Maybe you've been working an SEO campaign and haven't been seeing the results you were hoping for, so you're considering packing it in and focusing your marketing efforts elsewhere. Or maybe you used SEO best practices to create a campaign that was wildly successful, and you hit the top of the search engine results page (SERP), so you think you can sit back and rest on your laurels. Either way, you might be wondering if (and when) you can stop doing SEO.
Technically, you can stop doing SEO whenever you want.
But you really shouldn't.
If you’re not getting the results from your SEO campaign that you were hoping for, just remember that optimizing for search engines is a journey, not a destination. You’re playing the long game here. So either be patient and stick with it, set more manageable goals, or try a different strategy with your SEO.
If you’ve reached your goals and hit the top of the SERP, you may be tempted to end your SEO campaign. But if you don't keep an ongoing SEO campaign running, you won't stay on top for long. There are plenty of organizations and websites out there that will gladly take that number one ranking. Here are four reasons why you should keep working an SEO campaign, no matter what your results have been:
- Fresh content boosts your search engine rankings.
- Search engine algorithms change.
- User search behaviors change.
- Your competition won't stop.
1. Fresh content boosts your search engine rankings.
When it comes to SEO, content is your bread and butter. People on the internet are consuming content at an enormous rate. If they don’t find fresh content on your website, they’ll look for it somewhere else. Content recency, which Merriam-Webster assures me is a word, is one of the factors Google and other search engines use to rank your website and determine where to place it on a SERP. Basically, it means the newer, the better. So the more fresh content you put on your website, the higher your ranking will be and the higher up you'll appear on SERPs.
2. Search engine algorithms change.
Search engines like Google don't use people to crawl the web and rank websites. They use algorithms. It's cheaper and more feasible than hiring thousands of employees to do that job. But it doesn't take long for people to find ways to exploit those algorithms to get high rankings for useless web content. If you’ve ever fallen for clickbait, you know exactly what I mean. That’s why search engines constantly change how their algorithms crawl the web and rank websites. It’s important to keep up with the changes Google makes to its search algorithms in order to maintain or improve your rankings. SEO strategies that worked well in the past won’t be as helpful today or in the future as the algorithms change. And worse, you could get penalized.
3. User search behaviors change.
It used to be that people would search the web using specific keywords and short phrases. But trends in user behavior change over time. With newer technology like smartphones and smart speakers, people are changing how they search for information and which keywords they use. That directly impacts how they find your website. It's important to keep a current SEO strategy to change your web content to match the changes in user search behavior.
4. Your competition won't stop.
The higher you rank on a SERP, the higher your clickthrough rate and the more traffic you get to your website, so competition is fierce. Virtually every business has an online presence, and they're continually pushing for those coveted search engine rankings. Just keep in mind that you may stop your SEO, but they won't. And if you do, it won't be long before your competition scoops up the top-ranking spots and pushes your website further down the listing. So if you want to keep up traffic on your website and keep bringing in customers through organic search results, you need to keep doing SEO.
So it's pretty simple — want to stay on top? Never stop doing SEO.
I mentioned before that you're playing the long game with SEO. It's not something you can set and forget. Whether it's regular keyword research, adding new content to your website, or even performing a website SEO audit, you should always keep an active SEO strategy going.