SEO Remains Strong In An Ever-Changing Landscape During Coronavirus

Joshua Online Search (SEO)

Studies Are Showing Mixed Results When It Comes to Whether Marketing Efforts Are Decreasing or Increasing During the Pandemic


  • New search data showing impression growth or decline during coronavirus
  • How marketers are prioritizing SEO during coronavirus
  • How search is affected during coronavirus
  • Why maintaining SEO will help businesses navigate the disruption and impact of the coronavirus pandemic
  • How to choose between SEO or PPC during the pandemic
  • Where should SEO land in marketing budgets during coronavirus
About the Author



Writer, SEO, Coffee Swashbuckler

UPDATED: April 16, 2020, 5:31 p.m. CST

Today, a new study published by Advanced Web Ranking shows the effects of coronavirus on impression share. Click here to view the study. The study reinforces the importance of watching closely how market segments are being affected when it comes to search. Times are tough if you’re in the travel or tourism industry. But, for the most part, search is increasing in many industries.

Search Engine Land has published a variety of articles over the past week or so with conflicting reports. One report said most marketers feel Google ads are more important than SEO during the Coronavirus. 

This response comes despite the fact that SEO drives more traffic than paid search and is generally acknowledged as an “organic foundation that can, and should, be supplemented and enhanced with pay-per-click”.

But, a new study published a week later said SEO would continue to be the top channel for most marketers despite COVID-19 impacts. 

How Are Search and Rankings Changing During Coronavirus?  

The search world is seeing an extraordinary volatility in rankings as coronavirus has impacted nearly every way we understand and interact with search engines. Whether the volatility is the result of Google making changes, or users shifting their behavior, or a combination of both, is unclear. What is clear is that rankings are changing. Companies who are tracking what’s taking place will position themselves for better understanding of the effects these changes are having on their online business than those who do not. 

Is SEO Better Than PPC During Coronavirus? 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has made a gigantic impact on the marketing community. As budgets are tightening, this includes raising questions such as whether SEO or PPC are better if one had to choose. It’s a great opportunity for marketers to educate themselves on why it’s more important than ever to have a strong strategy in place for both SEO and PPC.

On the one hand, many folks are looking for a silver bullet to get them through the pandemic. We’re hearing some say things like, “we’re just running ads for now until we can get back to normal.” This approach is flawed and will very likely cause marketers to burn through crucial marketing dollars with no value. 

That strategy is doomed to fail because it fails to sit on a solid foundation for digital marketing success. 

SEO and PPC aren’t created equally. Whether you like it or not, businesses either have a strong organic presence or they don’t. Therefore, SEO is a big issue for them. 

PPC, on the other hand, is a channel built to fuel growth. PPC doesn’t work well as a starting place in the hierarchy of digital marketing practices. And, that’s not just our opinion. Google would say the same thing. 

“That’s why Google gives you less expensive, higher ranking ads for more quality landing pages,” said Joshua Godsey, a Google certified marketer and Expio Digital Marketing’s lead search engine marketer. 

“Even though they want your ad dollars, they’ll tell you themselves that you should have a quality landing page before you run ads to that page.” 

This is where SEO comes in. Before beginning paid ads, a strategy should be in place for ads within the campaign to send users to high-quality landing pages. HIgh quality means that the page should fulfill the users’ intent in the context of their search. This objective comes to the heart of what SEO is about: fulfilling user intent in the context of their keyword search. 

Where Should Digital Marketers Allocate Their Marketing Spend During Coronavirus? 

There’s no perfect answer. However, SEO should be one of the last to go. 

SEE ALSO: 5 Completely Sane Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stop SEO Efforts During COVID-19 

Studies are showing that Coronavirus is changing the way Americans are using the internet. For example, online readership is up, while mobile use is down. Gaming is exploding, and so is Facebook use.

Businesses need to decide new strategies to support their original goals, and find new opportunities in the changing landscape. As an agency, Expio has found that there are more opportunities than ever before with their clients. 

“Most of our clients are busier than ever doing what they can to get important information to users during this time,” Godsey said. 

“We know one thing: people are online, and that means we can serve and help them by providing something valuable.” 

How marketing departments use their ad spend, and how their budget changes will vary. However, strategies remain important. Here are a few questions businesses and marketing professionals should be asking themselves during this time:

  • What does my target audience need from my business? 
  • How have those needs changed during Coronavirus? 
  • How can I measure fulfilling those needs as conversions for my digital marketing? 

Expio Digital Marketing is helping businesses like yours navigate the evolving coronavirus landscape. To get information about services, contact Expio here. 

How has your marketing shifted during Coronavirus? Let us know in the comments.