Now, first and foremost, I hope that you, your family and your friends are all safe and well. The current pandemic going on in the world is scary and there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the virus and when things will get back to normal and we can resume a somewhat normal life again.

While it can be a very stressful situation for many, it’s important to know that the worst thing you can do is just give up or allow anxiety to control you. As business owners we are constantly faced with adversity and challenges. This is just one of those situations. If you think like that it will help you think clearly and make intelligent decisions, leading to the long-term survival of your business — and specifically surviving through this pandemic.

Amid this pandemic I have noticed one thing which initially I didn’t expect.. then it began to make sense, and that is businesses serious about organic search and SEO are buying more links. More than they were prior to this crisis. Our weekly email promos are selling like hot cakes lately, we’re already on track to have the biggest sales month we’ve seen in over a year.. back in March when panic mode was still going on this was unthinkable. Why the change? Because right now there is a massive opportunity to surpass the competition that are sleeping in the SERPs.

I wanted to take a minute to explain why this is a huge opportunity, and why many businesses are approaching this situation completely wrong. In the end it’s going to end up costing them money as they lose traffic, sales, and revenue.


The Current Pandemic Presents an Opportunity

I hear so many people being negative about this current situation, and while it’s not ideal by any means, YOUR attitude plays a huge role in where YOU will stand, business-wise, when it is over. The people that freak out and press pause on everything are going to face an uphill battle when it comes time to get back to normal business operations.

While IRL (in real life) business may be at a standstill, the online business world is still happening. Think about it for a minute. With everyone inside and working from home, they are spending more time now then they ever have on the computer.

Internet service providers are reporting record use, and online retailers like Amazon and eBay are doing record numbers. People are ordering their groceries via the internet. They are streaming music, TV shows and movies online. They are still buying online.

Search volume is also through the roof, so that gives you an opportunity to still drive business online, so now more than ever you need to be found on Google. Savvy brands are pivoting and figuring a way to leverage the increased available traffic and creating products and/or services they can sell right now.

But not every business is thinking about the opportunity at hand, and they have basically frozen their marketing effort. There is a chance some of your competition is pumping the breaks also, giving you an opportunity to make up some ground in the SERPs.



Most Businesses Are in a Holding Pattern

Can I blame some businesses for being in a holding pattern? No, absolutely not. If your revenue is non-existent, then sure, pressing pause on SEO might be mandatory to keep the lights on.

But, there are plenty of businesses that are still operating and still generating money. Those are the ones that need to take advantage of the opportunity presented — and go extra hard in the link building department.

This is also a big opportunity for the “little guy” to make up some ground against the big companies. Large companies that are public and have a board of directors that call the shots are frantically cutting spending and trying to stay above water.

Smaller companies and the “one man show” don’t have to get budgets approved. They don’t have to worry about facing investor backlash for spending during this time. I’m not just saying this because I want to sell more links — the proof is in the response to the offers my agency has put out there in the past few weeks.

Businesses that are serious about making gains during this time are buying links at a rate unseen in recent times. They see the opportunity — and most likely they see their competition going into that holding pattern — and they are taking full advantage.


Uncertainty Will Sink Your Business

When we worry or stress about things — anything, not just related to this current pandemic — it leads us to make bad decisions. This applies to business as well, and if you are constantly letting panic and uncertainty consume your thoughts it’s going to end up resulting in bad decisions for your business.

Remember that every single business owner is facing the same situation. This isn’t something that is only impacting you or your industry. Everyone is feeling the impact that this worldwide pandemic is causing.

Yes, some are at the top and feeling it the most, while other businesses are getting hit due to the trickle down effect. Regardless, it’s impacting everyone and there is nothing that you, I, or anyone else for that matter, could have done to prevent this.

The faster you accept the fact that it’s out of your hands and make an effort to not let uncertainty control you, the better off you (and your business) will be.

If you are having trouble removing that uncertainty from your dominant thoughts, try disconnecting from the media for a couple days. If you are constantly watching the news and reading articles online about the pandemic of course you will feel stressed. Remember, the media wants views and clicks — your mental health and overall well being is the last thing they are concerned about.


Those That Halt Link Building Are Asking to Be Passed in the SERPs

I’ve said it many times, and right now this is a prime example: SEO and link building is an ongoing process that needs to be done consistently. It’s not something you do one time and then let up and it’s not something you can do one month and then take a couple months off, resuming at a later time.

The sites at the top of the SERPs are always optimizing their website, monitoring Google Search Console for errors, optimizing for speed (FYI — I am also working on an epic blog post that will show you how to take your website speed to the next level for $0), publishing content, and building links.

