New data from Conductor reveals over half of marketers believe SEO will be more important during the coronavirus pandemic. In “The Impact of COVID-19 on Marketing,” Conductor examines how marketers plan to navigate their goals amid the crisis.

According to the findings, marketers plan to reduce overall spend while increasing investments in low cost-high return on investment (ROI) channels like search engine optimization (SEO). Sixty-five percent of respondents anticipate decreases to their marketing budgets while 27 percent say they will stay the same.

Despite lowered budgets, 40 percent say their marketing goals will increase and 32 percent say their goals will stay the same. 

When asked how a global recession would affect their marketing strategy, 58 percent of marketers say they would lower their budget while 34 percent say they would increase investment in low cost channels like SEO.

Sixty-three percent of marketers anticipate SEO will become more important during the coronavirus pandemic while only four percent say SEO will decrease in importance. Data from Google confirms this finding as it shows a recent surge in searches for SEO.

Additionally, 66 percent of marketers ranked SEO as their top-performing channel in 2019. According to Forrester, marketers are moving SEO in house while nearly two-thirds already manage SEO internally. 

Though nearly half say they plan to increase marketing goals, 86 percent of marketers admit their goals will be either more or slightly more difficult to achieve. 

Conductor’s findings are based on a survey of 317 respondents in business-to-business (24 percent), retail (12 percent), healthcare (11 percent) and media (10 percent). The remaining sectors span travel and hospitality, consumer technology, financial services, insurance, automotive, ecommerce and manufacturing.