Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guest Post: When Business is Slow Don’t Give Up on SEO

One thing that I am constantly stressing to my clients is that they can’t let month-to-month fluctuations (visitors to site, ranking in SERPs and so forth) shake their faith in their SEO campaign. Too often, site owners panic during a slow month and decide that SEO isn’t working for them and they should just cut and run. While I can understand the need to tighten the marketing budget in the lean months (I’ve had to do it myself at times), SEO is not the place to do it!
SEO is going to actually help carry your online business through the slow times. Remember, part of SEO is about building a strong online brand and presence. If people can’t find your website online, how can you possibly expect to earn their business? Even local brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants and boutiques need an online presence to help local customers find and connect with them. SEO is a long term process and it can sometimes take a while to feel the momentum working in your favor. However, if you were to give up on your SEO at the first sign of a downturn, it’ll take you just as much time to get the ball rolling again in the future. It’s much more effective in the long run to keep your SEO campaign alive!
Here are a few things you could do instead of stalling your SEO campaign to trim the marketing budget:
1. Cut back on your online advertising. Focus on the best performing sites for now and worry about finding new places/ways to advertise when you have a little more budget to play with.
2. Minimize your Pay Per Click (PPC) spending. While this is not true for every company, I’ve found PPC works best as part of a branding campaign, but isn’t the best way to drive qualified leads (that are looking to make a buying decision soon) to my site. If your PPC campaign isn’t producing the kind of traffic you were hoping for, cut back on your PPC spending and rework your landing pages for later down the road. You could also try targeting less expensive keywords.
3. Don’t go to that industry tradeshow/conference. In my 7 years as a business owner, I have never landed a client from any of my tradeshow marketing. While I know it’s important to go to the occasional tradeshow to help with your branding and to learn from industry experts, if the marketing budget is tight considering eliminating a tradeshow from your calendar. That could easily save you several thousand dollars.
4. Learn SEO for yourself and do it in-house. Usually, hiring an SEO expert to manage your SEO campaign is cheaper than hiring a full-time employee in-house, but if you really need to cut down on the budget and decide your SEO partner has got to go, at least try to keep up with the campaign on your own. Maybe downgrade from a full-service to an SEO consulting client with your SEO partner so you can still call on their expertise and advice should you need it.

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