It’s been a few weeks since we first heard news of the COVID-19 outbreak, and it’s still hard to fathom how radically our lives have changed as Stay At Home orders become mandatory. Restaurants, hotels, fitness centers, and other “non-essential” businesses have been forced to shut down to prevent large gatherings of people in small spaces.
People are stuck indoors. If they’re lucky enough to still have a job, they’re working from home. Our behavior may be shifting from making unnecessary shopping trips to moving all of our consumerism online. These are trends we were seeing even before COVID19. CNBC reports that in February, online sales had become the fourth-largest sector of the overall economy, bringing in roughly $59.8 billion in adjusted sales, while a survey by CouponFollow noted that millennials make nearly 40% of all their purchases on mobile devices.
Even if social distancing keeps customers away from a brick and mortar store, online sales may start spiking dramatically as people remain under Stay At Home orders. Businesses are now putting more of a spotlight on their online presence, and there’s no indication that search traffic has declined since the start of the outbreak.
From our own research at Market My Market, we’ve found there’s been no dropoff in online searches for legal keywords, according to data provided by Search Console. In the past few weeks, search queries for law firms — including long-tail keywords like “hollywood personal injury lawyer,” “consumer lawyer,” “estate planning,” and “traffic lawyer” — have remained steady or risen in some instances. People are still online, perhaps more so now than a month ago, looking for answers. That gives businesses, from legal services to many others, an opportunity to focus now on revisiting their online marketing efforts.
How Should Businesses Respond to Consumers’ Behavior Changes?
So what should you be doing? Traditional rules still apply — ensuring you have the right online presence still means you need an attractive website that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. Your landing pages should still be optimized for Google, and you should keep producing informative content that helps your potential clients find solutions to their problems.
While many businesses are temporarily shut down by COVID-19, there’s no question more people are turning to Google to maintain a sense of normalcy. If you haven’t done so, it’s imperative to create a Google My Business page. If you already have one, update your hours and other critical information if they’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Now is also the time to promote your business through proven SEO and PPC practices.
Even Google has urged businesses not to disable their websites during a shutdown, since that can have a negative long-term impact on your visibility on search engines, including losing all your reporting data on Search Console. It’s just as important now for visitors to be able to find your website and learn about your products and services, even if you’re temporarily closed.
What Are People Searching For Today?
Not surprisingly, COVID-19 is dominating searches right now, Google reports. Look at this chart from Search Console on the keywords “Florida curfew” in the past two weeks:
According to Google’s trends, the pandemic is top of mind for searches first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. This is a reversal of traditional search trends that have tended to peak mid-day. People are online, and likely will be in large numbers over the next two months as coronavirus changes their daily lives. For your business, this is the time to be checking your PPC accounts and looking for ways to adjust your strategies accordingly; new trends are likely to emerge in April and May.
This is also a time to be reviewing your messaging and how you communicate with your audience, ensuring your content is suitable during this health crisis, and planning for how you’re going to bounce back post-pandemic once the Stay At Home orders are lifted. That’s when demand is likely to return to normal levels or possibly exceed them.
The numbers speak for themselves on legal keyword searches. Check out the patterns on these legal keyword search trends in Search Console:
abogados de accidentes Miami:
Hollywood personal injury lawyer:
Personal Injury Arizona keywords:
Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer:
St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer:
Estate Planning Keywords in DC:
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney:
In the midst of this temporary social distancing challenge, people are online, searching for answers to a lot of questions that go beyond COVID-19. For your business, understanding what they’re searching for and how you can respond, and having a plan for coming back once the curfews are lifted, is essential.
Refining Your Online Marketing Plan During COVID-19
It’s always difficult to run a successful business, and that task got far more challenging and complex as we adjust to COVID-19. If you’re struggling to make that adjustment, team up with dedicated professionals who believe in you and want to help you succeed. Our legal marketing agency has helped many law firms attract and retain quality leads by maintaining all aspects of their websites, managing their online reputation, helping them generate stellar reviews, and more. See how we can provide a long-term strategy for you during a free consultation.