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The most critical digital marketing issue for your business this year is....

Search Optimization and here is why....

With 90% of consumers reporting that they use search at every stage of the customer lifecycle, it’s clear that search has become fundamental to the customer journey. Your brand has probably experienced this first-hand. You’ve likely had customers ask questions across diverse search experiences — Google, Amazon Alexa, your own app — in a way they wouldn’t or couldn’t have just 10 years ago. Your customers are searching for essential information about your brand more often, and in more places, than ever. 

But search is more than just one important aspect of your digital strategy — it’s going to be the most critical issue for your brand this year. From the unprecedented changes wrought by COVID-19 to the high-ROI nature of organic search, here are the four major reasons why.

1. The COVID-19 crisis has your customers asking new questions.

As the spread of COVID-19 has thrown out so much of the information around daily life that we once took for immovable fact, people are taking to their phones and computers with more questions than ever — many of them directed at brands. Naturally, consumers want to know how companies are responding to the crisis, and how they are operationally adjusting to the ensuing closures and social distancing measures. The searches they’re performing reflect this. 

And this recent uptick in online queries isn’t limited to any one industry. Beyond questions about health and safety, the basic details of society’s day-to-day operations — facts that most people wouldn’t normally feel compelled to question — are suddenly unclear and thus subject to a high volume of online searches. Recent Yext research shows that grocery stores, pharmacies, and retailers are seeing big spikes in searches about store hours and what’s in stock. The same research also found queries spiking for key practical questions like “Is it safe to eat takeout during COVID?” The answers to these questions change rapidly, requiring updates in as close to real time as possible. 

As your customers search for this information, it’s clear that your brand needs to be able to deliver accurate, up-to-date answers around the topic of coronavirus and how it’s impacting your business. But this crisis also raises questions on the macro scale: Even beyond times of crisis, how prepared is your brand to quickly update the information on your website? And can your customers trust you to give them the answers they need?

People are more dependent on accurate and up-to-date online information than ever. Our present moment highlights how fundamental a well-executed search experience is to a brand’s core customer service and conversion strategy — not just during a crisis, but always. The time to up your search management game is now. 


written by Lauryn Chamberlin

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