2020 and the COVID pandemic showed a major challenge for small businesses all around the world. Every industry seemed to be impacted in drastically different ways. Being in an industry that helps businesses across different industries, I saw many different paths, from huge and instant demand for home and garden centers to literally not being allowed to operate your business for dentists and restaurants for a time. Everyone was trying to pivot and figure out how to maximize their business while keeping themselves and their patients, customers, or clients safe. One thing that was definitely clear was that far more people were staying home and the use of the internet to search out solutions to our problems became more important than ever. Those that started or continue to do SEO during 2021 saw benefits and will continue to see them as the world evolves to the post-COVID normal.
Examples of Tremendous SEO Success in 2020
A great example of a client that really was able to take off in 2020 with SEO, despite a period of closed down offices, was a chiropractor and physical therapy group in northern New Jersey that also offers natural health options like massage, acupuncture, and laser therapy. Much of this is hands-on work and of course, scared people away a bit for periods of the pandemic. In fact, you can see search-demand dropped off a cliff in the early days, then slowly gained back up before another drop in recent weeks, from the Google Trends graph of the two main terms below. However, despite this drop, our hard work in recent years put them in a great position to use specific custom targeting tactics to help build both traffic and more importantly, conversions over 80% year over year (December 2019 through November 2020). They had growth in both form fills for appointments and in calls to the office from their organic traffic via their website. All tremendous benefits during a very difficult year for their industry. They were in the right place so we can make the right moves at the right time.
Building Off A Strong SEO Foundation
We have been working with this client on and off for several years. In fact, we even had a period where they went a different direction, but then came back when they saw the grass is not greener. Our custom plans target individual markets to bring the best return for the given situation. It is important to build site strength via links, content, and user experience, but also be able to pivot to a different strategy when Google, or in 2020, the world changes signfiicantly. The key thing to remember is that the basics of SEO haven’t changed in the 15 years I have been in this industry. Google just gets better at measuring things and tools make it easier to implement solutions. In the end though, good content aimed at users with authority and trust (from links) in a user friend way gets the job done. It is constant and strategic work but it put them in a position to pivot and excel in 2020.
If you don’t have a good base already, 2021 is time to get started and get your business in the best position to take advantage. If you have built the foundation, you have the strength to take advantage of new demand for search phrases like “curbside”, “contact free”, “virtual” that combine with your business, and get into the market while it is hot, to actually make gains while others are struggling. Though we are hopefully coming to the end of the COVID scare, we don’t know what is around the corner, and it is good to be in a position to react and take advantage when it happens, rather than be chasing to catch up when the phones aren’t ringing. You can show gains when everyone else is seeing losses too.