Getting Ready: SEO During an Economic Slump


Getting Ready: SEO During an Economic Slump - Eric Sachs SEO

In 2008, we saw the stock market crash, suffering one of the largest points losses in history – and holding the record for the largest drop until 2018. For many, starting a business during this time ended up being a mistake, but in the case of SEO and direct marketing, economic downturns make it possible to thrive.

If you’re paying attention to the economics experts, it’s time for a rather significant financial plunge – and it’s impossible at this point, to determine whether it will send us into a recession, or if it’ll just be a momentary slow down that leaves as quickly as it came in. The only thing we know for sure is that eventually, our economy will decline – because it always does. And it will rebound, eventually, because it does that, too.

Why Does SEO Thrive When the Economy is Down?

Put simply, when there’s less money available to invest in your business, you want the money you do have to invest to work harder for you, going further than before. That means cutting the fat and focusing solely on the channels you know are working. When profits are down, you don’t focus on the long term – you focus on generating as many leads and sales as you possibly can, to keep your business in survival mode until the economy begins to climb again. And search keeps those leads and sales coming in, even if it’s not as effective as it is when combined with branding efforts and a long term strategy.

Preparing for SEO During Economic Downturns

Whether you’re working in-house or as an agency, there are things you must do to prepare for any economic slump. Not taking the time to get ready could mean that you’ll get cut, along with the rest of the marketing budget. When the economy starts going bad, the key to keeping all your decision-makers happy with their search marketing efforts is communicating the value you offer, along with effective campaign tracking.

Step one is to make sure that everyone involved is up-to-date on how the campaign is doing. If you’re not currently aware of customer lifetime value, invest in determining that number. Turn to attribution modeling if you haven’t already.

As an SEO expert, you’re only as value as the decision-makers perceive you to be, and ultimately, you’re aiming to make yourself irreplaceable. How do you do this? Communicate your value early, and often, celebrating all wins. Alert decision-makers to the fact that someone offers to come in and do your job cheaper, the results you achieve will more than make up for the additional costs they incur as a result of your employment.

To do this, you must be on the same wave-length with all the decision-makers, and that makes you must agree on what the results are.

Focus on Goal Setting

With a clear definition of what the results are, it’s easier to set your smart goals for what the results will be. Setting the smart goals allows you to become irreplaceable. Setting realistic goals that the decision-makers agree with set you up for long-term success. Get the agreement in writing or via email. If there’s an unrealistic goal request, suggest that it becomes a “stretch goal” and set something that’s more realistic so you’re not pressured into something that’s impossible to deliver.

No Guarantees

Even if you do not hit a goal, you can salvage the relationship by communicating why you didn’t hit the goal and what you are changing in the future. When marketing budgets are being cut because the economy is down, having stated goals with numbers to support them can save your job.

The truth is that the economy will go south. It could happen tomorrow, next quarter, or at some point within the next two years.

But, because the leading economic experts are suggesting it’s going to happen sooner rather than later, it means SEOs need to prepare themselves – and get ready to thrive. Why? What SEO does for a business has a direct affect on their bottom line – and when the work you do improves it, you can solidify your place as a partner to keep your income on steady ground.

But to survive the decline, preparation is necessary. Start setting goals with the decision makers. Come to an agreement on what success looks like. And do the work to serve the client well. Do these things, and you’ll make it through the slump quite well.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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