RGC Digital Marketing

By Kieran Frank

Recession Blues: Search Volumes Plummet But SEO Reigns Supreme

Are you struggling to attract new customers to your website? Maybe you’ve noticed a significant drop in your search engine rankings and online visibility. If you have, you’re not alone. In recent months, Australian businesses across all industries have been experiencing a sharp decline in search volumes, making it harder than ever to stand out in a crowded online marketplace.

The truth is, the way people search for information and products online is constantly evolving, and businesses must adapt their SEO strategies accordingly to keep up with these changes. This is why it’s more important than ever to invest in a solid SEO strategy that can help your business weather the storm and secure long-term success.

In this article, we’ll explore the current state of decreasing search volumes across a number of industries and delve into the reasons behind this trend. We’ll also provide you with valuable insights and practical tips on how to develop a winning SEO plan that can help you stay ahead of the competition and drive more targeted traffic to your website. So let’s get started!

Current Search Volume Statistics 

While the global pandemic predictably caused a significant decrease in search volumes across various industries, it would be reasonable to assume that these downturns had been balanced out following a prolonged period outside of the pandemic. However, these downturns have not yet been reversed, and the gradual return to a “new normal” within Australia has forced many businesses to face the reality that there are simply fewer customers out there demanding their products and services.

To see just how pronounced these reductions in search volumes have been, we’ll consider a number of relatively common and non-seasonal industries. We’ll also exclude the tourism industry that we all understand has faced enormous fluctuations as a result of numerous changes to government policies.   

Removal professionals, for example, continue to suffer, with a 32% fall in searches for “furniture removalists near me” since just December 2022.

Search Volume Statistics

These reductions in search volumes have also been faced in a number of other non-luxury industries, with searches for “shoes” dropping by 33% since December. 

33% reductions in search volumes

Other articles of clothing within the fashion industry have suffered a similar fate, with searches for “shirts” experiencing an 18% fall in the same time frame too.

18% Search Volume Reduction

Predictably, luxurious non-essential items have also seen their search volumes decline, with searches for “opal earrings” dropping by 34% since December of 2022.

34% search volumes decline

It would be easy to dismiss this downturn and attribute it to a change in tastes and preferences, but searches for a “necklace” have also suffered a 33% fall since December.

33% fall in Search Volume Statistics

While the decline in search volumes has affected businesses across a huge range of industries, by understanding these trends, you’ll be able to adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. This will ensure you can still attract high-value traffic to your website and maintain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

Reasons Behind the Decrease in Search Volumes

The recent economic downturn caused by the pandemic, coupled with the recent changes to interest rates in Australia, has had a profound impact on consumer behaviour. 

Interest Rate Changes

The Australian government delivered 10 consecutive monthly interest rate increases in 2022 and 2023, and this saw discretionary spending budgets tighten. These changes have seen many Australians feel far less confident about their financial future, and this has seen them become more selective with their purchases, prioritising essentials and cutting back on non-essential spending. This lack of confidence has contributed to the decline in search volumes, as people are less inclined to make purchases due to the uncertain economic climate.

Interest Rate Changes

The Influence of Social Media Continues To Grow

Another key factor contributing to the drop in search volumes is the shift in consumer habits and preferences. With social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook now optimised for shopping purposes, many consumers are now turning to these platforms for product discovery and recommendations instead of using search engines. This has led to a decrease in search volumes across multiple industries, including fashion, beauty, and retail.

Facebook Shopping Platforms

Overall, the decline in search volumes is a result of multiple factors, including the recent changes to interest rates in Australia, shifts in consumer behaviour, and the rise of alternative digital channels for product discovery and recommendations. However, by understanding these trends and adapting your SEO strategy accordingly, you can still attract high-value traffic to your website and maintain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

The Importance of a Solid SEO Plan in the Current Landscape

As audiences become smaller and the risk of generating minimal profit becomes greater, SEO becomes an increasingly important consideration for a number of reasons. 

Solid SEO Plan

Competition Is Fiercer Than Ever

With search volumes decreasing across multiple industries, the competition for online visibility has become fiercer than ever. This means that each click is now more valuable than ever because there are simply fewer searches to go around. It’s crucial to rank higher in search results to capture market share and attract the attention of potential customers. Investing in a solid SEO plan can help you achieve this by optimising your website’s content and structure to improve its relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines.

The Industry Is Always Changing 

Google and other search engines are continually updating their algorithms to provide users with the best possible search experience. This means that businesses must be proactive with their SEO strategies to maintain visibility and stay ahead of industry changes. By regularly monitoring and analysing your website’s performance and making necessary adjustments to your SEO plan, you can ensure that your website is always up-to-date and optimised for success.

Your Money Matters Too

In the current landscape, it’s not just consumers that are having to tighten their budgets too. Businesses are also facing budgetary constraints as a result of this reduced consumer spending, and this makes every sale and conversion even more valuable. A solid SEO strategy can help businesses make the most of every cent they invest by increasing their online visibility, attracting more engaged visitors to their website, and ultimately driving more conversions. By effectively capturing the attention of the most interested customers out there, businesses can improve their ROI and achieve long-term success. With the help of a skilled SEO provider, businesses can navigate these challenges and emerge stronger, more resilient, and better prepared to face the future.

