Once upon a time, before I joined Acrylic, I poured all the energy I currently use to market Acrylic into marketing my own business – The Write Copy Girl. I joined the team last September and since then all efforts to market TWCG have ceased. I have not blogged, tumbleweed has been wafting through my YouTube channel, my Instagram account has been silent, and I’m fairly sure anyone following the business on Facebook believes it to be as dead as the Facebook platform itself has become when it comes to organic reach. (Sorry, Facebook, but we all know you’re not interested in anyone who isn’t paying or playing video content.)
You’re probably not surprised to hear I haven’t been investing any time in building my own business now I’m working full-time for Acrylic. What may surprise you is that, despite the fact I’m not marketing TWCG in any way – no newsletters, no new content, no social media marketing, zip, zilch, nada – I’m still getting new clients.
Or more specifically, Acrylic is still getting new clients.
In fact, one of the biggest new clients we signed this year has come, not from our efforts to market Acrylic Digital, but from my TWCG’s website.
You know, the one I haven’t updated since September.
The one that was actually down completely for about a month and I didn’t notice, so busy was I building the new Acrylic Digital site. Since it’s gone back up (Thank you, Simon, for taking over the hosting and sorting that out ;) ) I’ve been keeping a slightly closer eye on it. Enough to know that the current site audit is shocking and there’s a lot of stuff I need to fix (I don’t have time). Enough to know that my rankings have plummeted and are nowhere near where they used to be (this is what happens when you stop blogging, updating regularly, and working on off-site as well as on-site SEO), and yet…
SEO Never Dies…
Distressed as I am by how far down the SERPs I have fallen, I’m still holding my own.
In fact, people around the world searching for a copywriter specialising in health and wellness are still finding me, calling me up, and asking me to work on their businesses for them.
This is the power of SEO. The true power. The one that most people never realise, because they either lose patience with the whole process long before they ever start to reap the rewards, or never invest enough in it to create good results in the first place.
SEO never sleeps.
SEO never dies.
The work you do to create a rankable site doesn’t vanish unless the site does, or you do something to spectacularly cock it up.
Blog posts I wrote years ago are still ranking on page 1 of Google, despite the fact the site hasn’t been updated in eons and I haven’t blogged once on there since August 2018.
Still on page one.
They’re not as high up page one as they used to be, but a couple are still ranking #1.
Almost a year after I stopped investing anything in SEO for The Write Copy Girl, all the work I poured into the site in the two previous years, from when the site first went live, is still paying off.
Riddle me this, how often do you get a new prospect call you up out of the blue, wanting your very specific brand of genius and quite happy to pay whatever you ask for it, because they’re looking for an expert in exactly that, and the Google gods have told them you’re it.
You’re the one.
They have to have you, and only you, and they don’t mind your prices at all. In fact, you’re fairly sure you could have quoted them double and they still wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, because they want you.
And how often do you ask that lead,
”‘How did you hear about me?”
…and they reply without pause,
“Oh, it a Tweet you wrote a couple of years ago.”
“I was trawling through my email looking for newsletters from 18 months ago that I never bothered opening.”
Of course they don’t.
Nobody ever says that.
A lot of the time when we ask customers this they reply, “I found you on Google”.
If they have come to us through social media, you can guarantee it’s got nothing to do with something we posted a year ago, and everything to do with recent marketing efforts that they’ve been following.
SEO: The Marketing Investment That Never Stops Giving…
People have very short attention spans.
The search engine gods do not.
They are much like elephants in that regard.
In fact, the longer your blog posts are live, the more authority they gain and the higher they rank, particularly if you update them occasionally with the latest info, and keep the rest of your site current and SEO-healthy.
When’s the last time you revisited a Facebook posts, added an extra few lines to the description, and watched as leads flooded your inbox?
Never, that’s when.
That’s because SEO is a very different breed of marketing to most other forms out there. The power of social media and email marketing comes from consistency, and repeatedly showing up.
You have to keep investing in it in order to create and then continue to see a return on your investment.
The second you lose that consistency, the second you stop showing up on Twitter, or landing in people’s inbox, you lose all momentum gained.
The ROI you’ve received on the money you have invested up to that point is all you’re going to get, unless you start investing again in the future, and are patient while you rebuild that momentum.
SEO doesn’t work like that. While you lose momentum when you stop updating regularly, you don’t drop all the way back down to zero.
Not even close.
SEO Is Basically Yoga For Business…
While it takes time to get you up to where you would have been had you never stopped, it doesn’t take that much time, because your SEO core is still strong.
