SEO can feel like a technological mystery to those who aren’t familiar with the practice. For a lot of business owners, that means they trudge through the SEO process once and then forget it.

If that sounds like you, I’ve got some bad news: A set-it-and-forget-it SEO strategy is no SEO strategy at all. There are a number of reasons you need to be working on and refining SEO constantly. I’ll cover all the reasons below and give you some tips for keeping up on your SEO game.

1. SEO Is Constantly Evolving

The search engine algorithms are constantly changing. While Google doesn’t provide full transparency into the hundreds of factors that go into how they display results, we do know that the way they weigh certain elements has changed over the years.

Take, for example, mobile friendliness. Over the years, mobile search has been on the rise. Today, it accounts for more than half of all searches.

In response to consumers’ preference for mobile search, Google now gives preferential treatment to mobile-friendly sites. (It’s called mobile-first indexing, and Google rolled it out last year).

Because SEO is always shifting and changing, you need to keep an eye on your site’s SEO. This doesn’t mean you need to perform a complete overhaul multiple times a year, but it also means you can’t revise your strategy once and then consider it written in stone. Keeping up on shifts in search and SEO best practices will allow you to stay at the top of your SEO game and make changes as they become necessary.

2. Don’t Harm Your Organic Standing

SEO is how you perform well in organic search. And, despite an increasing number of paid search options, organic search remains as relevant as ever. According to Search Engine Journal, organic search saw the largest growth rate in over two years in 2018.

This means that where you stack up in organic results is still important. If you let your SEO strategy go stale, you might lose out on all the great optimization you’ve built up over time.

Think of it like diet and exercise: If you change your diet and start working out, you’re probably going to notice that you’re losing weight, you have more energy, and you feel better. But if you stop doing that completely, you’re going to lose whatever progress you made.

3. Google Penalizes a Stop-and-Start Approach

Businesses that have worked hard on their SEO and experienced success, performing well in search results, might think they can close up SEO shop. In reality, there’s a danger that comes with stopping and starting SEO.

When you stop taking steps to maintain your SEO strategy, like constantly creating fresh content, you’ll see the backlash pretty quickly. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, when you’re not producing new content, Google and other search engines don’t have new content to crawl on your site. As your site falls off their radar screen, you’ll see it fall in SERPs.

Additionally, just because you stopped SEO doesn’t mean your competition has. In fact, they’re probably continuing to optimize SEO and put out new, relevant content. Like the tortoise passing the hare, the slow and steady content creator and SEO optimizer will eventually pass the site that used to be top of the heap but has let things lapse.

How to Keep SEO Fresh

Once you’ve put together a solid SEO strategy, it’s more about maintenance than a complete overhaul as time goes on. One of the most important things you can do (both for SEO and for the sake of staying top-of-mind with consumers) is to put out relevant content consistently. This keeps all eyes on you and can help you to maintain your existing rankings and even improve over time as you build up a larger body of useful content.

You’ll also want to keep an ear to the ground for information about how search engines think about SEO. For example, the mobile-first index was a major shift in the way Google indexed sites. If you weren’t aware of the change, you may have experienced the adverse effects of not showing your mobile site some love and attention.

Additionally, you’ll want to measure your current SEO efforts and use that information to refine your strategy. Understand which keywords you perform well for, and create more content that speaks to consumers’ interest in that topic.

Scan for broken links and 404 error pages to keep your site healthy. Stay up on your local listings, and ensure your business’s information is consistent across the web. Regularly checking in on your SEO strategy and performing necessary maintenance can keep your standing strong will help you with your search performance.

Need help staying on top of your SEO efforts? We have the tools and expertise to keep you in good standing with search engines.

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