Just How Much Search Engine Optimization Is Enough?

Creating an optimized website is the only first step.

A common misconception is that that once a website is created, it is "done" - it will quickly appear predominantly in search engine listings and traffic will skyrocket. The reality, however is that even if your website's design is as search engine friendly as possible, if you expect long term, progressive improvement in your visibility and a healthy traffic volume, the site is not done.

Creating an optimized website is the only first step. An effective SEO strategy must include ongoing optimization efforts for the best results.

What Kind of SEO Do Live Sites Need?

To have a strong standing in search engine results pages (SERPS), a website must establish its relevancy and vibrancy. Achieving this goal is the driving force behind a solid search engine optimization program. In addition to having regular updates or additions, a site also needs to have quality, relevant inbound links, and the volume of these links should increase over time.

Now, this doesn't mean that good SEO encourages the addition of webpages that add no value to your site or benefit to your customers, nor a massive campaign of link swaps with low quality sites or link farms. In fact, doing so is actually detrimental to search engine rankings.

Effective search engine optimization for new or established sites means the consistent upkeep of your site - the addition of relevant information and resources - and developing a base of relevant links that point back to your site. The key here is "relevant".

If you run an art gallery, for example, providing a regular influx of information that helps educate your clients on how to evaluate art or distinguish one style from another would be wise from an SEO perspective. Similarly, the development of links and listings from art directories, websites and blogs are of greater value than unrelated inbound links from life insurance websites.

The needs and target market of each site is unique, so a one-size-fits-all approach to search engine optimization is not a viable solution. To be effective, your SEO strategy must :

  • Define ways for your website to provide a regular supply of information and resources of value to your target audience. A stagnant website sacrifices visibility and traffic
  • Identify your online niche and develop inbound links from online properties within this niche
  • Take advantage of industry trends, such as blogging or social networking, to build relevant inbound links

What is the Bottom Line Value of Optimization?

Continuous SEO creates a foundation of visibility that, unlike paid listings at the search engines, does not have an end date.

Think of SEO as a savings account. Regular deposits mean your balance earns more and more interest over time in comparison to interest earned from making a single deposit and walking away.

Whether your company is large or small, whether you are located in a small town or city like Boston, SEO that works is SEO that is ongoing, targeted and always looking to the future.

About the Author : Catie Hayes is Vice President of Advanced Digital Websites, Inc, a Boston search engine optimization and web design firm specializing in custom solutions for business.