Stepping Back: SEO, Time, and The Big Picture
Posted - May 20, 2013
What’s Taking So Long?
One of the most common problems SEO companies face is in getting clients to realize the process and time that SEO typically involves. Especially for competitive terms, many clients ask why they can’t get into page one in a short period rather than several months of (for very competitive terms) even a year’s time. More often than not, there isn’t a single clear answer. Quantum physicists are fascinated with the properties of special particles that change under the condition that they are observed or not observed. Google rankings follow an ever-changing, broad set of rules for which there is no precisely defined rulebook – and even when we have an excellent understanding of the weight of the rules, the game and the rules change again.
We’re going to spend some time sharing the most basic rules of the SEO universe, in order to show you that this often time-consuming investment is worth the money put into it. The theme here is time and patience.
Understanding and Challenging Your Competition
If you’re not in a cutting edge market promoting a service or product that is less than a few months old, you’ll have competitors. Most likely, they have established SEO and already perform well in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Even the smartest, most-seasoned SEO analysts need time to analyze your market to develop a strategy that will get you on equal footing (and eventually exceed) your competition. In most markets, your competitors have spent up to ten years or more building their websites, links, and links leading back to their important pages. A great SEO analyst must make a comprehensive analysis to improve the rank for your targeted keywords. There are link building and educational tools out there to help streamline the process, but good analytics for your business take time.
If there are a high number of results for your first-page keywords and millions of searches for that term, the competition will be tough because the terms are highly contested and valuable. Be tougher and be patient! In many markets with competitors who already have strong foundations, there are two things you can do: focus on the long term of major keywords, but also invest in industry niches and even sub-niches to attract users on the fringe.
Obtaining Status Quo with Competition Takes Time
After keyword analysis and link building, you have to look towards creative content. Focus on high quality links from the following: content creation, PPC campaigns, social media, guest-blogging, additional page creation, content and link trading, etc.
Regardless of the methods by which you acquire links (organic, bought or traded), correspondence between other businesses and contributors can be daunting. It might not feel like a worthy endeavor if you are playing e-mail tag in order to have a guest blogger. Make sure you are using educated SEO persons to provide this content, and the results will be well worth it. You won’t regret the time spent building that precious link, if it is a strong link.
Google is Suspicious of Instant Results
Caution: Google is weary of links that become too popular in too short of a time period. Again, slow and steady seems to be the ideal strategy.
In the SEO days of old, you could spam hundreds of links overnight and see the benefits immediately. The benefits usually didn’t last, but repeating the process still provided a stable result.
But now, many complain Google is all-too-quick to bring the hammer down on any suspicious or unnatural looking links. Google might not delete your site from its index, but the heavy penalties Google can place on you can be devastating. Google’s systems are aces at detecting spam links. Some complain the criteria are too high.
The exception to this rule is viral links. Things that blow up in popularity on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or a number of social-based sites is guaranteed success. So far, there’s nothing wrong with sharing your content to Facebook in a dash for quick links.
Good SEO Means Ongoing Evolution
No search engine stays the same. Not Yahoo, Bing, and especially not Google. Accept this, and you will truly understand the patience required for good, long-term SEO.
The processes and algorithms that move major search engine rankings can literally change overnight. These changes have turned companies upside down, those both successful and failing. For those not paying attention to the last year, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have had the most dramatic effects on sites.
Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the major search engines, which ultimately have control over the SEO universe. But we do control how we react to these changes. Good resources, solid strategies, and a foundation of solid SEO fundamentals can be the game-changer for your online presence.
Tips to Remember:
- Ensure every image has a relevant file name, title, alternate text, and a specific, singular keyword. Your content should have images with this format on every single page
- A good SEO campaign uses mixed media. Create videos, blogs, crowdsourcing, reviews, info-graphics, etc., for your site. Don’t forget to include accurate titles, names, and descriptions.
- Effective link building takes time, but the dividends are worth it. If your SEO provider isn’t building links at the rate you’d like to see… take a deep breath and relax. They might be doing you a favor.