As I write this, we’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: throughout the world, lives are being lost, employees are being furloughed or fired, and businesses are collapsing. It’s vital to look for the positives in such trying times, and the silver lining to this cloud is that internet infrastructure makes it possible for many businesses to keep operating.

Another positive is that many of those businesses are helmed by women. In recent years, a lot of progress has been made towards equality in the business world, with rates of female entrepreneurship going up and action being taken to push companies towards achieving salary parity between the sexes.

As a result, though there are still plenty of issues to be addressed (per the Harvard Business Review), there are now more female business owners than ever before — and they can thrive during this outbreak by using the online world smartly. In this post, I’m going to talk about how the many female business owners running their businesses online can benefit from SEO (search engine optimization). Let’s begin:

They can attract visits from women

There’s zero reason why any female business owner needs to place any emphasis on her sex, and many entrepreneurs don’t, but there’s inarguably value in it. Consider that sexed searches are common — e.g. “hairstyles for men” or “business attire for women” — and the results are often considered more insightful if the authors belong to the sexes about which they’re writing.

Due to this, female business owners can take advantage of women-specific searches, and plenty already use keywords that are either explicitly or implicitly sexed. Orion’s Method, for instance, is a breakthrough coaching service aimed at women: consider the use of phrases like “alpha women” and “inner goddess” throughout the website.

They can connect with their peers

Because they face unique challenges, female business owners can benefit greatly from teaming up and forming communities, and SEO is a great way of bolstering the visibility of a personal brand for networking purposes. Popular searches like “advice for female entrepreneurs” or “tips for women in business” (or even related searches like “how to balance a career and a personal life as a woman”) can be targeted through blog content, helping to encourage connections.

Ranking well for a broad selection of relevant terms can consistently produce valuable traffic, and embracing a collaborative spirit in the content (in addition to allowing comments, engaging with them, and including links to social media profiles) can make it hugely easier for a female business owner to form useful relationships with her peers. Sites like BlogHer can help.

They can earn business engagements

Now that it’s become so important for organizations of all kinds to visibly pursue equal representation, there’s great demand for female speakers at business events (at the moment, of course, they’re virtual events, but no less significant for it). In addition, many forward-thinking companies want to work with female-led businesses whenever possible: it’s good for PR, good for the diversity of the business world, and carries no risk, so it makes a lot of sense.

By setting up their personal profiles correctly and fleshing them out with the details and features that are so vital (full name, background, skills, high-quality headshot, contact details, etc.), female business owners can put themselves forward as clearly suitable for those engagements. They can also add to their blogs with content about their experiences speaking at events and working with other female-led companies, helping to tie them to the most valuable terms (like “female business speaker”, for instance).

SEO in general can benefit anyone trying to bring attention to their online presence, and given the state of the world at the moment, that means almost everyone. But female business owners can do even more with it by drawing on the interest people have in supporting them, learning about them, and working with them — and given the obstacles they still face, they should do what they can to level the playing field.

Orion Talmay is a wellness expert and love coach. Through her integrative approach, Orion’s Method, she helps women awaken their inner goddess and nurture their feminine confidence. Orion is a graduate of Tony Robbins’ Mastery University and holds certifications with the AAPT, KBA, and AFFA. @OrionTalmay