The digital marketing business, especially SEO has proven to be promising in terms of growth in recent years or so.
The coronavirus is here!
Almost across every country, people have been asked to stay at home and manage affairs from their residence.
As retail markets remain close across the globe for an indefinite period unless advised against by national governments, expecting a continued slowdown in business the activity would not be an exaggeration.
How the Lockdown is Affecting Business Marketers?
Though the virus contains a low mortality rate, it is highly contagious and globally more than 13000 people are getting affected daily. This dangerous pandemic has heightened uncertainty on business activity and is likely to continue the same trend, at least for the most part of this year.
Therefore, expecting a sharp decline in demand for consumer goods and lucrative segments such as food, fashion, travel, and technology is no overestimation.
In fact, markets are already experiencing the worst.
Brands have withdrawn from their marketing budgets. With restricted to no social activity, consumer’s demands have plunged shocking.
Brands using SEO to draw organic traffic are suffering at the hands of lockdown courtesy of COVID-19.
For major sectors, it’s, unfortunately, the time to put a cap on digital marketing budgets. There has been a drop in more than 15% of traffic already in advertising.
As per marketing, the travel sector stands as the most affected with a decline in traffic by more than 40%. In addition, segments such as education, construction, technology, retail and IT have also experienced a drop in traffic.
How SEO is Affected By Coronavirus?
A significant drop in traffic indicates a continuing trend towards declining consumer demand. Regarding conversions, the SEO has performed well in the food segment with more than 50% growth in conversion.
This sudden climb is evident from the soaring demand of customers globally ordering food from home.
Besides food, except healthcare and media, no industry has shown growth in conversions.
Declining trends in organic traffic and conversion across large segments are alarming for SEO marketers.
SEO marketers also need to be mindful of the lasting impacts the virus will have on E-businesses and the social behavior across the global society.
Consumption may take several months or a year or more to reach its patterns before the breakout of the virus. The situation is highly alarming for marketers, businesses as their prospects will be significantly affected.
In addition, experts predict that Google and Facebook will experience a sharp decline in ad revenues amid the corona pandemic.
Diminishing demand across travel, retail and entertainment, and information industry will adversely impact Google’s ad revenues.
According to analyst Rob Sanderson from Loop Capital Markets, Google will witness a 15% drop in advert revenues from travel in the first quarter this year, whereas close to 20% in the second quarter.
According to BlueHawkSeo, digital marketers will be seriously affected by diminishing purchase power courtesy of an increase in layoffs across major sectors.
The retail giant M&S is the first among many to report that it will ‘reduce marketing spending’ across all segments.
Marketing budgets need to be revised as clouds of uncertainty will overshadow consumer demand for the most part of the year.
It might also clear ‘non-essential’ jobs and close down some stores temporarily.
Hence, the cut down in marketing budgets has already started. This is bad news for SEO specialists and marketing users.
However, competing brand Next, has a contrasting approach, as the brand is maintaining its marketing budget citing that traffic shifts from brick and mortar to online stores will create opportunities to hit higher sales.
Though e-shopping trends will show growth, there is still uncertainty regarding consumer’s buying power.
The Problem with Supply Chain
The dangerous situation created by the pandemic has also affected supply chains.
According to experts at the London-based E-commerce agency, disruptions in the supply chain caused by the virus are likely to result in an inventory of consumer goods to finish in a few months.
Hence, companies will certainly control digital marketing budgets.
In addition, a luxury travel company has cut its marketing budgets by a whopping 50% across all digital platforms courtesy of ‘low to no demand’.
What to do now?
For SEO marketers, sustaining their earning potential remains like a real challenge. However, specifically focusing on segments that are growing should be taken as the key, if digital agencies want to survive and work their way out through these hard times.
Since the online food segment is on the rise, marketers can see it as an opportunity.
Getting clients from this industry and helping them draw organic traffic shows a potential opportunity for SEO marketers.
Lastly, focusing on promoting content that guides against the right behavior to tackle affected mental health from social distancing and bringing organic traffic towards social influencer through SEO tactics should be on the mind of SEO agencies.
Initiatives like such will help to increase the reach of content guiding on public health and safety and minimize the disruptive impact of coronavirus on SEO agencies.