The New Normal: SEO During Coronavirus

Every time we turn on the TV, pick up our phones, or browse on our computers, we are reminded that we are in a pandemic — and Google is reminded too. Times are definitely different, and with the future unknown, many businesses and companies — Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting included — are accommodating and making some changes to continue providing essential services.

The general state of the world is a big question mark right now as reopen dates for theatres, venues, schools, and other establishments keep changing on a day to day basis. This has left us to make some decisions and implement changes to flatten those curves while continuing to boost those rankings. 

This said, while some businesses are able to make the shift to remote work, many businesses also can’t. I feel very privileged that my team and I can continue working hard from the comfort of our homes.

Now is a hard time for a lot of businesses, and we are incredibly grateful to be able to work in the digital marketing world where you can work from just about anywhere. This is why we are committed to helping our clients continue their journey with the highest quality SEO services at this tumultuous time.

Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting: Open & Rocking (From Home)

At Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting, we are continuing our SEO services at full capacity, from the comfort and safety of our homes. For us, things are business as usual — under less than usual circumstances. Instead of playing a game of ping pong or throwing darts on our breaks, we are now asking our new furry coworkers (i.e., our pets) how their days have been going.

How We’re Operating:

We are operating business as normal, with our new normal processes. For us, this means a lot less commuting, and a lot more Zoom calls. We are continuing to create and implement kick-ass SEO campaigns for our clients to help them dominate the search engines & SERPS. Here’s how:

  • Remote Work

For the foreseeable future, the team is working from home to stay safe, and help flatten that curve for the safety of others — our friends, families, coworkers, and everyone else. 

While it’s definitely nice to see smiling faces in our office every day, it’s a privilege to be able to continue “business as usual” from home. For me, this is more of a reason to motivate my team to work hard and continue providing the highest level of service we can to help support our clients who support what we do.

  • Adaptability

I’ve always been of the mindset that “you can’t stay static,” and I’m maintaining that way of thinking at this time. After all, SEO is always changing, so the willingness to adapt is key. 

Right now, many companies still in operation are adapting their business models to accommodate for social distancing. For us, adapting means a few things:

  1. Adapting to changing search trends (more on that later)
  2. Adapting to remote work through various virtual channels
  3. Adapting to our clients’ changing business models
  • Communication

The concept that “communication is key” may seem cliche, but when working remotely, it’s a concept that is the bread and butter of productivity and cohesiveness. By using channels like Slack, Zoom, and of course Email, our team has been able to stay in consistent contact with one another. We are able to communicate any changes in campaigns, move processes along, ask questions, and more. 

We often use Slack for communication to ask and answer questions, provide updates, send over resources, and to share company-wide updates.

One of our fearless managers actually integrated a “Daily Standup” addition to our Slack channel, which allows everyone to list off what they did the day prior, what they are doing that day, and any roadblocks they may have. This way, we all know who’s doing what at what time.

  • Check-Ins

Of course, we are using communication for more than just work. Whole Slack has been great for quick communication, and Zoom continues to be our means for team meetings and brainstorm sessions, we are also using our communication channels to check in on one another. After all, now is an important time to be checking in to see how everyone is doing and just say “hi.”

PT’S Work From Home Tips

Establish a Designated Work Area

Of course, we are using communication for more than just work. While Slack has been great for quick communication, and Zoom continues to be our means for team meetings and brainstorming sessions, we are also using our communication channels to check in on one another. After all, now is an important time to be checking in to see how everyone is doing and just say “hi.”

Make a Schedule

Make a schedule for your day and stick to it. Going through the same motions every day will give you a routine, and making a schedule will help you stick to this routine. Be sure to schedule your tasks, meetings, and even your meals & breaks!

Move Your Body & Your Work Space

We’ve all heard how important it is to get up and move around when you are sitting all day, but it’s also important to move your workspace. It’s easy to get tired or bored with the same work area or atmosphere. 

