Surviving The Economic Downturn With SEO

“There’s no two ways about it – SEO is hot again”, writes┬áRand Fishkin, CEO of the Seattle-based SEO company SEOmoz, in his latest blog post. He observes that not only his firm has┬áreceived a higher than normal volume of requests for consulting, but also various job sections for SEO professionals are thriving.

The employment trend chart by job search engine Simply Hired shows a 147% increase in SEO jobs in the last one and a half years alone:

search engine optimization trends by marc baumann

Fishkin lists 8 reasons why Search Engine Optimization is becoming more attractive to companies in a down market:

  1. The Web Outperforms Other Sales Channel
  2. It’s the Right Time to Re-Tool
  3. Paid Search Drives Interest in SEO
  4. SEO is Losing its Stigma
  5. Marketing Departments are in a Brainstorming Cycle
  6. Search Traffic Will Be Relatively Unscathed by the Market
  7. Web Budgets are Being Re-Assessed
  8. Someone Finally Looked at the Web Analytics

While I never would dare to compare my one man consultancy with a well-known SEO agency like SEOmoz, I personally can confirm that there is an increased interest in SEO. Although, as Search Engine Watch summarized recently in a great post, “the SEO process still requires an introduction at the onset of any presentation.”

Indeed, the majority of companies still seems to have a lack of knowledge when it comes to SEO. They either want you to be the miracle worker (“Can you help me to rank no. 1 in Google for keyword XY in one week?”), or prefer a paid search campaign only. As Rand explains perfectly in his post, SEO being discovered because company delivers more bang for the buck in times of marketing budget cuts.

Additionally, Forrester’s Kim Le Quoc and Jaap Favier stated in their report titled “How to Stimulate Consumer to Buy Online”:

“Creating preference with online buyers starts with search engine optimization (SEO). As search increases in complexity, marketing leaders need to move their teams toward advanced search marketing programs.”

These are my personal 4 tips when talking to a potential client:

  • Consider SEO, because it doesn’t require a huge investment (unless you’re working with a top-tier agency that charges an excessive amount of money);
  • Have an audit performed of your site to see where your site;
  • Implement a simple rewrite of your URL structure. Often times, it can be enough to move your site into a position to be indexed by the search engines;
  • Check to make sure that your navigation and pages are properly built with text links and easy to understand text. This can really help improve your site’s accessibility to search engines.

Do you have other suggestions?


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