What happens if I stop my SEO service for a while?

The two most difficult aspects of digital marketing I have to explain is how long does it take for SEO to position my company in the top 5 search results and what happens if I stop my SEO service for a while.

Another closely related questions is SEO a necessary continued expense.

Here are some undeniable truths:

Rankings & Traffic WILL Slip

Ussually, traffic and rankings will hold for a month or two but with changes to search engine algorithms and the lack of target SEO content strategies on the web site your position will erode and traffic will slow.   Remember your competition is probably continuing to invest and understand how to pull traffic from companies that have gone “to sleep”.

Below are two examples of clients site traffic after SEO delivered results and then was stopped:

Decline in rankings and consequently decline in traffic is inevitable. How quickly this occurs depends on algorithm changes and timing and competitive activity.  Brands focused on large markets will feel the pinch faster than local businesses.

So why does stopping SEO have such an impact?

Once you improve your rankings you will have higher click through rates. Click through rate change based on a site’s positioning in the organic SERPs in the US.

Google, Bing/Yahoo search engines value fresh, relevant content; sites that are updated regularly are proven to dominate the organic rankings.   Once you stop focusing on creating strategic content; google bots and the like will downgrade the site based on perceived user experience.

The Competition Doesn’t Stop

If your competition is doing even minimal SEO and you are not, prepare to lose traffic to the “bad guys”.  We love to see B:B clients operating in an industry that does not have active SEO campaigns.   We have significant impact on the companies visibility and this translates into leads and opportunities for sales.

Beware the continuous Algorithm Changes

Panda. Penguin. Possum. Pigeon. Google and others constantly update their algorithms which in turn alters how your site is viewed and ranked.  Unless you are monitoring this your rankings can go from the “penthouse to the outhouse” very quickly.  Without an SEO expert working for you it is doubtful that you will be positively impacted by these continuous changes.

Easy To Revert Back To Bad Habits

It’s no secret that web designers and SEOs can often butt heads. The recommendations that an SEO specialist provides can sometimes clash with what your web designer may see as a necessary aspect of the site design. For example, from a web designer’s perspective, Javascript is an essential tool to build a beautiful, interactive website; for SEO purposes, Javascript can be a ranking killer if not implemented properly. SEO specialists help to point out common mistakes and point designers in the right direction. Left to their own devices, it’s easy to fall back on bad habits and common SEO mistakes.

Bottom line, if we stop our SEO Campaign what happens?

SEO is a best practice that generates results over time.  Using a couple of metaphors; it’s like working out or going on a diet, it takes time.  Unfortunately, there is no magic wand.   It is only steady, reliable, consistent work that will generate results.  SEO is an investment in your company’s visibility in a world that increasingly finds solutions and partners by executing searches.   Ignore this undeniable buyer behavior and you risk much.