Preparing for the Recession with an SEO Content Strategy

Recessions always seem to come out of nowhere, a surprise to everyone, as if the collective will of society were propping up the economy until just one of us faltered just enough in our belief that it all came crashing down around us. But just as a healthy economy will look like a bubble in hindsight, a recession leaves a trail of clues we regret not seeing later on. The most glaringly obvious of all being it simply had to happen. Markets adjust. It’s what they do.

The good news is that there are ways to prepare for economic downturns that make perfectly good sense prior to a crash and look extremely intelligent once a recession is fully onset.

SEO Content Strategy

In digital marketing, we are suggesting clients prepare for the recession by diversifying their ad spent to build up their search engine optimization game. In a recession without consistent budgets, marketing dollars will undoubtedly need to spent more conservatively. Focusing on website development, UX (the user experience), and how to convert more clients will look much more attractive than spending on ads that are temporary.

A well thought out SEO strategy can develop content that will live on the internet indefinitely. Channeling marketing budgets now into content which will still be effective in the future, when budgets to spend on digital advertising are reduced or eliminated, allows us to hedge our bets now while things are still good. A well planned website can continue to create leads for years with a good strategy.

In a recession, Facebook and Google will need to require higher prices for their advertising to meet the expectations of their investors. Facebook/Instagram, in particular, is highly underpriced currently and will likely need to rely on that income moving forward. Once that happens, the digital ad heyday goes away meaning what little spend is left, will not stretch as far.

In the last recession…Who survived and why? More importantly, who didn’t and why?

Consumers act markedly different in a recession. Where they may have had the ability to spend freely, they will likely be more budget conscious. The items they choose to spend on may vary as well. In recessions, flashy and chic give way to practicality. Make sure you understand your customer base as a niche or reduced to customer stories to better understand varying customer backgrounds and motivations. Particularly in how they would transform in the face of and throughout an impending financial meltdown. What value can you give them during that time to ensure they continue to be brand loyalists all the way through to the other side of the dip.

Unless you are in an emerging market, look at what happened in the last recession (or two) in your industry. Who survived and why? More importantly, who didn’t and why? Know your industry inside and out.

What new technologies can you use to create opportunities for your company to thrive in tough times? Look around at non-traditional ways to improve your productivity and prepare now to shift your production to items or services that are better suited for a recession in your industry.

Create your marketing copy to sound timeless and wise or even humble. Think about what would not be a good look when half or more of your market is experiencing tough times. Positive and empowering messaging seems to hold up the best over time, but always stick with your brand voice.

Extending the lifespan of your site content is important to the bottom line. Writing your copy with this in mind is crucial, from discussing future events to dealing with dates and time periods. All too often copy contains a contemporaneous point of view which will be soon outdated. State the beginning of the time period instead. For instance, as opposed to “for almost ten years” use “since 2010” here. That way in 2020 you won’t have to remove “almost” and in 2021 add the word  “over” to state the same thing.

Overcoming Recession

Focus on a process to create consistent material for your site now and during the recession. Figure out how to train your staff to collaborate on creating material. Use their experience, customer stories, and most frequent questions to start creating relevant content. Doing so on the same payroll footprint you already have is ideal and many times quite effective. However, there are many different ways to source new material for your site. You can outline some articles or blog posts and have a writer fill them out. Or hire an SEO company to help you build long-form content in a strategic manner. Just remember that beyond the right keywords, it must be fresh copy and not plagiarized in any way as that will hurt your overall domain ranking.

There are many different schools of thought as to the guidelines or best practices for SEO strategy. Results speak for themselves and while the algorithms may change, what works doesn’t change much over time. There is absolutely a strategy that has worked consistently for over a decade. A combination of keyword research, competitive analysis, content planning, and pivoting on the reporting will get your site noticed and keep it ranking well for years to come.

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