On first glance, it’s hard to draw any correlations between developing an SEO campaign and investing in your 401(k). The two have nothing to do with each other, right? Actually, your business’s SEO campaign and your personal 401(k) have a lot more in common than you might think.
Diversify your portfolio
Most financial advisers will talk about the importance of “diversifying your portfolio” when it comes to your 401(k). Basically, they want to invest small portions of your money into many different stocks and bonds. That way, if one or two stocks take a nosedive you don’t lose all of your money in one fell swoop. The same holds true for your SEO. You never want to rely on just one source of traffic to your site because it leaves you vulnerable.
Let’s say the vast majority of your traffic comes from Facebook. What happens if Facebook goes dark for a few hours? A few days? Forever? Your site disappears right along with it. Or maybe most of your link portfolio is comprised of blog comments. One day Google declares blog commenting to be a black hat link building tactic and your site is flagged for it. Your link portfolio just became useless.
Long term investment
Depending on when you start investing in your 401(k), it can easily be 40+ years before you actually get to enjoy the money you’ve earned. But for 40 years you tucked away a small percentage of your paycheck because you knew that one day it would be well worth it. SEO is the same way. I’m not saying it will take 40 years for your website to reap the benefits of your SEO campaign, but you shouldn’t expect a miracle overnight. Depending on the age and trust factor of your site, the competitiveness of your industry, how aggressive your SEO campaign is (and many more factors) it could take anywhere from a few months to a year before you see measurable ROI from your SEO campaign. However, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t on your behalf the whole time.
Builds upon itself with time
Two words—compound interest. The longer your money sits in a 401(k) the more valuable it becomes. Even upping your contributions by an additional 1% per paycheck can have a dramatic effect in the long run. SEO works in a similar manner. The more great content you have on your site, the more chances you have to target relevant keywords and the more likely you are to rank well for those searches. The more articles and blog posts you write the more likely people are to link to them, increasing the SEO value of each article. A social profile (which starts out as nothing more than a link and gateway to your website) becomes a branding platform and opportunity to interact with and engage your target audience. The more you put in to your SEO, and the longer you keep at it, the more you will get out in the end.