Recession and Online Marketing

    January 20, 2008

As financial commentary continues to suggest a recession is inevitable, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts detailing ways small businesses can leverage the power of search engine and online marketing to weather the recession storm.

Surviving a recession isn’t just about cutting costs – it’s about spending wisely. Far too often, small businesses make blanket cuts to their marketing budgets to save money, but therein lies the issue. If you don’t continue to attract customers then recession survival is near on impossible.

Online marketing provides the most accountable way to acquire new customers. So when times get tough, you need to make sure every marketing dollar you spend counts and is providing you a return on your investment.

The best way to ensure you are spending your money wisely is by engaging services with guarantees. Service guarantees mitigate the risks of your marketing spend in tough financial times.

So what guarantees are available in the search marketing industry?

Organic Listing (web results),
Getting your business into the web results of top search engines is vital for generating "free traffic" to your website. If you’re not listed in the organic search results of Google and Yahoo! – then you’re already behind the eight ball.

Paid inclusion programs offer website owners with guaranteed organic listing in the major search engines. Some of these programs are set up by the search engines (e.g. Yahoo! offers Search Submit Basic for guaranteed listing in 4 days), while some SEM companies will guarantee listing in other search engines (we offer Guaranteed Google Listing in 7 days).

Sponsored Listing (search advertising),
Search engine advertising involves promoting your business on the search engines in their sponsored listings area.

This is the surest way to gain exposure to vital prospects in tough times. Not only is listing possible in a rapid time frame (your search engine ads can be live in hours), but the sponsored results are keyword specific providing rapid targeting opportunities. The best part is that search engine ads are displayed at the top of the search results – in prime view of potential customers.

Local Search Listings (bricks and mortar business listings),
Local Search offers businesses the opportunity to tap into the growing number of customers using search engines to find bricks and mortar retailers and service providers in their area. Businesses are able to set-up detailed business listings which are now being displayed in standard search results thanks to the developments offered by Universal search.

There are many local search offerings available, and unlike core SEM and SEO, local reaches far beyond just Google and Yahoo! (our Local Search Listing service offers submission to 46 local search engines).

Top Rankings in the Search Results.
Unfortunately, top organic rankings are difficult to guarantee as the search engines control the algorithms that govern these results. However, just like search engine listing, some SEM companies will offer their own guaranteed ranking services, providing you some peace of mind on your SEO investment.

These are some of the main areas to focus your online marketing spend during tough financial times if you want the security of guaranteed marketing results. Over the coming weeks, I will explore these and other online marketing efforts in more detail to help small businesses ride out the recession.

If you’ve got any recession busting questions or ideas – feel free to leave a comment and I’ll tackle them through post updates and replies.