I suppose before we get into it, we should define just what SEO is, huh? SEO means “Search Engine Optimization” and what do THAT mean? SEO is a process which SEO agencies use to get your website to show up higher than your competition on popular search engines and for the most part, we’re talking about Google. The more pertinent information – for the keywords which people searching for your business are typing into Google – the more a website shows up in those searches.
There are several things which make organic search results different than other things you’ll see on a SERP (aka Search Engine Results Pages) and while we’ll be going into the anatomy of how SERP’s are created in a future article, the most obvious piece is what part of the “real estate” of the SERP an organic search result link holds. Below is a diagram explaining the different pieces. For the sake of this article, we’re going to specifically talk about the “organic results”:
Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study
How long does SEO take to show results?
First, what comprises SEO? Among other things it depends on upon how long your site has been live, the amount SEO has been done on it already, how good the structure and organization of the site is, how much content is on it, its backlink profile (how many other websites link to yours), and numerous other SEO factors. No two sites begin from the same spot, regardless of whether they’re in a similar industry and going after similar clients. Be that as it may, here is a conceivable situation for what your SEO endeavors may look during the underlying months, and the outcome you might see.
Research and disclosure, site review, keyword strategy, and site organization. As is the case with all things, some websites start with a leg up on others. Whether this means that their content marketing strategy is already begun, their image quality and alt tags are already in place or they already have a base of at least some organic traffic, the goal is to bring all of these elements up to par as soo as possible so that people using major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) can fine a particular website for their searches.
In many cases however, we find ourselves being hired to build a company’s digital presence from the ground, up. Not only does this mean that X3 is building out the company’s website, but it also means we’re setting up their entire strategy in order to bring them the traffic from search that they’re looking for.
Begin specialized SEO work, making chages and updates to the site based on a manual review of the entire structure. Sometimes the site should be redesigned, and this can add time to the project. At X3 we make this determination prior to engaging a client which saves both time and money. Other SEO elements such as link building and creating high-quality content can take a place during this time. If you find yourself needing a rebuild of your site, both building quality links and good content can be done simultaneously to the structural changes.
In a case where you’re overhauling a website – as opposed to a brand new site build – the content and link building can go live when it’s ready and continue during the couple of months of updating and as such, they’ll begin to gain good SEO “juice” as soon as they’re live. However, in the case of a new site, businesses will want all of the pieces of content to be ready for proper “crawling” or “indexing” by platforms and search engine algorithms.
Start zeroing in on content creation. Contributing to a blog, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), whitepapers, long-form content, client case studies and so on. In a perfect world you would have begun this work after the structure and keywords strategy was established in month one. Sometimes however, it’s not until later on in the process where it’s discovered that the copy on a website needs to be updated to actually result in an increase in traffic. Sometimes it is possible for new content to rank high out of the gate and then settle to a lower position. This can happen because search engines like Google can often prioritize new content. On the off chance that those rankings are converting into leads or deals that early in the process, fantastic! Understand though that those sorts of anomalies tend to be outliers.
Continued creation of contents, technical SEO of the site, and advancement of a good backlink profile (which may incorporate tidying up bad quality links). By this month you should begin to see an incremental improvement in rankings, traffic, and the beginnings of lead generation. It won’t be anywhere near the uptick in traffic (and, commensurately, leads) you should see a year into your SEO endeavors; however, it should be very clear that your SEO is working and driving organic search traffic.
By this month or maybe a bit sooner in the process, you may have begun posting on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets as well as informational forums like Quora. This can prompt a solid, characteristic connection profile, and produce leads all by itself. As in the past months, you’ll want to continue content creation and maybe participate in some PR or local media outreach. You ought to be seeing increasingly more traffic rolling in from SEO now, and your leads ought to be developing subsequently.
By this point we expect to see search engine traffic increasing in earnest. At this point we would also take the tack of refining site content depending on the type of leads that are coming in. For instance if you’re a roofer focused on roof replacement and the leads which are coming in are primarily for small repairs and ancillary services (like gutter cleaning, for instance), updating the content of the site to reflect that helps to focus the traffic you’ll get but it will also show Google and other search engines that the site is being updated – which results in it being re-indexed (crawled) and it’s rankings improved accordingly.
From here on, the things done to improve search engine visibility will largely center around content creation and updating, or you might be doing more inventive things such as integrating keyword-rich reviews.
Many SEO firms will tell you that it takes four to six months to begin getting results. For the most part, that is very true, yet remember this is when you start getting results, and SEO results develop more and more over time. Whatever outcomes you’re getting at six months should have improved markedly by the time you hit a year (or longer) of active SEO work. Eventually you will very likely see the traffic increase curve flatten a bit depending on your industry. At this point, if you’ve taken a break from working on SEO with an agency (cough, X3, cough) that would be the time to re-engage and begin again with a new or updated type of content, service offerings or even product descriptions.
Why Does SEO take so long to show results?
Consider the number of sites is out there. There are a lot of competitors with about two billion websites online right now (about four hundred million of which are active). Different locales are additionally attempting to sort out website improvement. There are likely organizations and sites out there that have been around longer than have more built up SEO juice even though the sites themselves are less than stellar. That is only the status quo. Newer sites need to experience the cycle similarly to jump ahead of older sites which have a very long history of being authoritative in a particular field. There are also agencies who have a much less consistent approach to SEO and that can certainly affect rankings as well. Not X3 though!
The Bottom Line
SEO can be a tricky beast. Apart from all the technical aspects (I’m looking at you, flip-phone owners!) the amount of constant and consistent updating can be a daunting task which doesn’t just take a one time job, it is the product of months and even years of work to get good results. At X3, part of our expertise lies in not simply executing for you (which we absolutely do) but also guiding your business to participating in the real-world follow through.
If you’d like us to do an absolutely free assessment of your current web presence and how we would suggest you improve it, please CLICK HERE to send us a message. We want to help your business DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE.