When discussing our SEO services with clients, we are often asked, “How long do we have to do this to get 'results'?” ‘Results' could be new leads, an increase in contact requests, or higher sales. While we believe the end-result is what matters most, you cannot expect the implementation of SEO best practices to yield results overnight.
Good SEO takes time
You build a website, figure out the keywords to target your audience, and optimize your site for online searches. Then, you just sit back and watch your website reach a high ranking spot on Google. That’s how SEO works, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, many people think that’s all it takes to achieve great SEO results online. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Building an effective SEO strategy involves a lot of planning and consistent monitoring of the various factors that come together to make SEO “work” for your business. Most important is maintaining what’s working for you and tweaking what’s not to move your SEO strategy forward.
The internet is a dynamic landscape
Certain web pages may be static, but the internet itself isn’t; its constantly changing. Not only do trends change in terms of web design or consumer fads, but the nature of online advertising itself evolves over time.
According to Moz, Google changes its algorithms 500 to 600 times a year — that’s almost twice a day, on average. Most algorithmic changes kick in almost immediately and can influence website rankings and search engine results pages (SERPs).
You also have to keep up with other changes in the industry. Take, for example, the shift to mobile-friendly and even mobile-first platforms, or the growing user preference for video. You must optimize your SEO strategy for multiple channels, multiple devices and multiple media types to get the best results.
There’s a difference between initial SEO and one-time SEO
Yes, when you first set up and optimize your website, it makes sense to give it some time to show up in search results and gain a footing before you make changes. In fact, it is recommended that you don’t tweak things for a while after the initial setup, just so you can track results accurately and generate the data needed for further optimization.
After a while, though, you must scratch the “set it and forget it” approach and implement a regular maintenance schedule. The reason behind this is simple — you now have enough data to understand where your traffic is coming from, how visitors are interacting and responding, and how you can improve engagement and conversion. And because no one can accurately predict or anticipate results, SEO needs to be an ongoing process from that point on.
Your competitors will continue to work on their SEO
The strategy behind any successful online company wouldn’t be complete without good SEO practices. Even if you’ve seen some measure of success thanks to an effective initial SEO setup, those results won’t last long. As we mentioned before, not only are internet and technology trends evolving, SEO best practices are changing, too.
Smart competitors (or new entrants, even) can quickly outrank you or improve the status of their own internal and external links, only to take vital online real estate away from you – those top spots in Google and other search engines. You need to stay on your toes, study your competition’s products and digital marketing attempts and use that recognizance to improve on your own.
Not working on your SEO may cost you
Ongoing SEO may seem like a budget sink to you at first, but consider the cost of inaction. When you calculate potential losses, such as not acting on the information from your analytics, not testing different kinds of content, ignoring Google’s algorithm changes and other digital trends, or not comparing results with your targets and the competitors, you’re going to pay more to climb back to where you were than you would to keep consistently in that spot.
SEO is key to a wider digital marketing strategy
You know all those analytics and metrics that tell you how active users are on your site, or which keywords are doing better, or how many clicks an ad campaign is generating? If you configure all these other marketing strategies outside of SEO, you’re losing out. Make SEO strategy a part of this iterative process, to figure out what combination of marketing channels works best for your brand.
In a nutshell, if you want your business to grow, you need an SEO strategy. If you want your business to thrive, you can’t do without SEO. Even if you just want to maintain relevance in an ever-changing world, you still need SEO. But to achieve any of these results, your SEO strategies must be long-term.
Nothing on the internet is constant — especially the search results page! Make sure you keep up with SEO best practices and keep experimenting using your analytics and results as guides. Doing so can assure better results for your business and brand.