More and more companies are beginning to understand the importance of incorporating professional SEO, whether internally by a search engine optimization expert or from an outside firm, in their overall marketing efforts. It is typically harder for them to understand, however, why the discipline requires an ongoing effort for long-term success. Companies often fear that they are paying ongoing fees for one-time work, and, unfortunately, these fears are often justified.

Many professional SEO companies charge setup fees, then add on steep ongoing fees, when in reality the work for the campaign was done up front, and the “ongoing” component consists of running a simple ranking report every month and dressing it up for the client. Fees for these search engine optimization “expert reports” can be thousands of dollars, making it potentially the highest margin business since the repeated sale of the Brooklyn Bridge.

In reality, professional SEO is an ongoing process. It is a process of honing and refining while simultaneously expanding. It is a process of protecting and bolstering while also minimizing the risk of setback. Recurring costs for your work with a search engine optimization expert should go primarily toward increasing the value of the campaign over time – not maintaining the status quo, or, worse yet, simply reporting on the state of the union.

What Every Search Engine Optimization Expert Should Know about Campaign Expansion

A search engine optimization expert will put the launch of a professional SEO campaign in the proper context – as the beginning of the data collection and campaign refinement process. The purpose of the data collection is to see what is working and what is not, and to expand the campaign in a more targeted direction. There are numerous benefits to this approach:

The “freshness” factor: Professional SEO firms will tell you that search engines are interested in “fresh” content – to the point where they often give newer pages a temporary ranking boost in search engine results. Engines seem to have a disdain for stagnant websites. The underlying logic of the engine algorithm makers is that if a website has not been updated in quite some time, the content must surely be dated, or, at the very least, not the newest available information. Websites that are updated more frequently are placed in higher regard – a primary reason why industry portals, with their rapidly updating content, often dominate search results for competitive terms. Moreover, the engines visit frequently updated websites more often. Any search engine optimization expert knows that this means new pages will be included in search results more quickly.

Increasing value: A campaign run by a search engine optimization expert will target a variety of keyphrases at the outset. However, no matter how carefully these phrases are chosen, some will perform better than others. Some may not perform at all. Using web analytics software, a quality professional SEO firm will track the conversion data from each individual phrase (simply put, this means the phrases that are bringing in the traffic that takes a desired action on the site). It is often the case that the phrases that are sending the most traffic to the site are not particularly valuable, since very few of the visitors from the phrase are converting. By studying the individual keyphrase conversion performance, a professional SEO firm can target additional phrases similar to those that are performing best. This refinement process never stops, and the end result is that each expansion is more effective than the last. In fact, after several expansions, it is not uncommon to see the newer group of keyphrases (chosen by your search engine optimization expert after data collection began) outperform the entire list of keyphrases targeted at campaign outset. Results like these are hard to ignore.

Addressing new business concerns: Most businesses are constantly evolving. New products or service offerings are perpetually in the works. New vertical markets are targeted. Directives are handed down from up high that demand more business in more areas. If your professional SEO firm’s “management” package primarily consists of a ranking report, it may be time to look elsewhere. Part of your professional SEO management package should be the opportunity to routinely address new business challenges without paying more setup costs.

More Rationale for Ongoing Management by a Search Engine Optimization Expert

There are additional reasons that professional SEO management, done properly, is a necessity. These include the need for ongoing link building to protect and improve positions, careful competitor monitoring (both to see how your search engine performance compares with theirs and to make sure they aren’t violating any search engine rules), and careful monitoring of the industry to reveal any new opportunities or potential dangers. Of these, however, campaign expansion and refinement may be the most crucial. The most effective campaigns are routinely expanded based upon what has been successful in the past. It’s hard work, and it takes passion and dedication by a search engine optimization expert, but it always pays off.

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