How To Control SEO Campaigns During A Recession

Here are some strategies SEO experts can use to continue their campaigns and demonstrate the effectiveness of their work during a downturn.

Markets and projections are impacted by the uncertainty and changes in user behaviour brought forth by economic downturns. They also have an impact on how marketing initiatives are approached and resourced.

Because no two recessions are the same, marketers always find themselves in unfamiliar territory.

Despite the recession, this article can assist businesses in managing their SEO operations and demonstrate the worth of their work.

Company Operations Amid A Recession

Consumers will logically cut back on purchases during recessions and set more rigid priorities.

Businesses start to cut costs, drop prices and put off making new investments when sales begin to fall. Sadly, marketing budgets are frequently the first to be reduced, and avoiding this unsuccessful cost-cutting strategy is best.

Clients frequently view SEO and sponsored search as separate mediums. While a brand rests on its laurels in the belief that its current performance won’t deteriorate during the downturn, SEO can be considered “OK to turn off for a while.”

But more than SEO may encounter problems in this area. The total U.S. advertising market shrank by 13% in 2009, and radio and periodicals showed declines of 22% and 18%, respectively, while “online” only saw a 2% decline.

The Argument For Not Reducing Spending

When a recession is about to start, keep costs down. However, you risk jeopardising your medium- to long-term performance if you neglect to support brands or consider how your core customers’ needs change.

Losing the “share of mind” is used by organisations and trade organisations like the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) to describe this. The IPA has officially warned firms not to cut back on marketing spending in the upcoming months in the United Kingdom.

Five important marketing goals for a recession start to emerge as you go through research papers and thought leadership articles from the International Journal of Business and Social Science, Harvard Business Review, and experts from the Economist and Financial Times.

These are the themes:

  • Spending and investing more wisely.
  • The maintenance of the current clientele should come first.
  • Take advantage of your rival’s shortcomings.
  • Keep an eye on the market and modify your spending to reflect the behaviour of the target categories.
  • Keep your current expenditure to a minimum; be more frugal.

How To Continue Your SEO Work Even When Things Are Bad

The overarching message is to not cut back on spending. That’s fantastic.

However, when justifying our retainer or contract renewal, businesses want to know how their SEO expenditure will demonstrably affect the bottom line.

To address this, consider the recent pandemic and the 2008 recession, which led to other companies pivoting and changing their digital marketing messaging.

Examine Your Messaging & TAM

The term “total addressable market,” or TAM, has numerous definitions.

The most typical definition is that it refers to all potential customers for a good or service. For instance, the total number of people who own a cell phone might be the TAM for a new smartphone.

TAM can be a valuable indicator for investors to evaluate a company’s growth potential despite its limits. Investors may be drawn to companies with high TAMs because of their potential to produce significant revenue.

Depending on their level of economic stability, consumers and businesses (in B2B) will respond differently during a recession.

Your messaging and value propositions may need to change depending on your TAM. This then connects to your SEO plan. Depending on whether your product is considered an essential, luxury, postponable, or expendable, align actions to these message goals.

In a recession, consumers are frequently attentive to the pricing of necessities. You should emphasise the value proposition more for customers without a secure financial situation.

It would help if you continued your awareness campaigns for people in your TAM who are better off (i.e., top and middle of the funnel activities).

In contrast, luxury goods might be presented as simply that—a luxury or treat meant to be enjoyed as compensation for other areas of austerity. They can also boost morale and trigger dopamine reactions.

The most challenging categories to pivot for are the two others: postpones and expendables.

A subscription to a magazine or streaming TV service illustrates a postponement. Users who want to prevent missing out should look for less expensive alternatives before delaying. You must be visible throughout this research phase and battle to keep your current users.

The marketing should emphasise the long-term financial and opportunity consequences of delaying these actions now and provide support messaging for other things that can be put off (such as repairing a car, changing a tire, or updating home security systems).

Expendable goods and services will influence local SEO more than other industries. Customers will elect to handle the upkeep and improvements themselves rather than hiring a gardener or decorator.

To market to consumers, you can help them or try to maintain your company’s visibility and earn their trust.

Improved Competition & Opportunity Analysis

During a recession, most businesses concentrate on preserving and keeping the market position. It’s an excellent opportunity to figure out which customers they already have and strive to influence them to buy your goods and services.

Anyhow, a competitive targeting strategy must be an SEO effort’s mainstay.

However, during a recession, when consumers’ sensitivity to price and value is increased, your marketing and content might concentrate on problems that customers could have with rival goods and services.

Use these as a competitive advantage to initiate dialogue with potential customers. You can create rival comparison content highlighting your product’s benefits over competitors’ shortcomings.

For instance, if you offer a rotating proxy service and know that your rival, Bob’s Proxies, has uptime problems, make sure your content emphasises that your service is free from these issues.

Getting Ready For The Post-recession

Although SEO is a long-term strategy, you should concentrate on the long- and short-term during a recession.

After a recession, consumer confidence and expenditure usually rebound within a year or two. You want to make sure you’re noticeable and visible in the vertical when customers resume their pre-recession purchasing levels (or set new market norms).

You may achieve this by continuing your efforts to build and retain top-of-vertical awareness and to compete for bottom-of-funnel, conversion-focused queries.


Marketing may appear more difficult than usual during a recession. Consumer spending patterns frequently shift, so you might need to ignore your gut feeling.

Budgeting wisely and setting priorities strategically are crucial. While meeting your client’s demands, you can continue to sell your goods or services. A downturn may present an opportunity to increase customer loyalty.

In a downturn, SEO can reduce the need for direct cost channels (like paid) and provide long-term advantages and near-term stability.

Throughout this time, Google and the other search engines will update continuously. Competitors who stagnate and cut back on resources will suffer in the medium to long term. Regaining lost performance and the opportunity cost of decreased visibility will cost more in the future.

Especially during a time like this where Covid-19 is still prevalent, DMA SEO Marketing would be abet you in controlling such SEO campaigns with ease through this tough times.

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