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Whenever businesses find themselves navigating the effect of an economic downturn, they are often quick to shift strategies and prepare for the worst. The most important thing for a business to remember is that these economic rough patches won’t last forever. While this is easier said than done, there are ways to ensure that your business comes out the other side a winner. Many of the winners of these downturns invest heavily in search engine optimization (SEO).

Why SEO Is Valuable During a Recession

When cash flow is scarce, people want the money they do have to stretch even further than it already is. In marketing, few tactics can stretch your dollar further than a well-run SEO program. If your website is optimized properly, your business has the ability to reach qualified traffic through search engines. Despite what you may think, people are researching your industry all the time, regardless of whether or not we’re experiencing an economic downturn or global pandemic like COVID-19. If you want to make sure your company will make it through an economic rough patch, you need to capture as much of that qualified traffic as possible.

During economic downturns, for many businesses, it’s about survival. And for those businesses, survival means leads and sales. While SEO can provide the qualified traffic explained above, it also provides leads and sales pertinent to survival. SEO produces these leads and sales precisely because the consumer is connected with your business through their search results while researching your product or service. Whether you are a business with great rankings and visibility, or a business set on improving those metrics, the heavy lifting can be done now. As other businesses dial back on their marketing efforts, this is a perfect opportunity to gain traction and momentum that will ensure those consumers in need are able to find your business now and in the future.

It is important to remember that for search engine optimization, like paid search and social, the outcomes you experience during a downturn (whether good or bad) are exactly balanced by your competitors in the search results. If your business is not actively moving ahead, you’re most assuredly falling behind. With this in mind, here a few specific SEO strategies you should be pursuing during an economic downturn:

  • Local Optimization: Update your Google My Business listing to make sure customers have the latest information about your business. You can update your hours, manage your business information, and even use the new COVID-19 post type.
  • Technical Optimization: The more technical elements of SEO are oftentimes best left for experienced SEOs, but it is still important to familiarize yourself with the important pieces of your website that are contributing to how search engines, like Google, are interpreting your business. For instance, it is important to ensure your page load speed is in a good place. Ways to improve that speed for any given page include optimizing images, limiting HTTP requests, leveraging browser caching, and minifying or deferring scripts.
  • Content Optimization + Creation: During an economic downturn, many people find themselves having more time on their hands. It is important to use that time for writing. The content focus for your business can be on improving existing content or creating content that currently doesn’t exist. Regardless of where you start, keep in mind that content might not convert in the short term. However, getting consumers into the funnel, and presenting them with your products/services for future needs, is a great start.

Eventually, things will normalize. Your business landscape may be different, and there will likely be a new “normal,” but the world will stabilize. When this inevitably happens, search engine optimization will still be one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. Those that implement effective SEO programs during economic downturns will be primed for success when things normalize. While SEO can offer immediate benefits when times are tough, the long-term effects of a successfully run SEO program can bring your business the keyword ranking attribution and overall digital visibility needed for prolonged growth and success. If you find yourself in need of SEO and/or general digital marketing help during an economic downturn, go check out another one of our posts where we discuss digital marketing tactics your business can be doing now.

Get started today, and if you need a team of experts who are glad to lend a helping hand, contact Forthea.

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