As counterintuitive as it may seem, I've noticed that when it comes time to limit budgets, marketing efforts are on the top of the list. And though the National Bureau of Economic Research has officially declared that we are out of the recession, businesses are still facing tough times and spending cautiously. For those of you looking for ways to cut back, I'm here to give you three reasons why it is wise to continue to invest in search marketing. Recession = Research. Even though consumers are aiming to save more and spend less, there are still products and services they need and want. The quickest and easiest way for them to get the best deals is through researching on the Internet. And with thousands upon thousands of search results, your company will need to be on the first page of Google to get noticed amongst the competition. However, without a search marketing campaign, this cannot happen. You'll rise while the others sink. As previously mentioned, most companies are allocating less to their marketing budgets. Supporters of reducing marketing spend might say there's no need to throw away money if the competition is not. I am taking the opposite stance. Be the smart one and continue to develop your search marketing campaign. While everyone else is sinking in the search result pages, your company will be achieving top results and visibility. Get the most out of your money. When cutbacks are necessary, it is the time to be cost-effective. Having a successful search marketing plan is one of the best ways to make sure your marketing dollars are not being wasted. By properly optimizing your site and developing the right PPC campaigns, these visitors will be quality leads that are more likely to convert. And with various analytics programs available, it is easy to track activity, justify your expenses, and see your ROI.