Instant clicks, immediate sales, and ads which show up to potential customers in just a few minutes – we’re all becoming more and more used to the extremely fast pace of digital marketing. While reacting quickly is essential in some areas such as pay-per-click ads or customer complaints, there are also some fields where immediate results are simply impossible.
First and foremost, it’s search engine optimization.
While most businesses understand the importance of higher ratings in organic search results pages, they usually lack patience and persistence to wait for positive results. This is especially true for businesses doing SEO themselves, but those who hire an external provider to take care of their SEO issues end up demanding excellent outcomes in a short period of time as well.
Truth is, you might not see changes in your website’s rankings for months, even if your provider is doing all the right things in the process. We understand that waiting is difficult as you’re potentially losing money every day, but we still think that you should be very patient with people working on your website’s optimization.
Here are a few reasons why:
The Competition Is Enormous
When it comes to the shift from traditional to digital marketing, some old-school business owners have a hard time understanding the true extent of competition you’re dealing with on Google. While local TV ads, billboards, or flyers compete with the same efforts of other businesses in the area, Google’s search covers more than 30 trillion individual web pages – that’s three with thirteen zeroes.
Sure, you’re not directly competing with all of these pages, but if your business is among the more popular keywords, you’ll have loads of competition to deal with. For instance, a search of “plumber Edmonton Alberta” will result in 75,400 different pages, while “plumber Edmonton AB” will bring as many as 461,000 search results.
Your website has to be optimized better than 99.99% of the competition to show up on the first search results page on Google – depending on the keyword, the process can take more than half a year.
And there’s really no (legal) way of speeding it up:
Shortcuts Never Work
We’d stay away from dubious SEO agencies which offer “quick guaranteed results” – chances are, they’re using black hat SEO techniques to get your website on the first page.
Some of the more prominent black hat SEO techniques include publishing duplicated content, keyword stuffing in meta tags, hidden content which doesn’t shop up to the user, link farming in websites which are created specifically to list unrelated links, and doorway / gateway pages which instantly redirect the user to another page.
All of these SEO “techniques” can result in various penalties, with a possibility of your website getting banned from showing up in Google’s (and other engines’) search results pages. You probably won’t spend plenty of money if you haven’t fully paid the agency as of yet, but your online reputation will take a huge hit.
There’s only one genuine way of reaching high page ranks – constantly updated and highly relevant content. Needless to say, it requires plenty of time and effort, but it will usually end up helping your business in a handful of other ways in addition to better rankings.
Organic SEO Brings Lasting Value
So what’s the deal with high quality content?
Well, stuffing your website’s pages with keywords without providing any real value will certainly prove to be ineffective in the long run. On the other hand, interesting, relevant, and engaging content has a huge potential of resulting in plenty of social shares, improving your search rankings in the process.
Social media is quickly becoming a much more important part of SEO, as content which is widely shared seems to get a bonus from Google’s ranking algorithms. In addition to that, it gets more people to visit your website through friend recommendations instead of search engines.
A good piece of content can stay there forever – while updating it from time to time is recommended, a single article, infographic, video, or another type of original content can do wonders in increasing the ranking of your entire website in the long term.
Short-term Alternatives Are Available
You probably can’t wait for a few months until your provider’s SEO efforts start showing results – your business needs new customers to grow, so it’s completely understandable. However, there are a handful of alternative traffic sources out there, so you can start using those while you wait.
To begin with, pay-per-click ads on the same search engines can be an excellent idea. Sure, clicks can be costly depending on the keyword, but if you provide exactly what the user is looking for an express it in a well-optimized landing page, you can expect some great results here.
Clear and engaging website is a requirement for effective SEO as well after all, so you will need to do it in any case if you’re looking got a good return on your investment.
Another option is marketing your business on social media – this environment might prove to be more difficult in attracting new customers, but standing out from the crowd is necessary in any area of digital marketing – all highly successful businesses offer something unique to their existing and prospective customers.
All in all, search engine optimization is a lengthy and sometimes frustrating process, but the experience is the same for all the competing businesses out there. Patience is vital here – you simply can’t expect your SEO provider to do any miracles, so we wouldn’t recommend letting them go in the middle of the process.
There’s not a single SEO agency out there which has a “special relationship” with Google or any other search engine, so if you encounter a provider which promises to get you the #1 ranking spot for your keyword in less than a month, our only tip is to stay away from them and choose a honest and professional alternative instead.