How to Rework Your SEO Plan During an Economic Downturn

August 2, 2023

Recession is something business owners need to learn to live with as it is a part of the package. You never know when it may be around the corner, and unprecedented events such as the recent pandemic make it even more challenging. In the last few months, economists have predicted an impending recession for the US, keeping business owners on the edge.




Although the economy has been resilient until now, an economic disaster may be waiting ahead. With the inflation rates in the country hovering around 3-4%, cutting costs makes sense for enterprises. As businesses prepare to tighten their belts, advertising and marketing budgets are often the first to be slashed. You may want to cut your SEO budget in the first place.


But is it safe to reduce your spending on SEO? Can you survive without being visible online? Will your website sustain its ranking without consistent work? For business owners looking for answers, cutting corners with SEO is a huge mistake. The ideal solution is to realign it according to the changing circumstances.


Let us share a few actionable tips to rework your strategy amid an economic downturn.


Understand Why You Should Keep Going


Statistics show that small businesses in the US spend around $500 on SEO monthly. During an economic downturn, that seems like a good saving to a company running on a financial tightrope. But scaling down the effort can translate into a ranking drop. It could lead to a drop in visibility, traffic, and conversions, eventually affecting your revenues and profits.


Besides the expected outcomes, historical data favors SEO during the low phases. The US has witnessed three significant recessions during the SEO era (since 1991). Through all these phases, SEO has performed well and delivered results for businesses. Moreover, it provides sustainable results without costing a fortune. You have plenty of reasons to keep going.


Outsource SEO Expertise




The best way to continue with SEO without worrying about the budget is by switching to outsourcing models. Statistics from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) suggest that companies can reduce an average of 15% of their costs by outsourcing services. You can collaborate with an SEO agency instead of hiring, training, and retaining an in-house team during a recession.


According to MarketNest, SEO can empower your brand by keeping it on top of the market, which is exactly what you need to do during an economic slowdown. As long as your business is visible on the first page, it will continue attracting buyers. That’s the only way to stay afloat amid a lean phase. An agency partner ensures sustainable ranking and does the heavy lifting while you focus on other aspects of survival.


Measure What Matters Right Now


Measuring metrics is a critical aspect of successful SEO campaigns. But during a recession, you must realign your measurement strategy. For instance, in a booming economy, conversion metrics for sales take precedence. However, the lower funnel goal is irrelevant during a slowdown. You need to check the top-of-funnel factors, such as optimizing for relevant queries with insightful content to engage with prospects.


At this point, you must keep a close eye on metrics such as search rankings for specific keywords, on-site visitor behavior, and click-through rates from search. These numbers help you understand what content is working and what isn’t. Reworking your content enables you to acquire and retain customers by presenting your business as an authoritative brand.


Be Ready to Adapt


Agility is a game-changer for businesses during tough times. According to research, agile companies have a 30% chance of outperforming their competitors. Additionally, they are 5-10 times faster at decision-making and driving change. Agility in SEO is about revisiting your content optimization strategy with the changes in market conditions and consumer behaviors. Optimize your content according to relevant terms and intent.


Here are a few things you must ensure:

  • Your content should align with a specific target group
  • It should address the current situation, such as cost-saving intent
  • It should show knowledge of the subject matter
  • Every visitor should learn something from it


The Bottom Line


SEO is a dynamic activity that needs to change with the evolving times. During an economic downturn, much may change, from your target audience to their search intent, your offerings, and your brand values. The only way to attain results with your SEO plan is to rework it to match these factors.


There are no shortcuts, as you must work consistently to align your content, link-building, and technical elements according to evolving needs. Working with experts and staying agile can keep your strategy on track.



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