If you find that you can better complete a task elsewhere, move somewhere else. If you’ve been sitting at your kitchen table working for a few hours and are moving on to answering some emails, maybe go stand at your kitchen island and use it as a standing desk! This will change things up a bit, break up your day and tasks, and help motivate you a little bit.

Wear What’s Comfortable

Some people are most productive when they are wearing jeans and dressed up like they are going to the office, but not everyone’s the same. After all, why wear jeans when you can be comfortable? The important thing about workwear is deciding what YOU are most comfortable in and what will make you most productive. That can be jeans, shorts, sweats, khakis — you name it.

Separate Your Weekdays from Your Weekends

When you are living that #WFH life, it’s easy for workdays to just blend together. This is why it’s important to separate your weekdays from your weekends. 

Sometimes working on weekends is just inevitable. Especially when someone is in an industry that never quite sleeps, It’s hard to stop working on weekends. The important thing, however, is to still separate the days. 

Change your weekend schedule to lead with a slower start, or whatever it is you find relaxing. If you are going to work on a weekend, change how you work — when, for how long, and where. You may work in your home office during the week, but working from the couch on the weekends can help you feel a little more relaxed, and provide some separation to help the weekend feel like a weekend, and not like another weekday.

Why We’re Open:

At this crazy time, there have been a lot of questions surrounding marketing, especially digital marketing — is it tasteful to be marketing products and services at a time like this? There is no right answer, but we are confident this too shall pass and life and business will continue to thrive once again.  

Right now, marketing is all about intention and execution. There are some key reasons why we’re staying open and continuing to offer our high level of service:

  • Supporting Businesses: For me, providing SEO marketing services and establishing campaigns is a way to support the business we work with that vary in size, scope, and industry. 
  • Avoid the “Catch Up”: When this whole thing is “over” (something a lot of people are saying right now), businesses are going to be trying to make a comeback to catch up with their competitors who have been maintaining SEO efforts. 
  • Changing Business Models: A lot of businesses are changing their business models at this time to accommodate the current state of the world. For many companies still in business, this means remote work and providing services online. 

    Tutors are offering online tutoring, gyms are offering virtual classes, restaurants are providing take out or curbside delivery — the companies that are lucky enough to be able to stay in business are getting creative to keep things going.

    All this said, these businesses still need to be found online — and that’s where we come in to lend a helping hand! A lot of businesses, especially those in the trades, financial, and medical industries, are sharing a lot of company-wide updates and announcements. We are helping our clients to facilitate these announcements so that clients, leads, and readers, can all stay updated on these changes. 
  • Search Frequency: Now that a wide majority of people are home, more and more are searching online for news, services, and products that can be delivered to them. With search being used at a higher frequency, we are challenged to make sure that searchers are finding the right thing they are looking for. It’s important to us to continue helping our clients to reach the right searchers who can benefit from the service or product they are providing.
  • Crush it for Our Clients:  At the end of the day, our priority is always to crush it for our clients. We believe in the services and products that our clients provide. We accommodate the unique needs of our clients, which means we need to accommodate for how the world and the state of search is changing at this time. 

    These changes just mean that we have to continue hustling and establishing different strategies so that our clients who are also in business can see an elevation of our work and progress. SEO is about accommodating for change and search intent, and the current situation is a great example of how important it is to work with an SEO expert who isn’t afraid to make calls and provide flexible quality services. 

Google Search Trends During COVID-19

The spread of Coronavirus — or COVID-19 — has changed a lot of things about day to day life, including search trends. How, when, and what people are searching has changed and continues to change as news about the world gets released.


It should come as little surprise that a lot of people are searching about Coronavirus, COVID-19, and related subjects (rules, regulations, closures, updates, etc.).

Search Queries: 

According to Google Trends, a lot of the search queries surrounding COVID-19 have been surrounding not only the virus itself and quarantine timelines, but how to apply for the different initiatives that have been placed by the Canadian Government.

It also looks like people are searching for Coronavirus more than COVID-19 ….

Regardless, the searches for both terms have definitely seen a spike in the last month.

