Driving traffic to your website under normal circumstances can be a challenge, but we’re no longer operating under normal circumstances. Here at Charley Grey, we’ve been analyzing data, changing our SEO strategy, and staying informed about how the new normal is affecting website traffic for all of our clients.

Global shutdowns and halting economies have left many wondering what the coronavirus means for their SEO. With more people at home and using the internet for work and pleasure, it might be tempting to assume that your website should be getting more traffic. But like always, the results depend on your industry. To give you a better idea of the effects the coronavirus has had on website traffic, we’re taking a look at how SEO is managed across different industries.

Ecommerce Sites Selling Essentials

Since the start of the pandemic and global shutdowns, people have been looking for ways to get their hands on essentials such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, cleaning supplies, and even thermometers. As a result, websites that supply these essentials have seen a spike in digital traffic and impressions. They’ve also witnessed shortages, which have led people to search for supplies with inquiries that include “near me.” If you supply these essentials, do a website sweep and add this phrase to your SEO.

Additionally, non-essential websites and retailers have seen a sharp decline in their online traffic, leading some to believe that their SEO isn’t working or that they need a new strategy. But one thing to remember is, during a pandemic, non-essentials can quickly become essentials. Gyms and home fitness retailers witnessed this with more people at home and commercial gyms closing due to the virus. More people have turned to at-home gym equipment, looking for alternatives to their normal workout routine at the gym. According to the Search Engine Journal, household items like office chairs and desks have also seen a spike as more people set out to have a home office space.

Health and Wellness

When the outbreak first began, Google quickly changed their algorithm to automatically include COVID-19 related topics and information at the top of their search engines. They further redirected Googlers to the CDC and WHO websites for medical and health inquires. The famous EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) Google measurement is also now even stricter, especially with websites claiming to provide health information. Because of this, specific health and wellness site have seen an increase in traffic, mainly from people researching the symptoms of the virus.

Restaurants

Perhaps one of the hardest-hit industries when it comes to Google searches and SEO is the restaurant industry. In many locations, establishments have been forced to close their doors completely to help stop the spread of the virus. They’ve seen a significant decline in SEO data, leading many owners to wonder how they can bounce back.

Thankfully, restrictions in many parts of the country are being lifted, and restaurant owners are now offering limited curbside ordering or takeout. Many inquiries on search engines have included these terms as keywords, and restaurants are adjusting accordingly but could still see a decline in web traffic.

However, third-party delivery services such as UberEats and Grubhub are witnessing a surge in online traffic as more and more people turn to these platforms to order food. These companies have been waiving fees to restaurants to help cushion the blow of COVID-19, which has eased the effects the coronavirus has on website traffic.

How to Respond

Staying relevant on the web is proving essential, and SEOs across all industries are looking for ways to increase website traffic to be at the forefront of their target audience’s minds. If you’ve closed your doors but still want to rank in SEO local searches, set your Google My Business hours to holiday hours instead of completely removing your hours. Holiday hours allow you to adjust times and let your audience know you’re closed without losing local SEO ranking. We also suggest that you add a Question & Answer section to your Google My Business account to provide up-to-date information on your location status when clients search for you.

Work with SEO Experts

Everyone across the board is experiencing some level of website traffic volatility. Brands around the world are reducing their campaign spends and shifting to understanding their SEO rankings and data. If you’re looking for help with website management, SEO, and navigating the effects the coronavirus has had on your website traffic, then Charley Grey is here for you! Contact us today to find out more.