Small to medium-sized firms may benefit from increased spending on marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO) during the credit crunch, according to an industry expert.

Times of economic downturn mean that firms should seek to stand out from the competition, said Daniel Robinson of Vizcom Design.

He asserted that the best way to do this is to maintain a healthy marketing budget in an effort to retain business and potentially grow.

"Now is not the time for businesses to reduce their marketing budget and particularly their expenditure on search engine optimisation because research suggests that 75 per cent of businesses use search engines in order to find their suppliers," Mr Robinson said.

He added that for many firms, SEO may offer a better return on investment than pay-per-click advertising and explained that budgeting for this kind of marketing is more cost effective than other types of advertising.

Writing for E-consultancy, Kevin Gibbons, director of search for SEOptimise, asserted that British supermarkets could do more to improve their sites.

He suggested that adding more keywords – such as ‘supermarket’ – in homepage title tags could be one way to accomplish this.

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