Can SEO Protect Businesses from Economic Downturns?
There are undoubtedly a wide variety of benefits to search engine optimization. Most notably, the consistent work of building clout and visibility in search results can help create a consistent flow of organic traffic to your website, thereby avoiding the need for paid advertising campaigns.
However, other benefits also exist. Many are wondering during the current economic upheaval whether or not SEO is a valuable addition with regard to shielding businesses from economic malaise. In reality, the answer to this question is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no.
Let’s take a look at whether SEO can protect your bottom line from economic downturns and how much benefit it may provide.
Given the current economic situation, an increasing number of brands and businesses are looking into the prospect of SEO for their own marketing aims. Many of these brands may be reliant upon PPC advertising via social media or search engines, driving traffic through clicks and only earning those clicks when people are directly interested in their products. Unfortunately for them, it costs money to run these ads – and if the economy takes a nosedive, then so does the number of people looking to shop.
SEO isn’t something that can be immediately actualized, however. Brands hoping to start pinging search engines with a litany of product pages, blog posts and other forms of content that rank prominently in search results will be disappointed to learn that most competent SEO efforts take months or even years to truly deliver.
While it may not be possible to extract short-term benefit from SEO right now, businesses can begin investing in such a strategy to earn the rewards in advance of future economic downturns.
The Effects of Established SEO During Recessions
For businesses that have long since established viable presences in search results via SEO, the situation may prove to be notably different.
First and foremost, it is important to realize that money that does not exist cannot be spent. In other words, SEO isn’t going to deliver tangible benefit and demand that wouldn’t already exist. For this reason, SEO doesn’t necessarily guarantee growth during any economic downturn.
However, the true effects of SEO when well-established revolve around minimizing the impact of any drop-off in business. By dominating key search engine results pages (SERPs), businesses can capture a greater share of the remaining consumer audience and mitigate any potential loss in revenue caused by economic conditions.
A pervasive SEO campaign may also allow your business to reach audiences that can be persuaded to make purchases (but not might be pinging search engines with the intent to purchase at the current time). In this way, SEO can also function as a great way to build leads and generate brand awareness for those who aren’t yet ready to buy but may choose to do so in the future. This can help grow business in absolute terms, even during an economic downturn.
Fundamentally, SEO requires ample work and investment – in terms of time and focus – before any tangible results can be expected. While it is not necessarily possible to thwart the current economic situation with a new SEO effort, businesses can make those investments now in anticipation of future economic downturns and struggles.