SEO: Does Long-term Optimization Really Matter?

Awhile back I read through a discussion forum where the merits of long-term SEO was the topic at hand. Quite a number of those taking part in the discussion felt that short-term SEO was all that mattered, but I really have a different opinion on that.  I really think that you should not underestimate the value of long-term optimized content.

Let’s pretend we have an excellent electronic commerce article published on a Web site. You’ve done everything right, and you find your article listed #3 in organic Google results for two keyword phrases you have optimized for. Pulling a random number out of my hat, let’s also say that 80 percent of the traffic to this page is referred by Google and that translates in to 5,000 pageviews in the first seven days. This is your short-term SEO result.  If you do absolutely nothing, you may find that in the coming weeks others have hit those keywords with fresh content and your #3 spot drops to #4 then #8, and so on . After first few months you will see a decline to a few hundred pageviews to that article every 30 days.

My question to those of you who do not believe in the value of long-term SEO efforts, wouldn’t you rather have a quarter million pageviews to that one article in a year, instead of 10-30,000? What if that article was top in the search results for 3 years?

A well-written search engine-optimized article can drive traffic for years. In fact — for the entire lifetime of your Web site or blog.  Some content is very well-suited to ongoing SEO efforts and these articles and posts deserve a long term SEO effort. I have articles that have been top Google search results for several years. You have to invest in a long term SEO plan to do this, but that is the nature of SEO. It is an ongoing process.

Using Google analytics you can see which articles you have posted that still gets a decent number of pageviews, even though you haven’t touched the content in months — or years. Use Google Analytics to determine which keywords are sending the highest numbers of Google searches to that page. Google those phrases yourself, and if your page is not number one in the results then optimize the old article for those phrases. At the same time, you will also want to freshen up the content. This 15 minute SEO investment every two months can result in a huge traffic pay-off for a very long time to come from older content.

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