During a recession, businesses may be tempted to cut their marketing budgets in an effort to reduce expenses and save money. However, this can be a mistake, as marketing is an investment that helps to drive growth and maintain a customer base. Search engine optimization (SEO) is especially important in today's internet-dominated world, as it helps businesses to improve their visibility and reach on search engines like Google.
While it may be tempting to cut your SEO budget during a recession, it's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and investment. By cutting your SEO budget, you risk losing the progress you've made and falling behind your competitors.
Instead of cutting your SEO budget, consider finding ways to make it more efficient. This could include optimizing your website for mobile devices, improving the quality and relevance of your content, and focusing on high-value, long-tail keywords.
Another way to make your SEO budget more efficient is by leveraging local SEO. This involves optimizing your website and online presence for specific geographic locations, which can be especially useful for businesses with a physical storefront or those that serve a specific area. Local SEO can help you to attract customers who are searching for businesses like yours in their own community.
In the SEO era, which has existed since roughly 1991, we've seen three significant recessions. During these times, it's been observed that SEO still performs well. This can be attributed to several reasons.
One reason is that SEO is flexible. Even if you're a small business competing with a larger, more dominant competitor, SEO gives you the flexibility to attract new customers. You can use long-tail keywords to target highly specific searches and local search to help people in your area find you. A regularly updated website can also show visitors that you're thriving or at least maintaining your business, despite the larger economic environment.
Another reason is that SEO is integrated. It fits in with your social media presence, such as on Facebook or Snapchat, to help your business appear in search results. This creates an inbound marketing funnel just by taking an optimal approach to things you're probably already doing.
Finally, SEO is budget-friendly. Aside from the costs of your computer, internet, and electricity, which you're already paying for, SEO primarily requires a time investment. Even if you're outsourcing your search engine optimization, you're primarily paying for the expert's time, rather than the hard costs associated with traditional marketing methods like billboards, paid digital ads, and television commercials. These methods also require a labor investment, whereas SEO can often be handled in-house.
In conclusion, SEO is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes, especially during a recession. Its flexibility, integration with other marketing efforts, and budget-friendliness make it a wise choice for businesses looking to maintain or grow their customer base in challenging economic times.