Why SEO is Not Instant

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There are lot’s of things about SEO that make it very different from many other types of marketing. One of the most important things about SEO that also needs to be communicated to the client is that it is not an overnight solution and does not happen instantly. Search engines are designed in such a way that a website can not simply jump to the top of the rankings for a keyword over night, not naturally at least. Search engine results are determined based on complex mathematical algorithms. In order for a site to rank well, it needs to fit into the algorithm better than all the other sites on the internet for the target key phrase. These algorithms are based on indicators that convey relevance and quality to the search engines. This means that the key to SEO is actually making a website the best possible result, which obviously takes time.

Some common questions an SEO will get:

  • So I just pay you then you call someone up at Google and tell them to put my site at the top, right?
  • You just need to change things like meta tags and tell the search engines that my site should rank, right? We should see the ranking change a few days after you make those changes, right?
  • So I pay you and you sprinkle your magic SEO dust and my website goes to the top?
  • When I pay you, I will be making all my money back the next month, right?
  • I don’t want to pay you forever. After a couple months you will have me ranking for everything and I can quit paying you, correct?

Sadly, the answer to all of those questions is no. If SEO were that easy, the search engines would have a lot of work to do. The fact of the matter is, we truly have to show the search engines that your website deserves to rank well.

Well then How long will it take?

Its very important that clients understand that they will not start seeing results from the SEO campaign instantly. Don’t expect anything for 3 months in terms of ROI. Typically, it takes about 3 months to start seeing results from the things we are doing. This is when clients should see that the targets we have been pushing on are starting to move up and gain ranking. After 3 months, we will be ranking better and increasing traffic, leads, or sales. By month 6 things should really be moving fast and our initial targets will be ranking well and website traffic should be up. More importantly, website leads or sales (depending on the goal of your website) should be up significantly by this point. This is when a client will really be seeing the ROI on our services.

But wait, it gets better!

From month 6 forward, things will continue to increase and the return on the amount the client is paying for the campaign will only be getting better. Through the next years and months of the campaign, traffic, leads, and sales will continue to increase. The best part is that the client will not be paying any more as things continue to get better. Our flat rate will not go up as the campaign becomes better and better. We will continue to spend the same amount of time on the campaign every month.

This is one of the key differences between SEO & PPC

While SEO is not instant, it also does not go away instantly once results are achieved. SEO traffic that is built on a solid foundation should continue to bring in relevant organic traffic long after SEO has been done for a website. With PPC, the traffic is instant, but it also goes away instantly as soon as it is turned off. This is why one of the best solutions for many clients is a combination of SEO and PPC efforts.

Taking it to the next level

If a clients wants us to spend more time on the campaign and allocate more resources to doing more for their site, we can always increase the scope of the campaign. If a client wants to increase the amount they are paying monthly for the campaign, that will allow us to spend more hours and more dollars on the campaign every month. Things we can do to increase the scope of a campaign include: increasing content production and content marketing, increasing online PR, managing PPC campaigns, targeting more keywords, doing social media marketing. Not all of these examples would be right for every client. Each client needs different things and needs to focus in different areas. Every campaign is custom and no two are alike. If it doesn’t make sense, we won’t advise increasing any of these things for the client.

The bottom line is that SEO and inbound marketing in general are marketing efforts that are for clients that are in it for the long haul. It’s not a quick fix or a fast way to increase website traffic, leads, or sales. Its about making changes to become an authoritative resource for a topic online and slowly increasing things every month, quarter, and year. Clients who stick with inbound marketing and SEO see amazing ROI after months and years of a successful campaign. And things only continue to increase over time.

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