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SEO has long been a proven marketing strategy—but how long it takes to show results is an often-elusive statistic. In a digital world, we expect to see quick turnaround, because our actions typically lead to instantaneous results. SEO is a long-term strategy that requires time to take effect. It starts as a way to improve your website’s rankings and get more leads, but also encourages you as a business (and website) owner to improve your site experience, both on behalf of prospective customers and for SEO purposes.
SEO Isn’t Only About Rankings
Rankings often dominate the SEO discourse, but any good SEO company knows it’s about more than just rankings. You are optimizing your site for the user, too. How does SEO also impact user experience? If your SEO strategy gets you ranking well but doesn’t include improving user experience, your high rankings aren’t likely to last long. Why? Because your site users care about how your website looks and feels. If your site loads too slowly or isn’t intuitive to navigate, users are going to leave in favor of a different, prettier, faster site, increasing your bounce rate, decreasing your conversion rate, and effectively dropping your rankings. SEO should always be a two-way street: what benefits your SEO strategy should also benefit your customers and their site experience. Your website exists first and foremost for your users, not search engines.
Why Does SEO Take So Long?
For companies who are taking their first step into the world of SEO, their situation is often tricky. They have a brand-new website, perhaps a new domain name, high-quality content and a beautiful layout—but their website is just that: brand new. Older domains, even ones with a low-quality user experience, often win out in ranking. Though it remains unclear just how much weight domain age carries, older sites are generally more built-out and have more backlinks, establishing a certain level of trust that is naturally favored by Google. Some industries are dominated by businesses well-versed in SEO, making ranking all the more competitive, which means ranking well will take some time.
The SEO Implementation Process
Whether you choose Blue Corona or another marketing company for your SEO implementation, most reputable marketing agencies (see here for Google’s guidelines to hiring an SEO) will take you through a process akin to this:
Step One: Research & Audit.
If you want to create SEO strategy for a company, you have to understand the entirety of the company first. A good SEO company will ask: what are your growth goals? What do your current leads look like and how can you attribute them? An audit will reveal your website’s current status in terms of SEO strategy and will create the core of the implementation plan.
Step Two: Technical Improvements.
The next step is largely dictated by the audit. A site might need a total overhaul, or it may need a handful of straight-forward site accessibility improvements. The size of the gap that you need to close in order to catch up influences how much time it will take to begin seeing results from your SEO work.
Step Three: Content Creation.
Whether it is optimizing existing pages or creating new ones, content is the predominant way to build authority. Users respond well to high-quality content—and when users love it, Google is bound to love it too.
Step Four: What’s Next?
What follows creating a great site with great content will depend on your industry, goals, and competition. The rule of thumb here is generally as follows: do what the competition is doing, but better. You need to be doing at least as much as your biggest competitors are if you want to rank as well as them. If they have a healthy social media following, build up your profiles. If they have hundreds of pages on their website, prioritize building out your site. Get the idea?
The most important step of all doesn’t deserve a number (though perhaps infinity works if we’re being mathematically philosophical): SEO strategy never stops. Just as your concept of search engine optimization before you read this article might now seem outdated, our current approach to SEO will soon be obsolete. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, which means SEO strategy requires agility and adaptability. So: study up now and always be on the look-out for announcements from Google and other industry leaders for the latest in SEO.
So, What’s the Answer?
If I have to pick a number, the answer is: 4-12 months. But, keep in mind that even if you see your ranking improve within 6 months, year-over-year data will give you the richest feedback on how your SEO strategy has impacted your traffic and leads and provide invaluable information that you can then use to continue building out your overall web presenceblue. So yes, it requires some patience—but if it is well-executed and carefully tracked, SEO is bound to bring you some serious traffic and conversions.
To learn more about Blue Corona’s proven SEO strategy, contact us now.
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About The Author: Maeve is a content marketing specialist at Blue Corona.
View more blogs by Maeve Ginsberg