With the current situation in the world – the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns on countries and businesses closing, we cannot help but think where does Search Engine Marketing stand on these trying times. Are we headed for a downfall? Or is this pandemic we can take advantage of?
Shop From Home Trend
Shopping from home is the trend nowadays. People are reluctant to leave their homes to shop and so they resort to buying things online. This is something businesses can take advantage of. Businesses with online stores are thriving in this situation and they might not see the same impact as physical stores unless the situation becomes too severe.
However, the strict locked down across the nations poses a challenge in online shopping since the supply chain has been already disturbed. On-time product delivery is one of the biggest concerns for the e-commerce industry during this pandemic.
Conference and Events Cancellations
Due to COVID-19, all the major marketing events including Rakuten Advertising’s DealMaker London event that had been scheduled for April 1, 2020, has been canceled. Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit and Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona, and more have been called off.
Google’s CloudNext conference in San Francisco scheduled for April 6, 2020, has also been canceled. Google decided to stream it instead.
Coronavirus shortages are affecting everything lately and customers are having to go extra lengths to get basics, like milk.
Oakland, CA is a port of entry for Chinese goods. News reports state that almost 20% of ships scheduled to unload in Oakland have canceled.
“We predict that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe.
The most vulnerable companies are those which rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants has fallen in the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.” – Harvard Business Review
The situation is similar in Los Angeles, CA ports where there are over 25% cancellations according to the Wall Street Journal.
At some point, this may affect merchants who sell Chinese products (and their affiliates) as well as affiliates and drop shippers who depend on sales of Chinese made goods on Amazon.
Coronavirus Impact on SEO & SEO Consulting
Companies turn to SEO to rank number one in search engines because this means more sales.
But what is the use of being number one if you have no sales?
This hugely affects search engine marketing because clients dropped off because they could no longer afford to pay for SEO consulting.
Although some industries managed to keep earning, some may have to discount fees to hang onto long term clients whose earnings fell due to the recession.
“Amid the chaos, one in twenty marketers claim to be profiting from the disruption by taking advantage of new avenues of investment opened up by alternate marketing channels. This is reflected in the fact that while 41% of marketers have adjusted plans as a result of disruption and delays, 59% are carrying on regardless.
Inevitably the virus is being felt most keenly on physical events and print, with 75% and 45% reducing spend respectively, with 44% also reducing content spend. On the flip side video (31%), paid ads (31%) and broadcast (28%) are all expected to ride the crest of a new digital boom.” – Coronavirus & Marketing Statistics 2020, WYZOWL
When this Pandemic will end is still unknown. We occupy an uncertain moment in time and it is best to think of ways to prepare.