Why businesses are turning to SEO in all economic environments

Consumer needs and behaviors are likely to change dramatically due to the current economic environment.

However, one thing remains consistent: They always turn to SEO to help them survive and thrive.

In fact, savvy businesses can capitalize on this opportunity by recognizing this shift (pivot) and adjusting their content strategies to meet demand.

SEO Insights is a great place to discover the latest trends in consumer behavior and intent.

Compared to traditional and expensive media, the conventional wisdom to hold back your marketing budget—especially for SEO—is a short-sighted tactic that will erode your brand image over time.

The forecast stage is the time to invest in SEO if you want to prepare for growth during a recession or the inevitable recovery from recession.

According to Gartner’s latest 2022 State of Marketing Budget and Strategy SurveySEO is the number one consideration for all “unpaid” channels.

Here are some of my thoughts on why.

Consumers search across all economic conditions

Yes, depending on the current economic environment, consumer needs and behaviors may change dramatically.

But they didn’t stop or go away completely.

Your client may have greater concerns about the household budget and, as a result, show reduced business intent. Maybe they’re just not in the market to buy it.

However, they will come back one day.

Sales is a cycle; while some markets demand falls, others rise.

For some, it may be time for them to learn, plan and educate their choices.

SEO is a long game and the rules are constantly changing

You can’t simply pause your SEO — well, you can, but when you “turn it on” again, it’s going to mean a lot of catching up.

Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and updating as the search engine strives to better meet the needs of its users.

Instead of cutting expenses, it’s tough economic times that you can focus on and invest in improving your user experience, fixing ongoing technical issues, and speeding up your website.

When the time is right and sales are plentiful, these goals may be low on marketing’s priority list.

However, at other times, you may find it makes sense to rethink your ad spend because your audience may have lower commercial intent in search.

In this case, you can reallocate a portion of your budget to ensure that channels like SEO intent data and pay-per-click (PPC) are working properly.

You should also focus on technical SEO and your website journey and performance.

Experience matters and can help you convert opportunities—opportunities you can’t pass up before your competitors seize them.

  • This is also a good time to review existing content and look for new ranking opportunities in different key words. Update content, cluster content by topic, identify content gaps, and update calls to action (CTA) to ensure a more cohesive journey for customers.
  • For example, if you’ve posted product reviews in the past, you’ll want to revisit those reviews. Google’s product review update for low-quality reviews, rolling out in 2022, is more important to ensure that the content is of high quality.

SEO can drive victory in the short, medium and long term

A powerful SEO program provides a solid foundation for your entire web presence. But it can also help your business stay agile and respond to rapidly changing conditions.

Economic uncertainty may require rapid action to improve marketing effectiveness.

It also helps protect the brand from external threats or continue to look for opportunities.

In these cases, SEO data is crucial to keeping a finger on the pulse of the market.

However, activating the insights gleaned from this data is a critical next step:

  • Knowing that market share is shrinking won’t do you much good A product type is trending If you lack the resources to plan and execute activities around that product.
  • Prioritize SEO by ensuring it has a stable budget and administrative support to enable your resources and teams to take action.

Remember when the original pandemic scare shut down much of the world economy?

Consumers’ information needs have exploded, and service delivery models have changed almost overnight.

Companies that can quickly update their Google Business Profile listings based on the availability of current business hours, curbside pickup, online ordering, and more are the first movers.

Demand for SEO has risen to an all-time high.

Not only has this translated into winning business, but these companies have also been able to instill a sense of stability and calm in consumers during otherwise turbulent times.

Brand protection is essential at all times

In times of uncertainty, consumer behavior can be unpredictable, fragmented, and even irrational.

SEO helps brands actively listen to their audience, categorize issues and combat negative brand sentiment in real time.

As mentioned earlier, your SEO insights are a key source of this business intelligence.

  • what consumers are looking for, How did that evolve?
  • What these queries tell you about commercial or other types of intent Drive search activity?
  • How people behave in searches and on your sitewhat new opportunities does this bring?

Online reviews are another rich source of insight and potential liability if not managed properly.

Google is clear: Businesses must respond to searcher comments, messages and questions as quickly as possible.

Your company’s review profile (average star rating, review volume, and recency) also affects your local rankings.

You must have the following:

  • Technology to monitor comments Across all platforms relevant to your business.
  • A classification system to escalate serious complaints Get to the right person for quick intervention.
  • Review Response Policy. Templates that can be personalized based on review content can help here.

Depending on your industry, economic uncertainty may bring more commentary. With this foundation in place, you can add resources and scale as needed.

Brand protection should also come from your content team.

For example, if you are in the financial services industry, you may find that your client base has many questions about how the current situation affects them and their families.

They may have questions and concerns about jobs, taxes, stimulus or support packages that they hadn’t thought of before.

Not only can your business act as a thought leader, but you can provide customers with truly valuable solutions that will earn them long-term trust and loyalty.

E-commerce, retail and travel brands will be looking for insights and trends on demand fluctuations and category fluctuations for goods, products and services.

Knowing these trends early on will help content teams create and target accordingly.

You’re going to need a content team that’s good at crafting, crafting targeted content for these opportunities, and who can leverage technology to optimize and promote it for maximum impact across all the platforms your online audience is on.

As a bonus, the program can help you outshine any competitors (or possibly negative content about your brand) with positive stories and helpful content.

in conclusion

Whether the market is high or low, talent on SEO teams is most needed to identify new opportunities, confront immediate threats, and set the stage for a successful recovery.

The role of business intelligence is critical to understanding the environment in which you are currently working.

A “suspended” organization can hurt investments you’ve already made and make it harder for you to catch up with more forward-looking competitors.

SEO can play the role of balancing the peaks and valleys.

The data it produces is as close to the real-time voice of your customers as you’ll get.

Compared to other channels, it is not only the most cost-effective; it can also drive value-added throughout the business.

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