When Times are Tough – Ramp UP your SEOI just got through reading Nick Stamoulis’ blog on ramping up SEO during slow business periods. Loved it! Not just because Nick is a Boston-guy and that’s my old turf (although that’s one reason perhaps), but because he makes great sense!

In a nutshell Nick says:

1. Cut back on your online advertising

2. Minimize your PPC spend

3. Don’t go to that tradeshow

4. Learn SEO yourself and do it in-house (or use an affordable agency… *hint hint*)

We see fluctuations in traffic with our clients all the time. In fact a couple clients in particular see traffic dip in fall months – usually around September and then pick back up in January and February. While we never like to see traffic dip there are usually good reasons. If they work with the GSA (Government Services Administration) which are the buyers of products and solutions for the government, then this is a natural period of slowing, since their buying cycle ends in September and budgets for the following year aren’t available. In fact, budgets drying up could be the case for many IT buyers at non-government entities.

What we want to see when analyzing traffic is the year-over-year gains in organic traffic, since last year will likely pattern this year in terms of trends. This is the best benchmark for measuring success with SEO – at least in terms of site traffic.

I also agree with Nick with his suggested areas to cut budget… online advertising and pay-per-click in particular. These are all great lead generation tactics, but they can be very expensive. They are also tactics that can help support broader campaigns and promotions, but the percentage of people that click on paid advertising online is much lower than organic links.

With this in mind, I’d suggest that in times of slow business, ramp up your SEO. Adding 10 or 20 keywords to an SEO program doesn’t add tremendous cost (at least not with us), and the additional content created to support those new keywords can help expand your online footprint, build thought-leadership, and even drive… yup, leads.

photo credit Photo Credit to soelin