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In it for the Long Haul: The Importance of a Long-Term SEO Partnership

In the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, there’s a scene where Charlie, the protagonist, unwraps a chocolate bar to find a golden ticket inside. He’s ecstatic – this one piece of paper will grant him instant access to an unknown, wonderful world. His “golden ticket” will be all he needs to finally get everything he desires, and he can hardly wait to cash it in.

So, why are we talking about a children’s story?

Because too many marketers continue to see SEO as some sort of “Golden Ticket”, an instantaneous, easy path to untold business success. Nobody is arguing against SEO’s potential; in 2013, a well-thought-out online marketing strategy is no longer a novelty, it’s essential.

But where some may find themselves disappointed is in the expectation that SEO will work fast and deliver results immediately, like some sort of enormous digital vending machine.

Why Do SEO Campaigns Take Longer to Show Results?

Are online marketers just stalling or making excuses when they tell you that SEO “takes time”? Not at all! There are a number of good reasons SEO campaigns take time to show their worth:

  1. Enormously complex algorithms must index, assess and rank your content accordingly, considering over 200 factors across billions of websites. That’s a lot of data.

  2. There is a tangible gap between you and your more established competitors. They’ve had time to build links, create content, claim their places listings, earn social shares and perfect their website structure. To rank like they do, you need to close that gap.

The Advantages of a Long-Term Partnership

But it’s not just about the limitations of the platform. Jumping from SEO provider to SEO provider is a recipe for bringing in results even more slowly, and buying a one-time SEO “package” is a surefire way to ensure you’ll never see sustainable results

1.  A long-term partner will learn your business, and grow along with it.

Your SEO needs at the beginning of a campaign may be drastically different than those later on. A long-term partner will have the opportunity to watch your progression as a business and help you evaluate when it’s time to pivot, make changes or ante-up your efforts.

2.  Strategy can be formed and executed by the same team.

In a long-term partnership, the same team who spent hours poring over your baseline rankings and analytics numbers will be the team who is responsible for taking you forward. They will design the strategy and know exactly how to benchmark it and track progress.

3.  SEO campaigns can always be refined over time.

While any SEO team worth their salt will do extensive research when formulating your strategy, things can always be improved when more data becomes available. When your SEO begins, you may not even have analytics installed! But over time, SEO’s can learn the behaviors of your customers, test tactics and approaches, discover new pockets of opportunity and show you new ways to maximize your results that a short-term partner would never have discovered.

Find a Coach for the Marathon

Instead of seeking instantaneous results or going on the hunt for the cheapest short-term SEO solution, consider SEO as an extension of your marketing that will always need attending to. You will never be “done” with SEO; there will always be new opportunities and threats, new challenges and exciting new ways to outwork your competition.

Find an SEO team you can see yourself working closely with – a company that is trustworthy, dependable, knowledgeable and committed to your long-term success.

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