Search engines are not giant phone books

There is a lot of misconceptions about what an active SEO strategy is and exactly and how it works. Most of the confusion comes from the idea that search engines are like big phone books of everything that’s online. While that simile might make sense, it is actually flawed. Search engines are complicated, big and very dynamic creatures. Constantly evolving, updating and measuring. A phone book is a lot more static, getting updated only once a year.

This flawed way of understanding both Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization may lead businesses to believe that an SEO service can be done just once and then forgotten about. After all, within a fairly short period of time you can see an increase in your page rank results, and an increase in website traffic.

You need to keep up to stay up

As many businesses who do not maintain an active SEO strategy quickly learn, page rank results and web traffic drop just as fast as they went up. And with that, new online leads and customers begin to dry up. After all, your competition is probably trying to stay ahead of the pack – which means there’s always someone moving up above you in search results. You need to keep up with them or you will lose your position.

Having an active SEO strategy that has real impact means maintaining all aspects of good organic search engine optimization. All the time. This requires constantly keeping up with search trends, targeting and analyzing your keywords and quickly adjusting them. It also means scanning your back links to search for bad ones to remove, updating and optimizing your content and tweaking with your meta titles and descriptions to generate the most out of every single page on your site.

Learn from the data, understand it

One of the most overlooked aspects of an active SEO strategy is the importance that data analysis plays. Your analytics and traffic results provide a wealth of information about how your SEO strategy is working. Having a thorough understanding of what the data means gives you the ability to quickly and efficiently address any issues that you identify. Sometimes a specific targeted keyword is too competitive to give you the results that you want – by studying your analytics data, you can identify which of these keywords isn’t working and then try to refine it. Now instead of you doing it just once a year, like a phone book, you can adjust and change things on the fly – day by day.

There’s of course a lot more involved, such as linguistic localization considerations, target audience analysis and direct customer and user feedback. All important components that make up a successful active SEO strategy.

So if you want to get the most out of your business’ online presence, you’ll need to start thinking of having an active, dynamic SEO strategy as part of your overall online business plan. Not just as a one time thing. Otherwise, you’re standing still while everyone is zooming by around you.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Ralph Unden – Obligatory Champs-Élysées shot CC BY 2.0