SEO is for businesses that want a long term solution for visibility and website traffic on their website. The key phrase in the previous sentence is “long term.” SEO is like visiting your Dad’s investment advisor who says that investing in the stock market benefits the investor in the long term, not the short term. He will tell you that when you buy a stock you need to “forget it” and get on with your life and come back and see the results several years later.
This investing concept needs to be considered when looking at SEO and making an investment in it. Businesses and SEO consultants who tell you they can get you to page one of Google in a short time and keep you there are usually full of beans. I’ve had it happen time and again where I am brought in to help “save” and SEO campaign only to tell the client that they weren’t really doing SEO, they were doing something else entirely under the auspices of SEO.
Why Does SEO take So Long?
It takes a long time for several reasons but two of the biggest ones are it takes time to add content to your site and it takes time build and acquire links to your site. Go try this yourself or tell your team to do it and watch the push back you will get. Write 20 articles for your website (this month) that are at least 1,000 words long and tell me how long it takes you. Then when you are done with those 20 articles pick up the phone and call all the writers and magazine publishers in your industry and ask them to link to you. Let’s say if you this this (and those writers link to you) every month you would see some very good progress in your SEO rankings. The problem is “every month?” Yes, you have to add content to your site and build links every month.
Can you hold your rankings without writing to your website every month? Yes, BUT. Yes but your probability to keeping your rankings there become slimmer and slimmer if you don’t keep adding content and driving in incoming links to your site on a consistent basis. Google is watching and so too are the other search engines.
Your site needs to stay “fresh.” Google likes freshness and they like “relevancy” coupled with “authority.” Authority meaning, others like your site content so much that they will link to it. OK so what if I just throw a bunch of money at this website of mine and pay a bunch of article writers from Elance and then buy a bunch of links why can’t I do that? Because it does not work that way and Google is smarter than you are when it comes to those tactics. You might see a bump in results but they will not be sustainable. This is what we call “over cooking” a website.
What Should I Expect From SEO Done Right?
What you should expect is a body of content written around your niche topic(s). Key phrase in the previous sentence is niche. Google loves niches and so do users. We all want to locate the resident expert to solve the problem we have. If SEO is done correctly you will start to see progress in your monthly reports in month one. Your key terms will start to move from pages 4 and 5 on the Google SERP pages (if they were indexed in the first place) and move to pages 2 and 3. Depending on the competitiveness it can take a month or a couple of weeks or several months. Each client web site is different. (But what I can guarantee you is you will see progress every month, that’s it. I cannot guarantee you page one results in month one, or even month 2-3. It takes time. If you don’t have time SEO is not right for you).
If you keep doing adding content and links and all the other intricacies of SEO: Meta tags, Social Media etc you will see results on page 1. But don’t be fooled by seeing your site on page 1 of Google search engine results pages, why, because page 1 sucks. You need to be in the first 3 SERP’s ON PAGE 1. Why? Because that is where 80% of the clicks are coming from is “ABOVE the fold.”
Watch out for the SEO Traps
The traps are you have to rank for dozens of keywords if not hundreds of keywords and in a few cases thousands of keywords. So just landing page one key phrase on Google for one search term is not enough and is not sustainable and is a terrible strategy unless you plan on ranking for others in the near future. The other trap is many sites might be “optimized” to rank but they are not optimized to rank for the client or the end user. Meaning, they do not make your phone or cash register ring. I liken this to fishing nets with a lot of holes in them. The pages need to not only be well written but they have to have the correct calls to action in them.
The SEO Investment
The good news is that if SEO is done correctly it is an investment in your company and your domain or URL. If you are a small business specializing in something like drug addiction treatment you probably want to think about setting aside at least $60 – $200K per year just for SEO. And what you have to do is take those numbers and divide them by 12 for 12 months. So your monthly budget needs to be $5,000 per month or $16,666.66 per month. What is the difference between the two numbers? A lot. The bigger number gets you more everything, more keywords, more content, more website traffic, more video, more social media activity, more visitors and hopefully more phone calls.
We won’t touch a project without at least a 6 month commitment from the client and usually it has to be a year commitment. If the client cannot afford to do this then SEO is not the right activity for them, postcard marketing or Facebook Fan Page Development and Facebook PPC are other alternatives for possible faster results without the long term commitment.
We also get paid for putting together a SEO strategy. Developing an SEO strategy takes time and requires a lot of research. If the monthly SEO budget is $10K then the SEO strategy is $10K. If the client moves forward with Speech-Rep then the SEO strategy is cut to $5K. We do this because even if you choose not to use us you have a strategy you can shop around or give to your internet team to execute and deliver for you.
The SEO Problem – Patience
Who has $60 – $200K in cash that is just sitting around and available for this type of investment? If you don’t have this kind of ready cash available to hire someone like Speech-Rep to do SEO for you, you can always do it yourself. Expecting results in the first 3 months is not going to happen. I equate “results” to making the phone ring, website traffic and conversions. You are probably not going to see results in the first 6 months of doing SEO. However, after 6 months you will start to see a return on your investment, you will get a few phone calls, you will get some additional website traffic. You will start to see more clicks in your analytics. You will start to see conversions however even then you still will most likely not recoup your whole investment after 6 months.
If you are a bigger company let’s say a Fortune 1,000 company the investment numbers are usually bigger but the time lines can be similar. Call us at 781-405-5815 for an hour of free consulting to determine if there is a possible fit. Not every call is a fit and if we can help point you in the right direction we will gladly do so.