If you've hired an SEO company to get you ranking high in the Google search results, and they do get you ranking high, then it's job done, right?
SEO should be considered a continual process, which is actively maintained day after day, week after week, month after month.
If you stop working to keep your website at the top of Google, then sooner or later, as sure as night follows day, your rankings will fall and you'll be back to square one!
Why is this?
There are many reasons why, and I'll now take the time to explain just a few of them.
Ranking Factors Change Over Time
SEO is NOT a static discipline.
What works today may not work tomorrow, while what worked yesterday may actively harm your rankings when enacted today.
This is because Google periodically moves the goalposts as to what makes good SEO practice. Time and time again they have made changes which turn good SEO techniques into ranking-killing liabilities almost overnight.
It is therefore, extremely important that either you, or your chosen SEO provider, stay up to date with every update Google makes to its ranking algorithm, otherwise you'll be left totally exposed to Google's whims, and risk having your rankings crash every time they make an update.
This is NOT an idle threat, as the tens of thousands of businesses who have seen their online sales crash as a result of Google's Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Fred updates will testify.
A good SEO provider will be staying up to date with all major adjustments in Google's algorithms, and will react quickly and decisively when they are introduced, to prevent their clients experiencing a drop in rankings and the consequent decline in leads generated and sales made.
Your Website May Not Deserve To Rank Highly In Future
In today's SEO landscape, content is king.
This means that the days of simply spamming low-quality backlinks to bad content to make it rank top of Google are gone.
Google has wised up to the kind of shady (but sometimes effective) tactics which less reputable SEO firms used to use to get websites which probably did not deserve to be there, to the top of Google .
Nowadays, if you want your website to rank top of Google, it's always worth asking yourself, does it really deserve to be there?
Does the webpage you're trying to rank have better, more useful and more informative content than the webpages which currently rank highly for your targeted keywords?
If it doesn't, then improving the page until it delivers what users are searching in Google for, better than its competitors, should be the first priority.
Once that's done, and your website is ranking at the top of Google just like it deserves to be, everything is done, right?
Well no, actually.
The problem is, if a keyword is worth targeting for you, it is worth targeting for someone else, and if they too make it their mission to create outstanding content, which is even better than yours, then you are wide open to having your lucrative rankings taken by your competitors, who will then reap the benefits of placing where your website used to.
A good SEO provider will be able to keep tabs on what your competitors are up to, and which pieces of content are rising to threaten your own, so that they can then improve and enhance your own website content to ensure it remains stronger than your competitor's, and is therefore more likely to maintain its rankings.
On a similar note, your competition may also be investing their time and energies into improving their off-site SEO ranking factors, such as the number of backlinks and social shares their content is receiving.
Again, a good SEO will be able to recognise when and how their client's competitors are gaining traction online, and will respond accordingly to protect their client's rankings. They may even be able to identify which strategies the competitors are using to acquire backlinks and social shares, so they can then replicate them for their clients' benefit.
Your Website's Topical Authority Will Suffer
An important ranking factor in today's SEO landscape is the topical authority of your website.
Topical authority is an especially important part of SEO because it is likely to become a more and more influential ranking signal in the future, meaning that it's best to gain a solid understanding of what topical authority is, and how to utilise it on your website, as soon as possible.
For a (very) brief introduction to topical authority, consider that, in future, it is likely that websites which have built up a great deal of trust and authority with Google on a particular topic, will rank significantly higher than other websites which have not, when all other factors are equal.
This is already happening to some extent today, but it is likely to be far more widespread and impactful over time.
An excellent way to build up topical authority is to maintain a company blog which is regularly updated with high-quality content on some of the main issues, questions and debates in your chosen field.
Similarly, topical authority can be accumulated by ensuring that your website contains all the important information about your business, your history and your specific methods of working, and that everything is easily accessible to the people who visit your website.
A bonus of building up your website's topical authority in this way, is that by showing off your expertise and knowledge of your industry all over your website, you are more likely to win the trust of your target audience, show them that you really know what you're talking about and give them peace of mind that you are a reputable company with genuine expertise in your field.
All of these factors will help to convert more of your website's visitors into leads and sales, so putting in the effort to build up topical authority is well worth your while for these reasons alone.
Currently, SEO providers are less likely to have a thorough understanding of topical authority than they are other aspects of SEO, such as targeting keywords, building backlinks and accumulating social shares, as it is a relatively new and still developing aspect of modern SEO practice, but SEO providers who are true students of their craft will be well aware of the importance of topical authority, and will know how to ensure that your website is acquiring it, so that as its importance grows over time, your site will be in a prime position to maintain and improve its rankings, thereby helping to bring you higher revenues and bigger profits.
If you understand the value of topical authority, and appreciate how important it'll be going forward, then you will understand why it's vital to ensure that you have an SEO expert on hand who has knowledge of topical authority and who will be able to make sure that your website is accumulating it.
You'll Find It Harder To Rank New Pages In Future
Imagine that an SEO campaign has worked well for you.
You may be ranking right where you want to be for a whole range of lucrative keywords, and reaping the benefits as a result.
'Job Done,' you think, and sack your SEO provider.
Then, you have a new product or service which you also want to get ranking high on Google.
No problem, you'll just hire an SEO company again and get them to do it for you.
But here's the thing...
In all that time you were doing without an SEO company, you did not have a specialist provider building you new backlinks, improving your on-site SEO, getting you social shares and establishing your topical authority.
Effectively, you've been losing ground to your competitors day after day...
Even if your existing rankings have not fallen yet (although they very likely will have done), when it comes to achieving high Google rankings for any new pages on your website that you decide to build, you'll have fallen right down the queue.
Your competitors who have not abandoned their SEO efforts will have stolen a march on you, and it will take a lot of time, money, effort and stress to regain the lost ground and usurp your rivals to get where you want to be.
On the other hand, if you had simply retained your SEO provider, even during the times when you felt you did not necessarily need them, then you would be in an excellent position to quickly, easily and cheaply rise up the rankings for the new keywords you're targeting on this fresh page of your website, thereby putting yourself in a great position to hoover up all the new leads and customers which your competitors would otherwise be getting.
So, if your website is currently ranking just where you want it to be as a result of a successful SEO campaign, think twice before firing your SEO provider, as it could prove to be a very expensive mistake!