SEO in a time of Crisis - Staying ahead of the curve with link building

Covid-19 has overturned everyone’s lives. Each industry is affected differently, but most marketing plans are being interrupted.  Businesses are responding by refocusing efforts and adjusting to new consumer behaviours. In a previous Tug post, we discussed the importance of keeping customers updated and your SEO up to date, this also stretches to link building efforts. Improving a sites’ link profile and strengthening its authority is built over time Continuing link building during these unprecedented times will help maintain your visibility online and therefore prepare for a more efficient recovery. 

Continue developing content outreach

Take this opportunity to focus on expanding content outreach ideas when other resources may be put on hold. 

Short-term: 

Consider topics that resonate with the times. Ask yourself what is trending now and how can your business add a unique angle to it? Google trends is a useful tool to for this. Journalists are often interested in linking to expertise or data, so consider what expert knowledge your business can provide that resonates with the current times? This will be a valuable asset for a great hook or a resource to an existing story.  

Another example is recognising positive efforts your business has implemented during the crisis. It could be supporting local communities or offering discounts to key workers. Create on-site content to inform people about this and outreach to publishers to let them know. However, it is crucial to maintain sensitivity and ensure this does not seem self-congratulatory or self-serving. The purpose is to make sure the information is out there and at the same time keep your brand front of mind for customers. 

Long-term:

Take this opportunity to plan and expand your content archive for future link acquisition. Things are changing rapidly, and it is difficult to plan around specific events. However, try to consider topics people may find useful or educational once we are back to “normal”. It is worth considering more “evergreen” content that is not specific to a certain time or campaign. Once again, recognise the value and expertise your business can provide that will be useful after the lockdown. 

1) Collecting data for outreach assets:

As mentioned earlier, journalists and publishers often want to link to unique data or expertise. Use this time to collect data that later can be used to develop an infographic or informative guide.  It offers a good opportunity for outreach by providing an asset to journalists once business-as-usual resumes.

2) Pre-outreach

This is also an excellent opportunity to invest more time in pre-outreaching. This allows you to introduce and “test the water” with publishers and journalists before developing your final ideas. This not only gives you time to expand on your ideas, but also builds an interest and establishes connections. 

Consider existing relationships and create new ones

A big part of link building relies on the connections you make. Acquiring a link depends a lot on interesting content, however, if you can rely on relationships that you’ve developed and established during this time you will have an advantage. 

1) Research your contacts

You should always research the prospect you are contacting. More now than ever. Try to find out how the businesses you are contacting might be affected by Covid-19. Is there any information on their site informing of temporary closures or cutting down on hours? If there is, it might be more sensitive to hold on your outreach.

2) Personalise your angle

While pitching an idea to a publisher, make sure to adjust your angle and emphasise the value it offers them at this current timeConsider if there is anything that you are pitching that may be perceived as insensitive? Or on the contrary, is there anything in your pitch that you should emphasise on that is highly relevant to the publisher and their audience. 

3) Look at new prospects 

Take this opportunity to build new relationships and expand your contacts. For example, are there any of your products that are seeing a rise in demand or are harder to get a hold of? Take this time to focus on driving visibility to these pages. This will hopefully generate a list of new prospects to consider that may be interested in the products in question.

Keep calm and Build Links 

These are difficult times and businesses may be torn on where to put resources in and what efforts to focus on. Maintaining and adapting your link building strategies may not only help soften the impact on your ranking, but also allow you to stay ahead of the curve.  So, Keep Calm and Build Links.