So, the last couple of years have been garbage. At least where it has come to business growth, profits and generally, ‘fun’. No ifs, ands or buts about it – a pandemic leading into a recession sucks.
We can debate the politics of it all day long, but when it comes down to sides, I’ll pick green. I’ll take trying to get businesses more business and get employees more wages over political red v. blue boxing matches.
Simple, I know… but it’s the way I feel.
In this post, I’m going to talk about the recession. Specifically, I want to give you the dirty little secret of digital marketing in a recession and how your business can make use of it. Literally, by the time you are done reading this, you will have a few tools, one HUGE one actually, that you can use that is completely recession-proof. 2008 proved it, just as this current one is proving it.
Before we start, I know what you’re thinking…
“What kind of an asshole are you to say something is recession-proof?”
Let’s make this simple, and you tell me if one of these is not like the others…
The businesses that used this strategy BEFORE the pandemic and our current recession are doing really well online. The businesses that worked on it and implemented this strategy are doing good now and will for the next few years without too much upkeep.
The businesses who haven’t used it yet? Those are the ones complaining about nothing working online and they are tired of spending pointless money on their website, paid ads and social media and more.
We are going to look at these secrets, these strategies and how to implement them WITHOUT hiring someone like me. I know, it seems counter-intuitive to sell digital marketing services while telling you that you don’t need me, but I want to help.
In fact, the first dirty little secret is that everything I’m about to tell you isn’t a secret at all. It’s just that most people that are in the digital marketing space try to avoid talking about this to business owners.
I might also go a little faster than you would expect in my explanations. There is a reason: you’re a busy person.
Who the f$*& am I to take up all of your valuable time???
The core of the internet – your business website
So, your business website is literally the core of all of your digital marketing. Even a one-page website is better than having nothing and only relying on your social media profiles or some business directory as a contact point.
Many businesses were smart enough to start, expand or upgrade their website during the pandemic.
If you didn’t, it’s not a problem.
Just remember this wise, wise tip – OWN everything in your brand. Own the website, the layout, the hosting and your domain name. OWN WHAT YOU OWN!!!
To maximize your website, you need something similar to this layout:
- Homepage (not titled ‘Home’)
- (and any others you need)
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Blog (calling it something else works like “XXXX Info”)
Don’t make your website this massive science project – it doesn’t need to be one. It just needs to explain who you are, what you offer, who you serve and give direction to contact you.
“But I can’t build a website!!!”, says most business owners reading this thus far.
Ok, then use a free piece of software to do it for you. With something like WordPress (a CMS, or content management system), you can create the navigation, new pages, blog posts and other odds and ends without ANY marketing or writing knowledge.
And, yes, it’s free. Most web hosts allow you to install it with a single-click!
With the above stated, here’s an affordable, DIY tip many business owners don’t know…
If you go to NameCheap at https://namecheap.com (I’m not affiliated in any way with them), you can register a domain, grab a year of web hosting, have a true dot COM email for your business and create a website all for under $50 a year for the first year.
“So why do digital marketing agencies like me do it for thousands?”
Because we do the work – installation, maintenance, copywriting, testing, administration and more. With most marketing packages, I include branding options, SEO, some link building and also other content.
But, you NEED a website. One that is professional looking, well-written and search engine friendly.
On that note…
SEO – The real recession-proof marketing tool
The TL;DR of this section is simple…
SEO is evergreen, and ever-growing.
It’s that simple.
Let’s look at ‘why’ a little deeper. And let’s talk about how you can affordably get more SEO traction for the end of 2022 and into 2023 than you ever have had before!
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of formatting your website in a better structure, the content in a more user-friendly format and also creating authority via links all in the effort for search engines like Google to love your website.
SEO is not keyword stuffing.
SEO is not bulk link building.
SEO is building the bridge between user-sentiment and all the little bots and spiders crawling the internet and evaluating brands.
Ok, so, I know when we usually talk about SEO and search engines, we are talking about Google. Google for search engines is like Kleenex for tissues and Kool-Aid for kid’s drink mixes.
Ranking in Google search is easy to explain, but not the easiest thing to do. The two top ranking factors (there are like 200+ total), are links and content. The better your content, the better your rankings. The higher quantity and quality of links that point to your website, the higher your rankings.
Before you look up the other ranking factors for your business website, I can save you some time: ‘Links and Content’ are ranking factors that attribute for like 80%-90% of your website ranking in Google Search.
Everything else is a tweak to that number – but still worth it in the end. Things like load time, speed to live, use of meta tags, use of headlines and H tags, title usage, interior linking structure, etc., are all in the ‘other’ ranking factors.
Here’s the dirty little secret about SEO that makes it so dang recession-proof…
SEO is evergreen. It can last a LONG TIME. Your rankings can take months, if not years, to come to fruition. But when they do, they can stay there for a while. In some cases, without any maintenance or upkeep, you can actually rank for other keywords and topics that you didn’t initially target.
Here’s an example of SEO being used by a business before, during and after the pandemic and starting of the recession. These brands are made up, but they are based on businesses in the area (yes, business in and around New Castle PA, right now in September of 2022).
One other thing I’m going to mention here is that your results can and usually do vary. But, in 99,999 cases out of 100,000, the following is EXACTLY what is happening…
Brand A started to use SEO for search engine traffic in 2019. This included a package purchased from an SEO agency for 6 months. After 50+ quality links, a revamp of all service pages and some articles added to the brand’s blog, the brand’s traffic quadrupled in 2020.
