Let’s not sugarcoat this; we’re all conscious of what’s going on around the planet right now. COVID-19 has spread to almost every country and has had a significant impact on the health of people, especially the elderly.
The wellbeing of our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbours is paramount, and most businesses, including ours, have provided home-based work and new sick leave policies. If this was not enough to think about, the economic crisis, which was a side effect of the outbreak, caused the financial markets to crash.
When a recession occurs, the knee-jerk response is to slash budgets, lay off staff, and concentrate on avoiding further declines. Marketing is also one of the first sectors to see major reductions. If you’re in charge of making those decisions, we’re here to show you why slashing SEO budgets during the economic downturn is a mistake.
By the Numbers
Although the consequences of a recession are tragic, we are lucky enough to have evidence that demonstrates what companies have done in the past that overcome economic downturns.
In the recession of 1990-1991, for example, businesses that kept their marketing budget the same from pre-recession to post-recession saw a rise of more than 10% in their stock market valuations as the economy recovered in 1992 relative to companies that reduced their marketing budget during that period.
Although Google wasn’t around for that particular recession, it shows that devaluation of your marketing activities will eventually harm your bottom line. Digital marketing has been dominating all industry sectors over the last few decades – SEO should not be out of favour as this could lead you to lose your bottom line in the end and other competitors and newcomers expanding their businesses could take your place on the top spot.
Heavy Hit Industries during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Each recession has a particular effect on various markets, and it appears that the travel and transport industries will be worst affected by the COVID-19 recession due to social constraints and emergency measures being unpredictably put in place by different countries around the world.
Companies in these sectors will have inevitably cut their budgets, but on the basis of the effects of the early 1990s recession, will marketing be the best place to reduce spending?
Sadly, major tourist companies like Ryan air, easy jet and Virgin Atlantic have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. Starting at the end of January, the online visibility of travel sites and online travel agents started to decrease and was almost non-existent by mid-February. Sadly these companies that dropped off the radar weren’t mom and pop stores. They’re some of the most recognisable brands in the country but with flights being restricted, what else should we have expected?
The travel and tourism industry is not the only sector to suffer from the covid19 downturn. Sadly, google searches also dropped significantly for the automotive industry. The fall has barely even started, but the number of impressions and clicks have been steadily declining since the beginning of March, and it’s not yet showing signs of picking up.
If you think about how search engines operate, moving conventional marketing budgets to SEO would have big benefits for companies like these. As rivals in the industry slash their SEO budgets, their share of voice in search engine results will begin to decline due to a lack of up-to-date page maintenance and a decrease in new content production and link acquisition.
One sector within the travel and tourism industry took advantage of this, and private charter airlines and private jet companies seem to have increased their marketing spending and have reaped the benefits, especially with the growing fear of social distancing and not being able to get back home. Governments around the world organised many private charter flights to repatriate its citizens during the crisis too.
Most businesses in the above sectors, apart from a few sectors, will indeed be impacted, but concentrating on growing company presence in Organic Search results will now help companies and organisations take an extra step ahead of their rivals as soon as markets rebound and life return to normal.
Growing Industries During COVID-19
Media businesses, such as television and video, have seen a significant rise in traffic, with financial aid and computer education leading the way, and they have seen these rises for good reason. At this time, everybody is watching or reading the news more than ever, and the need for shelter-in-place policies has made online learning even more of a commodity. The need for funding and loans to go through this tough period has also resulted in an increase in the financial sector.
These types of businesses are less likely to have to slash expenses and reallocate money, but spending more of their budget in SEO will now have a more direct effect on their bottom line.
Consumers are also in need of goods and services, food and healthcare sectors are seeing an increase in demand. It is also important to note that rivals in these industries are likely to concentrate heavily on SEO and content production, so investing in SEO is important to keep up to date with those in these industries.
Some of the companies who have done well during this time are the private healthcare sector, online grocery stores like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s who actually struggled to keep up with demand and Ocado who actually had to take their site offline because it couldn’t cope with demand.
Because these businesses see an increase in exposure, it should encourage them to raise their organic SEO budget and concentrate on updating old content which is more relevant to the current environment which will result in rapid growth during this period.
Other sectors like precious metals are also on the rise mainly due to volatility in the markets, when there is a fear of recession, many savvy investors and business owners pull their money out of FOREX and the stock market to put their money into gold and silver, the price of gold and silver has risen significantly over the past few months because of this, when the time comes to sell that gold and silver, those investors will make themselves a tidy profit. This also means that precious metal industries have also upped their marketing spending and will benefit at this time.
Evaluating The Market And Planning Ahead
The Dow Jones Industrial Index fell from more than 29,000 points to about 20,000 as of March 18 and does not appear to be slowing down.
This is a moment when many businesses are making rash decisions, but it is also a moment when certain managers and C-suite workers will make brave ones. Investing in SEO will not only help to reduce the stigma that many businesses currently face but also bring these companies ahead of their competition once the pandemic has passed and the markets have stabilised.
