Is SEO dead? The SEO campaign of 2011 doesn’t have a chance of success in the current Google landscape.
The combo of keyword placement, shady backlinks, and citation building aren’t working anymore. You need more than that now. Content marketing with a combo of solid white-hat SEO is where it’s at nowadays.
So, why not ditch your SEO efforts and only focus on content writing? What happens if you stop SEO? As it turns out, nothing good. Here we explain the ramifications of stopping SEO and how it affects your website rankings and your bottom line.
The Effects Of Stopping Your
To understand the effect that stopping SEO has on your website you have to understand what SEO is. We aren’t talking about the Webster’s definition, but what SEO actually is. Let’s get into some real talk.
SEO is Understanding & Implementing Strategies Based Around Google Algorithms for Traffic Gains
Back in the infancy of the digital marketing game, Google said that they were against SEO. In other words, they said search engine optimization was not condoned. What they meant was that shady black hat SEO tactics were not the way of the future.
Back then, search engine optimization was all about keyword stuffing and bad backlinks. To counter this mess and bring quality content back to its users Google fought back.
Their weapon of choice was the development of a sophisticated algorithm. This scientific formula judges the quality of content across the internet. This algorithm scours sites all over the web and rates them based on many different factors. There has been a Google algorithm update almost every month for the last ten years. Sometimes, there were multiple updates within a month.
Riding the Algorithm Wave
Search engine optimization is the art of riding the wave; in other words, negotiating your website content to appease these algorithms. SEO games the system. It’s like getting the playbook of the opposing team before the Superbowl. You make plays based on the plays the other team will make.
But, if you ditch the playbook at halftime, you won’t win the game.
One of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make is stopping all your efforts. With SEO rewards come SEO dangers. Google algorithms rank you based on a variety of signals. What happens when the signals turn off? Penalties. The crawlers will see your site as-is, not based on historical data. You’ll win rankings based on your current signals.
Why Your Rankings Will Tank When You Stop Doing SEO
So, now you know that SEO is a game. It’s the fight for who can give the most value to their customers.
Your website’s value is found through a number of factors: the combination of keeping a constant content building schedule, procuring and obtaining quality backlinks, and keeping your business fresh and relevant. All of this will contribute to your organic traffic.
When you stop doing SEO you’re placing all your bets on what you’ve built to this point. Now, that may let you ride for a while. Your site traffic won’t take a hit right away.
But, wait a month. You’ll see the rankings turn down. That little site analytics line will be heading on a downhill train ride with no end in sight.
You Need to Feul the Engine to Maintain Results
The train won’t move up because you’re no longer fueling the engine. SEO, content writing, competition analysis, is all coal to a flame. It sends Google fresh data and proves that you continue to produce quality and maintain authority in your niche.
Abandoning your efforts is the worst thing you can do. But, what if you’ve been sinking a lot of marketing capital into this whole SEO thing and the ROI stinks? It’s been three months and you still haven’t had any organic conversions. Your traffic has only experienced a slight uptick.
Again, don’t quit. Search engine optimization is a long-term game. You won’t see changes overnight. Let’s dig a little deeper into a realistic SEO timeframe.
How Long Does it Take to See Actual Results from an SEO Campaign?
To avoid frustration with the process, you need a realistic perspective on how long SEO takes. There’s a reason most SEO agencies want you to stick around for 6 months or more.
An SEO campaign at a moderate budget level will take anywhere from 3-6 months to start seeing results. And by results, we mean real juice from the efforts. In competitive niches, it’s more like 6 months to a year of consistent effort all before it starts paying off in Analytics.
Why does it take so long? Search engines don’t pivot quickly. When you launch a new website no one is going to know about it for a long time. You won’t win authority because, well, you aren’t one yet. Your competition has been online and producing what Google wants for years. You just got on the scene.
It’s the same way when you launch a new SEO campaign. Remember how we talked about how SEO is a way to game the system? This means that no one knows the precise combination that will pay off 100% of the time, let alone which combination will get you the results fast.
Using an experienced SEO service provider means they will have some tricks up their sleeve. They know where to go, what tools they need to use, and how to pick the right keywords to get you conversions. But, that process takes time. First, they need to learn your brand.
A typical SEO campaign is going to start with research and brand study. Month one can include a site audit for technical SEO, initial keyword research, and competition analysis.
So, When Does the Work Start?
Month 2 is the earliest the actual work can begin. This is when the team builds the strategy and starts to execute. But, again, things take time. Some high DA level niche links won’t index in search engines for 2-3 months. Guest post placements on reputable sites can also take weeks to get published. Then they also take time to index.