If you stop building links right now during this epidemic you are basically waving the white flag, and begging the websites below you to catch up and eventually pass you in the search results. You have to know this. Just because the outside world might appear to be running slower now doesn’t mean that Google is.

Even if your monthly marketing budget is on ice for now you cannot use that as an excuse. Build them yourself. Do manual outreach. Write content. Create helpful resources. Listen, we all have a lot more time on our hands these days. Rather than complain, use that time and energy and put it into your link building efforts.



You Have to Have the Beat or Get Beat Mentality

There are two options when it comes to SEO during this pandemic, and only two:


  • You either continue to build links and execute your SEO campaign (even if you have to do it yourself)
  • You roll over and allow yourself to get beat by those that see the huge opportunity presented during this time to make huge gains in the SERPs


There are no other options, and I really want you to take a minute to think about that and let it sink in. Google’s algorithm doesn’t care about the pandemic going on — people are using Google more now than ever because internet usage is through the roof.

Their goal always has been and will continue to be delivering their users the most relevant and helpful information related to their search. Think about this — we might be in lockdown with stay at home orders for another month or a few months. You cannot afford to just sit idle for that long.

In the United States many states have already extended their lock down through the end of May, and some experts are saying that it could be until late summer — August — until everyday life resumes.

Many businesses are going to win in the end, and it’s those with the “beat or get beat” mentality that will be in a better position, organically, when this is all over.


Understand That Normal Business WILL Resume

For those that are concerned about the future and what it holds for business — just know that business will be back and resume, just like it was before the pandemic. Life will change slightly, pertaining to how we interact in society (masks being worn, etc.) and another thing will change — there will be even more opportunities online.

Think about it for a minute. This pandemic has caused people to order groceries online that have never done so in the past. It’s caused people to sign up for Amazon Prime that before may have resisted because they like shopping in person at retail outlets.

This has shifted the entire population ONLINE — even those that were resistant before. You have to not only understand that business will resume, but also see the big picture and opportunity here.

More people than ever are going to be searching online for whatever it is you sell or whatever services you provide. E-commerce numbers were already trending to the moon. Now that curve will be even steeper.

Are you going to be ready to take advantage of this surge in searches and demand online? If you are proactive and don’t slow down your SEO efforts you will help position your business to succeed when the dust settles.


Those That Take Risks During Adversity End Up Winning

I heard something the other day that I wanted to share with you. The person said something along the lines of, “You can either go into full defensive mode right now and hope you are in a position to compete when all of this is said and done, or you can go on a full offensive attack right now while everyone else is scared and come out on top.”

I thought that statement was solid and directly applied to search engine optimization. If you don’t do anything you are putting your guard down. Competitors might be frantically building links and they may pass you. You might lose a position in the SERPs or you might lose multiple pots. Or you may remain the same.

Or, you can be proactive (go on the offense) and put yourself in a position to possibly pass some of your competition (that are on defense currently) and that will eventually lead to higher rankings, more traffic and booming business post-pandemic.

They say without risk there is no reward, and this is an example of this that should make sense to you. There is so much negativity surrounding this situation. Don’t let it suck you in. Instead, see this as the massive opportunity that it is.. I’ve been banging on about this in our Newsletter’s the past few weeks, anyone on our list will know my feelings.



Playing “Catch Up” Will Cost You More Money and More Time

Now, for those that do stop SEO altogether during this time and then fire up their campaign months down the road — it’s going to be an uphill battle playing catch up. I’m not saying that to scare you or be over dramatic — it’s just a fact.

We all know that SEO isn’t a quick fix, and if you ease up, getting the momentum rolling again is going to end up costing you more money and time in the long run. While it might appear that you are saving money now by pausing SEO efforts, you will end up spending more to try to get caught back up when it does come time to start again.

We are all dealing with this situation — and everyone has just a little bit more extra time on their hands now. Applying that time to your SEO, whether building links or optimizing all of your on-site elements, will help put you in a better position.

The worst thing you can do is throw your hands up, give up, and say you will worry about SEO when “things get back to normal” because nobody knows when that will be and business online hasn’t been paused.. it’s INCREASED!


Final Thoughts

I know that not every business can go on the offense during this time, but for those that still have a marketing budget available, the time is now to make huge SERP gains. While much of the world is paused right now, Google isn’t.

More people than ever are online, searching for information, products, services, etc. The search algorithm isn’t taking a break because of the current situation. The companies that are aggressive right now can shoot past the competition that is in a holding pattern or that simply cannot afford SEO right now.

Business will eventually be back firing on all cylinders. You will either be right there ready, or you will be playing catch up.

What do you think of the current state of SEO? Are you actively building links during this time to leapfrog over your competition? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stay safe.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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