Are you considering slowing down your SEO efforts? Maybe your website is generating a comfortable amount of revenue and you’re thinking about taking a break. Or, perhaps you’re just curious about what would happen if you stopped doing SEO.
Truth be told, it’s a bad idea to stop doing SEO. While search engine optimization might seem like a ‘set it and forget it’ campaign, it’s really not. SEO is a long-term digital marketing strategy that requires consistent upkeep to continue producing results.
Continued SEO is essential if you want to keep generating traffic, conversions, leads, sales, and followers. If you’re considering suspending your SEO efforts, here are 6 good reasons not to stop.
1. You’ll lose organic traffic
The number one reason for performing SEO is to drive traffic to your website from search engine results. The goal is to rank as many possible webpages for relevant searches, which increases your organic traffic flow. That traffic provides you with a steady stream of leads and customers.
When you stop performing SEO, you will lose traffic. Not just temporarily, but eventually it will be permanent. You can’t just stop SEO for a few months or a year and then pick it back up, expecting to start where you left off. Once your pages lose ranking in the search engines, you’ll have to start all over to get back to the top.
Say you’ve reached some top spots in the search results and you’ve been crushing your competitors. If you stop doing SEO for several months, you’ll fall far enough behind that you’ll need to work harder just to catch up to your competitors. Then, you’ll have to work even harder to take back the top position – if you can.
2. You’ll miss out on ranking for new search terms
People are complex and don’t always search for the same search terms year after year. While every industry has basic keywords that will always be standard searches, new phrases appear all the time.
If your industry is growing, expanding, or evolving, new keywords will pop up on a regular basis. Performing SEO regularly is the only way to target new keywords in your industry. If you don’t target those new keywords, you’ll miss out on a ton of traffic.
Fad or not, you need to continually target new keywords and phrases to stay competitive and generate new traffic.
3. Content marketing doesn’t work without SEO
If you’re performing basic SEO, you’re probably also running a content marketing campaign. You can’t really have one without the other. Although you can perform technical SEO without content marketing, you won’t get a solid backlink profile.
Content marketing is the crux of SEO – it’s how you’ll generate high-quality backlinks. If you stop doing SEO, you’ll have to stop content marketing, which means you’ll stop generating backlinks. When you stop generating backlinks, your webpages will drop in rank in the search engines and you won’t generate as much organic traffic to your site.
Since content marketing is the most critical aspect of SEO for getting backlinks, you don’t want to stop. You can slow down if you’re overwhelmed, but you need to keep publishing fresh content at least periodically.
Here’s what will happen when you stop content marketing:
- People will stop looking for new content on your website. When you’ve been providing awesome content for your website visitors, they’ll be disappointed if you stop. The moment you stop publishing new content, your visitors will get bored and look for other sources of content.
Not being able to continually engage return visitors will reduce your ability to market to them. For instance, you can promote new products and services to returning customers through new blog posts. Those blog posts can be linked in your content marketing campaigns. When you stop content marketing, you’re eliminating one of your most effective marketing channels.
- Without fresh content, you’ll lose organic link opportunities. Content marketing involves publishing amazing content that will serve as an authority on a given topic. The ideal situation is having your content linked naturally by people writing relevant articles.
Getting organic backlinks is a huge deal. When you stop performing SEO and content marketing, you will lose out on all of those organic link opportunities.
- You’ll lose social media shares and posts. People love to share good content on social media. If you’re no longer publishing content, your visitors won’t have anything new to share. At that point, only people who randomly find your content will share links to social media.
While old articles do get shared frequently, newer content gets shared more frequently, especially when you have loyal visitors who can’t wait to link your latest blog.
4. You might fumble some important technical SEO tasks
Part of SEO requires staying on top of the smaller, technical details. Even if you could ‘set it and forget it’ with SEO, certain things can change over time that will negatively impact your site. For example:
Your robots.txt file might be blocking search engines. Your robots.txt file is what tells search engine spiders which files and folders to ignore and not index. Even if you’re not actively customizing your robots.txt file, changes can happen without your knowledge.
For example, if you switch to a new CMS and discourage search engines during development, the CMS will change your robots.txt file. If you or your developer forget to allow search engines before launching and you’re not doing SEO, you probably won’t know there’s a problem.
