Coronavirus and SEO: The Best Ways to Adapt Your Website During a Global Crisis


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Person wearing a medical mask holding a stethescope to a globe, black and white photo

If you suspect that Coronavirus may be affecting your organic SEO, you’re right. It’s astounding how fast we have to adapt to drastic “new normal” behaviors in the face of this pandemic. And these new behaviors can drastically impact your SEO, resulting in sweeping changes in search rank.

From extreme social distancing to concern about our health and our loved ones, we’re online even more than before. For many, the web is now our only option for news updates, health statistics, recreation, connection, and shopping. 

As a result, we can see massive shifts in website rank based on a host of new criteria. 

Let’s break down the latest observable SEO trends during an unprecedented, worldwide health scare. Then we’ll show you how you can improve your web content to keep your search rank high.

Our friends at Romain Berg know SEO inside and out, even during the worst global calamities. When you’re unsure how to market your business in uncertain times, they provide digital marketing and SEO strategy, tools.  And, their support is based on real-time data you can trust.

Contact them today to schedule a consultation.

Search preferences change in a crisis

caucasian businesspeople with medical mask for coronavirus covid-19 protection working in officeIn a disaster, our thirst for news rises like we had been starving in the desert for weeks. We can’t “drink” enough information about the current situation to feel safe and secure.

So, we search daily for news stories, recommendations, treatments, prevention, products, and services related to our survival. We do this even if our personal threat level may still be relatively low. 

As a result, Google notices our changing intent as searchers and offers up results geared more toward those trends. So, news sites that provide the most current and reliable data may see improved search rank over outlets we’ve always assumed will take the top-ranking spots.

Further, with common in-person service interruptions now the norm (like gyms and yoga studios), online fitness and other wellness service apps have seen an unprecedented increase in traffic and SEO in recent weeks.

For example, MindBodyGreen, DailyBurn, and WellnessMama have all seen spikes in their SEO since the onset of US Coronavirus outbreaks. With “social distancing” mandates by many states, people need activities more than ever, and online is the only option.

EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) 

laptop screen with a man's hand reaching out from the screen in a thumbs up signWhen a user queries Google, the search engine giant combs millions of websites for information matching the search query. Google ranks websites according to their level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT), as well as their keyword matches to the query. 

This unofficial EAT score applies even more to sites that pertain to Your Money or Your Life (YMYL). So, sites that offer up health and wellness, financial information and services, and more such resources must nail their EAT criteria to rank higher in search results.

Further, in 2018, Google’s panel of 10,000 website quality evaluators added a recommendation to their EAT criteria: authorship. 

Before 2018, it was enough to have content that boasted high levels of EAT. Now, in order to optimize your website EAT, the authors of the site or content must also have industry clout, experience, and credibility for the highest search rank.

How can I improve my website EAT?

woman typing with one hand on laptop, other hand holding a lightbulb concept lit up with a sparkle outline of a brainSo, as long as your website content is factual, accurate, and relevant, you should rise straight to the top of the search results, right? Not so fast, there’s more to EAT than meets the eye.

What to do today for better EAT

  • Expertise: Be sure your website and content not only showcase your knowledge of your industry and operations but also address real questions and challenges from your audience. We don’t care how much you know about a thing until we NEED the information you’ve studied and implemented. Let’s face it, no one outside the infectious disease community was searching up “pandemics and how to deal with them” until Coronavirus arrived. Always try to present your expertise inside a challenge your audience faces right now. You can do this by:
    • Doing keyword research on your industry and sector, either on your own or with help from a reliable SEO agency or provider.
    • Discerning the deeper intent behind user query and speaking to that intent in your content.
    • Limit your industry “jargon” to make your content appealing to a broader audience or a “novice” audience. We see this on many news outlets and wellness sites, especially right now, as users need and want clear and simple language to feel safer, more informed, and in control.
  • Authority: Think of authority as clout. You can be an expert by studying any topic. You become an authority when other people seek you out for your expertise. Here’s how to build your authority online:
    • Build your links: The more websites link to your pages and articles as a resource, the more your authority grows. You can build your links by writing guest articles for other sites, asking leaders in your community (online and offline) to share your work on their sites, and getting mentions from other website owners and content authors. 
    • Brand-building: Continuing to work on your name recognition through online and offline channels also builds your authority over time. The more you can position your brand as a trusted mainstay during Coronavirus or any other crisis, the more authority you build.
  • Trustworthiness: Nothing tanks an expert, authoritative business like a bad review or several un-addressed customer complaints. In the age of online, all-the-time visibility, someone’s going to have a less-than-perfect experience with your company. That’s okay. The key to building and keeping trust online is to create a foundation of reliability and address any negativity that comes your way head-on with full transparency. Do this by:
    • Ensuring a secure website (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
    • Clarifying your return and exchange policies
    • Providing detailed product information including specs, materials, environmental friendliness, and whatever else is a priority for your customers
    • Updating your website’s privacy policy (typically in the page footer)
    • Providing your physical address and phone number on your website whenever possible
    • Having an immediate online channel for customer help, questions, and concerns
    • Providing timely customer service
    • Owning your mistakes (publicly when necessary), apologizing, and fixing them to the best of your ability
    • Proactively and prudently disclosing operational or customer service challenges and how you’re addressing them before they become public relations nightmares
    • Updated author biographies
    • Links to other reputable websites to back up your content

Get help from an SEO expert during Coronavirus

Woman using tablet computer getting help planning isolated on gray wall backgroundEspecially in times of global health anxiety, your priority should be your health, your loved ones, and your business sustainability. Reserving your creativity for new products, innovative services, and helpful content during a crisis like Coronovirus should be at the top of your to-do list. 

We recommend you reach out to our pals at Romain Berg to enhance your EAT and keep your search rank high. They are our go-to digital marketing agency in any kind of global climate. 

Romain Berg’s authority and expertise around the latest in SEO are second-to-none, and they deliver traffic and conversion results based on real-time data with no hype. Trust is a big deal at Romain Berg.

Fill out their contact form and secure the best business sustainability partner today with comprehensive SEO that gets you seen and paid no matter what.




About the Author

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

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