As the economy headed south, many businesses have had trouble staying afloat, but those who have used online marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO) have seen good results, which leads one expert to believe the tool will continue to work in the post-recession economy.

In a blog post for, Louis Venter writes that as companies have put a greater emphasis on ROI during the economic downturn, more companies are focusing on online marketing – pulling money from traditional outlets. In turn, search engine marketing (SEM) has become a key element of this shift.

With many analysts predicting that the economy will begin recovering at some point in 2010, Venter says businesses should be focusing more efforts in search to see the benefits when the recession is over.

"There is an age old adage that says, ‘Build in a recession, and reap in a boom.’ This could not be more relevant to the present," he writes. "Invest in a solid SEO strategy that is accountable and you’ll sow the seeds to dominate organic search when the recession ends."

If online marketing has come into its own during the recession, then it’s expected to continue to rise into the foreseeable future. The August CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the American Marketing Association, found that CMOs plan to increase online marketing spending 9.5 percent over the next year.