Productive SEO Efforts for Slow Times

Whether your business is slow because it’s not your primary season or due to the latest pandemic or economic downturn, there’s always something productive you can do to help your SEO efforts.

Since, during slow times, we have more time than money I’m going to suggest some things you can do that take time (but not money):

  1. Update your keyword research. Over time, customers change their habits. They might change the way they search for your services. They might start searching for things you previously didn’t think they were searching for. Take some time and make sure you’re talking about things your customers are searching for!
  2. Blog some more. I’d suggest that a productive SEO campaign has an insatiable appetite for new blog content. Take some time and write for your blog. Better yet- take a little more time and write something definitive, that takes a little extra research.
  3. Take some new pictures. While there’s not a direct relationship between adding pictures to your site and your SEO results, good pictures can help your SEO campaign in several ways- so take some new ones. Here’s some ways they can help:
    1. Google is displaying pictures from a page within mobile search results. If you don’t have a picture on your page, your listing in the mobile SERPS might get lost.
    2. People lose trust on your site if you’re using the same stock photo everyone else uses. Take some unique and fresh photos. I bet your cell phone can take some really nice ones.
    3. According to The State of Search at Google I/O in 2019, more and more people are using Google Image search to find businesses and services.
I’ve seen Robbin Higgins all over the internet. Clearly she doesn’t work for me. Maybe my own picture would be more credible.
  1. Actually engage on social media. Again, this won’t directly affect your SEO efforts but engaging in social media can create several SEO opportunities for you. You normally don’t have time for this. Take advantage of your free time and you’ll see several benefits for your SEO campaign:
    1. While social media links don’t count, when it comes to SEO, social media is a great way to get your links in front of the right people- who can then organically link to your website. They’re more likely to see your content if you engage with them (that’s just the way many social media algorithms work).
    2. Social media can be a great way to get content ideas for your blog. One time I even wrote an entire article based on social media feedback.
  2. Ask for reviews. This is one of those things that we all agree is important, but we never seem to find the time to do. Take the time to ask for reviews now, now that you have the time. Pro-Tip: give reviews to partners and colleagues. Sometimes this is a passive-aggressive way to get reviews yourself. UPDATE: Google has turned-off the ability to leave a review during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  3. Get certified. People (and Google) review your site for trust-factors. These are reasons why someone would consider you an expert in your field. Take some time and find a new class or certification you can take. Highlight this on your website, to add to your credibility. Write a blog about what you learned while taking this class- and how it will help your customers. Network and make new connections at the class. There’s a lot of benefits for you!
  4. Learn something new about marketing your business online. SEO is great, but it’s only as good as the demand for your business. During show times, demand is down. Maybe you need to try a different online marketing effort that creates demand. Maybe you need to improve your email marketing skills. I love SEO- but it can’t solve all your business problems. Sometimes you have to try something new (being sure you measure it’s value, of course!). One way to do this right now: study with me for your Google Analytics IQ certification.

The most important SEO tip for slow times: don’t quit.

I’m not trying to be motivational here. I’m being realistic. SEO is a cumulative investment over time for your business. Each thing you do makes your website a little better able to connect with your customers. If you stop now, you’ll be behind when the demand returns.

For most sites, Google doesn’t immediately give you credit for your hard work. It can take Google a couple days to notice your new blog post. It can take a couple weeks for Google to find that new link you’ve built. It can take a couple months for Google to give you the benefits of all your SEO efforts and start sending visitors (or, better, customers) to your site. SEO isn’t immediate. It takes time to grow.

If you stop now, you’ll be starting over later.

Instead, spend some of your extra time with some SEO efforts. Your future-self will thank you for it.

Have a question about this process? Ask it here:

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SEO seems hard- you have to keep up with all the changes and weed through contradictory advice. This is frustrating and overwhelming. Curious Ants will teach you SEO while bringing your website more traffic and customers- because you’ll learn SEO while doing it.