It’s been a long few months hasn’t it? We’ve all grown accustomed to working from home more, ZOOM becoming a household name, riding a wave of panic, hope, existential crisis and a lack of sleep. From a businesses perspective, being completely frank, we were petrified. Cancellations from long-terms clients were coming thick and fast at the end of March and no one wanted to pay. Then, at the start of April, something happened…

Time at home means time online

The cancellations became ‘let’s spend more’ and the clients who were just as panicky as us noticed their sales going through the roof. We have a few clients whose business is based around selling high value products online who recorded record months in April and May. We’d just taken on a new client who sells FMCG products in a niche whose sales quadrupled comparing the February and the April. We suspect this is due to a perfect venn of reasons 1) fear of going out 2) still having money to spend and 3) more time online. What was true for the FMCG client was true for the furniture client – everything was up, especially through organic traffic:

Core Algorithm Update

Interestingly, all of our clients seem to have benefitted massively from the early May algorithm update. According to some very clever SEO bods this was one of the deepest and broadest updates for a number of years. Marcus Tober from Search Metrics said:

”This update seems to be broader than former updates. Less focused on typical E.A.T. areas. With former updates, you normally have a large medical site between the winners like the WebMDs or Mayoclinics. That wasn’t the case here. From my just a few hour analysis it seems that Google was working again on content factors combined with brand factors (maybe including CTR/user data). Spotify seems to be affected by the update, which is unexpected. Spotify.com was primarily growing for years. But the pages that ranked from open.spotify.com are thin content and have the login wall. Probably they have higher bounces than peers like Youtube and despite their strong brand get lower rankings. Music.apple.com was not winning nor losing.”

Not that we like to showoff but we have always believed in a ‘relevant and regular’ content approach and in this update, it has appeared to pay off, again. We have seen some big ‘money’ keywords do a little Google dance but things have stabilised recently and traffic seems to keep growing.

Core and Covid

So what has a ‘relevant and regular’ content approach and a core algorithm update got to do with each other? If people are at home on their connected devices and are searching for information around products and services the more information you can provide the better. People want to be distracted and they also have a lot more time on their hands to read and properly research. After all, there’s only so many walls you can paint or times you can measure how many millimetres your grass has grown since the last mow.

What’s next?

As the economy opens up it will be interesting to see what happens. However, what we can see is that there will be some permanent scarring on the UK economy with some physical shops never to open their doors again. If we had a crystal ball we’d probably be living on a COVID free desert island so we don’t want to make predictions but what I think we can say with confidence is that SEO is going to become more and more important as paid search (due to dwindling ad budgets) gets squeezed. I think we would also chance our reputation and say, eCommerce will soon become the default way to shop, especially for Millenials and Generation X.