5 min.
The importance of investing in SEO during tough economic times
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The importance of investing in SEO during tough economic times

Content & SEO

In a world in which primary data acquisition and the respect for privacy are of vital importance and our economic situation is increasingly uncertain, it’s essential to implement smart, ethical marketing strategies.

Now more than ever, search engine optimization (SEO) is a key solution, allowing you to easily navigate through the current turbulence. It offers companies a unique opportunity to maintain and even increase their visibility without compromising user privacy.

Whether you’re leading a start-up or a multinational, SEO provides added value by strengthening online visibility. Owners of online stores, entrepreneurs and marketing managers should seriously consider using it to ensure their business can be found by people actively searching for their products. This makes SEO key to succeeding in the current economic context, offering undeniable value by maximizing visibility and establishing lasting relationships with a target audience.

 In this period when marketing managers are flailing under the pressure of generating short-term results, SEO is a true lifeline. Why? Because it can generate a steady stream of qualified traffic while offering a better return on investment than traditional advertising channels.

What if you could reduce your dependency on ad campaigns while building an authentic, long-term relationship with your customers? SEO opens the door towards a deeper understanding of your market and your customers, allowing you to adapt in any context.

 Let’s take a look at the many benefits SEO can bring to your business at every stage of the marketing funnel.

  1. Benefits related to your brand’s visibility
  2. Benefits related to brand consideration
  3. Benefits related to user conversion
  4. Benefits related to customer retention

1. The benefits of SEO on brand visibility

Building sustainable content assets

Investing in SEO means creating rich, relevant content that responds to the needs of users and provides performance in the long term. This content could be blog articles, video tutorials, FAQs, etc.

Unlike ad campaigns with limited lifespans, these types of long-lasting content will continue to attract and convert users, generating a constant flow of qualified traffic.

This practice lets you maintain a strong online presence without having to constantly invest in advertising.

 Increase your visibility and credibility

SEO optimizes your site’s visibility in search engines, guaranteeing that your brand will have a presence when your targeted audience is looking for information.

Good positioning also strengthens your credibility, since users tend to put their trust in the top results.

During economic hard times, this improved visibility and credibility are crucial for attracting and retaining consumers’ attention.

Targeting specific search intentions

SEO lets you specifically target users based on their search intentions, thereby ensuring that your site’s content will precisely correspond to their needs.

This approach increases the quality of traffic, which is a major strategic advantage during economic downturns.

At Adviso, we’ve developed expertise over the years that allows us to precisely identify these intentions and effectively respond to them.

Harmonize your SEO and SEM budgets

SEO lets you to reduce your investments in paid positioning (SEM) in search engines while maintaining your visibility

When used together, SEO and SEM allow you to diversify sources of traffic and optimize your company’s online presence.

While paid ads are effective for getting immediate, targeted results, they entail recurring costs that tend to increase alongside the progressive loss of user data caused by the restrictions on collecting it.

On the other hand, SEO focuses on optimizing organic visibility, thereby promoting the creation of stable, long-term traffic that strengthens the overall effectiveness of your marketing initiatives.

When budgets are constrained, this strategic combination lets you maximize the impact of every dollar spent.

Organic traffic acquired through SEO is often more qualified, since it’s the result of an intentional action taken by the user, which potentially increases conversion rates and revenue.

Integrating SEO with SEM creates a synergy in which each approach supports and strengthens the other, offering a complete, robust solution for navigating an economic and digital landscape in constant evolution.

Limiting disruptions to algorithms

Search engines regularly update their algorithms, which can disrupt a site’s visibility. In 2020, Google made close to 5,000 such changes, which represents over 13 changes per day.

By adopting the best SEO practices, your site will be better prepared to resist these changes, thereby ensuring a stable, reliable online presence.

This stability is especially important during uncertain economic periods, when every touchpoint with the customer counts.

2. Benefits of SEO on brand consideration

Building trust and boosting engagement

An optimized website and high-quality content are crucial elements for building trust amongst your potential customers, but they are also important for current customers.

SEO helps position your brand as a credible resource in your industry, thereby boosting engagement and encouraging interactions with your content.

In a context in which new customers will cost you more to obtain, strengthening trust and engagement has become vital, especially to promote loyalty amongst your current customers.

To learn more about loyalty, I highly recommend reading an article written by my colleague Hans Laroche on investing in loyalty during periods of economic inflation.

You’ll be better able to understand now to navigate through periods of economic uncertainty while maintaining a solid relationship with your customers.

Get a better picture of the market

SEO offers a ton of information about user behaviour and market trends (thanks to Google Search Console, GA4, Google Trends and other services!).

