What Happens if we stop doing SEO?

Search engine optimisation can result in a number of great results for any website, including increased online visibility, increased rankings for desired keywords, and an increase in traffic to your website from users who are likely to convert.

However, what happens when a website pauses SEO activities? We take a look at different areas that would be harmed as a result of this, and why SEO should be a continuous activity.

Changes in search volumes and keyword competitiveness.

Once keyword research (the process by which we discover what users are searching for to find products and services relating to a website’s offering) is conducted, we aim to refresh this research as often as possible. This is because the way users search on Google changes extremely frequently, so a keyword searched for 100 times a month in January 2019, may be searched for more often or less in January 2020.

Comparisons of search volumes:

Keyword: “Conservatories”

  • Search Volume (September 2014): 27,100 estimated searches a month
  • Current Search Volume (March 2019): 60,500 estimated searches a month

Keyword: “1-month car insurance”

  • Search Volume (September 2015): 1,600 estimated searches a month
  • Current Search Volume (March 2019): 2,400 estimated searches a month

Keyword: “Pink Wedding Shoes”

  • Search Volume (July 2016): 1,600 estimated searches a month
  • Current Search Volume (March 2019): 1,300 estimated searches a month

Regularly researching search volumes of keywords is important to determine what keywords are best to target on your website, weighing up the amount of potential traffic against the competitiveness of that particular keyword. This continuous process ensures efficiency in bringing in as many users with the right search intent to your website.

It’s also important to note that as more and more competitors adopt an SEO strategy, the more difficult it becomes to rank organically for particular keywords, heightening the importance of regular optimisation.

Changes in the ways users search

In the past few years, the platforms and ways in which users search for goods and services has changed dramatically, and this is set to continue to change in relation to new technology and user demands.

One big change we’ve witnessed is the introduction of voice search, using devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Cortana to search instead of manually typing into search engines. This has resulted in a change from shorter keyword searches to long tail keywords and question searches. Users are more likely to search keywords such as “where is the nearest supermarket to me?” as opposed to “supermarkets in Shrewsbury”, expecting more personalised answers.

Another big change is the use of YouTube for search queries usually expected to be seen on traditional style search engines. YouTube is now seen as the 2nd largest search engine, more popular than Bing, and therefore as a result of this SEO practices have needed to adapt in order to optimise this platform in addition to old-fashioned website optimisation methods.

Changes in Google Algorithms

Perhaps the most important area of SEO to be aware of, Google’s algorithms are what determine where your website should rank for particular terms, and Google often implements changes and updates how these algorithms work.

SEO techniques that worked for a website 2 years ago are unlikely to work today. A prime example of this is the use of black hat link building. This was once an easy way to gain high rankings but now if used you could  Google penalties and severe reduction in online visibility.

Only continuous SEO work and research can determine what tasks and methods are best for each individual website to perform well, by performing a thorough analysis of website performance a particular strategy is implemented and reactive accordingly.

Responding to Website Changes

Being able to advise and check how web development work has impacted SEO is another reason why continuous SEO efforts are required and not just one-off ad-hoc work. Using the below as an example, a stop in SEO work meant a new website launch was not overseen by ourselves, resulting in detrimental results for organic visibility.

*Work was ended in May 2018, a new website was implemented in Dec 17, we restarted working on the website in February 2018

Being able to work with Web Development teams before and after they make changes to websites allows us to prevent and amend any detrimental effects on online visibility, which can take a number of months to recover from depending on the issue.

In summary, the answer to how often SEO should be done is continuously. Keeping ahead of industry trends, developments and user behaviour changes is vital in order to stay ahead of the ever-growing competition. SEO also plays a vital role in keeping an eye on the website from a technical search engine crawler and user perspective.

If you need support with your ongoing SEO strategy

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Written by Bethany Weatherhead