Most clients believe that a successful SEO campaign means achieving that top organic position. But what happens once that number one spot gets reached? Most businesses may begin to question whether SEO is a necessary expense to move forward within your marketing budget. Once their site is fully optimized, companies may assume that they will continue to do well in the rankings no matter what. This assumption, however, is not valid.
A Drop in Rankings and Traffic
After stopping your SEO campaign, you may not notice a drop in rankings and traffic right away. Unfortunately, the steadiness of the rankings and traffic flow won’t last too long, and a decline is going to happen sooner or later. Traffic will begin to slip after only a few months of no longer refreshing your site with fresh, well-optimized content. The rate of decline in rankings and traffic will vary brand to brand. Name recognition and a continued need for their services may have locally-focused companies seeing a slower drop in rankings. In contrast, retail brands and other national businesses can see a dip in their previous efforts much sooner.
When Rankings Drop, Traffic Drops
It is no secret that sites that rank in the top organic spot, including featured snippets and the local map pack, receive the highest amount of visibility. These sites, with strong impressions, also tend to have the highest click-through rate. Just dropping a couple of spots could have a severe effect on the traffic to your website.
Why Rankings Drop After You Stop Doing SEO
Content Does Not Stay Fresh and Relevant
Fresh, relevant content is a crucial player in ranking on Google and other search engines. By keeping your website up to date, crawlers will return to your site to index the fresh content and improve your chances of appearing in SERPs. When you stop providing value to your audience by way of quality content, your rankings and traffic will start to decrease.
Competition Is Always Ready To Outrank You
These days, most successful businesses are investing in SEO. With these SEO campaigns comes analyzing what your competitors are doing and adapting accordingly. If you are in position one in SERPs, your competitors are most likely following what you are doing and are trailing closely behind. Stopping SEO allows your competition to outrank you. It is especially important at the time of this writing, as many businesses are having to press pause while our nation fights the COVID-19 virus. If you can swing it in your budget, keeping your SEO campaign can help you either knock out your competition or stay above them.
What kept you in the top spot organically last month could very well move you down a few positions next month. Keeping up with never-ending algorithm changes on Google and other search engines is a great reason why you shouldn’t stop SEO. Depending on the algorithm update, SEOs may have to restrategize their campaigns to keep their client in the top spot or get them back to that high position. While some of these updates are pretty minor and don’t have too much effect on rankings, others, like Penguin, can change SEO best practices entirely.
Site Errors Can Arise
SEO specialists like to work with a business’ web developers to help point out technical errors and performance issues that can be affecting the site’s rankings. Common mistakes can include: not redirecting a deleted page, thus creating a 404 error, or adding a large image that is not optimized correctly, creating a slower page load. Left on their own, web developers may not realize these mistakes they are implementing as they continue to update the website without an SEO consultant.
Stop SEO and Pay For It In The Long Run
A good analogy to take note of is that SEO is like going to the gym. If you miss a few days, you should be ok, but if you stop going altogether, you will find that you are no longer in shape and wish you hadn’t stopped going. If you are looking to be successful online, SEO requires constant attention and should be considered an essential part of your business’s monthly budget.