According to Forbes, the U.S. experienced two consecutive quarters of negative growth at the beginning of 2022. This does, indeed, constitute a recession according to the traditional definition even though some may argue otherwise.
Regardless of whether you believe that a prolonged recession is just over the horizon or are more optimistic, the market is echoing the effects of this economic uncertainty. As such, many companies are cutting back on certain expenses and delaying certain investments while contending with declining sales.
The marketing budget is often one of the first investments that businesses cut back on. However, it is a short-sighted move especially if they want to weather the potential recession without exacerbating their economic challenges.
During a recession, you should prioritize the following:
- Retaining loyal customers
- Making sure new customers can still find your brand
- Maintaining a strong digital presence.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the marketing strategies that can help you maintain brand awareness and nurture potential customers at a lower cost. As you prepare for an economic downturn, consider these strategies to make your SEO budget dollars work for you.
3 Tips to Manage SEO in a Recession
1. Continue to Invest in SEO
In a recession, you will need to up your digital marketing efforts and start acquiring new customers. Make sure you build relationships and trust with that new customer base, as doing so will increase their average lifetime value.
As you navigate the newly condensed marketplace, you might be tempted to devote all of your marketing resources to short-term tactics like pay-per-click advertising or social media marketing campaigns.
These efforts will help you connect with potential customers, but they’re not sustainable marketing strategies. PPC and social media advertising tends to be more costly and the clicks might not always lead to sales. In the long term, SEO is far more economically viable, even during a recession.
SEO isn’t a one-and-done strategy. It requires ongoing maintenance and improvements if you want to keep your high ranking. If you stop investing in your SEO efforts, you are throwing all your hard work down the drain and giving your competitors a chance to step in and steal all the traffic from your brand.
Conversely, if you stay the course and continue to invest in your SEO campaigns, you are more likely to improve your organic traffic and be well-positioned to compete once the recession ends.
2. Find What Works and Multiply
Managing a business during a recession is undoubtedly challenging. However, you can use the challenges you face to your advantage by doing what your competitors aren’t.
Many businesses in your market may forgo investing in SEO, including exploring new strategies. This leaves an area of opportunity open for you to maximize your website traffic by leveraging emerging marketing tactics like Schema Markup.
Schema Markup, also known as Structured Data, is an advanced SEO strategy that helps search engines understand and contextualize the content on your web pages. Adding Structured Data to your web page will also qualify it for a rich result on the search engine results page, which improves your click-through rate and drives more traffic to your site. It is recommended by Google and is becoming even more relevant with the continued evolution of AI and Search.
Most of the results attributed to SEO are difficult to measure. Conversely, Schema Markup, and the website traffic that it produces, can be tracked accurately. Therefore, you’ll be able to measure the impact it is making on your business.
When implementing this strategy into your marketing mix during a recession, you might want to start small and test its effectiveness before investing more into it. You can start by adding the markup to 1-2 key page sets (for example: blog, products or physician pages) on your website and review the results of it on Google Search Console. If the rich results are driving performance, you can then invest more and create a Schema Markup strategy that covers more pages on your site.
One of our customers, Sonova, conducted pilot Schema Markup projects to test the effectiveness of the strategy before committing to it fully.
Sonova worked with the Schema App team to implement FAQ markup on two country sites and saw that they were getting better results than the countries that were adding markup locally. As a result of this pilot, they were confident in Schema App’s ability to help drive their website’s performance through Schema Markup.
3. Focus on Content that Converts
During a recession, the economy doesn’t come to a full stop. Consumers are still spending money, albeit less of it. You need to give them a good reason to spend it on your products and services instead of those offered by your competitors now more than ever.
One great way to do that is by investing in high-quality website and content that boosts your visibility, promotes trust, and provides value to your target audience.
To be clear, we aren’t referring to purely advertorial content. According to Entrepreneur, 70% of consumers prefer to learn about brands via content instead of advertising. While ads certainly have their place in your marketing strategy, we suggest focusing on SEO by publishing educational or informative content.
When you create content, you need to ensure it will reach the right audience, which means optimizing it for specific keywords, but sometimes that isn’t enough. To help your content stand out further, you can add Schema Markup to your content and help it stand out as a rich result on search.
Example of a Product rich result
If you are still experimenting with Schema Markup and want to start small, you should focus on optimizing content for rich results that provide the best conversion rates. In the past year, we’ve seen FAQ, Product, Review Snippets and How-To rich results perform best for our customers in terms of click-through rates.
That said, you will also need to ensure that your page has the required content to be eligible for those rich results. By focusing on optimizing content that converts and picking the rich results that can drive meaningful traffic, you will maximize your ROI on Schema Markup.
Revitalize Your SEO Strategy with Schema Markup
Now that you know how to manage SEO during a recession, it is time to take meaningful action and reinvigorate your marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that marketing is an investment, not an expense. As such, you should continue to invest in SEO, as organic traffic can yield cheaper clicks and provide long-term value.
However, since much of SEO is not measurable, you should expand your strategy by incorporating measurable tactics such as Schema Markup into your SEO game plan. Doing so will allow you to see the return on investment of the tactic, and make more savvy decisions on which tactics you should continue to invest in or cut.
If you are thinking of investing in Schema Markup during this time of uncertainty, we can help. At Schema App, we work with enterprise SEO teams to deliver an end-to-end Schema Markup solution. When you partner with us, you will be assigned a dedicated Customer Success Manager to create your custom strategy, gain access to our scalable Schema Markup tools, and get measured results on your ROI.
If you are considering investing in a Schema Markup solution, let’s talk! See how Schema App can help you gain a competitive advantage on SERP during these budget-conscious times.
Gracia Chua is the Demand Generation Manager at Schema App. Schema App is an end-to-end Schema Markup solution that helps enterprise SEO teams create, deploy and manage Schema Markup to stand out in search.