The dreaded “R” word has been looming over the economy for the past couple of years. Markets are volatile, interest rates are rising, and many economists argue that we’re either already in or heading towards a recession in the near future.
Regardless of what happens in the short term, history tells us that we’ll see at least a few more recessions in our lifetimes. How long they’ll last and the impact they’ll have on our future economic growth is still up for debate.
One thing is for certain. When a recession does come, you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to make sure your business is in shape to survive. By then, it’s too late.
Fortunately, there are certain things you can do now with your SEO strategy and website to ensure everything is recession-proof. Making your site recession-proof today will help you generate leads, traffic, and revenue in the future—even if you need to cut costs due to economic concerns.
Let’s dive in!
Don’t Rely Solely on Ads as Your Traffic Source
Paid traffic is an excellent way to get eyes on your brand and visitors to your site. It’s often used as a fast track to site traffic, especially for new websites that haven’t been around long enough to climb the organic search rankings.
While there’s nothing wrong with paying for ads, it could be problematic for your site in the long run if it’s your only traffic source.
Here’s why. Your advertising dollars may not stretch as far during a recession. Even if you can afford to run ads for traffic, you could have a harder time generating a positive ROI as consumer spending slows down.
Ads are great when cash is flowing. But the traffic will stop as soon as your ads get pulled.
Recession-proof sites have a balanced mix of both paid and organic traffic. That’s why you need to prioritize SEO as a long-term hedge.
Unlike an advertisement, you won’t see an influx in traffic by publishing a single piece of content overnight. SEO takes time to see results.
But having a proper SEO strategy in place can ensure your site still gets tons of visitors, even if you pull your ads completely during a recession. This will give you a significant edge over your competitors who didn’t plan ahead for tough times.
Establish a Regular Blogging Cadence
Blogging has been one of my favorite long-term SEO strategies for as long as I can remember. The SEO value of writing blogs is unmatched compared to any other approach. Here’s why.
Blogs give you the opportunity to target a vast amount of keywords associated with your website. This is especially true for long-tail keywords.
You can also use your blogs to target visitors at various stages of the buying funnel. Some of your blogs can be used to promote your brand and convert people immediately. Others are just informative sources that drive traffic to your website.
But using blogs to get organic traffic only works if you establish a regular cadence. Publishing five blogs today and then taking two months off before your next blog goes live isn’t going to generate any results.
So come up with a realistic plan based on your time and resources, and stick to it. I recommend posting a minimum of two or three blogs per week.
Recent studies suggest that increasing your blogging frequency generates better results for websites.
Another great part about blogging is that it’s absolutely free. The only investment here is your time.
If you need to cut costs down the road during a recession, you can always continue blogging without spending a dime.
Optimize Your Landing Pages for High Conversions
Prioritizing traffic is obviously important in every economic climate. But that traffic is useless if it’s not benefiting your bottom line.
If you do continue spending money on ads and marketing campaigns during a recession, it’s crucial that your landing pages are optimized to convert.
Getting people to visit your site isn’t easy. The last thing you want to do is miss out on an opportunity to convert a qualified buyer because you didn’t design your site properly.
One of my favorite ways to optimize websites is through A/B testing. Rather than assuming a certain value proposition or image will drive the most conversions, you can test your theories to make data-driven changes.
You can run A/B tests on your CTA button size, button placement, form fields, background colors, image placement, and headings—the list is endless.
Refer to my guide on how to write a compelling copy that converts as a resource when you’re going through this process.
Build High-Quality Backlinks
You need to prioritize your backlink profile. This helps boost your domain authority and ultimately increase your positioning in the SERPs.
But link building takes a lot of time and effort. If you wait until a recession hits, then it’s going to be too late. Start doing this now.
Some of my favorite ways to build quality backlinks include:
- Personalized cold outreach
- Guest blogging
- Creating high-quality and linkable content
- Broken link building
- Skyscraper link building
- Claiming unlinked brand mentions
- Reclaiming old links
Having a solid backlink profile is great during all economic climates because most of those links won’t be going anywhere. Not only does this help drive traffic to your site, but it also tells Google that you’re a legitimate and reputable source in your niche.
In addition to following the strategies in the bullet list above, make sure you check out my list of link-building tactics to avoid.
Invest in the Right Tools For Success
Today it seems like there’s a business solution for everything. Every SaaS category in the business space is flooded with different tools that all seem to do the same thing, which can be pretty overwhelming.
With that said, lots of these tools will help you gain an edge over your competitors, improve your SEO strategy, and scale your content marketing strategy with ease.
The key is finding the right tools for your unique situation. Finding all-in-one solutions for certain things can help you save money in the long run.
For example, you don’t need to have five or ten SEO tools. In most cases, one will be just fine. I personally like Ahrefs as the best all-in-one tool, but there are plenty of other candidates to consider.
You can likely find a single tool for email marketing, CRM, live chat, and pipeline management as well. Bundling these services into a single subscription is cheaper than getting them individually. When times are tough during a recession, you want to make sure that you’re not overpaying for unnecessary software.
Use Your Website to Capture Leads
Not every site visit needs to turn into a sale. You need to understand that the people landing on your pages are coming from all different places, and they’re all at various stages in the conversion funnel.
Some might be completely unfamiliar with your brand and just landed on your site from a blog post. Whether you’re offering products or services, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get that person to buy whatever you’re selling right now.
That’s why you need different lead capture methods on your site. The idea here is that you’re providing some sort of value or benefit to the site visitor in exchange for their email address. Examples include:
- Free ebooks
- Training videos
- Case studies
I practice what I preach. When you land on one of my blogs (including the one you’re reading right now), you’ll see a lead magnet in the sidebar:
Providing a lead magnet now gives you the opportunity to nurture those visitors down the road through email marketing campaigns.
During a recession, you can continue to collect leads and communicate with your subscribers. This way, you’re top of mind when that person eventually has disposable income. I have some helpful tips on converting blog traffic into quality leads that you can use as a reference.
Learn How to Get The Most Out of Your Best-Performing Content
Some brands might slow down content creation during poor economic times. This is especially true if you’re currently outsourcing content or need to make some cuts internally.
With that said, this doesn’t mean that your SEO value needs to decline or come to a stall. You just need to find ways to get more value from your best content.
For example, let’s say your top 20 or 30 blogs are driving 50% of your organic website traffic. Continue to rework those blogs and keep them up to date with the latest information. Make sure that they’re delivering real value for your audience.
You could potentially increase your organic traffic by an extra 20% simply by optimizing your top-performing content. This helps you get site visits even when your publishing rate slows down.
Nobody likes to be pessimistic. But when it comes to recessions and the economic climate of our country, these things are out of your control.
I’m not saying you need to be afraid of recessions or completely change your business model. But you do need to understand the risks associated with recessions and have plans in place so your business can continue to thrive—even during economic slowdowns.
Brands that survive recessions understand the importance of planning ahead. By following the tips and best practices above, you can future-proof your website and SEO strategies to prepare for recessions.
Best of all, these methods will help your business thrive even when we’re not in a recession. So it’s a win-win regardless of how the economy is doing.