Search engine traffic is still “UP”. The SEO actions of 2019 into 2020, resulted in continued growth through 2022. That traffic did plateau but it is still a lot higher than in 2019 and 2020.
Brand B started to use SEO for search engine traffic in late 2020. The brand wanted to use that “downtime” of Covid-19 to rebuild their website and build their marketing campaigns for the next year or two. Like Brand A, they are measuring search engine traffic at quadruple levels of their pre-2019 stats.
What’s to come?
Well, for Brand B, they likely will see stabilization of the traffic, but still a good ride from their initial 6-month tactics and actions. If they add more pages or more posts, they could keep that momentum growing. Add in more quality links, and the same momentum will continue.
Brand C, however, is about to start some SEO work. They’ve had issues with plans and DIY solutions in the past and are worried about whether to even use SEO or not for marketing.
What would I tell them?
I would remind them that SEO is evergreen. That most brands perform 6 months of work and see 3 years of results. This is a pretty good ROI, right? Plus, even if a recession ripples during this time, their efforts will still be fruitful – they will spend no more time or money, but will grow their rankings as time goes on.
Once again, these examples are based on real businesses.
Question: Can you make normal SEO results even better, without doing something illegal or what Google might consider illegal?
Yep, and here it is…
Let’s talk about Local SEO for your business
So, your business has its website in place. You are onboard for SEO strategies and actions.
Good, and great!
But, you want to supercharge and really juice up your results, right?
This is where Local SEO comes into play.
What is Local SEO? Why is Local SEO different from SEO? What makes Local SEO even more recession-proof?
Local SEO is about optimizing a website for search engines, but in the context of it being a regional brand.
Local SEO is for local business and local brands.
A national company, or even global, would not be using Local SEO, per se – they can, though. This is especially true if they hold regional branches, locations or franchises.
Remember, SEO ranking factors are primarily content + link quality/quantity. Local SEO adds in something else – regional signals.
What are some regional signals Local SEO uses for ranking your business or brand?
These are the parts of regional signals when it comes to Local SEO:
- Local citations
- Business reviews (from reputable websites)
- Brand to region linking (name, address, phone, contact, service areas, etc)
- Regional naming and usage (for me, words like New Castle, Western Pennsylvania, Lawrence County, etc)
So, here are some keywords and topics for brands that are SEO-friendly.
Now, these are not Local SEO-friendly, but are basically regional types of services that you might need and search for on Google. I’m going to list them, and then show you how Local SEO can be used to trigger a regional signal.
- Roof repair
- Air conditioner installation
- Emergency furnace repair
- Estate planning
For Local SEO-friendly keywords and topics, things change. In this example, we are going to focus on adding regional naming and usage triggers. Here’s what I mean…
- New Castle Roof Repair
- Air Conditioner Installation in Hermitage
- Emergency Furnace Repair Near Me
- Estate Planning In Sharon
See the triggers?
Naming actual mapped locations triggers a regional naming *DING*. “Near me” is another one.
Another little tip: “Near Me” triggers Google into looking at where the user is in the world when they search for a keyword – so use it in your titles and links on your website.
Now, let’s talk about off-site Local SEO actions. Namely, local citations… or, as I like to call them, “Free Link Building With Oomph”!
Local citations are cool. They are high quality links, can be customized a bit and are mostly FREE links back to your website and your brand.
Plus, they allow you to validate your website to your brand. After all, anyone can make a website about your brand or your business and then just muck up your online reputation. Instead, go out and claim your listings to validate yourself and control the conversation.
My simple recommendation to start claiming local citations?
Start with the MOZ Citations By Category Listing. This listing is mostly free. These are separated by category, but you can even check out listings by regional in the United States.
Another place to start is with BrightLocal’s Local Citations. This listing shows the United States, and other countries.
I’m not affiliated with either website, but the lists are simple to follow.
I do have one suggestion before you begin claiming listings – get your information correct. Open up a spreadsheet in MS Office or in Google Docs and record the following, among other items:
- Business name
- Website url
- Owner name
- Region served
- Business mission
- Business description (long – meaning more than 200 words)
- Business description (short – meaning less than 200 words, but as short as possible – 20 words?)
- Business logo
- Employee images
- Links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube business accounts
Now, all of your information is the exact same. You don’t have to think about it. You just go to the local citation website, signup and copy/paste the information into the profile form.
How many local citation websites are out there?
Well, probably, regionally, in the thousands if not tens of thousands. Across all of the globe, you are looking at millions and millions. So, you will likely never run out of good links to build from local citations sources.
Let’s wrap everything up concerning digital marketing, the recession and how your business can actually grow during it all!
Today, we looked at the harm of a recession. We didn’t touch on the direct results of a recession in business or the causes, but I think “it friggin’ sucks” kind of wraps it up nicely!
We talked about using recession-proof marketing for your business. We started talking about a website and how you can ‘own what you own’ correctly. We looked at SEO as the ultimate recession-proof digital marketing tactic. Finally, we talked a bunch about Local SEO and its value to you.
Finally, I hope you now have some kind of an idea of a plan to get started using these strategies to build your website, grow your search engine traffic and plant your flag locally.
But maybe you need a little bit more. As a ‘thank you’ for sustaining my bad sense of humor and tragic jokes, you can call (724)510-7201 to claim your free business consultation. You can also click here: https://blews.media/schedule-a-free-business-consultation to claim your exact time and date for a consultation – I’ll give you a call and we can talk about everything that involves your brand, strategies and how to use SEO, Local SEO and your website better.