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18 January 2021

Why You Should Not Press Pause on Your SEO Efforts

Why You Should Not Press Pause on Your SEO Efforts
During uncertain times it’s natural for businesses to look for ways to hunker down, reduce cost, and ride out the storm. But what happens if you stop working on SEO? Does it really make a difference?

When you open for business online, you quickly learn that if your website is not listed high up on the first page of Google’s search engine results, then 98% of your potential visitors will never see your link, much less click on it to conduct business with you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the term used to describe the multifaceted process of gaining that top-ranking and keeping it.

If you are already a Netclues customer, you know that we are a full-service web development and digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing solutions for the Cayman Islands and Caribbean markets for more than a dozen years. We believe that search engine rankings are a hugely influential marketing and sales tool, so we are not going to recommend that anyone ignore SEO, ever. But what happens if you do stop? Does it make a difference?

Fortunately, the benefits of a great SEO strategy will carry for some time after you stop investing time and effort into it. However, shutting down your SEO work entirely can quickly cause some pretty negative effects on your site’s search visibility – not immediately. Still, in a couple of months the results will be very apparent.

It takes time for SEO to help your website grow in the rankings. It also takes time for those rankings to drop when optimizations cease. So when you decide to press pause on your SEO efforts, your site won’t immediately drop out of the rankings. But SEO requires constant attention, and if you stop using it, you’ll soon see a negative impact on your Google rankings, site traffic, and even sales.

Cut back on your SEO efforts and lose access to that most valuable potential customers, the self-targeted visitor who is heavily motivated to buy and using Google to search for the exact service or product you can provide – but not seeing you on the first page of search results.

Think about it! You don’t waste time or effort marketing to people with no interest in your products or services, but organic visitors gained through SEO are actually looking for you. When you get traffic from these self-targeted visitors, your work is simply to convince them that what you provide is exactly what they need. As soon as your website starts ranking well for targeted search terms, you gain an advantage in views and a boost in traffic.

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When you build and maintain a content-rich website and expend effort optimizing it well, you get more traffic. It’s as simple as that. The problem is, if you stop optimizing your site, new visitors probably won’t stay very long or come back. You may keep your established customers, but you won’t be attracting new ones. Search engines look for up-to-date websites with fresh content, user-friendly websites, and original content specific to a user’s exact search. Old content is stale, outdated and won’t generate search engine rankings, or new business.

It's understandable during times of disruption such as a global pandemic that in order to reduce overheads, some business owners, particularly those in the Caribbean tourism and hospitality industries, will think about reducing or even suspending their SEO campaign until the situation improves and customers return.

But here is the most important reason to continue with SEO: Your competition!

All your rival businesses aim for the same top search engine rankings you’ve spent so much time and effort to win. When you stop, they seize the advantage, targeting new customers and traffic that could have gone to you.

If you knock someone off one of the coveted top spots on Google search, it's a certainty they will do everything in their power to win back that spot and outrank you. Ignore your competitors at your peril. If your website ranks higher than competitor websites on the search engines, you can be sure they are watching and working to outrank you.

At the end of the day, SEO is a vital – and ongoing – task to ensure your website gets the ranking, the visitors, and the eventual high-quality customers that are the mark of a well-designed, well-managed, and sharply focused online business.

Why You Should Not Press Pause on Your SEO Efforts
Written by Jay Mehta

Jay Mehta is the Internet Marketing & Sales Executive at Netclues for over a decade. Jay has been a marketer, content writer, blogger, advertiser, project manager and a knowledge base for several business in the Cayman Islands and he has had many publications in the industry.

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