Best Practices for Developing a Winning SEO Strategy

Now that you know why it’s important to implement a high-quality SEO solution, you might be wondering what you need to include in this strategy to really be effective online. 

Keyword Research and Optimisation

Identifying and targeting the right keywords is crucial for the success of any SEO strategy. By understanding what keywords your target audience is searching for, you can optimise your website’s content and structure to increase its relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines. Remember, effective keyword research involves identifying high-converting keywords and long-tail phrases that are relevant to your business and target audience. There’s more to SEO than simply high rankings because there’s no value in ranking first for the keyword “football boots” if your business specialises in selling formal shoes. To implement the most important and relevant keywords effectively, it’s important to incorporate them throughout your website, and this might include adding them within your content, meta descriptions, headings, and URL structure.

Quality Content Creation

High-quality content is essential for driving organic traffic and improving search rankings. By crafting engaging, informative, and optimised content that provides value to your target audience, you can attract more engaged visitors to your website and improve your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines. To create high-quality content, it’s important to understand your target audience’s needs and preferences, conduct thorough research, and incorporate targeted keywords and long-tail phrases into your content.

Technical SEO and Site Performance

Technical SEO and site performance are also critical factors in developing a winning SEO strategy. A website that is fast, mobile-friendly, and well-structured is more likely to rank higher in search results and provide a better user experience for visitors. To improve your website’s technical SEO and site performance, it’s important to optimise your website’s speed, improve its mobile-friendliness, and ensure that its architecture is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

User Friendly Website

Building A Strong Backlink Profile

On-page SEO is vital, but so too are off-page considerations, and backlinks are among the most crucial of all off-page SEO elements. This is because they are a hugely important factor in determining a website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines. By acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, you can improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more engaged visitors to your website. Strategies for acquiring high-quality backlinks include creating valuable content that other websites will want to link to, guest blogging on other websites in your industry, and reaching out to relevant websites to request a backlink.

Why Not Bolster Your Whole Web Presence?

While a solid SEO strategy is a great foundation to rely on in uncertain times, why not take your online presence to the next level and invest in a range of other digital marketing services that can rally skyrocket your business? If you’ve been putting off your website’s update, or you need to revise your graphics, improving these factors can go a long way in helping your business improve its search engine rankings. 

Web Development Services

In these quiet times, businesses may have fewer opportunities to connect with customers, whether online or in person. As a result, it’s more important than ever to provide a positive online experience that engages and satisfies customers. This is where quality web development can make a significant impact.

A well-developed website can provide a seamless and user-friendly experience for customers. This means ensuring that all website features, such as forms and checkout processes, are functional and easy to use. A quality web developer can also ensure that the website loads quickly, which can have a big impact on user satisfaction and retention.

Mobile Friendly API

Your investment in quality web development services can also improve the security and stability of your website. This is especially important at a time when online scams and hacking attempts are on the rise. A well-developed website with strong security measures can help to protect both the business and its customers.

These services may also assist your businesses in staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. This can include integrating new features and functionalities that enhance the customer experience, such as chatbots or personalisation tools.

Importantly, a well-developed website can also improve a business’s SEO performance, which can lead to increased visibility and traffic. By optimising a website’s technical aspects, such as mobile-friendliness and proper tag hierarchy, businesses can improve their rankings on search engine results pages.

Web Design Services

When the phones go quiet and the books begin to dry up, businesses may simply have fewer opportunities to connect with customers in person. As a result, it’s more important than ever to have a visually appealing and professional online presence that can help attract and retain customers. This is where quality web design services can make a significant impact.

Most significantly, a well-designed website can help a business stand out from its competitors with notable points of difference. When your business boasts a website that is visually appealing and has a modern design that’s consistent with your branding and messaging, you’ll offer customers an aesthetically pleasing and professional first impression. This can instil confidence in potential customers and encourage them to engage with your brand.

Clear Website Structure

The highest quality web design services can also help businesses provide a positive user experience that keeps customers engaged and satisfied. This includes designing a website that is easy to navigate, with clear calls to action and an intuitive layout. A well-designed website can also be optimised for various devices, ensuring that it looks and functions well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Personalised web design services may also assist a business in improving its search engine rankings by ensuring that the website is optimised for SEO. This includes factors such as proper tag hierarchy, keyword usage, and website speed, all of which can affect how search engines rank the website.

Finally, a well-designed website can also help businesses streamline their operations by integrating features such as online booking systems, e-commerce functionality, and other tools that make things easier for customers and enhance their experience.

What Does This All Mean Moving Forward?

In today’s rapidly changing online landscape, businesses must adapt to the decreasing search volumes across industries and invest in a well-planned SEO strategy to secure long-term success. The decline in search volumes is a result of multiple factors, including the recent economic downturn, shifts in consumer behaviour, and the rise of alternative digital channels for product discovery and recommendations. However, by understanding these trends and implementing a winning SEO strategy, businesses can still attract high-value, relevant traffic to their website and maintain a competitive edge.

A solid SEO strategy involves effective keyword research and optimisation, high-quality content creation, technical SEO and site performance optimisation, and building a strong backlink profile. By investing in a well-planned SEO approach and staying ahead of industry changes, businesses can secure a prosperous long-term future. Don’t wait any longer – take action and invest in your business’s success today.


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