The COVID-19 virus epidemic caused millions of people worldwide to stay indoors at all times possible. This caused internet traffic to skyrocket, and a lot of interesting data on consumer internet usage and online trends were observed.
Even though much of the world has been slowly returning to “normal” and relaxing lockdown measures, internet usage globally is still marginally higher than it was pre-COVID-19. This means it’s a better time than ever to evaluate your website for optimization.
We’ve put together some helpful tips based on SEO practices, market trends, and online statistics related to a post COVID-19 internet.
Have your site professionally evaluated for E.A.T standards
Google developed Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines for their human reviewers to follow when pages are manually reviewed. This is important because many SEO advice blogs recommend SEO tips to look good for robots, but rarely mention that Google will use humans to review your website as well.
If you want to make sure you’re hiring a reputable web design company, you should check they have a plan to optimise your content for human traffic, not simply for Google’s crawler algorithms.
E.A.T stands for ‘Expertise, Authority, and Trust’, and is used to decide whether the main content of your website is high quality or not. The points Google takes into consideration are:
- The expertise of the creator of the MC.
- The authoritativeness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website.
- The trustworthiness of the creator of the MC, the MC itself, and the website.
As an example, Google’s human reviewers will determine whether or not your website is of high quality, which is based on many different factors such as content quality, SEO optimization, mobile device compatibility, and many other little determining factors.
The most important of course is content quality, so if the content of your blog is considered high-quality, Google will then determine the authoritativeness of the content creator.
For example, even if a blog has great useful information on diet programs, Google will determine if the blog author has authoritative credentials to be writing on the subject of diet and weight loss. So in that example, they’d give more weight to a blog written by a trained medical professional.
For non-professional subjects, Google prefers things like a content creator who has contributed blog articles to high-quality websites, appeared on popular podcasts, etc. To put it simply, Google very much considers the overall work portfolio of content creators.
For the ‘Trust’ factor, Google also considers things like how many other trustworthy websites are linking to your blog content. Going back to the diet programs example, it’d be worth a lot more if just 2 or 3 high-profile diet websites mentioned your content, and it’d probably hurt you if 100 tiny low-quality blogs were linking to you.
Overall with the E.A.T Principle, we can see that Google’s main priority is content quality and authority on the subject. To start implementing Google’s E.A.T Principle on your website, you must:
- Create unique, valuable content.
- Prove you’re an expert in the subject.
- Have backlinks from high-quality websites.
- Be trustworthy and show positive customer reviews, site security, etc.
Try to predict future keywords
It’s always a good strategy to use high-popularity keywords, but also try to consider how markets and keywords change. This is a strange example but when a lot of people were panic-buying toilet paper during the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, I jokingly told my friends that they should invest in bidet companies.
Sure enough, a week later, search-terms related to bidet products and installation skyrocketed, and sales by bidet companies increased 300%. I’m not saying I’m a psychic, that’s for other people to say, but I wonder what money could’ve been made if I took my own joke seriously.
This example obviously would’ve applied best if I already had a bidet product website, but many online industries “benefited” from COVID-19. Video chat skyrocketed, so obviously more people were buying webcams, microphones, and headsets.
Online food delivery platforms, educational tutoring, hygiene products and designer face masks. All examples of companies or savvy individuals who were able to position themselves ahead of the market and predict consumer trends.
Focus on your mobile content
Some interesting statistics indicate that even with millions more people working from home in March 2020, mobile phone usage was up 18% and PC/Mac usage was down. It would seem that even stuck at home with access to a personal computer, people preferred using their mobile devices.
If this tells us anything, it hammers home the point that many top SEO experts have been talking about for a long time – mobile design should be a priority focus while building or optimizing your websites.
Google started using a mobile-first indexing strategy in 2019, which means that when Google’s robots crawl your website, they prefer to access the mobile version. So having a website that looks good on desktops but horrible on mobile devices is basically shooting yourself in the foot.