growing even faster. Brands reach out to their customers through digital platforms like social media to impact. Companies that are not able to adapt to these changes will lose customers.

  • Brick and mortar stores are all adapting to a more digital business outlook.
  • Traditional marketing methods and engagement models are becoming less viable.
  • While people are loyal to brands, they will move to other brands, offering them better options.

The ecommerce giant Amazon is a popular example of a digital-first approach business:

11. Offer Pandemic-Related Amenities

As the situation with the pandemic evolves, new amenities have come to the fore. One way brands are helping customers is to offer pandemic-related services and amenities. While these would not have been done earlier, times have changed now.

Popular Amenities And Facilities Used By Businesses

Businesses all over the world are moving to a more pandemic-friendly business model. In a small way, every brand contributes to the customer to reduce the spread of the virus. These amenities can range from something as simple as a curbside pickup to large discounts on delivery.

  • Food delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash are even delivering medical supplies.
  • Apple and Google have partnered to help trace COVID transmissions.
  • Google has also pledged close to $856 million in economic aid to SMEs.

Here’s an example of McDonald’s offering contactless mobile order & pay - a pandemic-related service:

12. Participate In Awareness Programs

The best way to fight against the pandemic is through bringing better awareness. This is being done globally by businesses and finding strong resonance with people. The more aware your customers are, the better you can fight COVID.

Strategies To Incorporate Awareness In Your Marketing Process

Moving forward in the new normal, making marketing more aware has become increasingly important. It should be targeted with the right demographic and have verifiable facts. You should never do this without having the proper data to back it up. It can backfire badly and cause negative sentiments towards your brand.

  • Align your marketing efforts to COVID-related articles as well.
  • Have educational content on your website that informs visitors.
  • Video is a content platform that can help get people interested.

Here’s an example of McDonald’s providing educational content on how it is curbing the spread of COVID-19 on their website:

How COVID Is Affecting Houston Businesses

1. Serious Economic Problems

The current COVID crisis has caused a major economic slowdown. This is not just apparent in the Houston area, but globally too.
Companies have slowed down due to a lack of funds and people. While this is not a long-term effect, it affects it here and now. While there are solutions to these issues, they are not for the long haul.

Solutions To The Worldwide Economic Issues
  • Companies are trying to work around it using digital platforms and devices.
  • As time goes on, vaccinations are getting better, meaning more people are coming back to work.
  • An economic uptick has been predicted in the coming years.
  • At the moment, the only solution is to wait it out till better times.

Here’s an example of a bakery combating economic issues by making use of a website to offer their goods:

2. Shortage Of Working Personnel

One of the biggest issues with COVID is that it has immobilized the working population. People have been asked to stay indoors and not go anywhere.
While work from home is an option, many companies need people to be at the office to fulfill their roles. It puts companies in a bad situation - a scenario there is no escape or a solution.

How To Deal With Absence Of Working Population
  • A good option is to provide your teams with facilities to work from home.
  • If they need to be present, ensure social distancing norms and preventative measures.
  • Digital platforms can help ease communication and catching up.
  • Working from home can be stressful, it is important to be mindful of an employee’s mental health.

Here’s how McDonald’s is enforcing strict COVID-19 safety guidelines to avoid a shortage of working personnel:

3. Lack Of Supply And Demand

The economy is slow to recover because of a slowdown in supply and demand. People are not ready to buy, and companies cannot produce. This creates a vicious cycle that can be dangerous for the economy in the long run. Companies are trying to offset this with other measures as well.

Working To Alleviate Supply And Demand Issues
  • Supply is a problem that is being tackled right now. With better preventive measures in place, supply issues are expected to lessen.
  • As people get used to the new normal, demand will also recover.
  • Employment rates have also been rising, which is good news for everyone.
  • While they are not sustainable for longer periods, they could work for now.

4. Quarantine Fatigue Challenges

Today, every company has its quarantine protocols when people go to the office. This is an area cordoned off to prevent transmission of the virus. While this is the safest method, it can cause mental fatigue, lowering employee performance.

Combating Quarantine Fatigue In People
  • Businesses are proposing alternate weeks of working from home and office. This can help lower stress in the individual.
  • Companies should opt to make quarantine less taxing for their employees. They can do it through regular interactions.
  • Help employees practice being mindful because it lowers mental fatigue.

Impact of Covid on Businesses

SEO for Businesses During Covid - FAQs

1. Will COVID Affect My Marketing Process?

Yes, COVID affects worldwide economics, so it is likely to affect your business too. There are steps you can take to alleviate it.

2. Does Your Business Need SEO Consulting During COVID?

SEO has been a powerful platform for businesses during COVID. They were able to adapt to different digital marketing methods quickly.

3. Is It Possible to Improve My SEO During COVID?

Yes, SEO always has the scope to improve, even in a pandemic. Even though growth might be slow because of economic issues, it is possible. It is all about choosing the right SEO agency to partner with.

4. Is SEO Important Even During The Pandemic?

The pandemic has thrown new challenges for businesses. Traditional marketing has come up short with answers to these questions. But SEO has delivered better marketing performance at much lower costs.

5. What Is The Key To Create A Winning Strategy Past COVID-19?

As a business, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Creating a marketing strategy aligned with your goals can help you get the best out of it. Adequate research is important to come up with a powerful SEO strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • Use your business as a platform to raise awareness and help people.
  • Audit your content and your NAP details across all business listings.
  • COVID has shown the limits of traditional marketing and how SEO can help businesses.
  • Build relationships with customers - they are critical to your success.
  • Customer expectations have changed, and companies need to adapt to them.
  • Ensure that your employees are in a good headspace.
  • Provide amenities that can help your customers deal with the pandemic better.
  • Educate people on quarantine fatigue and its dangers.
  • Reach out to customers and people during this trying time.

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Ruben Heller

Ruben Heller is the Content Marketing Manager in Haitna, Dallas. His writing experience is diverse, and it covers influencer marketing, search engine optimization, and more. He has a Master of Science in Marketing from the University of Dallas.


Ruben Heller

Ruben Heller is the Content Marketing Manager in Haitna, Dallas. His writing experience is diverse, and it covers influencer marketing, search engine optimization, and more. He has a Master of Science in Marketing from the University of Dallas.