Search Volume

While the search volume for the term Coronavirus spiked in March, it seems to be tapering off. This is likely not for a lack of caring, but because taking a slight break from the news (while also remaining informed) is something many are doing for mental health right about now.

Regional Trends

Of course, the search trends for COVID-19 are varying by region based on the unique impact the virus has had on particular areas. For example, in Canada right now, most searches regarding COVID-19 are revolving around the recently announced student benefits.

Near Me < Online

The thing is, people aren’t really leaving their houses right now. A wide majority of people who have the option are staying at home and only leaving the house for essentials to help reduce the spread of the virus. 

This explains why “near me” — a popular search term for voice search especially — has seen a reduction in search volume. “Online,” on the other hand, has been an increasingly prevalent search term in recent months.

For example, the search volume of keyword “online yoga” has well surpassed the searches of “yoga near me” in recent months.

It should come as little surprise that much fewer people have been searching for restaurants over the past month, especially in comparison to the increasing amount of people searching for recipes. This is likely for a few reasons, the obvious being that people aren’t going out to restaurants now and are instead more often opting to cook at home. 

Additionally, with limited stock and people grocery shopping less frequently, more and more people are forced to get creative with recipes that use what’s already in their pantry.

The main “food” item people have been searching at this time is Dalgona coffee. If you are unfamiliar, or not much of a coffee guy (like me), this is a whipped coffee that has (apparently) been all over social media. Whether or not you are a coffee person, you can’t deny it looks pretty cool.


yes i hand whisked this whipped coffee for like 20 mins bc my mommy wanted to try it 👻 she loved it!! (달고나 커피) ##korean ##fyp ##aesthetic

♬ Put your head on my shoulder cover by karlo – karlogutierrez

The Conversation reported that Google Trend identified “Dalgona coffee” as the most searched coffee worldwide, surpassing the peaks of all other coffee types with a 1,800% surge in search volume in March. This increased by another 1,700% in mid-April.

Boredom Solutions

If you are an internet person at all, you’ve probably experienced the “bored in the house bored in the house bored” meme that started on Tik Tok and has since made its way across all social media platforms. The reality is that, yes, a lot of people are bored in the house right now and relying on Google to provide them with some sort of solution.

According to Google search trends, the keyword “bored” hit a high in March. There’s also a wide variation of “what to do when you’re bored, what to do when you’re in quarantine” searches going on.

Buying stocks

The correlation between Coronavirus and buying stocks has been pretty confusing and contradicting one as stocks plummeted with the rising prevalence of the pandemic. Then, there was talk of a recovery that has been quickly denied. All that said, more and more people are actually searching worldwide how to buy stocks and which ones to buy.

Marketing & SEO Trends

To say that this pandemic hasn’t impacted our business or the marketing world in general, would be a lie — and I’m not one to sugar coat anything. This pandemic sucks, the position it’s put so many businesses in sucks, and feeling unsure every time you (have to) leave the house — you guessed it, it sucks. But, it’s been an intriguing and inspiring whirlwind to see how some businesses — the luckiest ones —  have been able to pivot.

The ongoing theme of this blog has been “business as usual by running your business not as usual at all,” because that’s exactly what we are doing. Altering our processes, communication, and approach in a way that can allow us to provide “business as usual” as much as we can. 

Coronavirus is changing marketing as we know it. We can see it in the types of businesses thriving, the ones charging headfirst into SEO to reap the benefits of search volumes for specific needs right now, and the way people are both implementing and consuming marketing efforts.

Intentional Marketing:

Intentional marketing is especially important right now for a few reasons. For one, it’s important to be cautious about the state of the world and how it’s impacted the worldwide population mentally, financially, and physically. To market now isn’t about being flashy or forceful, it’s about responding to needs as thoughtfully as we can. It’s about marketing in a way that doesn’t pretend like the world is the same, but instead acknowledging how things are different and marketing accordingly.

The funny thing is that, in the world of SEO, you hear the term “search intent” a lot — this directly refers to what a user is intending when they search an inquiry. 

