Why I don’t agree with SEO “Maintenance” and why you shouldn’t either.

Have you ever pitched SEO to a potential client and the proposal resembled something like this:

  • $X,XXX for initial SEO (audit, on-site improvements, links, blah blah)
  • $XXX per month for SEO “maintenance”

Even though I’m ashamed to admit it, I have. But what exactly is “SEO Maintenance” anyway? Is it sending a few link-requests per month? Is it posting a blog post once a month and maybe tweeting about it? If that’s all there is, is it really that helpful? Apparently my potential clients never thought so because I never sold my SEO services when I presented it this way. Never!

Over the past year I have subscribed to a new SEO theory…strategy…whatever you want to call it. It can probably be best described as “Nick Saban-style SEO”. The reason I describe it like this is because the objective isn’t to do “initial SEO” and then follow up with “SEO Maintenance,” it is to systematically do the activities that attract links and search engine traffic; and to never, ever, stop doing them. My goal is to do these activities daily and to overwhelm and dominate my client’s competition.

One of the things that set’s Strategy6 apart when it comes to SEO is that we have “the process” a topic Saban often talks about. “The process” he refers to is the process of improvement. And if you’ve ever seen Coach Saban on the sidelines cussing, raising sand, and giving out spankings when someone screwed up  even though his team is up by 4 touchdowns you know what I mean. “The process” never ends because the team, or in our case our client’s search engine visibility, is never good enough. There is always work to do. There is always room for improvement.

But for Strategy6’s SEO services, I take the process quite literally. I now create a process, or 12-week schedule of SEO activates, for each client. Each week has 1 to 5 tasks, depending on my client’s budget, that must be completed by the end of the week. My thought process behind this is that if I am always focusing on and doing the activities that improve, not simply maintain, my client’s search engine rankings then they will naturally improve over time.

As the 12-week schedule winds down I evaluate the  results, share notes and thoughts with my client, and begin planning another 12-week schedule.

I refuse to believe that anyone can ever have enough search engine visibility that their goal should be to simply maintain what they have. I subscribe to the theory that you can never have good enough search engine rankings. As an example, if you are #1 on Google for “Pay Per Click Consulting Superhero” you may be #3 for “Superhuman Pay Per Click Consultant.” If the latter has significant search volume then this scenario isn’t good enough and there is still work to do.

When I explain how Strategy6 does SEO to clients this way, most of them get it. In fact, over 3/4 of our SEO pitches now turn into long-term work.

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