I am frequently asked “when should I stop doing my SEO?” I suspect that this is because people are looking to stop either working on their website or paying somebody else to do the Search Engine Optimisation on their website
The answer, which might not be easy listening for some, is that you can only stop when either you have taken over all of your competition, when all of your competition cease to exist, or Google stops updating the way it ranks websites and your business website sites at the top of Page 1
I agree that it would be great if one could create a website, ensure that it is fully search optimised, click “publish” and watch the magic happen as people flock to the website and make purchases or submit enquiries.
And a lot of businesses still think that this is the way that things should be done. Great thought, and money, is invested in the design, the content, the logo, the colours etc but SEO tends to be at the bottom of the list.
I have lost count of the times that I have been asked to optimise a new website and spent time with the owner discussing the changes that are required to ensure that the site can be effectively optimised, rather than just paying lip-service to the requirements.
Sometimes a root and branch rebuild is the only way forwards.
The reality is that SEO should be as an important part of the website planning, development and build as the thought put in to the logo, the colours used, the pages required etc. It should be there, from the beginning – not considered an afterthought.
And once optimised, many website owners think “that’s it, site optimised, job done”.
The problem is that it can take several months for the SEO to have an impact (see “how long does SEO take” for more info). And you will probably find that your site ins’t in the hallowed top spot on Page 1. Your site might not even be on Page 1 so more work will be required.
And while you are doing this, so will your competitors – they’ll be trying to beat your website and working on their sites so you will have to keep working on yours.
And then there’s all the changes and updates that Google makes to the way that it measures and ranks websites – you need to be on top of those in case any changes made by Google have a negative impact on your website. And Google makes, on average, 9-10 changes PER DAY, every day
You should ONLY stop your SEO when one of 3 states is reached
- You take over ALL of your competition and prevent new startups from competing with you
- Your business is so good that all of your competitors fail
- You have reached the top of Page 1 and Google stops changing things
Daily changes to Google Search
In 2018 Google ran over 654,000 experiments. These will have been carried out by Google’s AI engines, trained external Search Raters and live tests. The outcome being 3,234 improvements to search, or 9 a day
We’ll never get to know, and understand, the majority of these improvements because most of them will be tweaks to the system. However, significant changes are often announced by Google or can be tracked by businesses interested in Google’s updates and quite a few people have published lists of known algorithm updates such as here, here and here.
Carry out any search on Google and you’ll be presented with millions of results. Even a search for “jumpers for rats” returns over 6m results.
And we know, or should know, that a Page 1 result is all that really matters.
Why do Page 1 search results matter so much
That’s really simple to answer. Research shows how few Google users EVER make it off Page 1 of the search results – as delineated on the graph below by the dotted line at “10” – and just 10% make it on to Page 3
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain. Keeping your site up to date
Once launched, your website is never “finished”. You need to be constantly checking to make sure that it’s performing as required, and investigating where it is performing poorly and put solutions in place.
You need to be frequently adding fresh content (a blog/news page for example), an “un-maintained site is a doomed site” as they say – and Google emphasise this on its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines:
Some websites are not maintained or cared for at all by their webmaster. These “abandoned” websites will fail to achieve their purpose over time, as content becomes stale or website functionality ceases to work on new browser versions. Un-maintained websites should be rated Lowest if they fail to achieve their purpose due to the lack of maintenance.Google Search Quality Evaluator Guideline
In 20 years of SEO I have only had to re-skill myself about 20 times to stay current and up to date. The ONLY thing that hasn’t changed is that SEO is always changing. If your website fails to stay current then your website will wither on the Google vine.
The good sites will prosper, the poor sites – owned by lazy businesses – will be left behind. SEO is not just for Christmas
If you want any help with your digital marketing please don’t hesitate to get in touch for an informal chat by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by phone (01793 238020) or ask me on Social Media – Linkedin or Twitter and I’ll be only too happy to talk.Thanks for reading and I hope you stay well