When will my SEO be done?

Task listWalking into a meeting to discuss the progress of an SEO project, it is common to be hit with the question of ‘So when will our site be optimised?’. This perception that optimised exists is what hinders so many SEO strategies from growing and fully developing. It can be difficult to be thinking long term in the actions you’re taking when there’s a short-term goal and finite contract length.

There are many different factors that mean your website will never be 100% <optimised including those mentioned below:

External Factors

As SEOs, we work in the backyard of the search engines, and therefore we need to conform to their rules. Though we don’t need to worry about running down the hallway or putting your feet on the sofa, we need to work to the guidelines that are set and be aware of when they change.

As we all know, Google change their algorithm 500+ times a year, and these are the small tweaks to make user experience and results better, and these are largely unconfirmed. Then come the larger, more drastic algorithmic changes that sometimes cause a stir in the SEO industry, mainly due client sites being negatively impacted.

It is these external factors that we don’t have any control over that generate the most fear in marketers. One day everything is fine, we are working to the guidelines, and next they are changed and our websites have been drastically affected, sometimes irreversible so in the case of Panda/Penguin.

For this reason, the only external factor that should have your whole attention all of the time is your customer. If you focus on them, creating the right content, building the best user experience regardless of device, then most external factors are irrelevant.

It is when you focus too much on those external factors, namely the search engines that you can fall foul of their guidelines as you set out to improve visibility through manipulation.

Competitor Changes

The nature of having competitors mean that they will always be looking to beat you, gain ground if they are falling behind, or pull further ahead where possible. To do this, you have to accept that there is always opportunities, whether you are thinking outside of the box, improving content that has been created by a competitor or your own resource.

Things can always be improved, they can be represented better, the story told could be more engaging, inviting to your audience. It is this type of attitude that will stand you in good stead, instead of thinking that you have done everything you can.

If this is your mindset then you have already lost, because your competitors are pushing forward, taking your ideas and making them better!

The Business of SEO

Business Developments

As businesses succeed, new avenues of revenue open up and therefore new areas of the website need to be created and optimised.

With these new areas, comes the need for visibility in search engines to expand on any paid marketing advertisement. The issue that you face here, is you may be entering into a totally new sector, with new competitors and zero visibility to start with.

The change in business model can and will provide difficulties within the SERPs to the point of starting again, however, it signals opportunity, and therefore further ways to optimise your website.

New Product Lines

Whether you are a retailer or a service led business, there are always new products coming to the market. Depending on the size of margin that is available to you, it is likely that you will want to be visible when users are searching for these new products.

Sometimes, if the new products are just a new range such as the iPhone, Playstation, etc then you may not be required to do much. However, if the product is completely new to the the market, or you are not the first to stock such product you need to create a strategy that will enable you to cash in on this new phenomenon.

These are only a few of the factors that mean your website will never be 100% optimised. It is also important that you focus on your user rather than just a search engine. As humans our buying habits change as we evolve with the technology that is available to us. Would you say that your website is 100% optimise for us, the user? I would doubt it.

SEO closely aligns with so many marketing channels, business decisions and user behaviour that the potential your website will be 100% optimised is slim, to nil. Let’s move away from thinking we are finished, and start talking about how we can continue to make things better!

I would love to hear your thoughts below in the comments or over on twitter @danielbianchini.

About Daniel Bianchini

Daniel Bianchini is the Director of Services at White.net, a creative digital marketing agency based in Oxford, UK. Having been in digital marketing since leaving University, Daniel has worked in-house at Dixons Stores Group (Dixons Carphone), with many leading UK brands and helped start a digital marketing agency based in Hertfordshire.