Why SEO Should Be The Primary Focus for Marketers During The Crisis

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
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Despite the downturn caused by COVID-19 it is very important to maintain your SEO & SEM efforts. As most surveys show, marketing budgets have been adversely impacted by the outbreak. The majority of businesses, however, report their budgets being only slightly decreased or even remaining the same, while only 20% were seeing a great decrease:

  • 45% of businesses reported a slight decrease in budget
  • 27% of businesses reported their budget staying the same
  • 20% of businesses reported a great decrease in budget
  • 7% of businesses reported a slight increase in budget
  • 2% of businesses reported a great increase in budget

Despite these numbers, 68% of businesses said that their goals for this year will remain the same or increase, although 86% of them think that they will be more difficult to achieve given reduced budgets and other circumstances. SEO will remain in focus for most businesses as 63% of them said that it will gain in importance and only 5% responded that its importance will decrease.

Let’s have a deeper insight into top-performing channels for online marketers last year and try to draw some conclusions about what channels will bring the highest revenue during a downturn:

  • Organic search – 66%
  • Paid search – 50%
  • Email marketing – 50%
  • Content marketing – 36%
  • Digital advertising – 26%
  • Paid media – 18%
  • Organic social – 14%
  • Webinar – 11%
  • Affiliates – 8%
  • Influencer marketing – 4%
  • Syndication – 3%
  • SMS/text – 3%
  • Push notifications – 2%
  • In-Application messaging – 1%

As we can see, organic search was seen as the top-performing channel by 66% of marketers, followed by paid search and email. It could come as a surprise that only 14% of businesses report social media as their top-performing channel. This proves that SEO is still the driving force when it comes to online marketing. These perceptions will shape future marketing decisions during a downturn. This is why it is no surprise that when confronted with a global recession, most marketers claim that they would lower their budgets, invest more in SEO and raise the ROI threshold for marketing decisions, hoping it will pay significant dividends when the crisis is over.


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