Almost half of professional SEOs say that their workload has increased since the onset of the global pandemic as more businesses move online to create content and deliver digital experiences to customers.
The new survey by Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes found that rather than work tailing off, as would usually be expected in times of crisis, the opposite has been true since mid-March.
When asked about their SEO-related workload, 48.6% said that it had “increased” and 30.9% said that it had “stayed the same”.
Illyes noted that he was “very surprised” by the findings but attributed them to the recent pivot to online sales and experiences that have increased the demand for expert help from SEOs.
SEO has been a key tactic for companies trying to offset the huge slump in offline sales.
A second question asking SEOs about pitching for SEO work supports this theory.
More than two-thirds say that they are pitching for contracts and jobs “less” or “about the same” compared to pre-COVID-19, with Gary Illyes claiming that this is also a surprise as he would have expected SEOs to have to put more effort into finding work.
However, it has not all been plain sailing for SEOs as 37% of respondents admit that convincing key decision makers about project ideas related to search has “got harder”.
Working with developers on certain projects during the last three months has not been particularly easy for SEOs either.
Illyes said: “One thing I would have expected that got better is that [SEOs] could work more easily with developers. Because you have an online setting and developers are more comfortable with online settings in general. There are various studies that confirm that.”
More than half (54.8%) said that working with developers has “stayed about the same”, while just 15.6% said that it has “got easier”.