‘Hit and Run’ SEO vs Continual SEO

Cole Wiebe
September 8, 2007
Read time: 3 minutes

Hired Gun SEO or Relationship Building Through Content?

Over the past ten years, our Vancouver SEO business has offered both one-time SEO packages and ongoing SEO programs involving a content strategy.

One time SEO packages have been a much easier sell. Over a year, the costs to the client are a bit lower than continual monthly retainers or quarterly programs.

Improvements in search engine positions show a very rapid increase, which impresses our clients immediately. Search engine ranking positions tend to increase for the first four to five months, level off in the sixth and seventh month and then begin to fall off. We attribute this to two factors. First, the site had once again become static. After one burst of content additions and structural improvement, the site had once again been abandoned. Second, we analyzed the competitors’ sites and discovered counter measures by rival site SEOs, who responded to losses in ranking positions.

Over time we came to refer to this approach as ‘hit and run’ SEO. The client seeks out a hired gun and purchases their services for a single hit on their top-10 rivals.

Continual SEO programs represent an ongoing investment. But isn’t that how all advertising works? You don’t place twenty-four ads in a magazine in one month and then forget about advertising for two years.

With ongoing SEO, there isn’t a huge optimization effort up front, so initial ranking changes won’t have the same ‘wow’ affect, taking a bit longer to obtain. Over a year, however, the results have significantly outshone one-time optimization. And it grows month by month.

Search engines love sites that are updated regularly and where more relevant content is added on a regular basis. SEO copywriting and article publishing provide very significant improvements in rankings.

Most one-time optimization packages tend to focus only on on-page optimization. Changes are made to the client’s site, but there is rarely any development of backlinks from other ‘on topic’ websites. With a long term SEO program, after the initial on-page optimization and code enhancement is complete, the focus shifts to obtaining vital backlinks from other sites. Search engines like Google place a great value on the ‘votes’ you obtain from other ‘on topic’ sites by way of backlinks. Off-page optimization and the development of backlinks provides the greatest long term search engine positioning benefits. We accomplish this through aggressive public relations and social networking with other webmasters. We source out related directories, recommend and purchase listings, then monitor the return on investment.

With ongoing SEO programs we build relationships with our clients; a commitment to the customer and process sadly lacking in the hired gun transaction. We learn about the client’s business and monitor the results every month. Continual feedback from clients and analytics, with monthly tweaking, make it possible to fine tune the SEO processs. We are also able to integrate new strategies to counter changes made in search engine algorithms.

The risk to the client is greatly reduced. With a one-time optimization package, you pay and then you pray. With continuous SEO, you pay as you go. If you aren’t happy with the results after three to six months, just cancel the service.

With some continual SEO plans we include pay per click advertising. Pay per click, combined with organic or natural search results, gives a one-two punch, multiplying the visible listings in search results.

The Takeaway

One-time optimization may still provide a quick fix, but more and more, rankings are earned with valuable content. And that takes time. It is great for websites where budget is the primary concern, where the existing on-page SEO is nonexistent, or where there is little competition for keyword terms. Ongoing content creation and SEO are the best solution for most websites.

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