SEO is a lot like a car race with a finish line that keeps moving a little further away every time you start getting close to it. This is the reality of SEO because algorithms change, links go bad and you always have fresh content that is changing the landscape of your site. If you ever let up, you’ll be overwhelmed by the competitors racing behind you and go down in a whirlwind of exhaust and defeat!
Another reason you never reach a true finish line with SEO is because there is always one more link to add, one more page to include or one more avenue to explore. It never ends. There are, however, some things that only have to be done one time. As you do these things, you will see your time spent on each site slowly dwindle as they take on a life of their own and begin delivering consistent maintenance free results.
One of the most important things to remember when you are done with the basic SEO work is to keep track of your progress on a regularly scheduled basis. You should be regularly conducting periodic checks of your status for all the keywords in various search engines, and keep careful tabs on the number of live back links for your website as some links will always expire or be moved or become inactive. This may sound like a lot of work, but it is really very simple and it pays off with a good return very quickly.
You also need to maintain a positive balance in the number of back links you have for your site and should not let it drop suddenly – rather the number of links should increase constantly at a steady, reliable rate. This is not only a sign of a normally developing site, but it is a sign of you continuing to provide content that has value. Unless you have in place a system to check your website’s link status every month, you will never know if there are problems that arise or be able to take the necessary steps to resolve them. Monitoring links allows you to have insight into all of the above mentioned issues and address them in an expeditious manner.
You will also need to periodically check your position in search results page. This will serve as a very effective indicator as to how well your efforts are performing for each keyword so that you know where you need to focus your energies and can do so in a timely manner. Sometimes you may be the victim of a smear campaign by a competitor and need to get plenty of targeted SEO content out there to push bad stuff back down in the rankings and get your main pages ranking again. For more information on handling a situation like this, see out posts regarding reputation management.