Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very hard to understand service.
Not many people know how it works or where to turn to for answers to questions like “How long do SEO services to my website last?”
Well, there is no exact answer, but it helps to think of SEO in two different aspects, that of “on page optimization” and “off page”
On page means working on everything on your website itself, whereas off page refers to links to your website.
If you’d like to learn more about on page optimization, this is a good article to read from Moz: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/on-page-seo
So, how long does on page SEO last?
Again, there is no exact answer here, but the whole point of SEO is to build a website up to web standards. So that means you need to put relevant information in the correct areas of a web page that a machine, in this case a search engine, goes to look for information.
So fixing the on page SEO would mean you would work on the URL’s of your page to make sure the were relevant about the topic being discussed.
An example of optimizing page URL would be, lets say you wrote an article on gardening and you posted it on your website, but you didn’t pay attention to URL of the post, and you let the content management system of your website post a generic URL. So let’s say you have an article titled “Best Seeds To Plant In The Spring” on your website, and your website is mygarden.com and your content management system gives you an generic URL of mygarden.com/pageid874?
Now that URL is not helpful. Your article is titled “Best Seeds To Plant In The Spring”, but the URL of the page is /pageid874? A company like Determined Solutions SEO would see this and fix the URL to add more relevant information. They might change the page to mygarden.com/best-seeds-to-plant-in-the-spring.
Do you see how the optimized URL give way better information to a search engine?
That’s a big part of SEO and unless you go back and mess with your optimized URL’s, they last as long as you have your website up. And that can be for many years.
Other aspects of on page optimization are fixing your Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Heading Tags on your pages. Once you have gone through and updated your page titles, meta descriptions, and H-tags, you generally leave it alone. You usually don’t keep changing this information.
So again, once this information is setup correctly, it can last years, or as long as you have your website.
Another important part of fixing the on page are working on images. There are two main parts of an image that need to be fixed and those are the file name of the image, and the alternative text, or Alt text, of the image.
You can think of the file name of an image and the alt text of an image, the same way you would think of a page URL and a Page Title. You want to work with the file name of an image, the same way you fix an page URL. You want to name the file something that describes what is going on in the image.
If you don’t specifically do this, the content management system of your website will assign a generic name to the image file, something like pageid874?.jpg. And as discussed earlier, that generic file name doesn’t describe the image at all, and therefor a search engine wouldn’t be able to understand it either.
And the alt text, would be the same or very similar to how you treat your Page Title or Article Titles. So, basically you describe what’s going on in the picture, in a few words. For example, if you have a photo of yourself planting seeds, the alt text for the image might be “Planting seeds in my garden”.
To learn more about how to optimize images from Google, you can read this article: Google Image best practices
So again, how long does SEO last?
Well, you don’t change or update the image file names or alt text once it’s been optimized. You just leave it be. That means that the SEO can last as long as you own your website.
After you have had your on page fix, you might be wondering how long the off page stuff, or links to your website, lasts. The answer to how long does off page SEO last is a bit trickier.
The links to your website build up relevance to your website. Links help a search engine to understand what your website is about. If you have a bunch of links to your website with the word “gardening” in the anchor text of the links, then there is a very good chance that your website is about gardening.
So how long do links last? It depends. If you think of a website as a business, then you can ask, how long does a business last? It’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s pretty good.
Some businesses can last for years. Some businesses can last for decades. And some businesses go out of business in a few weeks, months, or a year.
If you have a link on a website that the owner no longer wants to operate, so they take the business down, then you lose that link. Since a link (a good one anyway) helps to tell a search engine what topic your website is relevant for, then you lose a bit of relevance when you lose a link.
Off page SEO can last a long time, a short time, or somewhere in between. But, in general, you’ll need a lot of high quality relevant links to your website. If you do have a lot of links, then it’s not the end of the world if you lose one or two, because you still have a lot.
In general search engine optimization lasts a long time, usually years. SEO is not about tricking a search engine, it’s about building your website so that you put the right information in the right places. This is a lot of work and it takes time to do it right.
But, once you have everything set up correctly and in place, it tends to stay that way for a long time and search engines will continue to send you relevant website visitor for years to come.