Your web forms might be broken. If you’re not doing SEO, tracking leads, and watching traffic, you might never know when a web form is broken. SEO will naturally lead you to discover broken web forms and other funnels that aren’t working.
5. You might accumulate spammy links without knowing
When you’re engaged in an SEO campaign, you’re going to check your backlink profile periodically. If you aren’t checking your backlink profile to see what new links have been acquired, you risk accumulating spammy links without knowing.
Even when you’re not actively performing SEO, you might be accumulating backlinks without knowing. For instance, you might have an active membership to some kind of traffic generating scheme that you forgot to cancel.
If you aren’t doing SEO, you’re probably not checking your backlink profile and traffic sources. When you’re not checking your backlink profile and traffic sources, you’re not going to notice an accumulation of spammy backlinks.
When you accumulate enough spammy backlinks to your site, Google will take a manual action against your site for having unnatural links. If you’re not paying attention to SEO, your site might get de-indexed and you wouldn’t know any better until you noticed your traffic drop considerably.
If you can’t get spammy links removed, the only thing you can do is disavow those backlinks manually. Depending on how long you’ve been accumulating bad links, the disavow process could take a while to complete.
6. You might get discouraged about your business
While most of the consequences for stopping SEO will impact your website, there’s another dimension you need to consider. If you stop your search engine optimization campaign, you’re more likely to become discouraged about running your business.
There’s a reason you’re thinking about abandoning your SEO efforts. If you already feel defeated, for example, that feeling will only increase and you’ll stop doing other important business tasks as well.
If you’re seriously considering bailing on your SEO strategy, you might just be overwhelmed because you’re trying to do everything yourself. SEO isn’t a one-person game. SEO requires a whole team and multiple components working at the same time.
If you’re overwhelmed, you have two choices: you can decrease your overwhelm and continue your efforts, or you can hire a professional agency.
Struggling to keep up your SEO Strategy? These 3 tips will make SEO easier
If you’re still in a place where you’re willing to decrease your overwhelm and give SEO a second chance, these 3 tips will help.
1. Create a realistic schedule for tasks
If you’re overwhelmed, but you still want to perform your own SEO, create a realistic schedule for your tasks. Creating a realistic schedule might be harder than you think. You’ll have to start setting realistic goals based on an honest assessment of what you can give.
It’s easy to take on too much without realizing you’re creating a burden for yourself. Instead of setting goals to be met quickly, be realistic about how much time you can invest in your SEO efforts. If you can only give 5 hours per week, set your goals to reflect that. Your goals will take longer to achieve, but you won’t be overwhelmed or disappointed by unachievable goals.
Setting your goals further out will reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel from working in overdrive to meet deadlines and goals. As a general rule, if you’re working so hard you don’t have a personal life and you’re not getting much sleep, you’re working too much.
2. Outsource as many tasks as possible
When you’re overwhelmed, outsourcing SEO tasks will bring some much-needed relief. You don’t need to outsource everything, however. Some tasks should not be outsourced in order to preserve quality and control. Only you can know what tasks you should keep in-house.
In general, here’s a list of the top 8 SEO tasks you can outsource to professionals:
- Link building
- On-page optimization
- Tracking new backlinks as they’re acquired
- Tracking ranking in the SERPs
- Keyword research
- Basic SEO-optimized content creation
- PPC ad management
- Split testing
There might be other SEO-related tasks you can outsource, but this is just a list of the most commonly outsourced tasks.
3. Hire a professional SEO marketing agency
Hiring a professional SEO agency is the ultimate way to meet your optimization goals without having to put in the effort. You’ll still be running the show, but you’ll have a team of marketing experts deploying your strategies and campaigns. They’ll even implement strategies you might not know exist.
Exhausted from doing SEO? Contact us today – we can help!
If you’re tired of doing your own SEO and thinking about calling it quits, don’t stop – contact SEO.co and we’ll continue your SEO efforts so you don’t lose all the hard work you’ve put into your website.
- How to Set Realistic SEO Goals - June 1, 2023
- Keyword Cannibalization: How to Find & Fix SEO Cannibalization Issues - May 26, 2023
- Link Velocity: How to Use Link Velocity to Your Advantage in SEO - May 23, 2023