I have all too often witnessed a business’ online presence’s rise and fall because of a lack of long-term SEO commitment. A one-time investment in SEO produces temporary results and then the efforts are abandoned. As a result, the business’ SEO burns out, as competitors catch up and the original investment depreciates. As the website continues to go without proper attention, the state of its optimization continues to fall behind and the business is then forced to spend more money on recuperating the lost positions than they would have had they maintained their SEO to begin with. Why is it that a “one-time SEO” doesn’t work?
1. SEO Gains Momentum Over Time
Optimizing a website is more than pulling a lever here and pushing a button there. Proper SEO consists of a multi-faceted strategy that both directly and indirectly affects how your website performs across search engines. For full effect, SEO requires time to flower. For example, a blog takes time to build an audience, which in turn leads to backlinks (links to your website from other websites) which give your site authority. This in turn will help your website rise through the rankings on Google and other search engines, which is also in and of itself a process built on long-run momentum.
If you cut your SEO efforts short by focusing on the short-term, you’ll miss out on the high-value benefits that come with time. But this only scratches the surface of the cost to your business of not keeping up with your SEO. By losing momentum and forcing your website back to square one, the investment to regain what was lost will be greater than what was needed to keep the momentum going. The bottom line, as Nick Stamoulis from Search Engine Journal writes, is, “[I]f you want to do SEO right, it’s going to take time.”
2. SEO is About Growth
SEO is often put in terms of “climbing to the top of Google.” But, “climbing to the top of Google” needs to be put into context. Google, as a search engine, is a website with a potentially infinite number of pages. What I mean by this is that for each search query — each string of words a person uses to find information or a website — there will be a different set of results, and a successful SEO strategy must gradually tackle the various search queries related to the products or services you sell.
A major facet of SEO revolves around the process of identifying and analyzing these search queries and creating content that addresses the questions your prospective patients, customers, or clients have when searching. Why not go for all of them right away? Two reasons:
- SEO requires thorough analysis to know how people are searching for businesses that offer your services, how others are competing for the same real estate, and how you can break into that search market.
- SEO is a scarce resource: it’s better to focus your resources on limited segments of the search market at a time, dominating them and then moving on to the next target, than it is to spread your resources thin and not do well on any search.
3. SEO is About Staying Ahead of the Competition
Your competitors recognize the value of investing in SEO just as much as you do, and their efforts to drive traffic to their websites through search engines will affect your own. A business that offers the same services to the same targeted audience will want to acquire traffic from the same search queries that you do. In order to stay ahead of the game you need to remain cognizant of what these competitors are doing and what you can do to stay two steps ahead. This is accomplished through an ongoing competitor analysis, where we track competing websites and discover opportunities to continuously improve your SEO strategy.
What happens if you don’t maintain your SEO? Your business will not only suffer from the aforementioned loss of momentum, but it will also fall behind vis-à-vis other competing websites that are working to widen the gap between them and your own search presence.
4. The Web is Always Changing
By now you’ve probably heard of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21st, and, as you most likely know, this wasn’t the first change to the algorithm. Throughout the years, Google has issued updates regarding backlinks, content quality, and numerous other factors that influence how your website ranks on their search engine. Bing (which powers Yahoo!) and other search engines are doing the same thing. It goes without saying that SEO needs to evolve in step with search engines.
But, a changing cyberspace goes beyond algorithm updates. People will develop different ways of asking the same question, they will want the information they seek packaged differently as the mediums of information conveyance evolve, and the way they interact with search engine results will change. Your website will need to adapt to this progress and the most cost-effective method of doing this is to keep your eye on the ball. Don’t abandon your investments in SEO and user experience now only to find out down the road that you’ll need to make an even bigger investment to regain what you lost from a lack of maintenance.
Stay Ahead of the Curve with Now Media Group
At Now Media Group we can help you grow and maintain your online presence through a dedicated, and ever-advancing, SEO strategy. We not only help with your traditional organic search, but also with local search, helping to make your business the first one your prospective customers see when they search for the services you offer. We have a long history of preempting algorithm changes and keeping your site up to date with the latest developments, including having opted for mobile-friendly websites years prior to the April 21st update. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact your Now Media consultant for a one-on-one conversation about what you can do to grow your business: 858-333-8950.
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.