You’re not looking at the work done in month 2 to start passing real SEO juice until months 4 or 5. In the meantime, there are things to do to be ready for that indexation. In the beginning, the focus stays on the site itself: addressing on-page SEO issues and making sure the site is in tip-top shape so when Google does index it, they rank you.
Because, even though you did all the right things, if your site looks sketchy you won’t get to page one. Period. Gone are the days of tricking the system by repeating the same phrase over and over. The algorithms are too smart now.
If you look spammy you won’t get results. Not mobile-ready? No results for you. Don’t have a verified Google My Business listing for your brick and mortar shop? No page one for you.
Page One Isn’t Rewarded to Spammy, Pretend “Authorities” Anymore
In the current landscape of search, if you’re not the real deal it’s hard to get clicks. So, it’s taking longer than ever to get the results you want.
You need to give an SEO campaign at least a year to a year and a half to judge the success or failure of that campaign. We’ve had clients that stayed around for three months, quit, have their campaign hit at 6 months and get inundated with business.
The SEO consequences of quitting at month three were that the next month an update hit. Their rankings tanked and the phone stopped ringing. Now you have to start back at day one and have wasted 3 months of budget and 6 months of time.
Pick a reputable company. Stick with your strategy. Make great content. Answer your customer’s questions. Listen to the suggestions of your marketing team. But, most importantly, don’t stop doing it.
Why Do You Need An SEO and Content Marketing Team Working Together?
Your best bet for faster results is to partner with a team versed in both SEO and content creation. Why?
Google’s Best Practices is the handbook they release every once in a while. It gives hints to what they’re looking for. This whole book focuses almost completely on website content now. Remember how we said, in the beginning, Google didn’t like SEO? Now that they’ve accepted that it’s here to stay, they’ve created a handbook.
The way to get visitors to your site is a combination approach. A combination of brand authority, trust, and content quality. You need to get these things perfected throughout the site to earn the rewards of rankings.
Get Yourself a Combo Punch of Expertise
Teaming up with marketers who understand both SEO and content marketing gives you a leg up. The content marketing team will edit the site content to have the best tags, titles, and meta descriptions. They’ll give you blog content ideas that will get you results and will work on the site’s structure content silos.
At the same time, the SEOs will be getting you placements on major sites, publishing press releases to get your brand buzz, doing proximity optimizations in your niche, and building citations in every market.
When these two teams work together it’s a powerhouse in Google’s eyes. Your site will be doing everything right. You’ll be creating fresh new content all the time. The site will have the right structure. The content will be easy to find and will be written around topics your target audience cares about; you’re not writing into a void.
This, coupled with the backlinking and brand work of the SEO team, wins. All this means that you will win the organic rankings game over your competition. Now we hope you see why all this takes time. There are no shortcuts anymore.
No More Shortcuts, Just Hard Work.
Organic traffic is harder to win than ever before. Everyone is online now. The audience demands it. Every business needs a website and a social media presence.
Ten years ago you could invest a couple of months of work into a black-hat link building strategy and be page one for anything you wanted. Those shortcuts don’t work anymore.
Now, you have to play by Google’s rules. And that rulebook changes every month. So, you have to stand your ground. Have confidence in the marketing team you have hired. Trust them to understand your business and the niche. Trust that they know how to make the search engines pay attention.
This process is going to take time. Work on building a relationship with your team. Send ideas to them about what your customers like. Share things that are converting well with them. Tell them your highest-priced items and where you want more conversions. The more involved you are in the research and planning stages upfront the faster things happen.
If you don’t answer questions and give the team what they need to succeed it takes even longer. Why? Because they will guess what to go after based on their research. They will choose the target keywords on their own. If they choose wrong because you wouldn’t participate, then you’ve lost critical time and money.
Work with your marketing team and support them with the information they need. Then, they can work their magic and get you found online.
Downsize, Adapt, Re-Strategize: Just Don’t Quit
Starting an SEO campaign is a long-term commitment. Results can take anywhere from 6-18 months. But, the most important part of SEO is continuing to make the effort.
Part of what the search engines are analyzing is the dependability of your brand. They’re judging the consistency of your marketing. They want to know you’re remaining fresh in the marketplace and keeping up with trends in your industry. Actively campaigning and creating fresh content proves reliability.
These are the actions that win you page one rankings for major volume keywords. As in every aspect of a business, consistency and accountability are what produces the most success.
Looking for a team of seasoned digital marketers to represent your business? Ready to hire a team versed in web design, SEO, content creation, and more? Call us today to get a quote. We’re happy to take you on a journey to the top of the SERPs.
Sarah is a content marketing expert at Direction Inc., with experience also in search engine optimization and web design.