What Happens When You Stop SEO?
A popular question we hear from new clients at SEO Mechanic is “how long do we have to do SEO?” and “can we stop SEO?”.
At SEO Mechanic I tell clients we want to work with you for the life of your business. So my answer on how long you have to do SEO is forever or until you close your business. Whatever comes first.
This sets the tone for how we view SEO and our clients. A long term relationship!
Site examples that have stopped SEO 🤷
Over the past decade, we have worked on a lot of websites. And some of those, for better or worse stop doing SEO. So below are a few examples of websites that stopped doing SEO.
The following declining SEO examples are pulled from Google Search Console:
While these results are not indicative of every site that stops SEO, it does clearly show a pattern of what can happen when you stop updating your website regularly.
The images are screenshots from Google Search Console (and Bing WMT), over a 16 month period. I feel Google Search Console is one of the best representations of what SEO looks like from a data point of view.
Without getting into too much detail on each of the examples above, they do represent a range of new, old, local, national and international websites.
GSC does a great job showing the subtle changes in a website once you start making updates and optimizing the website. The two metrics that it tracks really well is Clicks (from search engine results pages) and Impressions, (which I call opportunities).
The impressions data helps to show clients and marketers visible progress in SEO. While ranking is an important metric, sometimes that comes later.
Why Does Exposure Fall after Stopping SEO?
You’ll see that for a period of time after SEO services are canceled the search engine interest is steady. In some cases, you might even see a residual bump from previous SEO activities finally taking effect.
Changes in key SEO factors:
You stop improving your site: When you are constantly optimizing and creating targeted content for your site, it’s continually inviting web crawlers to re-investigate your website. Which in turn prompts them to re-index, analyze and rank your site for appropriate search engine results. If you stop doing these tasks web crawlers and people lose interest and stop coming around.
You stop building trust: Companies that end up losing big are new businesses in crowded markets that have little or no representation or digital trust in the local market.
Your competitors don’t stop SEO: Just because you decide to stop doesn’t mean your competitors are stopping their SEO efforts. Eventually, the people on page three, who keep working hard, will take over your organic positions and map rankings. This will not happen overnight but it will eventually happen.
Some sites can stop SEO
Some local websites and larger brands can maintain their presence due to several factors. Some of those factors include brand recognition, lack of competition or a historical archive of well-respected content and quality information.
Regardless, the decline in search engine exposure kicks in and on occasion with devastating results to your bottom line. Sometimes after years or just a few weeks.
At SEO Mechanic we routinely tell people that they need to be committed for a minimum of 6 to 12 months. But ideally for the life of their business. Starting and quitting SEO in 6 months or less can be a waste of money.
Do you have questions about SEO?
SEO Mechanic works with local, national and international businesses at improving, fixing and beating their competitors in SERPs. If you have questions feel free to contact us today.