In the years that I have been working with SEO for both ourselves and for clients, I have seen one very common trait I wish I could change – impatience with organic SEO. Why does this happen? Although it may not explain every occurrence, one common thread is the proverbial get-rich-quick or instant gratification philosophy. The thinking seems to run along the lines of: “If I've spent this money, why isn't it working wonders overnight?” Our answer is always the same - organic SEO results take time.
Why Am I Not Ranking Yet?
I know for a fact that every sales talk given to every prospective client that describes what SEO is, what is involved, and how long it will take before positive results can be seen includes the caveat that organic SEO is a slow, steady upward climb that can take 6 to 12 months to see the desired ranking results. Yet time after time, a client is asking after about 3 months – or less - “Why am I not ranking on the first page?” or better yet “Why am I not ranking #1?”
The answer always goes back to what they were told at the very beginning – that organic SEO takes time. Why is this information so quickly forgotten? Do flowers become flowers out of seeds overnight? Does receiving a degree from any institution of higher learning happen overnight? The answer to all of this is the same – no.
Wrong Question – Change Your Thinking!
For one thing, asking how long it will take to rank with organic SEO is the wrong question. Really? Yes! Because ranking is great – but it doesn't bring in leads which can hopefully convert to sales. All ranking does is – rank! The question you should be asking is this: “When will SEO start bringing in solid leads that are likely to convert to sales?” There – that is the right question! So what will we most likely tell you? The most truthful answer any SEO company should give you is – it depends.
It Depends? On What?
What – it depends? I can already hear you say: “That's not the answer I was looking for! What does it depend on?” So – what does it depend on? So many variables such as the age of your website, previous SEO efforts, the website structure and appearance itself, the content on the website, the link profile – just a whole lot of factors enter into what must be done to bring the SEO results you want.
Our SEO Process
How do we proceed to improve organic SEO results for our clients? A rough outline could be this:
Audit and analyze the website, research keywords, and develop a keyword strategy.
Start to make technical changes to the website based on the above results.
Focus on all content – web pages, blogs, product listings, etc.
Change and add to content – a big variable that can take time.
Evaluate and clean up link profile.
Incorporate social media efforts and management.
Optimize content for conversion purposes based on traffic being received.
Focus on more content creation and promotion.
Wash, rinse, repeat - over and over.
Has this started to show you why the process of organic SEO takes time? Hopefully you can see that nothing on this list happens overnight. We ask you to commit to 12 months of SEO effort – not 2 or 3 months and leave when there is still so much to do – and achieve!
SEO is an investment in the future of your company. As with any investment, you need to be prepared to commit to that investment before you start out. Organic SEO will not generate sales quickly – it will bring valid, long-term results that can carry your company well into the future. So don't start out with unreal expectations – make a long-term commitment to a proven ROI for your company. You won't be sorry!