Someone Told Your Client to Cancel Your SEO Service that Your Client Had Been Buying

I have a client paying an agency for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services, mostly content, some backlinking, etc. He's being told to cancel SEO for 4 months cause it's not necessary and won't affect the site traffic. Keep in mind 45% of traffic is organic now.
What would your response be?
How would you expect this to affect organic traffic during the 4 month period and any recovery time after?
5 πŸ‘πŸ½5
19 πŸ’¬πŸ—¨

With only 45% of traffic coming from organic search, it looks like SEO has not taken off yet. A strong website can get over 3/4 of traffic from the organic channel, no matter the amount of investment in Cost Per Click (CPC) and Social. It seems like this phase needs more consistent additions of well-researched and quality content.
I don't think anyone can answer this question for you, since the biggest unknown is what else you do under "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)". Particularly since you are pushing the site with backlinks. It is impossible to tell whether you are pushing it over the edge or not. So it is difficult to say what a period of rest would accomplish.
A very well-established and naturally ranked website can generally survive about a year without losing rankings if no new content is added, and if the old content isn't nurtured. However, it also depends on the competition. When someone else is moving forward, standing still is going backwards.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
45% organic seems extremely low, so either this client is heavily spending on paid placements (potentially paying for many clicks it could have gotten organically anyway), or they may be wisely reevaluating whether the organic strategy they have right now is even effective.
Unless, of course, you don't mean organic traffic (which includes direct navigation, bookmarks, and all non-paid sources of traffic), and meant "traffic purely from *organic search*" (an important difference in meaning).
Changes made that affect organic search don't evaporate. So stopping a campaign doesn't cause any kind of loss except of momentum in growth. Even that momentum in growth may drop off slowly if link building to date has been in content that continues to attract links.
The only reason that we generally continue doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that competitors and the market generally continue to invest, continue to improve and build links and run campaigns, and if you are not at least keeping pace, you will start to drop behind. How noticeable that would be depends on the nature of the competition, how much they invest in growth, and the head start you have.
Keith L Evans πŸŽ“
David was kind of enough for me to look at the site and here is what we discovered:
The company is an OEM retailer having a very strong brand and top 3 mfg in the US. It's a local business, but people will drive miles and miles to get the item they want.
But this retailer has weak map ranking. It is also unknown currently what the SEO is doing.
We assume content is being published which is getting traffic. But is the traffic converting? Probably not, because the user can find the same item on the shelf in another town.
Challenge for a retailer is easily telling local searchers you have the item they want or offering a replacement. "Choose me, not my competitors and here's why." But first, you need to be a choice.
You need to be in the map or at least found high organically, especially in competitive searches.
Traffic is a ranking signal. You want it. But you also want to sell more products. A great strategy is to rank an article that brings in 'info searchers' and sends signals to G that you are a trusted authority.
But getting links and publishing content is NOT A STRATEGY by itself. Make sure the content supports your sales goals and is reaching the right audience. Place a relevant link on the article and connect to your product page.
Just because you get searchers, does not mean they will buy. Can you get them into a newsletter? Are you using Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques to encourage the sale?
When you hire an SEO, be sure their strategy is in align with your goals. They can build the right pages to sell the right products to put you in the black.
Don't hire an SEO simply to rank higher, get the right one who can prove their Return of Investment (RoI). You want results, not links and content published.
David and I uncovered some search opportunities so now he can better spend his marketing dollars.
The site is gaining more traffic but sales are flat. And keywords are on a roller coaster ride.
Once you dominate the ranking, then you can move to new keywords.
BOTTOMLINE: Can David cancel his SEO? Yes, he can based on the current info. The marketing strategy needs be analyzed again to target keywords that bring buyers. And SEO map ranking should be the highest priority. The site-arch, technical, and on-page can be much improved.
NEVER HIRE An SEO unless they give you direct feedback on improving the foundation of your site.

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Keith L Evans
100% and then some.
I was explaining my auditing strategy to someone just yesterday and told them: "But start out with the business and its marketing plan. What are their business goals, not their SEO goals. Then from there, you highlight the most effective SEO strategies to deliver those business and marketing goals, explaining how the SEO tactics align under the marketing strategy"
What you do in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is almost always a lot less important than *why* you do it. Because of the whole "it depends" nature of our business. There are so many different ways to achieve objectives, and which one is the most ideal, the *optimal* one, depends on which one most closely aligns with the client's business strategy, market position, resources, etc.

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