The hottest phrase, concept, and in-demand deliverable in digital marketing is SEO. Every advertising blog, marketing agency, and even those build-your-own-website-for-a-dollar companies all tout the importance of SEO in a company’s digital marketing strategy. While it is extremely important if you want your customers and clients to be able to find you, it’s also a confusing and frustratingly slow process that leaves many managers wondering what all the hype is about. When you’ve researched all the right keywords, are following all the gurus’ advice and still don’t see any results it can leave you feeling duped, especially when same-day drone delivery is a thing that actually exists.
How Long Does SEO Take To Work?
We won’t bore you with the details of SEO. We’re sure you’ve read many white papers and attended more webinars than you care to admit to understand this concept. You’ve done everything you were supposed to, so where’s all this traffic you were promised? Well, the good news is, it’s on its way. But, the bad news is, it may take a few years. Yes, that’s right. It takes an estimated 18 to 24 months for organic SEO to take hold and bring you to that first page of search engine results. After taking a second to let that sink in, it’s also key to remember that constant maintenance is required if you want your site to be properly optimized and successful.
What On Earth Is Taking So Long?
We understand it’s hard to wrap your head around this concept. The internet is geared for instant gratification, and this makes waiting for up to two years to see the results of your labors pay off more mentally taxing than trying to explain to your mother that she can just message you directly on Facebook rather than literally airing your dirty undies on your wall. Search engine algorithms have one job, and one job only: to vet billions of websites in nanoseconds to provide their users with the exact content they were looking for. They’re constantly updated and evolve into amazing strings of code that will not be tricked by keyword stuffing or any other nefarious SEO “hacks.” Organic SEO results take so long because the search engines want to make sure that your site is the real deal. If you consistently and correctly optimize your site for your customers you will be rewarded. It’s very much like making a new year’s resolution to lose weight and crafting a health and wellness plan. Stay with me here. You’re not going to lose 30 pounds in one month by eating kale alone, just like you’re not going to shoot up to the top of search engine rankings by crowding your website with specific keywords. You’re going to have to eat healthy and exercise every day to meet your final goal. In terms of SEO, you’re going to have to constantly think about how you can make your site more accessible to your end customer. This may mean creating a mobile site, looking into local search, keeping current on your blog, and generally working on making your site better and more useable every day. If you stick with a health and wellness plan, in two years you’ll be running marathons and have the fit body you wanted when you began. If you stick to an SEO strategy, your website will be as strong as you with the search ranking to show it.
Speed Things Up with Paid Search
Health and wellness and organic rank are great and all, but you’re a business and you need to see customers coming in now, not in a few years. This is a common source of frustration for many managers and business owners. Thank goodness there’s an easier, more instantly gratifying way. Paid search is a digital advertising tool that will put you on the first page of search engine results for a price. It’s an effective and easy way to garner some attention to your site while you’re working on your organic search. If we’re going to keep along with our health and wellness analogy, paid search is like a juice cleanse. It will give you instant results while keeping in line with your goals, and will do no harm to your current plan. Paid search can satisfy your need for customers right now while you work on your organic strategy, and can do so with as small or large of a budget as is needed.
Waiting for your organic SEO strategy to show results can be a frustrating and painstaking process. Knowing you won’t see results for a few years can give you realistic expectations and afford you some time to try out other digital marketing strategies. Don’t give up, don’t get frustrated, good things come to those who exercise commitment and patience.