The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all sorts of businesses and affected them significantly. Here at Zelst we saw massive declines in search volumes and search traffic across virtually all of our clients in March, as the world’s attention was focused on other matters. We are now, however, starting to see some Green Shoots of Recovery in the Spring of Coronavirus.

You can see the decline, literally, quite graphically in the below graph taken from Google Search Console, of one of our ecommerce client’s search performance, measured by search impressions (the number of times they are seen in Google Organic Searches) and search clicks (the number of clicks they receive from Google Organic Searches) in March, as we moved into lockdown.

Company A SEO Performance During Covid-19

But look at the sharp increase in April and then the resumption of the growth trajectory that our client has been on over the last six years (as you can see from the below graph of organic search clicks from Google Analytics). Not only does this give us hope in these very uncertain times but this very much does prove the value of long-term SEO (Perhaps coincidentally this client was one of those who continued to invest in SEO throughout the Covid-19 crisis).

Company A SEO Traffic Over Last 6 Years

Interestingly and encouragingly, we are seeing similar patterns to the above across a range of clients, both longer terms clients such as these two:-

Company B SEO Performance During Covid-19
Company C SEO Performance During Covid-19

And new clients, like these two, albeit at a slower rate of growth :-

Company D SEO Performance During Covid-19
Company E SEO Performance During Covid-19

The correlation, because, as you know, we SEOs always like to look at correlations, is (surprisingly) that all of the clients where we are seeing growth in visibility and traffic have invested and maintained investment in long term, core SEO and content. And the clients where we are not seeing this recovery and growth? Well, yes, you’ve guessed it, they didn’t, so I suppose therein lies the lesson.

We’ve also seen some really positive green shoots amongst our ecommerce clients, with growth in sales in April and May of between 25% and 1,211% across our top five ecommerce clients.

Zelst Top 5 ecommerce clients

Growth in sales April 2020 and May vs. April and May 2019

ClientGrowth in Revenue
Ecommerce Client A+ 25.17%
Ecommerce Client B+ 112.3%
Ecommerce Client C+ 146.53%
Ecommerce Client D+ 197.4%
Ecommerce Client E+ 1,211.5%

There are other reasons for the relatively small (25%?) growth of the first client and the extremely big (1,211%) increase at the latter client, however, we do believe that as the high street has closed, even more business has moved online. The question we need to be asking now, is whether spend will return to physical shops or whether, now people have seen how much they can do online and how convenient it is, even more commerce will move online.