This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
It’s been roughly a month now since the Coronavirus started to flip our lives upside down.
From having to practice social distancing and getting used to life without the outdoors to continually washing our hands and wearing masks and seeing loved ones and friends getting sick, the Coronavirus is something none of us expected.
Even our businesses our suffering. Just look at the Coronavirus marketing stats I shared a few weeks ago. The results are devastating.
It’s why I decided to change Ubersuggest and make it more free to help small businesses out.
Since then a lot has changed and there are new opportunities that have come around when it comes to your online business and marketing activities.
Opportunity #1: Help others selflessly
My ad agency has thousands of clients around the world. We lost a ton, but we still have enough to see trends in what’s happening.
When I saw businesses starting to lose a ton of money, I decided to give more of Ubersuggest’s premium featurs for free. That means it would take me much longer to break even, but hey that’s life.
Just look at the image below… you’ll see something interesting.
The chart breaks down how many free-trial signups Ubersuggest has received throughout the month.
Keep in mind, new customers means free trials… a large portion of free-trial users doesn’t convert into paying customers but still, the more trials you get in theory, the more paid customers you will eventually get.
As you can see, the chart is declining. That’s because I opened up more of Ubersuggest’s paid features and made them free.
What’s interesting is you (and other community members) helped support me.
The moment I blogged about more features being opened up for free, many of you decided to purchase a paid subscription.
I received dozens of emails from the marketing community thanking me and letting me know that they appreciate everything that I was doing AND they purchased a paid plan to help me out.
Now granted, in general signups are down, but that’s what happens when you decide to give away more for free. I didn’t do it because I am trying to leverage Coronavirus or look good, instead, I am just trying to help people out like I’ve been lucky enough to have people help me out during my time of need.
But here is what’s interesting… my traffic started to go up on Ubersuggest the moment I told everyone that I am giving more away for free.
I’m not the only one who experienced this.
Eric Siu decided to give away a course that teaches people how to start a marketing agency for free (he normally charges $1,497) and a bit more than 250 people have taken Eric up on his offer. If you want it, you can get it here for free.
This has led Eric to gain more social media fans and it’s given him an opportunity to do a webinar about his product/services to a new audience of 50,000 people.
Similar to me, Eric wasn’t trying to do this to gain anything, he is just trying to help people out.
I also know someone in the health space who did something similar and one person in the employment space.
They all saw the indirect benefits of helping people out.
In all cases that I have seen, the result is more traffic.
With your website and business, consider what you can give away for free. Anything you can do to help people out is appreciated, especially during this difficult time. You’ll also find that it will drive you more visitors, which is a nice indirect benefit.
Opportunity #2: Paid ads are really, really cheap
The latest trend we are seeing is that paid ads are becoming cheaper.
It makes sense because the way these big ad networks make money is through an auction system. They need small businesses to drive up the cost per click (CPC) for ads so that way the big, billion-dollar corporations have to spend more money on ads.
If you don’t have as many small businesses advertising (like we are experiencing now) there isn’t as much competition for the inventory, so the cost per click decrease.
But the virus has been causing us to spend more time online, so much so that companies like Netflix have had to reduce their streaming quality to help.
In other words, traffic on the web is up and there are fewer advertisers. This means ads are cheaper.
Now we are also seeing conversions rates dropping in certain industries, but nowhere near at the same rate as the CPCs.
When we average things out per industry and globally, we are seeing paid ads producing a much higher ROI than before the Coronavirus hit. Just look at the chart below.
Our clients, in general, have seen their ROI go from 31% to 53%. That’s a 71% increase in ROI.
If you haven’t tried paid ads yet, you should consider it. If you do, consider ramping up as there is more excess inventory than there has been in years.
Opportunity #3: Conversions are down, but there’s a solution
For many industries, conversion rates are down. Here’s a quick snapshot of what it looked like right after the first big week in the United States.
Since then, things have changed. For some industries, it has gotten better, but for others like travel, it’s still terrible and will be for a while. Delta Airlines is currently burning $60 million a day.
But we found a solution that has boosted conversion rates by 12% on average.
If you are a store selling something online, consider offering payment plans through services like Affirm.
Payment plans reduce the financial burden your customers will face in the short run.
And you don’t have to be an e-commerce company to leverage payment plans. If you are selling consulting services, you can accept money over a period of a year.
If you are selling ebooks or digital courses, you can also have a monthly installment plan.
When I sold digital products on NeilPatel.com, I found that roughly 19% of people opted in for my payment plan.
It’s an easy way to boost your conversion rates, especially in a time where many people are looking to reduce their cash spend in the short term.
Opportunity #4: Offer educational based training
If you are looking for a good opportunity, consider selling your audience educational based courses.
With unemployment numbers reaching all-time highs, more people than ever are looking for new opportunities.
Many of these opportunities are in fields like high-tech that not everyone has experience in.
And, of course, going back to school can be expensive and is time-consuming. Plus, let’s face it… you can probably learn more applicable knowledge on YouTube than sitting in a college class for 4 years (at least for most professions).
So, where do people go to learn? Any online education website offering very specific, niche advice and courses.
Whether that is Udemy or you are selling your own courses, people are looking for help.
If you don’t know how to sell online courses in mass quantity, follow this. I break it down step by step and even give you the templates you need to be successful. It’s the same ones I used to reach over $381,722 a month in sales.
Opportunity #5: Geography diversification
COVID-19 is a global issue. But it is affecting some countries worse than others.
For example, South Korea has had better luck controlling the spread of the virus compared to many other countries.
And countries like the United States and Italy have exploded in daily cases.
With over 84,000 new cases a day and growing quickly, the spread of the virus or the slowdown of the virus can affect your traffic drastically.
For that reason, you should consider diversifying the regions you get your traffic from.
Through international SEO, you can quickly gain more traffic and be less reliant on one country’s economy.
For example, here is my traffic swing for my SEO traffic in the United States over the last few months.
The US traffic is slowly starting to climb back. It’s still not back to where it was during my all-time highs, but it’s not as low as when the Coronavirus first hit the United States.
On the flip side, our traffic in Brazil has been going through the roof.
We haven’t changed our strategy, it’s not algorithm related… we haven’t produced more content than usual… we’ve just seen an increase.
We are also starting to see a nice increase in India.
By translating your content for other regions and leveraging international SEO, you can quickly grow your traffic.
Sure, it may take 6 months to a year to start seeing results in the United States, but that isn’t the case with regions like Brazil where there isn’t as much competition.
If you want to achieve similar results to me, follow my global SEO strategy. It works well… just look at the images above.
Sadly, the next few months are going to get worse. The daily count of new Coronavirus victims is growing.
From a personal standpoint, all you can do is stay indoors and practice social distancing.
But from a marketing, business, and career perspective, you can make a change.
You should have more time now (sadly), so use it to your advantage. Put in the effort so you can grow, that way you’ll come out of the Coronavirus stronger.
So which one of the above opportunities are you going to implement first?