Recessions suck — nobody’s going to argue that. And with the next financial crisis allegedly on the horizon, there’s never been a better time for you to sure-up your business’s SEO. SEO is one of the most efficient, profitable, and affordable forms of marketing in the world, and even when the economy is at its worst, it’s still a viable option to help your company grow (or at least stay afloat).
Reason #1: It’s affordable
When you look at SEO costs from an agency, they might look pretty expensive. But when you compare them to how much advertising costs as a whole, SEO is a steal. That’s because SEO is a persistent marketing strategy that doesn’t depend on timing or circumstances to get customers.
Even the bare minimum of SEO — optimizing on-site ranking factors — can place you leaps and bounds beyond a lot of your other competition, especially if you’re focused on local markets. If your site is optimized, you have the ability to reach qualified traffic through search engines. People are researching your industry all the time, regardless of whether or not we’re experiencing a recession.
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. That’s exactly what SEO does. And compared to traditional advertising, it’s much easier to fit into your budget.
Reason #2: It’s flexible
Regardless of how big your company is, SEO can help your business grow. Small brands can find long-tail keywords tailored to their industry and location, and large companies can expand their keyword targets to reach new markets that they couldn’t reach in more competitive economies. The point is that if you’re a small business in a big industry, you can find success by running a tight, localized ship that appeals to customers closest to you.
This regular customer base will keep you in business, and it’ll be the strong foundation you need to last through a recession and come out strong. Strengthen your site by creating pages that target any keyword that deals with your industry and your service area. Once you do that, you make it a lot harder for another company to steal your leads.
If you’re a mid-sized business, you can focus your SEO strategy on the regions closest to you. And, as you gradually lock down more territory, you can slowly expand. You can use the same location-based SEO approach from before by creating content around keywords that are based on town names and your industry.
Last, big companies have an opportunity to succeed as the market changes, too. In the event that small businesses don’t make it through a recession, you now have a new market filled with potential customers that can’t use local alternatives anymore. They may not have been enough to keep a small business afloat — but they could be enough to keep your head above water.
Reason #3: It’s encouraged
Google and other search engines want you to practice SEO because it tells them that you’re running a quality website. When you do that, they know that they can recommend you to their users so they have a good experience. That’s what SEO is all about — showing search engines that you’re trustworthy enough to earn a recommendation.
In that respect, using SEO is a lot like posting your house number on your mailbox — it helps the postal service do its job. You’re helping Google do its job, and they show their appreciation by ranking you above your competition. Highly-competitive industries make it harder for individual companies to rank well, but that just means you need to make your site even better.
Earning backlinks, sharing your business through social media, and other strategies are great, low-cost ways to improve your SEO, especially in the middle of a recession.
Reason #4: It’s ethical
With the past three points in mind, it’s clear that SEO is effective. But even beyond that, it’s also ethical. It offers positive benefits to you, your customers, and search engines (except for a handful of black hat businesses and agencies), and that means it’s all about building you up — not tearing others down.
SEO creates a clean-fighting arena that rewards the best of the best without actively penalizing those who don’t participate. And, when someone is found to be using SEO negatively, they are actively penalized and removed from Google’s index. That might not sound like much of a punishment, but considering Google has a decent stranglehold on the search engine market, it can single-handedly take down a business — especially if it’s based on ecommerce.
Reason #5: It’s essential to success
The biggest reason of all to use SEO is simple: You need it to succeed whether the world is experiencing a recession or a golden age. The Internet is reaching more and more people every day, and that means your business has a chance to attract more and more customers every day. If you’re not online, you’re not keeping up with the times — and recessions aren’t kind to companies that don’t adapt.
Succeed where others don’t
With an air-tight SEO strategy, you can prepare for recessions and keep your business up and running. It isn’t guaranteed to keep your finances at the same level, but it can buy you the time you need to get through a recession without majorly changing your business. Have you seen the success of SEO during recessions?
How did it perform for your business? Let me know in the comments!