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Isn't it a shame when you can't finish a headline alliteratively? Anyway, despite the odd politician claiming they can already see the green shoots of recovery, the economic downturn continues to kick the nation's finances squarely in the groin.
Fortunately for my industry, there are many financial savvy reasons for continuing to spend money on search engine optimisation (SEO) and other online marketing strategies. I have listed the ones I consider most pertinent below but please feel free to add more.
Measurable and positive ROI
Because search tactics like pay-per-click offer easily measurable return on investment (ROI), you can check exactly how much money your marketing is bringing back to you and adjust budgets accordingly.
Even if money is tight, if spending £Y clearly returns you 2 x £Y, you would be crazy not to do so.
Highly controllable costs
There are so many different aspects of SEO that there is a suitable level for every business to engage with, whether it is a comparison website or a local organic veg grower.
A good SEO firm will have different options to fit different budgets, as well as tailored tactics for various sizes and types of business.
So, whether you're a SME or a national supermarket, you can spend the right amount on the right optimisation.
Recession don't last forever
However bad the Daily Blah says that the housing and job markets are, the fact is that recession will end and the economy will begin to pick up.
When it does so, it is those firms which continued to focus on raising their online presence that will come out on top, both in terms of search engine rank pages and in business.
If times are tougher than usual, chances are some of the competition will be cutting back on their marketing spend, both online and off. Now could be the perfect opportunity to move ahead of them and then rake in the customers once the downturn ends.
Online marketing works
This is one of my more blunt reasons for spending on SEO in recession, admittedly. Online marketing enables businesses to engage with consumers who have turned to the web to find a bargain.
Practically each month new analysis is published which shows consumers are spending more online and that they are increasingly shopping there.
A company may scale back its advertising elsewhere during economically rough times (although I do not think they should) but it makes little sense to scale back on a still-growing medium where highly relevant leads can be targeted and marketed to.
The web still offers growth
Because more people are using the internet in order to shop, the web is one of the few places that offers companies a chance to expand and grow during economic turbulence.
Marketing online through measures such as SEO allows a business to expand into any geographic location, it enables it to target overseas customers, different demographics and new income streams simply by adapting its tactics.
If you're a high street name, for example, footfall may be down and opening a new store a costly move, but targeting new consumers online requires a comparatively low budget and a growing community to sell to.
Kevin Gibbons is director of search at SEOptimise.