COVID-19 has impacted SEO in ways that even an unplanned algorithm update could have. It’s changed search engine behaviors and has made conversions that harder to acquire. The overall digital marketing landscape has shifted—possibly forever—and now many businesses are wondering how search engine optimization has changed.

From refining your SEO strategy to learning about the shifts Google and Bing are spotting in rank changes, here’s what you need to know about the current state of SEO as a result of COVID-19.

Critical information is more important than ever.

One of the largest emerging engine optimizing trends is the need for new, adaptable content. Content marketing, in particular, needs to respond to consumer needs in a more transparent, accessible way. SEO companies are working to help businesses refine their digital marketing strategy to help brands update their communications while maintaining visibility. If your online presence isn’t reflective of the changing times, you may be spotting dips in the search results. Until you swap your content marketing to meet evolving needs, your organic traffic may suffer.

SEO needs to facilitate connectivity.

With social distancing as the new norm in the United States, your target audience has likely shifted drastically. It doesn’t take an SEO expert to see how this impacts your digital marketing. Now, more than ever, your SEO needs to enable and enhance connectivity, as does your PPC. This includes on-page optimization, web design, and social media. If you’re partnered with an SEO service, you can collaborate to find ways that your small business can either create or restructure shared experiences, virtually or not.

There are new routines.

SEO methodology often revolves around user routines and what these mean for your ROI. Routines are of particular interest to local businesses that need to facilitate greater levels of availability as work-from-home becomes a current standard. Local SEO needs to inform consumers that your services are available as needed. It’s also important for your content marketing to be regular and timely. You can use testimonials, analytics, and custom services to determine when you’re needed and adjust your SEO accordingly.

Searchers know the importance of essential workers.

SEO and social media trends have spotted definite upticks in searches for “thank essential workers” and keywords of similar relevance. An important thing you can do (and perhaps the best way to do it) is to find ways to spotlight essential professionals. This can boost your online visibility and search engine rankings but it also enhances your track record as a business owner. Work with your SEO agency to develop a list of target keywords and best practices for highlighting these strengths and contributions while mitigating weaknesses. The insights from this search behavior can be invaluable.

Care is key.

Now, more than ever, your SEO strategy needs to reflect the needs of consumers to take care of their needs and the needs of others. Your audience isn’t made up of heads behind a computer screen. For all of your link-building, meta descriptions, and SEO team efforts, you need to remember you’re working to engage real people, no matter what your overall website rank says. Use your content marketing to join the conversation about health and wellness. Use platforms and website design specialists to start building links with those who are currently at home. Emphasize your startup or small business use in the now to set yourself up for longer-term success.

While crawlers, project management, and web development are still important to the methodology, current search engine practices need to focus more on the human component of digital marketing. By working with an SEO firm, you can tap into the changing needs of your consumers and maintain a solid ROI without alienating your base.