What Happens When You Stop SEO and Marketing?

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Amid the COVID-19 crisis, many business owners are considering cutting marketing to save money – but should they?

Due to the Coronavirus, business owners in America and abroad are facing a near unprecedented combination of a contagious virus keeping customers quarantined – and the looming threat of a possible recession. This situation is compounded by confusion over shelter-in-place orders and a lack of reliable predictions for how long all of it will last. If you’re reading this, chances are you are among those small business owners making tough decisions every day.

To save on their bottom line, some business owners are seriously considering suspending their marketing, at least until the pandemic is over. It’s a fair perspective, but it can backfire in a big way. In today’s blog, we’re highlighting what happens when you stop SEO and pause your digital marketing – specifically as it relates to this crisis.

If you don’t know us, WebTek is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO, PPC, social media advertising, and website design. As a marketing company, we believe in the power of digital marketing, so you can expect us to advocate for it – but we’re going to be objective. What we’re saying is based on 20 years of experience in the field and countless personal case studies that show what happens when you stop marketing and SEO.


Consequences of Stopping SEO Suddenly

An SEO package or an SEO retainer is one of the most-common and most-effective forms of small business marketing. Earning your business placement in relevant Google searches about your business, SEO is a gradual strategy that can provide massive ROI for a fairly modest investment.

Since SEO is both highly-competitive and a long-term investment, stopping your SEO abruptly can create a few problems. This is what we’d say to anyone who is pondering tossing in the towel on SEO, but it is especially relevant right now. Here are the 4 biggest issues we’ve seen:

  1. Lose What You Have – If your currently-strong rankings are responsible for earning new leads every month, then pausing your SEO is a threat to that. Your site’s prominent position is a lead generation tool that most of your competitors would love to seize. One digital marketing study showed that stopping SEO in a competitive field for even a few months caused up to a 30% drop in rankings. That’s the difference between the top of page one and the bottom – or the middle of page one and page two. Learn more about how to get on the first page of Google!
  2. Miss the Chance to Get Ahead – If a normally dominant competitor skips SEO and you keep with it, you can overtake their rankings rapidly. Of course, under normal circumstances, no savvy company would ever pause an SEO campaign providing those high-level of results. These aren’t exactly normal times, though. If you’ve been thinking about halting your marketing, your business rivals might have the same idea too. If they pause (and drop 30%) while you keep your foot on the gas, you can overtake them and never look back!
  3. Derail Your SEO Strategy – Since organic SEO is a long-term investment, your marketing team likely has developed long-term strategies for your online presence. Examples of these long term plans include everything from earning top positions in numerous service areas to ranking for the key products you sell. Stopping your SEO abruptly can keep those big-picture strategies from ever being fully realized. See the 6 questions you should ask your marketing agency.
  4. Might Be Blindsided by A Huge Changes – The field of search engine marketing is changing…rapidly and frequently. Keeping abreast of these changes is a full-time job – it’s ours. When you have an SEO agency as your partner, you can feel 100% confident your website is up-to-date with the best practices and that you are prepared for new innovations like voice search optimization. Without an expert, you may suddenly find yourself woefully behind and with no idea why.


Why Investing in Digital Marketing is Different

While we are a marketing agency, we’re not going to issue a blank check to all forms of marketing. Although we don’t believe in broadly stopping marketing because of Coronavirus, there are certainly some things you could reexamine. For example, canceling your Sunday night TV spots because baseball is postponed seems like a prudent plan.

From our perspective, there is a world of difference between paying for a one-time-only advertising spot and investing in your website. Think about it like this: when you pay for traditional advertising, like a network television spot or a billboard, you’re renting space on someone else’s platform. When you pay for digital marketing, you’re building something that you control – like a prominently searched website or a dedicated social media following. Since your target customer likely is not spending as much money right now, it might make sense to cut back on ads that can only work right now. But digital is different. You aren’t just trying to snag customers today – you’re building a lead generation machine that can earn you enormous ROI when the COVID-19 crisis is conquered!


A Marketing Partner to Trust

While the Coronavirus, the media attention paid to it, and the economic impact is unprecedented, ups-and-downs are a part of business. The vast majority of successful companies have been forced to weather storms of one kind or another. A key to doing that is good partners. At WebTek, we’d like to be the partner you trust for all of your marketing needs now – and for years down the road as well.

If you have questions about what choices to make during this crisis, how to communicate with your customer base, or what marketing makes the most sense right now, reach out – our team is here to help.