Monthly SEO maintenance service vs one off SEO setup

In a marketplace that is only becoming increasingly reliant and centralised in the digital spaces of the internet, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains a critical component of any business’s marketing strategy.

But should your business invest in a once off SEO setup or work in a continuing capacity with a digital marketing agency, via a monthly SEO service? In this blog, we’ll break down what to consider when faced with this dilemma.

Understanding SEO

SEO is the process of optimising a website and its digital content to improve visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The goal of SEO is to increase organic, i.e., not paid for, traffic to a website by making it appear higher up in search engine rankings.

How SEO is carried out

There are three main pillars to a SEO campaign.

  1. Changes made ‘on-page’, i.e., to your website itself
  2. Changes made ‘off-page’, such as building in links and citations
  3. Technical changes, for example making the site mobile friendly or speedier to load

Within these categories, there are a variety of different strategies and techniques to improve a website’s ranking.

Incorporation of keywords

This refers to the use of identified terms and phrases that users are searching for in search engines and incorporating them naturally and strategically into the website’s content. These tend to change over time as user behaviour changes.

On-page and off-page techniques

There are quite a few elements that need to be monitored and updated regularly to maintain rankings as algorithms change and new competitors join the market. The tasks a digital agency would work on to improve SEO, include but aren’t limited to:

  • Meta tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • Images and alt text
  • Content, such as blogs
  • Technical updates

When it comes to off-page optimisation, building and managing backlinks to and from other reputable and authoritative websites builds credibility in the eyes of search engines’ algorithms, which is also only effective when being worked on consistently over a period of time. In fact, if backlinks and citations are built too quickly all at once and then aren’t continued to be built, search engines such as Google might flag your site for spam and it can negatively affect your rankings.

User experience

A lot of the technical SEO strategies are focused on optimising the user experience. Mobile-friendliness, site speed, and intuitive layouts all contribute to visitors staying longer.

Content creation

Content creation is about more than just volume. High quality, engaging and valuable content that is relevant and helpful for your target audience must also be optimised to rank above your competitors.

Monthly SEO maintenance service vs one-off SEO setup

Should your business engage an agency to provide ongoing SEO maintenance or is a set and forget approach good enough?

What goes into an SEO set-up?

Let’s begin by explaining just some of the things that go into an initial SEO set up for a website.

  • Preparing a comprehensive SEO strategy
  • Researching competitors in the market to learn what is best practice and what works
  • Market research and keyword research to identify the best terms to target
  • Technical and back-end coding changes to optimise a website, for example creating a sitemap.xml file with all your website’s pages
  • Setting up of reporting tools to keep track of SEO progress, such as Google Analytics and the general Google Search Console to monitor for any issues, this is in addition to paid tools that an agency would use
  • Creation of online business listings, including but beyond just a Google Business Profile
  • Rewriting of website content, including meta titles and descriptions, to ensure they will rank with the identified and chosen keywords
  • Using high quality and relevant images with alternative text descriptions
  • Setting up SEO and website plugins to ensure your website is performing well enough to rank
  • Finding high quality third-party websites to create backlinks to your site
  • Encouraging and managing online reviews

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the above SEO setup. Without a monthly SEO plan, asking your digital agency to complete these one-off tasks will add up in price very quickly, making it a very costly endeavour.

Keep in mind that any apps, plugins or tools used to monitor your site aren’t included in a once-off SEO setup which can be hundreds per month for you to purchase on your own. This doesn’t even include all the time, energy and years of experience an agency will use to help you achieve your digital marketing goals.

How long does SEO take to work?

This is a difficult question to answer for many reasons as it depends on the industry, but in general it can take a couple of months at least to get everything in place and for the algorithms of the search engines to begin picking up on the optimisation changes.

SEO should be thought of like more traditional forms of marketing. You can run a once-off advertisement campaign and see great results, but as the market shifts, competitors move in and the algorithms change (which they do up to 600 times a year!), your initial set-up may not prove as effective in the future.

The Benefits of Monthly SEO Maintenance

Due to the extensive nature of an initial SEO set-up, it may be wasted if that’s where you stop. Without having ongoing monthly SEO service to help spread out some of these activities in the long term, just paying for an initial set-up can prove least cost-efficient as well as provide a much lower return on investment.

Monthly SEO maintenance, at least for a period of six months, gives you the ability to achieve more value for every dollar you spend. How? Some tasks can be done at one time, but many other SEO strategies are about ongoing optimisation.

There are many factors that go into where your site sits in search engine rankings; One day you may be near the top and the next day you could drop significantly. Ongoing monthly SEO maintenance keeps track of the shifting tectonic plates of the digital marketing world and continuously updates backlinks, creates relevant content, fixes technical website issues that can occur over time, ensure speed times are not lagging and make sure that your website reflects the newest standards according to the recent algorithm changes.

If you’re looking for the most effective SEO service, monthly maintenance is the way to go.

GO Creative – premier SEO service providers

The GO Creative team is one of Brisbane’s leading specialists in website services. We have decades of experience helping businesses get the most out of their website.

But we understand how overwhelming getting started with SEO can be. That’s why we enjoy talking to each business owner to determine if SEO is the correct option for their business.

Book a free consultation today!

Are you still not sure whether monthly SEO maintenance service or a once-off SEO setup is right for you?

Why not book a free 15 minute consultation with a member of our team today? We’ll provide you with helpful, custom advice so you can make an informed decision.

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