Our clients were impacted by the pandemic in very different ways. While some benefited from people being in their homes, others were forced to shut up shop and weather the storm. The latter scenario naturally had a wider impact on business operations, and website traffic dried up somewhat.
For one of our clients*, operating as usual was simply not an option, as providing their commuting and sightseeing services was simply not on the cards when everyone was locked up in their own homes. However, when news broke that the business could return, and a sense of normality was on the horizon, promising signs could be seen in website data and a shift in user behaviour was clear.
Improvements in organic performance
Organic traffic in particular saw a significant increase, and despite the lack of summer sun this year, things really fell into place with traffic spiking significantly as the months passed. The below screenshot from Google Analytics really highlights the issues faced for this client of ours during the lockdown, and the positive impact felt once restrictions were relaxed.
Image shows yearly sessions graph
August is traditionally the strongest month for the client’s website, with the highest numbers of sessions recorded for each year coming from this month. The story was the same in 2020 despite the lockdown, as August was the best month for sessions. However, there was a drop of 30% in YoY comparisons. August 2021, however, paints a very different picture – as the site received a record number of sessions with an increase of 84% compared to August 2019.
- August 2019 sessions – 100,136
- August 2020 sessions – 70,123
- August 2021 sessions – 184,581
But the improvements didn’t end with sessions, as further increases were seen for organic performance when August 2021 was compared against August 2019 for other key metrics:
- 94% increase in transactions
- 62% increase in revenue
- 92% increase in pageviews
- 60% increase in new users
- 4% increase in pages per session
- 11% increase in average session duration
Changes in user behaviour
As expected, user behaviour changed across the previous year, with search volumes dropping for the majority of the keywords that we target for this client. The example below highlights this well, where we can see a significant jump in volume for a particular search term which drives traffic to our client’s website.
Image shows non brand search volume for a specific term
As you can see, we saw an increase in search volume from 6.6k in 2020 to 27.1k in 2021.
Interestingly, we can see a similar trend when looking at a core brand term, which increased from 27.1k in 2020 to 60.5k in 2021.
Image shows search volume for core brand term
Have faith in your customers and stick with SEO
If the past year or so has shown us anything, it’s that SEO should not be ignored or forgotten, no matter what the external factors may be. Throughout the pandemic, we had faith that customers would return once they were able to do so, and in order to build the strongest platform for success, we knew retaining positions in SERPs was going to be key.
During this quiet period, we never stopped:
- Creating new pages
- Optimising existing ones
- Building links
- Maintaining the technical health of the website
- Continuing to track keyword positioning.
Maintaining all of these activities meant we were able to help set the website up to be in the best organic position once business returned. Once customers were on the hunt for the services our client provides, their website was present and well positioned in relevant search results.
To find out how our team of SEO experts can help you, why not give us a call today on 0845 450 2086.
*To protect client confidentiality, we have omitted the name of our client from this article.