Think of it like doing yoga. When you train daily for months and years your body grows stronger, your core becomes solid, and your muscles develop memories of all the movements required to perfect even the most complex moves.
Stop for a few months, or even a few years, and you’ll lose the fitness level you had, sure, but when you start practicing again you’ll find you can drop into a downward facing dog without thinking about it, and in a remarkably short time you’re back to being able to do that standing scorpion.
It took you months or even years to master it the first time, but just a few short weeks to get back to standing on your hands while touching your nose with your feet.
If I’d kept blogging and vlogging for TWCG every week as I was doing, if I’d continued working on my on-site and off-site SEO every month like I used to, if I’d been giving TWCG all the love and attention a website deserves (and needs) I’d be getting half a dozen phone calls a day by now.
Instead I get a call or an email from someone looking for a wellness copywriter every few weeks. 98% of those people turn into customers at some point. It may not be on the initial point of enquiry, but eventually they call up ready to book me in.
And that’s without complicated nurture sequences keeping me front of mind.
What keeps me front of mind?
Well, they go back to Google, type in the same queries they did the first time around and, even though it’s months later, still see me right at the top of page 1.
And they think, “Huh, that’s the girl I spoke to last year, who was really cool, and totally hip to all things wellness, and did yoga and everything. I really liked her, but I wasn’t ready then. I’m ready now!”
(Because clearly all prospective clients have highly pretentious self-talk…)
And BOOM! That’s a new client signed on a retainer, or a £15K website project in the bag, or both.
What did I have to do to generate that business?
Answer the phone.
Making The Wise Investment Choice…
Just this afternoon, my phone rang. It’s currently last week and I’m writing this while on holiday in Wales, because the muse hit me after I got off the phone and realised that was the second new client to come to Acrylic in one month off the back of SEO work I did three ago, on a website I haven’t touched in almost 12 months.
The moral of the story?
If you’re serious about marketing your business but you’re concerned about the ROI you’re going to get from digital marketing efforts, SEO is the way to go.
It’s not the quick way. It won’t generate instant leads (for that, you need a PPC campaign). It’s not going to build a massive following on your Instagram account (for that, you need social media marketing), and it’s not going to nurture the relationships you have with prospects over the course of months and years until they’re finally ready to buy (for that, you need a sales funnel).
What it will do is:
- Drive consistent traffic to your website.
- Ensure you rank well on SERPs, not just now but well into the future (remember, the authority of your content only increases with time, the only thing that will make a well optimised post drop in the ranks is a site that hasn’t been updated enough).
- Build your brand’s authority and online profile.
- Give you all the content you need to fuel other forms of digital marketing, like PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and inbound sales funnels.
- Continue to deliver leads and a healthy return on your investment well beyond the point you stop investing. In fact, your ROI is cumulative with SEO – the longer you work on it and invest in it, the greater your returns grow. So while you may see zero return in the first 6-12 months (extremely disheartening, I know), what you get in every month that follows more than makes up for it.
SEO never dies.
It is immortal, intractable, invaluable.
SEO is the Captain Jack Harkness of online marketing.
The Sooner You Start…
The long and short of it is that if you haven’t already invested in a solid SEO core for your business, it’s time you did. You may balk at the price, at the commitment, at the length of time you’re going to have to wait to see a return on your investment, but in the long-run you’ll thank yourself for it.
In the long-run, what you invest into SEO will keep coming back to you for years to come, even if (like me) you only work at it for a couple of years and then shift your priorities.
And here’s the big thing to remember: SEO does take time. This is the one point on which I don’t mince words when it comes to search engine marketing – it’s not a quick fix. It’s highly effective, but you are going to have to make that investment consistently for 6-12 months before you see the results kick in. And we’re not talking peanuts here. SEO hinges on quality content and regular updates.
That’s a lot of content creation, which is expensive.
Add to that all the other work that goes into properly optimising a site for search, and you begin to see why SEO retainers are so pricey.
Yet the sooner you start doing it properly, the sooner you will reap the rewards.
And those rewards won’t stop when you decide to end the retainer (assuming you stuck at it long enough to get that solid core in place).
So, if you’re looking for a long-term marketing solution for your business that will generate high-quality leads for years to come, book a free consultation below, right now, and we’ll have a chat about exactly what your business needs to get it ranking #1 on Google…
Our Head of Marketing, Hazel Butler, is an award-winning author, copywriter, and editor. Part ghostwriter, part blogger, part videographer, and part strategist, when she’s not endlessly penning content for our clients Hazel’s happily concocting the perfect marketing plans to propel their businesses forward.
Get to know her...