The Timelessness of Good SEO

If done right, SEO will literally outlive your website.

On the internet, we don’t often think of our media as having any intrinsic permanent value. News headlines are expired within minutes; tweets are gone in a flash. Blogs squabble and compete for our momentary attention before disappearing again into obscurity. Even websites rarely stand the test of time: In a survey of over 160 companies, more than one third said they had redesigned their website within the last three months.

In recent years, marketers have played along. They’ve taken to social media and “#hashtag” campaigns, with performance measured in durations of days or hours. They’ve pushed press releases onto the digital wires, to watch traffic spike for a day or two at best. An occasional campaign may outlast expectations — a viral video might last a few weeks before falling out of fashion — but then it’s back to the drawing board for another short-lived campaign push.

Search engine optimization is the single greatest marketing tool for achieving permanence on the web. A strong organic search ranking can last for years (if it is nurtured through link building and on-page optimization). A website can become the authority on a niche topic, achieve that coveted page one ranking in Google, and maintain that authority well into the future. Even when competition is fierce, the payoff for good SEO is undeniable: in one study, 40% of SEO campaigns achieved an ROI in excess of 500%, nearly double the rate for PPC campaigns. SEO also grants permanence to brands: that page one ranking will elevate your brand’s awareness and improve name recognition and authority over time.

Since 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, there’s little doubt that the search engine will outlive today’s newest social media fad. Organic is more trusted than any paid marketing initiative, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of search engine users say they only occasionally/rarely/never click on ads. SEO is not only the best long-term strategy for marketing — it might be the best strategy there is.

If your marketing game plan is missing SEO, you’re have no long-game. Marketing isn’t a sprint to the finish. Don’t neglect SEO for a quick fix; instead, be sure to include organic SEO as a component of all your major marketing initiatives.