“Movement is life.” In the movie World War Z, those were the words Brad Pitt’s character spoke to a family who opted to barricade themselves into their apartment rather than seeking to be rescued with him. To be fair, they had a good thing going: a few weapons, some food, and even beer. For them, movement was the unknown. Staying put kept them in their comfort zone, where they felt protected.
It also got them killed.
In SEO and even web marketing in general, staying put can have similarly disastrous effects on your business.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a gentleman in a LinkedIn group. The question posed was “How long does SEO take?” This is the answer that got my attention: “If you know what you are doing, you can get top three results…overnight.”
While I’m a 16+ year veteran in the industry, I also know I’m not always the smartest guy in the room. But this was a new one to me. Overnight?
Well, it turns out the example used showed extremely low search volume in Google. Ok, that makes sense. So, spending a few hours to optimize a page on your site for low hanging fruit can often yield near immediate results in the search engines. But there is more to successful SEO than going after the low-hanging fruit. If you want to survive, grow, and thrive, you have to compete with the big(ger) boys.
Web Marketing Never Sleeps: How to Stay Awake, Alert, and Alive
Managing a web marketing campaign effectively is like trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how holed up you are, eventually you will find yourself in danger.
The SEO you do today can be solid and effective. It should even continue to provide value as time passes. But eventually, if you’re not actively maintaining and improving your optimization efforts, you will find yourself losing the momentum that carried you to your current level of success. When you lose that momentum, you may still be going forward, but others begin to catch up.
Be Content But Not Complacent
There is something to be said about being content in life. I try to teach this principle to my kids. Be content with what you have, but never be complacent. What does that mean? It means you should be happy with what you have or where you are in life, but also always seek to improve.
I always want our clients to be happy with our SEO and web marketing efforts. But at the same time, we can’t expect them to continue to pay us if we sit back and rest on our past successes. Our goal is to build success on top of success. Each success brings new excitement and, for the client, new business. But we can’t stop, lest we lose those very successes we worked so hard to achieve.
Look For More Keywords to Target
In my 16 years of doing SEO, I’ve only had a couple of clients run out of keywords to target. Of course, they were all hyper-niche industries where there wasn’t a lot of topical room to explore.
Most sites we work with have thousands upon thousands of keywords to target. They have a number of topics from which they can extract new keywords, and each of those topics provide the opportunity to focus down even further. Many of these topics and keywords come from questions people are asking about your industry. Monitoring social media can help you determine what those questions are, and you can then use your blog to answer those questions and showcase your expertise. The result of this is ranking for keywords your audience is really interested in and searching for.
Don’t Rely on Yesterday’s Algorithms Today
Algorithms change on a regular basis. While search engines routinely roll out algorithm changes that ding spammy SEO tactics, there are still legitimate tactics that become less and less valuable over time. Some may lose their potency all together. Not because they are wrong or bad, but because the search engines no longer see the value in them. There was once a time when being listed in the Yahoo! Directory mattered. Today, the Yahoo! Directory is dead.
When past SEO strategies no longer provide value, that strategy needs to be replaced by a newer tactic. The smart SEO is one who is holistic in their online marketing efforts. When you spread your focus among many factors, you are less impacted when the value of one factor changes. Stay aggressive in all areas of building your web presence and you’ll stay ahead of just about every algorithm adjustment.
Grow Your Online Marketing With the Algorithms of the Future
If you’re not keeping up on your SEO, you’ll completely miss new factors like these. Your rankings will slowly start to decline, and you’ll be wondering why, with such solid SEO in place, you’re moving in the wrong direction.
Be Aware of Everyday Site Changes
Very few web sites are in a state of completeness. Whether it’s new pages being added, old pages or products removed, new blog posts published, or new coding implemented, websites evolve. With every change comes the possibility of something going wrong. Regular site checks are important to ensure these regular maintenance changes don’t produce a problem in your otherwise perfectly optimized website.
Keep an eye on Google Webmaster tools, run frequent broken link checks, and even consider architecture tools like Microsoft IIS. These three alone will give you a wealth of information you can use to keep your site in tip-top shape.
Always Be Thriving
SEO that isn’t keeping up with algorithm changes and seizing new keyword opportunities will fall behind. In fact, even SEO that is growing can fall behind purely on the basis of a competitor investing more into their SEO efforts than you. The more aggressive you are at keeping up, the more likely you are to stay ahead of the competition. Because if your SEO isn’t killing it, it’s only a matter of time before it’s getting killed.
Featured Image: canburak via Flickr
Image #1: eonuk via Flickr
Image #2: Thomas Tolkien via Flickr