This month in SEO [June 2020]

Jul 2nd, 2020

As the lock down starts to ease it is important to evaluate the positives that have been seen online through SEO in order to learn from these moving forward and how the Google impact has been felt and what this means moving forward for businesses wanting to grow further online

Over the last few months businesses have had to adapt to the ways in which they work and look at changing both their operations and the mindset of the consumer. We recently looked at some of the trends that he had noticed and the way in which businesses are dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak and the ever changing face of digital spaces.

Online spend soars due to ‘lockdown’

One of the key findings, unsurprisingly, is that there has been a shift from consumers visiting physical stores to digital spaces. This is to be expected with people spending more time in lockdown and on their smartphones, tablets and home computers. Mark highlighted the following tweet, which reacts to a piece by the BBC emphasising the extra spend.

As you can see in the chart by the Office of National Statistics below online sales as a percentage of total retail sales currently sit at 30%, an increase of 66% for the same period last year.

All of this means that brands and businesses have to consider SEO even more and must remain competitive in their market and with content around their target keywords. The growth appears to be the highest rate since March 2008 as coronavirus caused shoppers to head online.

Almost every category (except clothing) experienced a growth in sales, with home and garden sales performing best, up 162.6% year on year. Sales of electricals more than doubled, with growth up 102.8%, while sales of beer, wine and spirits was up 94.9%. However, online clothing sales were down 9.8%.

Multichannel retailers saw the best growth, with online sales up 53.1% compared to 10.1% growth for online-only retailers. Key stats from the IAB report found that:

  • Overall, ad buyers expect 2020 ad spend to decline 20% from last year due to COVID’s economic impact
  • Amid the overall decline, digital ad spend is growing: Buyers expect it to be up 13% in 2H vs 2019
  • Linear TV ad spend expected to be flat for Q3, down in Q4, while CTV/OTT investment will increase significantly year over year
  • Nearly half of Buyers are confident their budgets are stable for the rest of 2020, but confidence in 2021 is much lower

Lynda Petherick, Head of Retail for Accenture UK and Ireland, said: “Given the wholesale shifts in consumer behaviour these last few months, it would be optimistic to assume shopping habits will return to normal in the immediate future.

“As the proportion of shoppers buying online continues to soar, the individual retailers who best recover in this new environment will be those who can quickly adapt to accelerating trends, such as the shift to ecommerce,” she added.

Digital ad spend escapes worst of any recession

In other news WARC reported that digital ad-spend will escape the worst of recession. They said that COVID-19 has ended years of double-digit growth for the digital advertising industry in Europe, but new figures from IAB Europe indicate that its decline in 2020, at -5.5%, will be far less than that experienced by all other media, at -21.3%.

IAB Europe’s findings tally with their latest Global Ad Trends report, which predicts a 6.5% dip in European internet spend this year, led by sharp falls in the UK.

Announcing the trade body’s initial assessments for 2020 Dr Daniel Knapp also reported that the forecasts are better, based on “extremely positive signals from company reports – from adtech companies, from platform companies and others’.

SMEs see digital advertising as crucial to their recovery post-coronavirus

Almost two-thirds of SMEs are concerned about the future of their business and half believe digital advertising will be crucial to support their business and recovery post-coronavirus.

Currently, 60% of SMEs use paid digital advertising, while 67% use free digital tools. Of those that use it, 63% say digital activity provides a good return on investment, with reaching new customers, generating sales, and its speed and flexibility cited as digital’s main strengths.

However, there is opportunity for SMEs to get more value from digital channels. Some 70% believe communicating with customers is more important than ever at the moment and 58% are keen to diversify their communication strategy during the pandemic. Yet, 40% are not using paid digital advertising and among those that do, the average number of digital channels used is just 1.3.

Among those not using digital advertising, the main reasons are cost, relevance or lack of knowledge and understanding. One in seven SMEs describe their knowledge of and ability to use digital as ‘not good’.

Google is always moving and updating and it is therefore important to move with them, especially keeping on top of the data as to ensure performance is moving forward at any pace. Need to stay ahead of the curve? Contact us today!

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