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How SEO Agencies Can Stay Profitable During a Downturn


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Being proactive in the face of economic downturns and natural crises is critical for any business. One thing we learned from the 2008 recession is that marketing budgets are first to get cut – shrinking up to 30%.

That is why now is an important moment for SEO agencies to focus on the productivity and well-being of their teams, and above all, good client management.

Communication and care are crucial for navigating market uncertainties while transforming processes that keep SEOs profitable.

In this presentation, Alen-Jelco Todorov of SEOmonitor offers tips on how SEO agencies can be proactive and prevent high churn in the face of an economic downturn.

We will:
- Explore strategic ways to prepare for an economic downturn as an SEO agency.
- Identify what effective communication with clients is during a recession.
- Determine how to assess SEO resources and opportunities in a time of budget cuts.
- Uncover the silver lining – what industries thrive in this scenario.

Published in: Marketing
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How SEO Agencies Can Stay Profitable During a Downturn

  1. 1. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor How SEO Agencies Can Stay Profitable During a Downturn
  2. 2. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  3. 3. Did the outbreak affect your current monthly recurring revenue? POLL #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  4. 4. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” - Samuel Johnson
  5. 5. A few considerations ● Every agency situation is unique. Some cater to local business, while others work with enterprise customers. ● Your primary goal is to maintain sustainability. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  6. 6. The goal of this seminar ● Work as a tool for strategic thinking ● Reference point for management workshops #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  7. 7. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Assess the current situation
  8. 8. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor External Internal Opportunity areas Risk Areas People Cash
  9. 9. Opportunity areas - Where can you add more value? ● Cost per FTE lower due to switching to a remote team ● Digital transformation expertise - Help your customers navigate the challenges of switching to digital #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  10. 10. What areas at risk? How might you mitigate #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Customer Industry MRR Action
  11. 11. People - How to keep them active & engaged ● Should you increase the amount of staff meetings? ● How do you a maintain your work ethic culture while social distancing? #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  12. 12. Cash - Monthly operating expenses #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Vendor Cost Variable Proposals
  13. 13. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Build the contingency plan
  14. 14. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Pre-emptive What-if Defensive Acquire Manage Retain
  15. 15. “OMG we have to cut everything” #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Establish and align on trigger events
  16. 16. What are trigger events ● Objective and quantifiable ● The whole leadership team agrees to them ● Based on real-time data ● Aligned to cash #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  17. 17. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Pre-emptive What-if Defensive Acquire Introductory pricing Manage What expenses can be put on hold with no harm Retain Focus on high-value and at-risk Weekly check-ins with customers
  18. 18. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Pre-emptive What-if Defensive Acquire Discounts for long term contracts Manage Short-term capex, bonuses / sales incentives Retain Exclusive access
  19. 19. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Pre-emptive What-if Defensive Acquire Re-package for margin Manage Deferred comp, part time work. Retain Pause existing campaigns
  20. 20. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor Focus on the relationships
  21. 21. How to mitigate concerns customers could have from a remote team ● Informing them about your current workflow. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  22. 22. Over Communicate ● Weekly check-ins about the companies’ current status. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  23. 23. Be a consultant ● Don’t give self-serving advice. Some companies need to stop all marketing initiatives in order to make payroll. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  24. 24. Acknowledge uncertainty ● Use fuzzy tools like Google Trends #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  25. 25. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor What we did after the workshop
  26. 26. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  27. 27. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  28. 28. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor We asked SEO leaders about the impact.
  29. 29. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  30. 30. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  31. 31. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  32. 32. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor
  33. 33. #SEJWebinar @seomonitor