One of the biggest concerns I hear from people considering launching a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is how long it takes to see results. Depending on when you start, the competitiveness of your industry, how much you invest, and a handful of other variables, it will likely take weeks or even months before you start climbing rankings and earn more organic traffic to your site. Sometimes it can even take years.
Can you afford to wait months for an SEO strategy to develop?
so yes your company really wants to grow Or if you’re struggling to make a profit as things are now, can you really afford to wait months for that strategy to develop?
Why SEO takes so long
Before we can understand the costs and benefits of waiting for an SEO strategy to develop, we must understand why SEO takes so long first.
SEO increases your rankings in searches, but that takes time.
In case you’re unfamiliar, SEO is all about increasing your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) for terms related to your brand and business. Over time, you’ll optimize your website for specific keywords, write great content, earn a better reputation, and eventually develop the domain-level “authority” you need to rank higher.
This is a time-consuming process for a few important reasons:
- It takes a lot to move the needle of authority. If a complete stranger gave you a single piece of advice that worked, would you trust everything he told you from then on? Probably not. But if you received 10 or 15 good advice from them, without bad advice, you may feel a strong sense of confidence in your judgment. When Google evaluates websites, it goes through a similar sequence of considerations. A single good article is not enough to show that you are an authority on a topic (in most cases); Instead, it takes months of consistently good parts to establish itself as a trusted source.
- Going too fast can hurt you. Let’s imagine it takes 50 good articles to start to see the SEO boost (although keep in mind that there are over 200 ranking factors, which extend beyond your content). Why not release 50 items in week 1 and finish the day? While there are no explicit penalties for posting too much content on your own site, Google is wary of spam and rank manipulators. If you try to push too hard, too fast, it will only work against you.
- There is competition. Plus, competition in your industry is probably already flourishing. If you are entering an existing industry (and not creating a new one from scratch), there are likely dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors who have spent months or years climbing the SERPs. You will have to work even harder than they do if you want a chance to dethrone them.
ROI and the timing dilemma
As an aspiring search optimizer, it can be intimidating to recognize how long it takes to see results and how there are no real shortcuts. So is SEO worth pursuing?
The short answer is yes, at least for most brands, due to the remarkable return on investment (ROI) that becomes possible after a long enough investment period. Most of the assets you acquire and the changes you make for SEO will be permanent; For example, the backlinks you create will remain active indefinitely, and each content you create can remain relevant as long as you update it regularly.
Because you will accumulate these permanent assets, your benefits may increase over time. Also, as you move up the rankings in the SERPs, your organic traffic skyrockets; The vast majority of search engine traffic comes from the top 3 rankings of a SERP, so going from rank 6 to 3 is huge, and going from 3 to 1 is even higher.
Together, these effects result in a strategy that outperforms almost all other marketing strategies with respect to ROI.
Slow ramp compensation
Unfortunately, that attractive return on investment does not eliminate the “slow start” problem. If your business desperately needs clients now, or you don’t have the consistent revenue to justify continued investment in SEO, there are a few ways you can make up for the increase, including:
- PPC ads. Pay per click (PPC) ads has the ability to instantly generate traffic as you will only pay for the people who click on those ads and access your site. It’s also a nifty way to get people from search engines to your site, and a good practice for creating and refining landing pages.
- Internal and periodic SEO work. You don’t need to hire an experienced SEO expert or work with a formal SEO agency, at least not right away. You can learn the basics yourself and start doing some of the ground-level work on your own, in your spare time, to build momentum.
- Collaborations and content submitted by the user. You can also collect user-submitted content and collaborate with other contributors to start developing content for SEO, without placing too much burden on your schedule or budget.
SEO is not a perfect strategy, but it is incredibly beneficial if it is understood and used correctly. Even your slow initial momentum can be easily offset with the right approach, and in just a few months, you could capitalize on a considerable flow of organic traffic generated by your efforts.
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