Search engine optimization is not set-it-and-forget-it. You can hire any number of capable individuals and agencies (including Silver Beacon!) that can analyze your website and either make recommendations or do work to optimize your site to receive profitable visitors.
You see, that’s what real search engine optimization is about: profitability. The snake oil salespeople who guarantee that your site will rank #1 at Google are poseurs to avoid. Even Google warns about these people. “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit”, writes Google about SEO on its site.
Just this year, Google took its own steps toward transparency by auditing its own SEO efforts in report card format on various “organic” ranking factors. Breathe easy. That’s a link to the blog about the effort, not the actual 49 page report. Google said it looked at 100 of its properties across a dozen common SEO dimensions, and the search giant didn’t always give itself good marks. That’s fair because some of Google’s SEO is reminiscent of the adage about the cobbler’s children’s shoes.
Critical in this post, however, is Google’s statement that they would continue measuring its performance and might use some different measurements in the future, but that Google itself would keep monitoring its own search engine optimization. Almost any effort atrophies if left unused. If you exercise, you know what begins happening after even a short layoff. And if you don’t monitor your car’s fluids and the condition of its hoses, tires and belts, the mechanic may be your new best friend. The same issues occur with SEO, but only more so because search engine best practices change all the time.
I spoke this week with a well known CTO whose decades of experience pre-date Google. “I know when major changes happen,” he said in referring to Google’s “Caffeine” update, but you SEO folks are like surfers riding each new wave.” The analogy is apt. The waves continue. They don’t stop. Neither does search engine optimization. Even if Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Ask all decided to stop making any changes for six months, that doesn’t mean that the millions of other businesses will also stop their efforts. Your takeaway as a small business leader is that just like a person needs a physical, an eye exam and a dental checkup every year, your website needs the same checkup. Don’t surf the SEO waves without one.