In this day and age, we’re all getting used to getting things instantly. Just in marketing alone you can instantly qualify a lead through a text message, watch your star rating go up when you get an online review, watch an Adwords campaign attract clicks, and more.
Then why is my SEO strategy taking so long?
To really understand why SEO takes so long to see results, it’s important to take a step back to basics.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about showing up on Google when someone searches organically for something relevant to your business. In the past few days, these are some of the search queries I used in my personal life:
- Same day florist near me
- How do I know I need my wisdom teeth out
- Best pho in downtown Toronto
- Smoothies without bananas
- Things to do in Honolulu
Each search happened because I needed or wanted something. I had intent to buy. I needed to order a bouquet of flowers and I needed them ASAP, but if I was browsing I might not have searched “same day.” Similarly, my other searches all have some sort of intent behind them. I intended to find out if I needed to see my dentist, I intended to get a nice bowl of pho after work, I intended to find a smoothie recipe without bananas, and I intend to do something other than lie on the beach when I go to Hawaii.
If all goes well, when someone has intent to buy and they land on your website, they’ll stay on your website because it’s relevant to their query. Even if they end up buying from a competitor, Google measures how long someone stays on your website. Therefore, if they decide to click on other pages, this is good news, because it shows Google that the content on your website provides value to searchers.
However, if no one is searching for your services, or if you’re not already on the first page, it takes a long time for Google to collect this data. Even if all your content is perfectly optimized to match searcher intent, it will still take time for your website to move up the ranks. Although your SEO specialist has a few tricks up their sleeves to force Google to crawl your website, it can take days, weeks, or even months for organic traffic to make a significant impact in your rankings. Even if you are off to a good start, each time someone searches with an intent matching your business, the rankings can fluctuate to ensure intent fulfilling results are being delivered. This means that it’s important to give it some time for the rankings to adjust to match searcher intent.
So what is my SEO Specialist doing while waiting for optimized keywords and content to rank?
Let’s first step back and revisit your entire SEO strategy. Your SEO specialist will have created a strategy and timeline with you to help your website get attention from search engines. This process always starts with discovery, which includes learning about your business and goals, auditing your website for technical errors, and creating a list of search terms you can realistically rank for.
Then the fun begins. First comes urgent technical fixes to your website. In layman’s terms, these fixes are to ensure your website is discoverable, trustworthy, and loads in an appropriate amount of time. Find out more about some of these technical fixes here:
Next comes the most time consuming part: creating and editing content. It’s possible your website had content before you begun SEO, but that doesn’t mean your content is SEO optimized. Your content will be created or modified according to current SEO standards to make sure search terms are present and in locations that make sense to search engines as well as to readers. For example, you want to make sure your most important keyword is in an HTML heading tag. Every few years the content guidelines that search engines favour change, so it is important to have your SEO specialist refresh your content periodically. Creating SEO appropriate content can be very time consuming, especially if you have a large amount of web pages, or a lot of search terms you wish to rank for.
Once content and urgent technical fixes are done, your SEO specialist can begin to move away from drastic onsite changes and begin your SEO efforts offsite. Please note that although the focus is now shifted to offsite, your SEO specialist is still monitoring and optimizing your onsite efforts periodically. It’s even possible that when you first start you may have a few dips in ranking as Google will notice the changes and reassess trustworthiness- do not panic, this is completely normal and will swing back!
Then there is the part where it may feel like nothing is being done. Your website is live, and putting its best foot forward to climb the rankings for your keywords. You probably won’t notice too many obvious changes to your website around this point because what your SEO Specialist is doing is building the offsite credibility of your website. Off site SEO strategies include but aren’t limited to building links, public profiles, and citations for your website or business.
Of course, during off site strategies your SEO specialist is still monitoring your results and making modifications as necessary. The only way to truly optimize content for organic is to keep on iterating, examining results, and iterating again. Be patient, because it takes time for organic results to stick.
But what if I can’t wait?
If you can’t wait a few months to begin seeing results, don’t panic. Although you can’t necessarily speed up SEO because it is organic search, paid search options like LocalAds can help give you the boost you need while you grow your organic search strength. Although Google Ads don’t technically increase your SEO credibility, they can help drive traffic to your website to validate that your service matches searcher intent. And of course, LocalAds has the added benefit of immediately bringing in and converting leads who have the intent to buy.
Of course, if you ever have questions about the status of your LocalSEO Campaign, never hesitate to ask.