During an economic crisis, focusing on SEO (search engine optimization) can help your business continue to grow. While this is true, it’s important to understand what benefits this strategy offers.
After all, if you don’t know the benefits of refocusing your efforts, there’s no reason to do it. This is especially true at a time when your marketing budget may have fallen significantly, and you need to focus on growing your brand with effective strategies.
Keep reading to learn more about why focusing on SEO during an economic crisis is a smart move.
1. Web Traffic Origination
There are a few reasons that SEO stands out as an effective strategy to build and grow your business during times of economic downturn. Search engine traffic still accounts for the biggest portion of web traffic. In fact, Google and its subsidiaries (Gmail, YouTube, etc.) make up more than 75% of all web traffic.
When you are visible to these engines, it can increase your traffic. If you don’t invest in SEO, you won’t be visible.
2. User Experience
This is a leading ranking metric used by search engines today, especially regarding the mobile web.
The benefit of the right SEO strategy helps to improve several factors, including:
- Website navigation
When visitors to your site spend more time on it, it helps to improve product and service exposure.
3. Build Brand Trust and Authority
Search engines pay attention to websites with low bounce rates. When your website achieves this, it can help increase your brand authority. You can achieve this by providing a clean and effective user experience, optimized pillar content, and quality backlinks.
4. Higher Conversions
Local SEO efforts focus on generating traffic in the area near and around your business. One way to do this is by verifying your business on Google My Business. By doing this, you can feel confident that your brand will appear in SERPs when a potential local customer searches for your services and products. With many people only shopping and searching for services in the local area, investing in local SEO will help you access the limited foot traffic that’s available.
5. SEO is an Adaptive Strategy
SEO strategies that may have been effective in 2013 and even 2019 may not work in 2022 and beyond. Implementing SEO will also help you keep tabs on the latest SEO tactics and their effectiveness.
It’s important to remember that SEO isn’t a new marketing tactic. It has even lost a bit of steam compared to newer methods, such as social media marketing. However, marketers are increasingly looking at what works because SEO has a proven track record of being an effective and well-performing marketing strategy.
The fact is SEO offers benefits that other strategies can’t compete with:
- Long-term results
- Proven effective for all niches and industries
- Marketing that only requires time
If you aren’t investing in SEO, it’s going to lead to some consequences during the next recession.
6. Reduce Your Costs
When you invest in SEO during a crisis, you may wonder what this offers. However, it’s not a new concept. While the 2008 and 2020 downturns were different, there was an increase in SEO deployment during both. Most businesses slowed down almost across the board, besides those offering basic essentials.
Even though people are spending more time online during these times, they aren’t always buying. This means that businesses experience reduced revenues, which means they must find new ways to cut costs.
This makes SEO a preferred path since you get “free traffic.” Besides the time and resources you must spend on it; there isn’t much cash being used. During economic downturns, the one thing you have plenty of is time.
By focusing on SEO, you can improve your website sales channel performance. This is something that makes a lot of sense. The channel provides amazing ROI because of the lower associated costs. It is also a channel that offers quite a bit of potential regarding market acquisition.
7. Improved Insights
The marketing data that is generated thanks to increased web traffic during a crisis is also insightful. During economic downturns, people have more time to spend online. They are also being more conservative with their financial resources, so they will conduct more product comparisons and take a “deep dive” into websites to find the information they need.
During economic downturns, search engines experience more searches, particularly those related to finances, health, and productivity.
When people are struggling, they find browsing online comforting. However, this can also mean opportunities for businesses that capitalize on it. Leveraging SEO is the perfect way to do this and offers amazing ROI. When the economy is stabilized and people begin spending again, it will be on the products and services they searched for during uncertain times.
When there is economic hardship, it presents a new opportunity for any business with a reduction in sales and other activities. It’s possible for websites to be redesigned and SEO efforts and solutions deployed in a less disruptive manner.
8. Paid Search Is Losing Steam
As people spend more time on their phones, it gives new opportunities to businesses. People on mobile devices aren’t as likely to click on ads as those who are using computers. Also, countless tools and plugins are available to help identify and block ads. This means that paid searches aren’t as effective as ads.
9. It’s a Long-Term Strategy
The gains offered by SEO are usually longer-term than any paid strategy in place. Organic traffic growth also aligns with increased brand awareness, authority, and trust. Gradual traction offered by SEO during a crisis is likely to result in more conversions after a crisis because buyers are going to choose familiar and trusted brands.
10. Make It Easy For Consumers To Find Your Business
The overall goal of search engine optimization is to get your website on the first page of Google search results. When consumers search for the products/services your business offers, you want them to find your website at the top of the page. Most search engine users will click the first five links displayed to them, which is why landing in these highly coveted spots is so important.
During an economic downturn, more people will go out in search of better deals on the Internet. This is why making it easy for these consumers to find your website is so important. By ranking high in various search queries, you can expose more people to your business.
If your goal is search engine dominance, then you need to realize the importance of using various keywords in the content on your website. Effective keyword research involves things like:
- Analyzing various metrics
- Brainstorming a list of possible topics
- Seasonal considerations
- Assessing keyword difficulty and length
Using an array of popular keywords in your content is the only way to improve the search engine visibility of your website.
11. Enhance Your Credibility
Most people do extensive online research before buying new products/services. Consumers will consider a number of factors before handing over their hard-earned money to a new business. A recession motivates the average person to be extremely selective about who they give their money to. If you want to win over potential customers during an economic downturn, work on showcasing how reputable and trustworthy your business is.
