There’s no question that the pandemic has had a huge impact on company budgets, especially when it comes to marketing. Shutdowns have meant lower profits, and that means that nonessentials will have to be cut out of the spending plan for a while. So, why is SEO an essential part of marketing in the pandemic, and why have many companies been investing in it even more heavily during a time of such uncertainty? In this article, we’ll answer those questions. Search engine marketing (SEM) isn’t going away, and in the middle of a pandemic, it may be more important than ever in keeping your business afloat.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Marketing Budgets?
First, we need to go over exactly what happened to the marketing industry when the pandemic hit. Local lockdowns, working from home, travel restrictions, and mass unemployment seemed to become the norm almost overnight. This meant a huge decrease in spending for both consumers and companies.
For many, cutting their marketing budget was the easiest way to stop bleeding money. eMarketer predicted up to an almost 15% drop in search ad spend for the first six months of 2020, compared to the same months of 2019. This trend was worldwide, with the World Economic Forum reporting a 9-12% drop across Europe. In a world still struggling to find its new normal, not acting on your budget may be your worst option. So, how can you use SEO to overcome tough times? We’ll go over the four best ways below.
1. Keeping Costs Low
Very few will deny the importance of SEO in modern marketing, and many businesses have doubled down on their investment. One of the top reasons that SEO is a good choice for marketers looking to save money is its low cost. Cost-effective marketing strategies are in high demand right now, and SEO is right at the forefront. Unlike more traditional paid advertising, SEO doesn’t stop working once you stop paying for it. A strong SEM strategy will continue driving traffic to your site regardless.
2. The Importance of E-commerce
Online retail has had a 7% increase in customers according to research done by PYMTS, even with some businesses are starting to reopen their brick and mortar stores. Online shopping has always been an easy and convenient option for shoppers, but now that they have an extra incentive to stay home. When stay-at-home orders were put into place, businesses with an e-commerce option were the ones to reap the benefits, and that trend has continued even with restrictions lifting. With increased online competition, keeping your SEO and SEM up to date is key to standing out.
3. People are Shopping Local
Travel restrictions and safety precautions have meant that more and more people are looking for local businesses to shop at. Searches including the phrase “near me” have surged according to research by Deloitte. But it’s not just safety that has made people shop locally. In times of strain, communities are standing together to help their local small businesses survive. SEO allows you to take full advantage of this trend.
4. Thinking Long Term
SEO is by no means a new marketing tool. It also isn’t a quick fix to solve all your marketing woes. It’s a long-term strategy that’s built on data science and results. Businesses that used SEM before the pandemic are still seeing pay-off from those efforts. SEO isn’t just something to use during the pandemic, it’s an investment that can change your trajectory far into the future.
Developing an SEO Strategy
Because of it’s technical and data-driven nature, SEO may not be something to take on alone. Developing a long-term, effective SEM strategy is a worthwhile investment for any company. Professional help with SEO and e-marketing can be found at Local SEO Tampa Company.