The Covid-19 coronavirus crisis and resulting nationwide lockdowns have meant businesses have been forced to close, events have had to be cancelled and general disruption has been caused to our daily lives.
It’s a confusing time, and for businesses, it’s difficult to know how to proceed. You don’t want to shut down your operation completely. But, if your business is unable to function properly at this time, what can you do?
Luckily, Google has recognised this is a tricky time for businesses to be operating online and has provided some resources to help.
For online retailers looking to pause their sales
Many businesses which sell goods and services online have had to pause their operations during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis. Perhaps due to the business lacking the workforce to complete orders, or because of virus-related holdups in the supply chain.
If you’ve paused your operation with a view to restarting once the crisis has passed, Google recommends limiting your site’s functionality by listing products as out of stock or disabling the cart functionality.
These tactics mean your site’s visibility in the search engines won’t be affected and you can reverse the changes as soon as your business is back up and running again.
When you take this approach, it’s best practice to add a banner or other notice on your site to explain to potential customers what you’re doing and why. Keeping customers involved in the conversation helps to build a positive brand/consumer relationship.
Check here to view the full Google Webmasters advice for pausing your business in the search engines during the Covid-19 crisis.
To update cancelled, postponed or online events
With gatherings of two or more people being banned in the current lockdown restrictions, of course, no physical events or meetings can go ahead.
To combat this, many brands and businesses are either cancelling or postponing their events or making the decision to move the events entirely online in the form of webinars or live streams.
If your brand had events planned that have been disrupted due to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, Google has outlined some steps you can take to update the properties of your events online.
These property updates will tell Google that the status of your event has changed. And, as we know, giving users the most up to date, correct and relevant information is Google’s primary goal. Meaning Google will boost sites that help them achieve this goal higher up the search engine results page.
Help for health organisations during Covid-19
As we said above, Google’s primary goal is the delivery of accurate information to its users in a simple and frictionless manner.
However, in times like these, there is, unfortunately, a lot of misinformation being spread online.
To help combat this, Google has outlined some practices that health organisations can implement with their online Covid-19 information to make it more accessible to users.
Currently, the systems Google has put in place are only for national ministries or US state-level agencies, but there may be further developments as the crisis continues.
If you’re wondering what your business should be doing to retain or improve your search rankings, we’re happy to offer advice. Speak to us today for more information on what steps you can take to maintain your SEO standards and handle this situation.