Web marketing tasks tend to fall into two categories:
- Things that can be completed.
- Those that go on indefinitely.
The tasks that fall into the first category are pretty easy to manage and quantify. You identify the problem, fix it, and move on to the next problem. It’s like a puzzle. Once you fix a piece, it tends to stay fixed (though not always).
Ongoing SEO, Ongoing Cost
But a significant chunk of digital marketing falls into the second category. It’s an ongoing process that doesn’t (and often shouldn’t) ever end. There are always more keywords to optimize, more content to publish, more socializing to do, more links to get, and more data to analyze.
If you approach SEO as a short-term cost, you’re being very short-sighted. Last year I wrote a post titled, Why Idiots Love Their Office But Hate Their Website. The gist of that post is that many businesses invest more money in an office that few will see, compared to the many, many more who will visit their website. An office space is an ongoing expense, and so, too, is your digital marketing. It’s just a different sort of office. A better one, in fact!
For every dollar you spend on rent, without batting an eye, you should be willing to spend that and more on your web marketing. But I’m going down an unintended rabbit trail here. My point is to illustrate that there are some ongoing investments we make and don’t think twice about, but web marketing often gets the third and fourth thought, with it’s ongoing importance continually questioned.
The Danger of Putting Cost Before Value
For any large or e-commerce site, both social media and ongoing page optimization can often be fighting for more time within the budget. You can always lower costs by reducing the amount of time spent on one or the other (or both), but this puts us squarely back into the territory of putting cost over value.
Rest assured, it is. Don’t expect it to stop because the moment you stop investing in SEO is the moment that your competition is on the fast track to building a stronger web presence than yours.
Digital marketing is a race. When you stop moving forward, you start losing.