With more and more evidence of the spiraling economy all around them, marketing departments and firms everywhere are bracing for a hit.

Historically, marketing has been disproportionally on the receiving end of layoffs and budget cuts once a recession kicks in, but will this ring true for those in search engine marketing (SEM)? The Google AdWords-driven ecosystem, being relatively new compared with other elements of the marketing mix, has not yet been stress-tested by a major, all-encompassing economic recession.

Pay-per-click (PPC) search marketing is well positioned to sidestep much of the inclement economic weather, and here are 10 things you can do now to avoid (most of) the guillotines looming over your counterparts in traditional marketing.

1. Trim the fat on your PPC campaign

Yes, the CEO of a PPC management firm is actually telling you that you might need to lower your PPC spend. At Apogee Search, we have been moving away from a pure percentage-of-spend billing model to reduce the gross conflicts between traditional PPC and media buying compensation plans, which have a strong incentive to always recommend that clients spend more and more.

The hard work with PPC budget reduction is that you don't want to just lower your daily budget on the search engines, lower bids across the board, or do other sweeping things that will also cut your lead flow by the same percentage that it reduces your spend.

Some campaigns are highly optimized, making fat-trimming more difficult, but most campaigns are wasting a portion of their spend on audiences that will never convert. Now is the time to refine your campaign to ensure that you pay only for relevant traffic.

2. Add negative keywords

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William Leake is CEO of Apogee Search (www.apogee-search.com).