SEO — Does It Ever End?
Unless your company shuts its doors, sells or merges, or undergoes some other transition that renders the company website(s) unimportant, some degree of SEO work will always be needed to maintain organic visibility on Google. The intensity of the campaign and the associated costs will vary over time, depending on your business goals and other factors. Let’s take a look at how this plays out.
Phases of SEO Campaigns
- Campaign setup and launch. The initial months of an SEO campaign will entail additional cost if the company website requires extensive setup work to support ongoing SEO activities. This is often the case when the website was originally built without SEO in mind. In addition, initial keyword research usually adds cost in the setup phase, since it is far more extensive than future keyword research will be.
- Early campaign phase. The first several months of a campaign will involve a significant amount of work to catch up and/or surpass competitors, especially in terms of getting the ball rolling with on-site and off-site content, and improving the link profile. Once you and the SEO agency get in a groove on content creation, and difficult issues with the link profile are resolved, this work becomes more efficient.
- Adjustments phase. After a campaign has been in place for many months, enough data has been collected to start making decisions: Should the campaign be expanded? Should we shift keyword focus? Is our conversion strategy working? Depending on the answers, your SEO investment may remain relatively steady for a long period of time or increase if ROI justifies it.
- Business shifts. Internal and external business shifts can have a huge impact on the cost and scope of SEO. These shifts include the introduction of new products, elimination of old products, rebranding and/or moving the website to a new domain, targeting new geographic markets, and new or existing competitors ramping up SEO. Depending on what is happening, these changes can cause SEO campaigns to expand or contract.
Sales Leads and Online Revenue
In the long term, it’s SEO’s ability to generate sales leads and online revenue that keeps the campaign rolling. After a reasonable amount of time has elapsed (1-2 years on average), some companies choose to move toward other marketing options because they’re not seeing a critical mass of leads or direct online revenue.
Sometimes this is appropriate, but take care not to jump to conclusions — especially if SEO is driving a lot of organic traffic to the website and conversions aren’t happening, it could be that improving the site’s conversion funnel will solve the problem. It’s also possible that a modest increase in SEO investment will produce a sizeable increase in traffic and conversions.