As an SEO agency, we want you to take advantage of and understand the opportunity that SEO can provide for your business and website. With this comes the common question of the SEO process and timeline. What are the steps in starting a campaign and what happens when you pause or stop an SEO campaign? While the answers vary due to the individual campaign, keywords, location, and competition, there are some trends that we’ve seen over the years.
The Importance of SEO
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
So let’s imagine you’re running a marathon. At the start you’re grouped with every other runner, but eventually you separate from the pack of other runners, you gain momentum, you maintain pace and you pass other runners. Then you slow down and come to a stop in the middle of the race, it takes time but eventually other runners pass you and in the end you’re left in dust.
The same goes for SEO campaigns. It takes time for optimizations to help a website grow in the rankings. And so when you decide to end an SEO campaign, your site won’t immediately drop or disappear in rankings. It will take time as other sites go after the keywords you were targeting and will eventually overtake your site as they continue to optimize. The better, stronger and longer your campaign, the more traffic it will bring your website and ultimately, the more revenue you’ll see.
What Happens to Your Site When you Stop SEO?
The main and most significant result of ending SEO for your site is a drop in traffic and rankings. Like I said above, this will not be immediate, but will take time as it did to get the rankings. This can be a good thing if you are simply pausing your SEO campaign or taking a short break. That said, it can be difficult to get it rolling again when you decide to restart your SEO.
When you stop optimizing for search engines, you’re also stopping going after competitive keywords or adding new ones. In an SEO campaign, you have targeted keywords and secondary or “halo keywords”. Targeted keywords are the words you’re using intentionally to rank. Halo keywords are the words or search phrases that also rise as a result of your work. When you stop SEO, you’ll first start to lose those “halo keywords” or phrases. The main targeted keywords will begin to drop shortly after. This happens as others begin targeting the same keywords. They will rise as you begin to drop.
Whether new blog posts or new product pages, you are likely not creating new pages when you stop SEO. This means you won’t have any new content to share. Without new pages, you are losing the chance for new backlinks for Google to crawl and index.
Why You Should Maintain SEO Efforts
There are a few main reasons why SEO efforts are vital to your website’s success. The most important reason to stay with SEO, is that you have competition who are fighting for the same top rankings you’ve worked hard to earn and maintain, they’re hungry to take those positions. While you stop, they have not. You want to continue reaching new customers and new traffic to your site.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, daily. There are thousands of updates each year, and while many go unnoticed, they add up to each make a big difference. By working on SEO, preferably with an agency who is aware of algorithm updates, you will stay trustworthy and relevant to Google.
When you build and maintain a good website, and optimize it well, you’ll get more traffic. The problem is, if you stop, they likely won’t stay. You may keep your long-time customers, but you won’t attract new ones. Visitors like current and fresh websites that are user friendly and have current content. Your old content won’t convert.
There are many stages of an SEO campaign and they all play a vital role in the success of your business. If you’re interested in learning more we’d love to discuss with you.