The Effect Of Global Events On Search

It’s nearly impossible to navigate the online world without a flux of discussion about the recent global pandemic that is the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. 

This is a period of dramatic change that will undeniably have a dramatic impact on all members of the global and local community.

While our marketing agency is practicing social distancing to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, as marketers we have an equally important responsibility to help our clients stay proactive, strategic, and consistent as we weather this storm together.

As we enter an uncertain time, it’s important to remain calm and focus on updates one step at a time. In general:

DO – Remain calm, update information, strategize and reflect on changes to come.

DO NOT – Be too reactive, complacent, or opportunistic.

Here’s a checklist of items to keep in mind as we aim to react appropriately in any period of drastic change:

1. Strategize – Updating Your Events On All Owned Platforms

In the current state of events, events and gatherings across the world are being cancelled for social distancing purposes. It’s important to keep your clients notified as to what’s going on – which events are canceled? What’s the policy dealing to scheduled appointments? Are services switching to a digital platform instead?

Update information on all social media platforms, your website, event listings and profile bios where appropriate. Create a proper landing page where necessary, and send an email to your subscribers to inform them of the steps you’re taking and what they should expect from previous-scheduled events.

2. Take Action – Update Your Visibility On Search Platforms

At this stage, you should have already informed your clients about your actions during this global pandemic. But what about new subscribers, or visitors who have yet to become a client?

In addition to your owned media platforms, it’s important to also update your search visibility.

Optimize your website for Google Search

This week, Google recommended that businesses update their event schema to include “eventStatus” property to tell Google if any event has been canceled, postponed or rescheduled.

This means that if your event is virtual, you will need to update your schema to “VirtualLocation” and “OnlineEventAttendanceMode” in their respective property. Make sure that your sitemap is updated, or is periodically being updated, so that Google has up-to-date information about your events.

Ensure that your website is properly set up to allow both search engines and humans to know what your business is planning to do.

Update Your Google My Business Listing

You should be able to modify event dates directly within your Google Business local account, to inform visitors of cancellations or updated hours for future events.

Where possible, update all of your Google My Business listings to indicate changes in hours and event schedules.

Update your ads – but not in an opportunistic way

Google is cognizant of the wave of media discussing the novel coronavirus, and is wary of potential businesses that may attempt to capitalize on the global event. They’ve started to block mentions of the event on their advertising platforms, and many major platforms are following suite.

On Google Ads we are blocking all ads capitalizing on the coronavirus, and we’ve blocked tens of thousands of ads over the last six weeks.” – Google

Update your ad schedule and copy to reflect changes in your plans, but do not take advantage of the global event to further specific campaigns. Let’s work to weather this storm without fear.

If you are confused about any of the above, or need the guidance of a dedicated web developer, reach out to our marketing agency and we’d be more than happy to see how we can help. 

3. Reflect – Review All Existing Systems

For many businesses, now is an opportune time to review all existing systems in place. Is your workforce prepared to work from home? Are your resources easily accessible by all team members? Are your vendors easily accessible at all times? 

Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind that it takes a wake-up call to see issues or opportunities that are right in front of you. That’s why our clients hire us, to help them stay updated and proactive year-round. 

During these events, we see the impact that one person makes on a local and global scale. As we separate ourselves physically during social distancing, let’s work together virtually and stay proactive to help turn that impact into a positive good for the world.

Let us know on LinkedIn or Instagram – we would love to hear what you think about this topic!

Would you like to speak to one of our Cool Cucumbers about your current marketing? 
Give us a shout at 604.559.7509 to set up a discovery meeting, or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver – we always have chocolate!