Why SEO Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

by Kym Merrill

Here at Kite Media, many members of our team come together every year to run a race. Everyone involved puts in the time and effort involved to be able to finish the race strong. Not only does running together improve our camaraderie and sense of teamwork as an office, but it also lends us a great metaphor for our SEO work. 

One question we get a lot is “Can’t I just turn SEO on and off as needed?” And it’s a fair question. Services from SEO professionals can be an investment, and savvy businesses are always looking to cut costs. Once they start getting good results, many business owners wonder if the work is done and if they can “turn off” SEO now. However, just like our team can’t just run one mile and expect to finish a marathon, you can’t use SEO for one month and expect continuous good results. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s why:

Google (And Users) Value Fresh Content

If you are searching for information on the web, are you more likely to trust a new article, or one written ten years ago? What about websites, are you more likely to trust one that looks modern or one that looks like it came straight out of the early days of the internet? Users want up-to-date information, and Google knows this. Google knows how often your website is updated and tends to rank newer or recently updated content better than old content. Thus, continuing to update even well-ranking pages is important for continued good results. 

Your Competitors are Always Getting Better

In the world of SEO, sites don’t exist in a vacuum. You are competing against similar businesses for the best rankings. Your competitors are likely always working on improving their sites and online presence. Just because you have better rankings now, doesn’t mean that your competitors won’t continue to improve and surpass you down the line. You have to continue to improve your online presence to keep up. 

SEO is Always Changing

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms. What used to work to get great rankings may not work tomorrow. We generally are of the mindset that good content will continue to rank well and sites using “black hat” tricks to get rankings will eventually be discovered and penalized. However, even the best sites need to be updated to meet Google’s newest guidelines and recommendations.

It’s Easier to Sustain Momentum

Like many things in life, it’s much easier to sustain momentum with SEO. A site that ranks well will continue to rank well if maintained. However, if you stop working on a site and it starts to dip in the rankings, it’s much harder to get that momentum back. You have to prove to the algorithms that your site deserves to move up again, and in the meantime, everyone else has gotten better while your site has sat still.  


In conclusion, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. While it’s tempting to cancel services once you get the rankings you want, it’s best to continue with it so you can continue to get good results.  By embracing patience, persistence, and a strategic approach to SEO, your business can thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. If you’re looking for an SEO team you can count on for the long haul, give Kite Media a call at 435-753-7553. We’ve been helping small businesses with their SEO for 13 years now, and the fact that many of our earliest clients have stuck around this entire time is just a testament to the value of continuing SEO services!

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