We have all heard about the cost of living crisis and are bracing ourselves for hard times ahead. But whilst consumers are finding they have a lot less to spend, large and small businesses alike are responding to the recession by cutting back on their budgets.
The previous recession saw many businesses halt their marketing efforts, whereas others, bucked the trend and prospered as a result. Here we look at reasons why it is so essential that you continue to invest in SEO services during a recession.
Businesses that invest in SEO services during a recession will not only survive but thrive. A consistent and persistent digital marketing strategy is key to retaining your existing clients, increasing your share of voice and placing your business top of search engines, ready for future growth.
What is the importance of digital marketing during a recession?
Digital marketing spend is often the first to be slashed, and this is because SEO marketing is often perceived as a discretionary expense. But having been through a recession before, surely it makes sense to learn from the past?
Cutting your digital marketing budget during a recession in direct response to a lack of demand will only offer short-term relief, whilst long term, it can adversely impact the future of your brand.
In 2008, many major brands folded, such as Woolworths (famous for its pick n mix), whilst other iconic names, including General Motors, had to succumb to a Government takeover. Leisure companies, including the British business-class airline Silverjet, also took a nosedive into administration during the economic downturn.
The upshot is that the consequences for businesses who decide to either stop or scale back SEO services are likely to experience a negative effect on website traffic and web page visibility for the long term.
So, whether you are a start-up, small business or large company, this automatic reaction of cutting SEO spend will only set you up for a long-term, uphill struggle as the economy starts to make its recovery.
Does SEO still work in a recession?
Numerous studies (such as Gartner) show that companies who take advantage of a recession, or other periods of uncertainty, often leave the competition in their wake whilst they themselves achieve significant gains.
When you continue to implement an effective SEO strategy during a recession and put digital marketing at the heart of your business, you can grow your brand’s online visibility and organic search results – making it easier for your potential customers to find you.
Of course, due to a lack of consumer demand, search volume and conversions will inevitably drop in line with interest during economic downturns. But brand visibility is crucial during these times, as consumers will be researching services online in preparation for when they can purchase, and you want to ensure that you’re top of mind.
It is also true that while SEO has the best ROI, it takes the longest to achieve! This means that it takes time and patience to gain the best results. By stopping or pausing your SEO strategies now will, in most cases, hurt you more than the recession itself. Therefore we strongly recommend maintaining your activities or even doubling down.
SEO is a constant competition that any SEO company worth their salt will set out to win. But winning takes discipline, confidence and preparation from both the agency and the client.
So avoid the temptation to stop your SEO during a recession, and instead keep calm and continue to optimise.
What makes SEO a good investment?
At Targeted SEO, we are well-versed in appeasing Google’s and other search engines constantly changing algorithms and can quickly respond to their regular updates. But a good SEO strategy should also consider consumer wants and needs.
Unlike traditional forms of media, SEO is fluid and can be changed instantly depending on current search results, your keyword research, analytics, rankings and enquiries.
This allows agencies to manage client budgets effectively and target specific keywords through tailored service pages or a well-crafted blog post. We can even devise a location-based SEO approach, depending on where consumers are based, at any given time.
Unless you are just going to sit back and wait whilst your company tumbleweeds, you need to make sure your website ranks (and continues to rank) for important keywords within search results. By investing in SEO, you will have enquiries coming in and can keep the sales channel alive.
Will I see a downturn in organic traffic during a recession?
You are almost certainly likely to see your organic traffic start to slow down, if not drop, during a recession. This is simply because people are starting to reign in their spending. But that’s ok because SEO is a long-term strategy, and it’s about sitting tight, bidding your time, and being ready to be in the right place at the right time.
The bottom line is that SEO works.
It is an extremely effective form of digital marketing and can help increase traffic, awareness and conversions for businesses when implemented continuously over a long period of time.
Apply for a SEO consultation now with Targeted:
To find out how an SEO agency can help your business thrive during this recession, please get in touch by completing our contact form today. We’ll see if you’re a good fit to partner with us for the long term.
Read our recent post on optimising your website for helpful content.