by Steve LaLonde – PPC Manager at DragonSearch

A lot of people in the business of search like to think that search is immune to the economic malaise out there today.  “Search is immune to the economic slowdown!” they claim.  Or my personal favorite, “search is recession-proof!”

While I’m probably one of the largest proponents of search marketing, I’m here to say loud and clear that search is not 100% immune. Thinking this crazy thought is dangerous to you and your clients.

When people start spending less, they click and don’t buy. They start window-shopping (aka clicking) a bit more, and on your AdWords dime, no less.

When companies (your and my clients) feel the squeeze, they may have no choice but to cut spending.  This could include ad budgets across many mediums – — even search.  They don’t want to —- they know search is the best bang-for-the-advertising-buck, but maybe they have to.  Maybe the paper isn’t even there to pay Google.

This is an economic slowdown people.  Now is not the time to recline in your “search is immune!” chair and laugh at all the poor saps on wall street and main street.  I’m sorry if this freaks anyone out. I know there’s already enough economic scare out there right now.

So don’t get scared. Get smart.

Gone may be the easy days of set it and forget it search campaigns which put a smile on the boss’ – or the clients face – and keep ’em coming back for more.  Now is a time to get efficient – and work smarter and harder – no matter what business you’re in.

What’s “work smarter” mean?  It can mean a lot of things.  To us, it means doing the same things we’ve been doing to drive results, but with a few tweaks:

  • Scrutinize your ROI more aggressively than ever
  • Cut the bleeding.  Things that aren’t converting should be the first to go.
  • Reevaluate your spend on branded vs. non-branded keywords
  • Think about the consumer buying cycle.  Spend less on window-shopper searches.  Spend more  reaching consumers near the last stage of the buying cycle. The ones who are “ready to buy.”
  • Get accountability wherever it’s missing.  Clients will demand it now more than ever.
  • Test test test test test and test again

When the world climbs out of this mess – and oh it will climb out – search will still be here.  The clients and managers who got lazy, kicked back and proclaimed “search is immune!” may not be.  It’s time to get smart and work hard!

This entry was posted on Friday, October 24, 2008 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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