Budgets Decline, Marketing Strategies Veer but SEO is Here to Stay

At a time when economies across the world are in doldrums and job security unsure, Search Engine Optimization is securing a firmer place in the marketing kitty.

According to a survey conducted by the Conductor, SEO will be the primary focus for marketers amidst the downturn.

The survey elicited responses from 317 respondents across a range of industries. This includes B2B (24%), Retail (12%), Healthcare (11%), Media (10%) and others (travel and hospitality, consumer technology, financial services, insurance, automotive, e-commerce and manufacturing).

The Findings

Tighter Budgets

The survey findings indicate declining marketing budgets. Majority of the respondents (65%) affirmed a decrease in budget. 

But, the silver lining is that 45% of the marketers confirmed only a slight decrease.

Only 20% of the marketers indicated a major decline in their marketing budget.

Source: The Impact of COVID-19 on Marketing (2020)

Attaining Goals

While the budgets are not changing drastically, the goals seem to either remain the same (32%) or increase (36%).

Further, a majority (86%) of these hands-on practitioners confirmed that it would be more difficult to achieve their marketing goals given the new circumstances and lowered budgets.

And now the million-dollar question…

How Important will SEO be: More important or Less?

Well, SEO consultants can sigh a breath of relief. Their jobs, unlike many others’, are safe.

A whopping 63% of the marketers confirmed that SEO will gain more importance in their marketing efforts. Additionally, 34% said that it would increase slightly while 29% attested to a sharp increase in the use of SEO.

Performance from the Past

One of the reasons for the continuing or, increased reliance on SEO can be attributed to organic search being the top-performers in 2019 for most of the marketers surveyed.

66% of the marketing professionals found organic search to be the most rewarding channel followed by paid-search at 50%.

Source: The Impact of COVID-19 on Marketing (2020)

If faced with a global slowdown, the marketing practitioners would decrease the budget while investing more in SEO and be more demanding of the marketing ROI. A mere 25% of those surveyed, indicated layoffs as a coping mechanism.

Source: The Impact of COVID-19 on Marketing (2020)

The survey finding echoes the advice from top professionals in the online marketing space who have often emphasized the importance of SEO in the marketing strategy. 

Not only will increasing or maintaining the SEO component help keep a tighter hold on the budget during these tough times but will also pay returns in the long-term.


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