Search Traffic During the Pandemic: What to do now?

As we jump into a paradigm shift of digital behaviour, it’s crucial to keep on top of what that means for your search traffic during the pandemic. With situations like these, digital behaviours have proven to dynamically change overnight at the whim of a political address, breaking news, or government alert. What does that mean for you?

Since the 12th March, we’ve seen this to have drastic effects on clients’ (predominantly US-based audiences) search-related traffic – ORGANIC SEARCH and PINTEREST. These % drops are almost directly correlated to brands, who too, on the same day, saw approx 30-40% drop in traffic from search engines overnight.

From our research, we have found that those who generate a majority of traffic from apparel related queries via Organic Search and Pinterest were primarily affected by traffic drops (nb some content producers actually saw an uptake in traffic due to the vertical they write about, i.e. food and drink and fitness). However, this isn’t all doom and gloom for fashion bloggers!

What this means is that your audience’s priorities have changed. Therefore your content creation and promotion plan should also pivot to address this unique situation.

Here’s what you can do to:

  • Engage your audiences on your social (focussing mostly on your strongest audience) to better understand WHAT has taken over their thoughts.
    • Use your findings to package content to repromote over the next few weeks
    • Use your findings too to create NEW content
  • Focus on lifestyle trends that are unanimously affecting your audience.
    • Home Vs Work Life
    • Social distancing
    • Self-isolation etc

Ask yourself, “How can my narrative fit into these lifestyle changes?”. To give you a headstart check our Lockdown Content Ideas.

  • If apparel is your game, pivot your content to what is being searched for right now.
    • Lingerie
    • Trainers
    • Comfort based shoes (i.e. Uggs)
    • Loungewear and slouchy fits

Pressure test this by asking your audience what apparel they’re focussing on right now too.

  • Run these topical keywords in ideation tools like Answer the Public and watch for rising related keyword phrases using Trends to build future content ideas that relate to your first response content – so you don’t run out of ideas.
  • Look at Pinterest Trends to find opportunities to create infographics or text overlays to reposition existing content. This will allow your old content to work more efficiently. For more direction, check out the Pinterest lockdown content that it is leveraging right now.
  • Spend this time to focus on your social community and increase your activity. This is a timely opportunity to capitalise on increased social engagement to mitigate traffic lost from apparel based searches. If audiences have increased their content consumption via social, then give them more content to digest!
  • Assess your regularly returning community by frequently checking the Google Analytics Search terms generated within your own site. Are there any interesting occurrences that indicate a niche you can build on?
  • Think ahead! Summer will still happen. In fact, we’re seeing that “summer” is appearing more frequently in our clients’ own search terms within their site. What can we learn from this? Create forward-thinking content on how seasonal apparel trends will be affected by quarantine asap to get ahead of the curve!

Remember that once the dust settles, a lot of behaviours will also resume. Your content will likely sing once again. By ensuring that you’re pivoting now and being prepared for seasonal content too, you will allow your traffic to build back up! Consistent checking of trends, and social listening will guide you until business gets back to usual. Agility and responsiveness are key!

To help you keep up to date on these trends, check out our new blog series 3 Things we Learnt This Week.


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