Economic downturns tend to lead businesses to tighten their belt, and this often starts by cutting budgets from things like content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) or social media marketing. They do this because it can sometimes be hard to correlate a direct dollar value benefit to these things, especially something like SEO which has a longer-term impact.
Reducing the time or money spent on SEO when your budgets get tight can do more harm in the long run. SEO is no longer just about appearing higher in the search results; yes, this is still a core component, but as consumers’ habits changed, so did the impact of SEO. According to Search Engine Journal, YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook are all top search platforms alongside Google.
SEO is everywhere!
What does this mean for businesses? Simply put, you need to broaden your concept of where your efforts in SEO will be impactful. If you cut your SEO budget but keep your social media, how will people find you on social media without optimising your pages and posts?
SEO is on your website, it’s on your social media profiles, it’s on your company’s listings on other websites, and it’s even in your emails. Ensuring all the touchpoints your customers may come into contact with your business are optimised for SEO will mean there is more likely hood that your business will reach new and more customers therefore grow.
Keyword research is for all platforms.
If you’ve invested in SEO, ensure you’re utilising this for all the places your business lives online. Whether it’s your Google Business Profile, social media channels or directory listings on other websites. Your customers are searching for what you offer across multiple platforms, so do what you can to be put in front of them.
Keywords can be used in your Instagram name and bio, Facebook page name and bio plus the posts, LinkedIn page name (if you have one) or profile tagline, bio and in posts. Ensuring you’re covering all the places that could appear in search results on the individual platforms and the original search engines means you create more touch points for potential customers to find you.
Regularly create, repurpose and review
The best way to achieve strong SEO results is to stay consistent with creating new, engaging and SEO-optimised content that will attract new customers and engage current ones. But this can also seem like a significant investment, especially if you’re in a slower-than-normal sales period. If you’ve invested in SEO, especially keyword research, you can use it across multiple platforms.
For example, you get an 800-word blog post created that’s taken a chunk out of your budget. What you can then do with that blog post is create an email campaign to engage your subscribers and multiple social media posts to educate your audience and draw new people in, all whilst boosting your brand’s authority and awareness with quality content.
Repurpose the content you create for SEO to help build your brand across other platforms. And the added benefit is that this content is already SEO-optimised, so as long as you’re mindful of this when repurposing it, you can get a broader SEO benefit on these other platforms.
With anything in your business you invest in, you should always review it regularly. Regular reviews of your website’s content help you understand what visitors are looking at and what they’re not looking at, and it also signals to search engines that your content is current.
The biggest problem with businesses that get blogs done for SEO is that they post them and never look at them again. They may get great rankings to begin with. Still, the search engines will see the content as outdated without regular review. They will outrank your content with newer content, even if it could be better. Plus, information is often changing so much these days that it’s worth reviewing the content and adding minor updates to help improve the data. This will translate to positive SEO signals and further engagement from users.
SEO is a long game and needs to be played for long-term outcomes
When times are tough, it can be so easy to dismiss the benefits of something like SEO which has more of a long-term impact. Still, the reality is that these long-term results take consistent work to get. If you cut out SEO now, the possible benefits you could have been seeing in increased traffic, brand awareness, customer engagement and sales will all be delayed further.
A consistent strategy of balancing long-term goals with short-term wins will help build a more sustainable business. This will mean that when more lean times come up, you’ll be able to power through them without making these sorts of cuts.
Start now so you can reap the benefits in a few months, or leave it for a few months and then not see any results kick in until further down the track.