Owning a website is a bit like owning a house. You need to invest in it to keep it working well and looking good. You wouldn’t invest in real estate never to touch the house again. And you shouldn’t do that with a website, either.
Let’s myth-bust the concept of SEO as a one-time or sometime thing. In this article:
Fact: SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy
SEO is done when Google stops changing things and all your competition dies.
Google is continuously updating its search engine. In 2019, Google reportedly ran more than 464,000 experiments that resulted in more than 3,600 improvements to search. That means potential new ways to compete in the search results.
Plus, Google’s ranking algorithm has countless signals. Your target keywords or queries each carry a different intent. And guess what? That keyword intent biases the algorithm.
So if every keyword has its own intent and own algorithm, there are as many algorithms as there are keywords. Then factor in RankBrain’s impact on the search results, and there are endless variables to ranking.
This is why casual SEO will never last.
Former Googler turned SEO Kaspar Szymanski echoes this thought and explains why once-and-done SEO is a myth:
At industry conferences, attendees hear people say that it is important to “get it right” to rank. This is true, yet not entirely accurate. Like any other company investment in assets, over time that very same investment will inevitably wear off.
Best practices of the past become outdated or downright obsolete. To keep up with the competition, especially in the more lucrative niches, SEO needs to be considered an ongoing effort with planned, periodic spurts of increased activity scheduled ahead of time.
Some factors such as snippet representation, directly impacting user experience and signals must be continuously monitored and improved. The same applies to page performance, which again is directly responsible for how users experience the website.
Other factors, such as managing backlink liabilities, may only require spot checks and be part of an annual on- and off-page SEO audit.
(I talk more about one of those SEO tactics that needs maintenance — schema markup — in my article on surprising on-page SEO techniques.)
Besides staying on top of changes to search, you sometimes have monumental events that nobody sees coming. Things that only a skilled SEO would know how to handle.
The fallout of COVID-19 is one example. In these times, you need know-how to stay relevant online, and casually doing SEO is not going to cut it.
Sure, if you’re launching a new website or revamping an old one, an SEO checklist is going to be your best friend. You want to make sure that you build proven best practices into the website from the ground up to have a chance in the search results.
But that should be only the beginning.
How to Use SEO as an Ongoing Strategy
Even if you are 100% dedicated to SEO, the typical time to see results is up to six months depending on your website and niche. So it’s easy to see why this is something that needs a lot of momentum to get off the ground.
But once it does, it pays. Research shows that organic traffic drives more than 50% of traffic to websites. And in some industries, it’s responsible for almost 60% of revenue.
Here’s how you can use SEO as a long-term strategy year after year …
SEO checklists are going to be useful as a spot check quarterly to make sure you’re staying on top of best practices. They’re also useful for site launches and site redesigns.
SEO tools are going to give you an edge that transcends best practices and offers custom data on your website and SEO. Use daily to stay on target.
SEO audits are a good investment once per year to uncover big issues that may be hindering your organic search traffic. There is usually plenty of work following a proper audit.
SEO consulting or services are a good way to have a team of experts on call so you can solve tough SEO problems.
SEO training is a great way to sync knowledge across your teams so that everyone stays up to date on changes. Because SEO learning events are undergoing a major shift from face-to-face to online, it will be important to vet the curriculum and format to ensure it’s the best fit. For in-house teams, it’s suggested that you offer SEO training at least once per year.
And if you’re having a hard time getting the SEO changes you need done, see this article for tips.
For more SEO myth-busting, see these:
If you’d like to talk about your SEO needs and how we can help, contact us for a free consultation.