We know you’re tired of hearing this, but it bears repeating. We’re talking the clichéd “recite it in your sleep” kind of repeating. The “stuck-in-your-head-90s boy band earworm” sort of repeating. Yes, what we’re going to talk about is that important.
Are you ready? Here it goes.
In today’s world, maintaining a strong digital presence is imperative to the modern business. And what does that come down to?
Say it with us: SEO.
Okay, we might have gone a bit strong on the hyperbole, but we know that businesses everywhere have been inundated with stats, facts, and digital survival techniques that revolve around SEO. Even if you don’t know what it is, we’re thinking there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it. You know it exists, if not what it does. You might have some vague notion that it involves digital marketing, but not why or how.
Thankfully, you don’t have to know how all the nuts and bolts work. That’s our job. But for those in need of a refresher course, you can find the basics here. The extreme Cliff’s Notes version is this: SEO is the process of trying to get your website (business, blog, etc.) to show up highly in search engines (like Google) for a given search term.
Want an example? We’ll use ourselves as guinea pigs. ADsmith wants to rank highly in Google when people search “marketing springfield mo,” because we provide marketing services in Springfield, Missouri. We rank first in the local pack—(“A local what?!” you ask. You can read more about what the heck a local pack is and why it’s important here) and we rank second in the organic search results.
At ADsmith, we build strategies to help our clients rank higher for the key phrases that people use when looking for services provided by our clients. Almost every SEO agency you will talk to will recommend ongoing SEO.
What is Ongoing SEO?
Ongoing SEO is the process of regularly checking website analytics and keyword rankings, keeping keyword research up to date, creating content to target new keywords and improve the rankings of keywords already being targeted, and applying new SEO tactics learned over time.
Clear as mud? Essentially, it’s the process by which we make sure you’re doing everything you need to be doing to remain high on Google’s search. This might mean adding, removing or otherwise changing something that is no longer being searched by your customers. Again, it’s our job to know how it works, so don’t worry. There won’t be a test at the end of class on all the jargon.
Why is Ongoing SEO important?
Oh, how long do you have? It was tough, but we managed to pick three of the most important reasons to consider ongoing SEO.
1) The first reason ongoing SEO is important is having someone monitoring your website analytics and keyword rankings allows for problems to be caught early, before too much harm can be done.
Or, more simply, if the internet misbehaves, we can catch it and fix it before your website enters the digital Phantom Zone.
What does this look like?
In the middle of January of this year, one of ADsmith’s clients experienced a keyword nosedive. We saw the drop in rankings and immediately sprang to action to figure out what was going on, and quickly found the source of the problem.
Our client had recently switched their website domains and host providers, and the new host had neglected our request to redirect their website from their old domain to their new one. Essentially, Google still showed the old site, which meant people were going to a dead site and receiving the dreaded 404 error (page not found). This makes Google cranky, so our client’s homepage fell almost completely out of search in just 5 days.
ADsmith worked with the new host, got them to reinstate the redirect and made a few small tweaks. The result? Recovery. Rankings took a while to come back, but by the end of February, the client’s rankings were back to where they were before the error by the host provider.
The moral of this story? If the client had not been engaged in ongoing SEO, this problem could have lasted longer, and our client could have lost more leads through a drop in organic rankings. Meaning, their website would have been buried, if present at all, on Google, making it harder and far less likely for customers to find and contact them.
Catching problems early is an essential piece in ongoing SEO.
2) The second reason we recommend ongoing SEO is, well, Google is finicky. They and other search engines are constantly changing how they display search results.
The big story from last year was the shift of Google only showing three businesses in the local pack—that funky thing we mentioned before. It’s a lot of valuable but intensive information, and ADsmith covered this change in a previous blog post.
Last year was also a game-changer as Google started weighing mobile friendly websites as a ranking factor in search results. Luckily, we at ADsmith have been recommending mobile friendly sites for years to our clients based on research that told us that smart phones and tablets are popular (our research was more involved than attending a Black Friday sale, we promise). All current information points to more people using their phones and tablets to visit websites and connect to the digital world, therefore it made sense to recommend mobile-friendly websites to our clients. After all, if a customer is looking up info on their iPhone, you want to make sure the experience is good enough to result in a lead. Last year, Google confirmed mobile-friendly was so important it now influences rank.
Keeping up with trends and adapting to how search engines work is part of being an SEO agency. When you pay for ongoing SEO, you are paying for expertise and the peace of mind in not having to keep up with new ranking factors in search engines—we do that for you.
3) As stated, there are many more reasons to consider ongoing SEO, but we’ll stop at the three we think are most important. And, drumroll, we chose the creation of new content.
Creating new website pages, blogs, and other content allows your site to rank for new keywords, as well as showing potential new clients your expertise in your field.
Google also likes to see new content, so adding new content will make Google like you more. This is due to the fact that a site that is regularly updated is more likely to provide better answers to a user’s search query. Think about it. If you are searching for an autobody shop, are you more likely to trust the information on a website that hasn’t been updated in 5 years, or one that was updated last Tuesday? Google takes that into consideration, and rewards those that keep their content fresh by making them more visible.
New content is also more likely to keep a user engaged, which leads to them spending more time on your website. And believe it or not, the number of pages a user visits and the time they spend on each page tend to have a positive correlation with keyword rankings.
ADsmith’s increases in keyword rankings over the last year has a lot to do with adding additional pages with more information about our services, as well as having really good engagement metrics. People tend to spend time clicking through our site. So thank you, friend, for sticking around.
Here are some engagement metrics for ADsmith’s website over the last three months. The average user spends over 2 minutes on our site and looks at almost 9 pages.
SEO is always changing. All this information we gave you? It could be different tomorrow. The point is, we’re always on top of what’s changing, how it’s changing, what that change means for you, and how to react. Having an expert guide you through the changes is important. Now, SEO can be a one-time process, but it will always be more effective with a long-term strategy.
Good SEO takes time, but with patience and the right team, you can grow your business by climbing the ranks in Google.