4 Reasons Why SEO Is Not a One-Time Project
Most marketers start off thinking that SEO is a one-time project. They soon realize that the moment
The digital marketing landscape is very competitive. Skills are in very high demand. And that’s why there is also a lot of competition. And I’m not just talking about SEOs and marketers, I’m talking about the billions of other websites out there.
But one thing I noticed is a lot of business owners still believe that search engine optimization is something you can do once and be done with.
Here are a few reasons why SEO is not a one-time project:
Reason #1: Adding Keywords to Your Pages Stopped Working 10 Years Ago
Keywords are important. But, adding them to your title and meta description isn’t going to help you rank for them. There are a ton of considerations you need to make if you want to rank on page one of Google.
Let’s break this down.
If you add your main keyword to your title tag, meta description, and all over your page, would that make it any better?
Most likely not.
Why? Because you’re forgetting there are over 200+ ranking factors used by Google. And all of these are centered towards giving users the best experience on the web possible.
If you’re an e-commerce shop, here’s how adding irrelevant keywords can be dangerous:
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at email@example.com.
And you’ll find a lot of pages like these. They are the ones on the second page of Google and higher.
If you visited a page that has a copy like that, would you continue reading the page, much more buy from it?
I wouldn’t think so.
And so does your customers.
That’s why adding keywords won’t help you rank. It can help, sure, but it’s not the only thing you should do.
What to Do Instead
Focus on creating content about topics and cover them extensively instead of obsessing over keywords. The popular approach these days that get amazing results is the topic cluster approach. These are the ultimate guides that you often find at the top of search engines when searching for resources on a particular topic.
Reason #2: SEO Is Constantly Changing
The SEO landscape is always evolving. There are two major reasons for this:
- Search engines like Google are becoming better at understanding user intent
- Marketers keep trying to game the system and are forcing search engines to change
The former is understandable. Technology that wasn’t available back then is now becoming the norm. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are now being used in the algorithms. Instead of manually making rules in the code to determine which ones to rank, AI is used instead. Just last month, Google announced that the core web vitals will be part of the page experience signal early next year.
On the other hand, there are marketers who try to constantly game the system so they can rank higher. The black hat tactics you know today came from these marketers:
- Comment linking? These came from realizing that backlinks play a big role in rankings, so, to game the system, marketers started commenting on other sites in order to increase their own backlinks.
- Directory listing? Several studies show the number of referring domains correlated to higher rankings. So, if you hire someone to create 100 domains and to your website, you’re going to rank higher
There are so many more examples like these. And that’s why Google keeps cracking down on these illegal tactics because it doesn’t provide the user with a great experience.
What to Do Instead
Put your users and customers at the heart of everything you do. If you do that, you will never worry about any algorithm change affecting you negatively. For example, if you put your customers first, you will make sure they have a great experience on your website. That means a fast website with helpful navigation. You’ll also start creating helpful content answering their questions and problems.
Reason #3: Competition Is Tougher Than Ever
I remember back in 2010 when I first made a website. It’s in the events industry. After writing 3 blog posts about the different types of events, I started to rank and show up on search after 2 months.
This was how I got started in digital marketing.
Back then, I didn’t even know about SEO or researching keywords or anything about links. All I did was create a website, publish some posts, then wait and see my site show up on Google.
All I know is that people are starting to use the internet more and more. So, instead of trying to spend tons of money on flyers, I decided to use a website.
But today, that rarely happens anymore. 10 years later, posting 3x won’t get you on the first page of Google. You have to do a whole lot more than that — both in quantity and quality.
It takes a lot of work to rank these days. And it’s not just links that matter. You have to focus on at least several fundamental factors if you want to succeed in digital marketing. Then again, that only gets you in the starting line. But at least, you now have a chance.
Also, because of this, your competitors won’t stay still as well. If you are currently in #1, rest assured that the sites in positions 2 and lower are constantly working their way to beat you.
If you become complacent and stay still, you’ll soon find that another website is now ranking at the top of Google.
What to Do Instead
Don’t ease up on your digital marketing efforts. Continue producing high-quality content, distribute them on social, email, and on other channels. A great way to cement your rankings on Google is to do two things: build more backlinks to your page and update the content regularly. This is a sure-fire way to keep your rankings as it helps your users find your content and because you’re updating it regularly, it still is relevant to them.
Reason #4: SEO and Content Go Hand-in-Hand
While SEO and content creation are different, they do work together. You can’t expect to perform well without the other. They’re like yin-yang. They balance each other out.
SEO is more on the technical aspect while content is the creative part. But, you need both to be great if you want to see results from your digital marketing efforts.
For example, if you have great content but your on-page SEO is terrible — navigation, internal links, full of error pages, some pages aren’t even crawlable — that’s wasting your efforts.
Personally, I find a lot of older sites fall under here. They have great content written by experts but the website isn’t mobile-friendly, its largest font size is 12px, and it loads super slow.
Or on the other hand, you’ve got all the technical aspects covered, but all content is like the example I shared earlier. All its blog posts are 300 words that, if you read it, are nothing but reusing the keywords again and again. That’s over-optimization at its best.
What to Do Instead
Find a balance between SEO and content marketing. To do that, focus on the fundamentals I mentioned earlier. Don’t obsess too much about keywords and backlinks. Get your website to load in 2–3 seconds, then spend time creating quality content that you’re audience will love to read. Make sure you write and solve for their problems and challenges. If you constantly talk about yourself, then that’s virtually guaranteeing no one will read your content. Remember, the only one that cares about you is yourself.
Over to You
If you want to see results from your SEO efforts, you’ve got to stop thinking that once you do something, it’s over and done with.
SEO is an iterative process. The goal is to constantly improve. The moment you stand still, you’ll get left behind.
Have you ever ranked for a keyword only to find yourself get knocked out of first place later? Or have you worked with other people who insist that SEO is a set-it-and-forget-it activity?
Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Marketer, freelancer, husband | Published on The Startup, Better Marketing, The Ascent, PGSG | Find out how I grew my organic traffic by 110% in 5 mo: https://bit.ly/3fpilkW | ariel-lim.com