By analyzing search data and interactions on your site, you can arrive at a better understanding of your target audience’s needs and preferences.

This deep understanding will let you adjust your content offering and communications through different digital (and traditional) channels to better respond to expectations—a major competitive advantage at any time, but especially during an economic downturn.

Driving innovation and facilitating differentiation

SEO is a crucial tool for monitoring market opportunities and positioning yourself within a landscape of intense competition. Using techniques like share of voice (SOV), which evaluates a brand’s presence compared to the competition in media or advertising spaces, you can identify market leaders and obtain valuable information for refining your strategy, optimizing your site and creating high-quality content.

When competition is omnipresent, you must be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve your performance to maintain your position. This includes taking inspiration from competitors who excel in their field. Once you have obtained a position as a leader, innovation becomes a must if you intend to stay at the top of the rankings.

This proactive approach proves to be especially crucial during hard economic times, when standing apart from the competition and innovating are crucial for success, especially when consumers become more and more selective and careful.

Optimize user experience and customer satisfaction

In 2024, SEO isn’t limited to appealing to search engines. Optimization of user experience is also a closely related function.

This is also the reason that SEO and UX experts at Adviso often collaborate on projects, such as the definition of information architectures and site navigation.

A fast, well-organized site that’s easy to browse will be better at retaining visitors and encouraging conversions.

During times of crisis, offering an exceptional user experience is an essential way of promoting customer loyalty and maintaining solid business performance.

3. Benefits of SEO related to user conversions

 Establishing a culture of testing and continual improvement

SEO teams need to apply their data-driven expertise to developing skills in analysis and testing in order to distinguish their business from their competitors.

By testing various elements of your site and analyzing the results, you can continually improve your site’s performance.

Establishing a culture that values testing, directly inspired by our colleagues in conversion rate optimization (CRO), is crucial during economic downturns.

From this perspective, efficiency and performance become drivers of growth and innovation, even when times are tough.

Generating a lasting return on investment (ROI)

While ad campaigns are designed to bring immediate results, SEO is known as a strategic long-term investment, one that continues to bear fruit well after its first initiatives have been put in place.

This long-term perspective is important especially during a recession, when you may be tempted to look for more immediate gains.

We have also addressed this issue in our article ROI No Matter the Cost, where we explore the importance of keeping a balance between initiatives that generate immediate returns and those with long-term benefits.

In short, continually investing in SEO initiatives can guarantee a stable source of traffic and conversions, even when other marketing channels might be experiencing downturns , thereby ensuring the long-term health of your digital marketing strategy.

4. The benefits of SEO related to customer retention

 Acquiring primary data and building sustainable audiences

SEO is a powerful tool for acquiring primary data directly through interactions with users on your website.

These data provide a precise view of behaviour, preferences and search intentions, thereby enabling you to build rich and relevant audience profiles.

To deepen your understanding of the subject, learn some effective primary data acquisition tactics that could provide inspiration for new ideas.

So what’s the good news in all of this? Over time, these profiles become more and more precise and complete, facilitating the creation of sustainable and loyal audiences.

During difficult economic periods, the ability to maintain an engaged user base without having to depend completely on external sources is critical.

The advantages are unquestionable: more targeted communication, greater personalization and, lastly, improved user experience, which contributes to customer retention and long-term growth.

Thanks to its ability to acquire high-quality traffic, SEO plays a key role in capturing information across the customer journey on your website.

Better understanding of your customers

Investing in SEO also offers a deeper understanding of your targeted audiences by revealing not just what they’re looking for, but also how and why.

This information lets you create a precise portrait of users and their specific needs across all stages of their purchase journeys so you can develop a detailed understanding of your targeted audiences and, therefore, optimize your marketing efforts.

To intensify this process, particularly by defining personas for even more precise targeting, take a look at our tips on creating personas. This market intelligence will produce even greater efficiency, improved resource allocation and, lastly, more successful marketing initiatives.

During hard economic times when competition is intense and resources are limited, SEO is an essential marketing strategy.

The benefits in terms of brand visibility and credibility are obvious, with a significant increase in online presence and consumer trust.

Investing in SEO means engaging in a process of creating rich and relevant content that attracts qualified traffic in the long term, as opposed to transient ad campaigns.

SEO is a lot more than an acquisition strategy. It’s a holistic approach that supports the entire customer journey, from discovery through to conversion and beyond.

During uncertain periods, SEO becomes a powerful tool for companies looking to successfully navigate  a shifting economic landscape, one that transforms challenges into opportunities for growth.

If you’re interested in investing in SEO to build lasting assets, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team will be happy to evaluate your needs and offer an approach that’s adapted to your particular business reality.