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24.01.2022 RustyBrick Barry Schwartz Search Engine Roundtable

Riley Hope On COVID & Searcher Behavior : Vlog #156

In part one Riley Hope and I spoke about her SEO career, how she did her thesis on ethics in SEO and we spoke about the automotive SEO space. In part two we talk about women in SEO and more on the automotive space and search results. In part three, we talk about how COVID has changed searcher behavior.

Riley said we all saw an uptick in internet usage and led to searches around mental health, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, dealing with kids being home and people buying online, curbside pickup and more general business being done online. She said some of the dealers would drop cars off at your home, which was big. But small businesses, some, weren’t able to adapt as quickly as some bigger businesses. This led to larger companies profiting more, like Walmart, Target and Amazon - leaving smaller businesses in the dust.

Riley’s masters was in “social enterprise” and it involved studying the impact on COVID’s impact on small businesses and using SEO to help these small businesses recover. I gave some examples of my personal experiences and Riley explained how things changed right after COVID compared to months after. Many companies were offering digital based services, like selling cars online, and not doing everything face to face.

We then moved into discussing how marketing had to change to be more sensitive towards COVID’s mental health changes. Companies had to change their commercials to adapt to the new world. We didn’t only speak about commercials but how online reviews are taking a beating with disgruntled customers who don’t want to wear masks or other issues.

Strategies For Small Businesses During COVID:

A lot of small businesses did not know about Google Search Console, Google My Business (now Google Business Profiles), Google Analytics and so forth. Plus, a lot of these businesses do not have websites, they might be on Instagram but no where to funnel these customers. Most these small businesses don’t know about SEO, they don’t have CRM set up, plus they have a really unprofessional website. Google did try to release features to help businesses perform and generate revenue during the pandemic.

Small businesses should utilize what you can, like social media. Small businesses don’t have a big staff to do everything. So just do what you can with what resources you have, and you will learn as you go and keep growing from there. Make sure to be consistent with whatever you do.

You can learn more about Riley Hope at or follow Riley on Twitter @reillyhope13.

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