The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has not only disrupted life in general, but also businesses and consumer behavior patterns, creating a new normal in the retail and consumer business landscape.
One of the major aspects of the new normal is the shift of consumers to digital channels. In the digital world, the ability to use leading search engines like Google has dramatically disrupted the way we shop, as information on products is now available at our fingertips – as are product comparisons. So, where does this leave brands that are vying for the consumers’ short span of attention? This is where ‘search engines’ prove to be a powerful tool to reach audiences. The question is - how would brands ensure that the targeted audience reaches their website? The question that haunts all companies is how can they break through the clutter and connect with their customers. ‘Search Engine Optimization' (SEO) is the answer to three strategic objectives:
- Reduce impact on revenue by driving traffic and creating conversions:
There are consumers out there in the market, who not only have the desire to buy but also have disposable resources to spend. This small pool of consumers has a great potential in becoming an economic cushion for the impacted organizations. It is important to efficiently segment, target and position this select pool of potential consumers. The most efficient way organizations can capitalize on this potential demand is by thoroughly utilizing the online channels. Organizations can leverage SEO to create excellent long-term traffic equity. Research indicates that 49% of users have used Google to discover or find a new item or product.
- Respond and create brand awareness and build brand equity:
‘Out of sight is out of mind’ is especially true in the consumer world. Organizations invest in branding and SEO in order to maintain the ‘top of mind’ awareness and to remain into the ‘consideration set’. Showing the human-centric side always goes a long way in building deeper brand connects, as consumers are looking for brands that resonate with their thoughts and values. For example: if your business is helping the community in some way during the pandemic, find a way of including it in your content.
60% people discovered their favorite brands through digital interactions.
- Reimagine the business plans by developing insights:
Search is right now the best representative for your voice of customer and can be used to enhance user experience. SEO analytics will help predict the demand curve. This can translate into strategic information enabling a business plan. The organic traffic that you get is a sign of interest. Trends analysis can make organizations reimagine and reinvent the possibilities like new product development, new marketing strategies, new business models etc.
Brands need to find strategic partners that understand the digital retail and consumer behaviors and can leverage the best-in-class platforms, tools and methodologies to ensure increased organic search engine visibility and rankings. Consumer mobility, media consumption habits, supply chains, and budgets have gone through a sea change in the retail and consumer landscape. Brands that can pivot and transform in this environment will emerge as leaders with strong brand equity, a good understanding of their consumers and a strong cash flow.