Search engine optimization (SEO) is by necessity a never-ending process. The actions you take today may get you top rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages), but what happens when things change? Will the approach you've taken still be appropriate?
Google is pretty much the only search engine most people pay any attention to when they talk about SEO. I haven't spoken to anyone lately who said they want to achieve top rankings in Bing or Yahoo. So, let's focus on Google.
Do a quick search online and you'll find a common statistic that says Google updates their search algorithm between 500~600 times per year. Not all of those will be major updates, but every year there are updates that seem to cause major rankings shifts for a large number of websites. Some sites night not be affected at all, while others might find themselves wiped out of the top positions.
Google's always changing, so if you're going to invest in search engine optimization, you should be investing in monitoring as well.
Your Competition Never Sleeps
Well, maybe they do, but if you've got competitors, chances are they're also working on their SEO. If you bump a competitor out of the #1 spot, they're probably going to do something about it once they notice. What will happen to your site's rankings when your competition improves their SEO? Keep monitoring and find out. You'll probably need to respond.
If your business depends on having good rankings in the SERPs, then a drop in rankings will result in a drop in revenue, assuming the same conversion rate. If you have 500 people per week visiting your website with a 3% conversion rate, you'll have 15 customers. If your rankings drop and you only have 100 visitors per week, you'll have 3 customers. For most businesses, more is better.
SEO is never complete. SEO professionals will never tell you it is. Do the work - get the results - monitor for changes - take remedial action when necessary. For the health of your business, avoid the mistake of thinking you're ever "done" with search engine optimization.
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