Google continues to reward great content that, instead of gaming the system, provides searchers with the exact information and type of service they are looking for. The recent BERT algorithm particularly puts emphasis on the aspect of user intent, reminding SEOs everywhere the value of quality and informative content both written and visual. 

This is an approach we take in all of our campaigns and content copy. We always ask ourselves, is this useful? Is this what the searcher is looking for? 

Intentional marketing is tasteful, informative, helpful, and listens to and serves user needs instead of trying to convince them of what they need. This is exactly what we are striving to do as digital marketers.

Businesses Finding Success at this Time:

There’s been a lot of emphasis put on the value of helping small businesses now — something that we are in full support of. This said, there are a lot of businesses of varying sizes that are finding success right now in this very different time.

Video Games: The video gaming industry is greatly benefiting from the fact that, not only do gamers have that much more time to play video games, but those who may not necessarily have been gamers before are taking this new wealth of downtime to actually try some video games.

E-commerce: If you are an avid Amazon guy like I am, an avid online clothing shopper, or are that person who subscribes to every subscription box service, you are probably spending a lot of time waiting for packages to get delivered to your front door, gloves and Lysol wipes in hand.

E-commerce websites of all kinds are seeing a lot of delays and roadblocks right now, it’s true. Still, with people not leaving the house as much, services that bring products directly to your door are becoming a lot more popular.

Amazon delays are up to a month (ugh) but there’s no denying how e-commerce brands big and small are getting a huge volume of business. Retail brands are adapting with sales (specifically for loungewear), and grocery delivery services (as well as general food delivery ala Uber and Skip the Dishes)  are seeing steady growth.

Streaming Services: This one kind of goes unsaid — it’s #Netflix&Quarantine time. According to Global News, Netflix has earned roughly 16 million new subscribers since the pandemic. 

Why Businesses Still Need SEO

We are well aware that not all businesses can continue operating, at least not at a large volume, with the rules and regulations that have been put in place because of COVID-19. Marketing may not be a priority for a lot of businesses right now but, if your business can, facilitating SEO services is a good idea for both present and future success.

Uphill Battle: If your business has been maintaining a solid SEO strategy and putting budget and other efforts into continued services, stopping your efforts cold turkey right now can hurt your business in the long run. For one, other businesses like yours may be continuing or ramping up SEO efforts. This means that once you get back in the game, it will be that much more of an uphill battle to get where you were in the SERPS. 

Maintain Progress: SEO efforts need to be consistent. You can’t optimize pages once or do link building for a few months, halt, and then expect these efforts to continue helping your rankings over time. Search trends change, the algorithm changes, and your rankings will change if you aren’t staying on top of these variables.

Businesses Still Need to Be Found: Whether it’s now or when business picks back up, your business will still need to be found online. Maintaining a presence online is still important, even if a business isn’t operating as it typically would.

Communication: Communication with leads, readers, and consumers, is more important now than ever as businesses are changing their hours, availability, offerings, and operation. If you are switching your business to be more virtual or are offering services and products under different circumstances, it’s important to make this known. Optimized content is a great way to get out this messaging to ensure everyone is up to date on where your business is at right now.

What’s Next for Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting?

While some changes over at Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting as of late may not have been anticipated, there are some changes that have actually been a work in progress for a long time. I’m excited (stoked, hyped, AND pumped) to announce some of the most exciting news to happen in the last 10+ years I’ve been in the SEO game

Stay tuned for the next big step for Paul Teitelman SEO Consulting, because there are some seriously fun and thrilling changes to come and I can’t wait.

To leave things off on a positive note, I hope everyone is staying safe, checking in, and doing the very best they can at this time. We’re all going through this together and I’m bringing all the positive energy I possibly can right now.

About the Author

Paul Teitelman - SEO Consultant

Paul is a well-respected Canadian SEO consultant and link-building expert with over 15 years of experience helping hundreds of companies rank for competitive keywords on Google. He is a Toronto-based SEO consultant who is passionate about search engine optimization and link building. Over the years, he has made a reputation for himself as a leader in the industry by consistently delivering phenomenal results to his growing client base.