You can do this by utilizing the power of social proof. This proof comes in the form of:
- User reviews/testimonials
- Influence approval
- Affiliate promotion
- Sharing of content on social media
Reputation is one of the top things the Google algorithm looks for when generating a search engine results page. The better your online reputation is, the higher your will inevitably rank online. Since only one percent of search engine users click on results on the second page of Google, it is important to get your website on the first page of results.
12. Better Branding Equals Better Sales In a Recession
Most small businesses don’t get a large number of brand name searches. Only popular corporate entities like FedEx and Walmart get these types of searches. However, if consumers start to see your brand is consistently represented at the top of their search engine results, it will make a big impact on your brand awareness.
Higher brand awareness levels can help you improve sales in a recession. People tend to gravitate to brands that are well represented online during hard economic times. If you want to improve brand awareness, you have to use tried and true SEO tactics.
Providing website visitors with a great user experience is the first step in this process. You also need to populate your domain with relevant and insightful content. Be sure to also focus on making your website fast and responsive. Once you have all of these elements in place, you should have no problem moving up the search engine ladder.
13. Establish a Competitive Advantage
Over 63 percent of businesses in the United States invest in search engine optimization. Most business owners realize that an investment in SEO can help them rise to the top of their industries. Attempting to use outdated forms of marketing during a recession can lead to financial woes.
If your competition is using SEO to further its reach, then it is time to implement a strategy of your own. Doing some market research is a great way to see how your competition is using SEO to attract attention from consumers.
Looking at a competitor’s website, content and social media marketing strategy is a wise move. With this information, you can assess the vulnerabilities in these strategies and how you can capitalize on them. The last thing you need to do is directly copy a competitor’s SEO strategy.
Failing to let the uniqueness of your brand shine through can result in lots of sales leads being lost. Working with an experienced agency like Small Business SEO is a great way to ensure your marketing campaigns are original and successful.
14. Generate Leads 24/7
Traditional methods of lead generation, like cold calling, require a lot of effort. Finding ways to put lead generation on autopilot should be a top priority. Using SEO properly can help you accomplish this goal with ease.
A website that is optimized for search engines will receive traffic 24 hours a day. If the content and navigation on your website are also optimized, you can generate leads with your website. Generating more leads with your website will require things like:
- Social proof
- Live chat features
- Contact forms on high-traffic pages
- The use of exit-intent technology
- Personalized calls-to-action
Once website leads start to roll in, you need to have a strategy for nurturing them. Failing to reach out to consumers that show interest in your products/services can hurt your business over time.
Following up with a potential customer is even more important in a recession. A well-defined lead nurturing strategy can help you grow during an economic downturn.
15. Better Visibility on Social Media
Making it through a recession virtually unscathed is difficult but achievable. If you want to edge out your competition, then you have to realize the importance of a social media presence for your brand. Over 4.7 billion people use social media around the world.
Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have millions of users. If you currently have a non-existent social media presence, it is time to make some changes. The more people you can expose to your brand message, the easier it will be to grow your bottom line.
If you’re driving traffic to your website with the help of SEO, then you need to inform these visitors about your social media accounts. Making your website social media-friendly can unlock far more sales leads.
A recession usually motivates people to go out less. This means that more people are spending time scrolling on social media during a recession.
Adding social share buttons to the content on your website is the first step in improving your social media presence. You also need to post more on your existing social media accounts.
Promoting new content, upcoming sales, and positive reviews on your social media accounts is a great idea. Posting new content on a daily basis will help you keep your brand fresh in the mind of consumers.
16. Appeal To Local Consumers
If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, then you are probably motivated to find new customers in your local area. Studies show that nearly 50 percent of all Google users are searching for local information.
When trying to optimize your website for local search, consider doing things like:
- Use local keywords in your content
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
- Consider voice search optimization
- Start a Google My Business account
- Create landing pages
Local search engine optimization can help you drive more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar storefront.
17. The Benefits of a Fast Loading Website
The Google algorithm grows more advanced with each passing year. When inspecting a website, this algorithm considers a number of factors. Some business owners fail to realize that page load speed is a key component of search engine optimization.
If the Google algorithm detects that a website is loading slowly, it won’t feature them on the first page of search results. Google realizes that a fast-loading website provides consumers with a better user experience. Keeping website visitors on your website for longer periods of time can increase your chances of turning them into actual customers.
Slow-loading websites frustrate modern consumers. Once a person experiences slow loading speeds, they will quickly leave a website. During a recession, you need every competitive advantage you can to avoid losing money.
18. Win Over Mobile Users
A few years back, Google instituted mobile-first indexing. This basically means that Google uses mobile versions of content for ranking and indexing. Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile users rank much lower since the implementation of mobile-first indexing.
Making a website mobile-friendly requires:
- Limit images
- Design with touchscreens in mind
- Reduce the amount of text users have to enter
- Simple navigation schemes
By making your website responsive, you can improve your search engine rank and make a positive impression on mobile users. Regularly testing your website from a mobile device can help you discover problems early on and address them before they affect users.
Refocus Your Marketing Strategy on SEO During an Economic Downturn
If you want to ensure your business continues to grow and succeed during economic downturns, refocusing on your SEO is a smart move. In some cases, hiring a professional to help with this will help you achieve the desired results.
Your business may struggle in an economic downturn; however, there are steps you can take to help make the impact less severe. Start by focusing on SEO and hiring a company to help you develop a winning strategy.