How Long Does It Take to See SEO Results?
When it comes to managing a business online, one of the most recommended and useful forms of marketing you can take advantage of is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Did you know that every year more than 2 trillion search queries are made on Google alone? As one of the most effective solutions, SEO has become a natural option for businesses who want to gain more exposure and traffic.
We all tend to stick to the top ten results on Google, or near the top, so naturally, businesses want to have the best position over what they may already have. An improvement from 5th page to 2nd or 1st page can have a high ROI.
SEO takes a fair amount of time to see results – or, at least, it can. There are so many deciding factors that understanding SEO from the off can be quite confusing. If you are considering partnering with an SEO company but don’t know what to expect, then this ‘basic’ guide should help you to overcome this confusion quite quickly.
The Fundamentals of SEO
To start off with, the fundamentals of SEO need to be understood. Typically, when looking at how your website is ‘ranked’, Google and other search engines will consider these main fundamental areas basic to the average SEO marketer.
- Domain authority and indexed age
- Keyword usage
- Content quality and quantity
- Linking quality and quantity
Search engines want to promote sites that are informative, well made, run fast and provides relative, well written content. Let’s break down SEO’s main fundamentals list, and understand how it impacts the grand scheme of things, answering some simple questions your business might have.
Does the age of a website actually matter where SEO is concerned?
The age of a website that tends to be in the Top 10 rankings on Google is generally around two years old. Agencies who are promising to build a website and position you in the Top 10 in any area with any modicum of competition within X days is probably being fast and loose with the truth.
So does this mean that the age of your website genuinely matters? Let’s be realistic. Domain age has been debated for many years, where an older domain has a greater level of trust with Google than a site just launched. New sites will indeed require much more push in the beginning in order to gain ranking for SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Although domain age is not a huge ranking factor, it does play a small part, most attention should be focused on other import factors such as content and link building. Time4design suggest about 4-12 months of organic optimization with each campaign.
Can a domain with a previous web history hurt my SEO?
If a website has a history of using poor, cheap and immoral SEO tactics (known a black hat SEO) then the URL of the website will forever be tarnished. You can build a strong reputation still, but you’ll always have a subliminal bias against the URL from the search engines because of a bad web history.
If you buy a website that already exists, you need to do a background check on the website first. If it’s been around for a few years, you might find out that to retain your high(ish) search engine position that it might take a boat-load of work to keep the damage of the past undone. That can be unsustainable for a whole host of reasons, and is one of the reasons why you should always take the importance of checking out previous website history very seriously: it cannot just be hidden away.
To determine a page ranking score, which looks at things like the quality of links coming in and out and the overall trust of your website, MozTrust can be a great source of information. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to have a good rapport with Google and beyond. Take the time to build a legitimate SEO platform: you will benefit from doing so hugely.
SEO Keyword targeting
SEO keywords are phrases and specific terms in your web content that make it all possible to be found. An optimized website will be found much easier and well worth the time and investment.
An SEO best practice is to include your relevant keywords on high-attention webpages, for example a landing page that might detail a new product or service. This will include body content, titles, meta data, image tags, etc. For example, do you use keywords within your URL? You should!
Having established that a targeted keyword is essentially letting people who search for that term to find you, it is also better to concentrate on natural and authentic usage of long-tail keywords rather than trying to use the obvious and overly competitive short keywords that most try to target.
However, the importance of keywords is waning: using a smart one strategically on a page is fine, and having one in the URL makes sense so long as it isn’t crowbarred in there. Just make sure that you are using keywords that have competition without it being fierce, and that your content is an accurate and fair match with the keywords that you are working with: this is your primary ticket to finding success.
Defining optimized content for SEO
Content is indeed KING. It has been said many times, having quality content worth reading creates a solid content foundation that will greatly support all SEO efforts. Optimized website content will always be the backbone of a good SEO campaign. It must be well written, it should be informative, it should try and work in some links and facts to trustworthy and authority-driven sources, and must absolutely be written naturally. Your target is the reader, not the search engine, how many will forget this simple rule.
Content should be aimed at trying to solve problems, offer advice and shine a light on important information. It’s no longer just about giving people a blitz of words on a screen that vaguely resembles a subject area: it’s about writing it as if you were doing so for a publication.
Link SEO Strategy
How you link your website is very important to determining SEO effectiveness. You want to try and look to find links to other websites which are of value and authority to the reader. This makes it easy for you to add a touch of extra detail to your readers, but it also helps you move up the search engines.
Allow links be as natural as possible and ignore the fact that links might not match your keyword strategy.
Always try and build up linking profiles with authority sites: for example, if you were to be writing about graduate studies within education then having links to trustworthy sources such as the The Wharton School or Harvard University is better than linking to an uncited and unofficial BlogSpot post with no facts to back up what they are saying! Try also to allow links be as natural as possible and ignore the fact that links might not match your keyword strategy. The link should be relevant to the article at all times.
Deciding what SEO strategy is right for your business
In essence, today SEO is more about building a website that is worth reading, informative and easy to share around with others. It’s not about having 100 pages all concentrating on spamming keywords: it’s about something a lot more engaging than this long-term. Keep that in mind, and the idea of building up your reputation via SEO becomes far less challenging and daunting than it may seem today.
Search engines will constantly change their algorithms in order to obtain best rankings. What can you do to help your business to get found starts here.
You can discover more about understanding organic SEO by reading an earlier article, SEO Startup Guidelines for Small and Medium Sized Businesses.