Whether you are an SEO company or a client, we all want to see website’s rankings, traffic and, most importantly, revenue increase. What do you do when you’ve reached the top of the top? We explain the importance of why maintaining rankings is as important, if not moreso, as increasing rankings.
All good SEO agencies have seen a client hit page 1. After a site has maintained #1 rankings for a year or more, sometimes a website owner gets used to being on top. They forget all of the patience on their end during the initial optimization process. They forget the process over the past years or months that they went through. They forget all of the hard work that their SEO company dedicated towards accomplishing such rewarding results. Ranking on page 1 becomes “the norm.” All too often, this is when businesses abandon the very marketing agency that they built up trust with to accomplish their new “norm.” The company that helped them mold their online appearance. The firm that knows their company the best.
It is understandable that clients of search engine optimization companies do not see all that goes into their fulfillment, or that they would understand what was going on if they did see it. SEO is a complicated process, and it’s always changing. In many cases, it’s for the better that clients do not get overwhelmed with trying to understand the hundreds of variables and metrics that go into search engine optimization fulfillment. However, that is also why many abandon SEO once they get “comfortable.” They don’t see the non-stop fulfillment that continues to go on, even if they’re now #1. This is when some assume that they can maintain rankings without further SEO. This is the beginning of the end for many websites’ top positions.
President of SEO National, Damon Burton, comments. “It takes a lot of hard work to get to the top of the major search engines. You can compare getting to the top of Google to the likes of saving up for your dream car. To buy the vehicle that you’ve always wanted takes patience. You have to work hard. You have to save money. As the months and years go on, you get closer and closer to your dream. The big day arrives. All of your patience has paid off. You get the car of your dreams.” He continues. “Time goes on. Your once dream car now becomes ‘the norm.’ That doesn’t mean you abandon it. You still fill it up with gas each week. You still change its oil every few months. The point is, you maintain it. You develop a process of on-going love and appreciation for what you’ve accomplished. That same process is applicable to SEO.” Damon adds. “Just because your car becomes the norm you don’t take the vehicle to the junk yard for no immediately beneficial reason and start saving your money all over again. The same applies to SEO. Once you have accomplished the natural results that you once only dreamed of you don’t just throw it all after months or years of investing. You maintain what you have. You ‘change its oil’ by regularly auditing your website’s on-page optimization. You ‘fill up the gas tank’ with backlinks, news and press. You continue to make the most out of what you’ve put so much time into. By doing so, you extend your ROI.”
Many clients ask why they can’t just stop SEO once they’re at the top. While it may be true that if you have had quality, “whitehat search engine optimization” than you should be able to go a few months with minimal fluxuation, don’t bet the house on it. Optimized rankings don’t fall because your previous SEO completely disappears. Without on-going SEO, rankings get knocked from their position because your competition hasn’t stopped. Like the tortoise and the hair, your competitors are always right behind you slowly trying to catch up.
Another factor in ranking changes in a post-SEO scenario is backlinks. There is an attrition rate to backlinks coming and going. Some sites that you may have backlinks on close up shop for one reason or another, while others just do annual housekeeping. This causes your hard earned backlinks to slowly drop in number. If you are not supplementing dropoffs with new links in an ongoing frequency (“link velocity”) than your net volume of backlinks will begin to fade, as will your rankings.
In additon to the above scenarios, a final factor in the on-going effectiveness of your rankings post-SEO is algorithm changes. You may wake up one day and what previously worked for your website in the past has ceased to accomplish the same results. An effective search engine optimization company will be able to keep you ahead of the curve. They can keep a pulse on the changing dynamics of search engines. And, if there’s an unfortunate circumstance where an algorithm update drops your rankings, whom better to take on fixing it than a company that already knows the ins and outs of your website and company? That alone can save you weeks, if not months, of narrowing down what needs fixing and how to fix it.
What we often recommend to clients is to expand their reach. Upon all of your key terms ranking on page one, why not branch out and target new keywords of value? Once you’ve established decent rankings for a variety of terms, it makes ranking for other related phrases a little easier. You have now established a reputation with the search engines as a reputable site in your vertical. The reward for such success is the ability to accelerate future success.
If you begin to consider top rankings “the norm” than look at it as validation of all of your hard work. Use it as inspiration to reach out for more success. Take advantage of the relationship and trust that has been established between client and SEO company and grow even more. Here’s to your success.