Local SEO services must take many factors into account when choosing keywords and designing a strategy to suit any given client. Inevitably, that strategy will change over time, sometimes quite unexpectedly. Changes in the local market can make existing keywords less effective, or even outright obsolete. And those changes can sometimes be precipitated by major world events.

That is one lesson that providers of local SEO services might take away from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The governor of North Carolina responded to the growth of that crisis in the US by issuing a stay-at-home order that goes into effect on March 30. Twenty other governors have taken similar actions, effectively bringing non-essential commerce to a halt in each of their states.

Across all media, it is plain to see the effect that this is having on businesses’ marketing strategies. Among companies that run ads on national television, many are continuing to make their traditional ad-buys while altering their campaigns to comment on the current situation and plan for a future recovery. Meanwhile, more narrowly-focused digital marketers are shifting their local SEO services to de-emphasize keywords that don’t work during a crisis.

This latter phenomenon can take many forms. If you’re in North Carolina or any other state under a stay-at-home order, your business is probably affected whether you realize it or not. And even in other states, the epidemic’s influence on local commerce is going to become more and more pronounced as more people become aware of the danger posed by Covid-19.

Wherever you’re located and whatever business you run, it’s probably a good idea to use this opportunity to think about how your relationship with the public could be changing at the moment. Furthermore, you can view the pandemic as an object-lesson in diversifying your local SEO services and web marketing strategies to account for possible future disruptions to the market.

Of course, we should all hope that the present situation is totally unique. But no sensible businessperson can afford to assume that their country will enjoy status quo operations forever. If you’ve gone all-in on keywords or marketing messages that don’t work under the present conditions, you’re probably scrambling to come up with an alternative. On the other hand, if your campaign started with long-term planning by your company and your provider of local SEO services, you’re probably in a better position right now.

The difference between these situations could take many forms. But the most obvious example is restaurants. As essential businesses, they are generally permitted to keep operating during stay-at-home orders. Crucially, though, they must offer take-out only. This poses a particular problem to those establishments that focused on marketing themselves as a destination for high-quality in-house dining. Nobody is going to be searching for that until life goes back to normal.

Local SEO services will have to work overtime for these sorts of business to quickly break into another set of relevant search results. It may take until the stay-at-home orders are lifted before these efforts really begin to pay off, but it might still be worth it for those businesses to invest in the effort. Inevitably, something else will change almost everyone’s web marketing strategy, so it’s always good to have a fallback plan for when Plan-A no longer works.