It is now the perfect time to invest in the resolution of technical SEO problems, the production of quality content and the development of a post-COVID-19 strategy. If you take these measures now, you will prevent getting stressed until it’s all over.
More than anything else, if you are looking at this blog for hints and tips on your own companies options, then you should first make sure your company can take the right precautions to ensure everyone remains healthy and you can avoid the spread of this disease before investing in an expansion effort. Google Data Studio recently published a very good study on the COVID-19 virus so that you can monitor numbers too. The more we come together and follow the guidelines laid down by W.H.O., the greater chance we have of returning to our normal lifestyle as soon as possible and this means that your SEO and marketing will also come into full effect sooner rather than later.
Reasons To Invest In Digital Marketing And SEO During A Recession
As we step into a deep economic freeze due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 epidemic, companies across the globe are struggling to survive. Smart company owners cancel any unnecessary costs in order to get through these stressful times. It could be tempting to slash the marketing budget as we discussed above. But here are five reasons why you should spend more than ever in Search Engine Optimisation ( =SEO) marketing.
1. Search Is Booming
Closing down companies, staying at home orders, and quarantines mean that people stay at home. But they still have to buy stuff. They just go shopping online instead of in shops. Many of these shopping sprees start with Google, Bing, or other search engines. The presence of high search results has never been more crucial or more lucrative. Plus, as more people are motivated to shop online, they will also be able to check out the search results on page two or three. This will open up more real estate for companies to hit for your SEO marketing campaign.
2. SEO Marketing Delivers Sales
Cash is the lifeblood of your company during the recession. You can’t pay your staff or bills without it. Those that have cash or cash flow will weather economic downturns much better than those who do not.
Making relevant traffic to your website via SEO has become one of the best ways to get cash in the door – quick. When you appear in the top search results, both paid and organic, you meet potential customers while they are in a state of need. By putting your company in front of the searchers, your product is going to be top-of-mind as they make a purchasing decision.
Highly ranked search results can give you visibility across the region, or even globally. A wider net helps you to offset any decrease in revenue from an economic downturn.
3. SEO Services Are Affordable
Despite what many search engine optimisation firms are trying to convince you, SEO doesn’t have to cost the earth. It’s a unique type of marketing that doesn’t require a lot of capital investment or an advertising budget.
You can subcontract as much or as little as you want, based on your own expertise.
If you are acquainted with search engine optimisation techniques, you can instantly start changing your website and blogging – no company needed! But if you’re not sure where to start, you may need a little help. We provide SEO consulting services and full-service monthly packages for small businesses.
4. SEO Is Future-Proof
Unlike the sales of pay-per-click advertisements that will dry up as soon as you stop investing, the fruits of your SEO labour will last for years.
To rank high in search results, you just need to make sure that your website is designed for search bots, includes high-volume keywords, and provides compelling content to potential customers. A single, well-crafted blog post will attract thousands of high-quality visitors to your website month after month without any further investment.
5. The Time Is Ripe
As the economy suffers during the Coronavirus, now is the best time to switch your funds away from costly marketing events such as trade shows and to cheaper ways of marketing such as SEO. Don’t worry, SEO marketing in the downturn would lead to revenues, not drain them.
When you invest in SEO marketing, you reassure your clients that you’re alive and well and that you’re open to customers in a cost-effective manner. This form of marketing also enables you to use your current business asset, your website, to attract millions of new customers.
What Happens If Your SEO & Online Marketing During Covid19 Is Successful, But Your Staff Have To Quarantine?
This is a really great point so let us start by mentioning an industry that has also seen an increase in search traffic – Automation.
With social distancing becoming more prevalent in the workplace, automation and connected technologies will help to continue operations where conventional physically impossible labour. Companies consider the use of robotic technology, guided work solutions and computer-controlled equipment very important to future competitiveness. According to the report, warehouse execution software (48 percent), order picking technology (46 percent) and robotic solutions (44 percent)-currently three of the most commonly deployed solutions-are expected to receive additional investment soon.
With this in mind, now would be a great time for your company to also start looking into investing in automation so that you can still increase your workflow if need be without having to worry about missing out on your increased workload as a result of good online marketing.
Start Your SEO Marketing Services Today
Are you able to survive in this pandemic of Coronavirus? We deliver a comprehensive blend of SEO services available in customised monthly packages, including:
- Competitive keyword Research & Analysis
- Keyword-driven schedules for blogging
- Writing blogs
- Creative asset creation (video, whitepaper, photography, graphic design)
- Competitive backlink study and review
- Development initiatives for Backlinking
- SEO Testing & Management
- Professional facilities for SEO
- Organic traffic funnel creation & enhancement
- SEO controls, review and monitoring
- Local SEO & more
We hope you found this guide useful and we wish you all the best for you and your company during this pandemic and financial crisis. You will find lots of useful posts and information on marketing throughout this website but if you need any help, have any suggestions you’d like to add or have a company you’d like to feature on this site then either leave us a comment below or contact us.