SEO Expectation vs Reality - What to Expect When Running an SEO Campaign
SEO—Search Engine Optimization—is the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engines like Google and Bing, which typically means more traffic, more conversion rates, and more profits for your business. There are many myths about SEO that make it seem like an impossibly difficult and complex task to undertake, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, if you have the right expectations going into an SEO campaign, you should have realistic goals and be pleasantly surprised by the results you achieve!
Results are not immediate
The first thing you need to know is that SEO is not a set it and forget it type of effort. You'll get better results over time if you stick with it and consistently update your website and optimize your content, but don't expect immediate changes. It's also a good idea to educate yourself on what terms are relevant for your industry; these will change periodically as Google tweaks its algorithm, so there's no way to know everything up front.
Don’t make sweeping changes too quickly
It can be tempting to make sweeping changes based on your initial results. Don’t do it! An analysis of a well-known company showed that it changed its main product messaging over 60 times in 5 years. Each change was made because a competitor used different language and they wanted their message out there first. However, each time they changed their message, their customers were confused and sales dropped. They spent months chasing after their customers again without any major improvements in sales or long-term performance. A more prudent approach would have been to use data from customer surveys and CRM data to determine why customers weren’t purchasing and then modify their messaging based on those findings.
Changes should be measured in months, not days
Search engine optimization can be a lengthy process and cannot be measured in just days or weeks. It is more like months. The old adage that you can’t turn a horse into a zebra overnight couldn’t ring more true with SEO efforts. You may see changes gradually occurring, but don’t expect any drastic shifts on your search engine rankings in just days or weeks.
A good SEO professional will always admit they don’t know everything
no human can possibly know every Google update, algorithm change, or search term – it’s a constantly changing landscape that even Google struggles to keep up with. However, a good SEO professional will also be able to say they have seen a lot over their career: they will have knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work, and they will have a realistic expectation of how long it will take for your site to see results. They’ll recognize that you don’t always get an instant win with links pointing directly at your website – and if you do, chances are it won’t last anyway!
Schedule a call with one of LEO Digital Marketing's SEO specialists to learn more about how we can help make your SEO strategy work.
An SEO company must help you define goals before starting any project
If you’re hoping to sell more products, then driving traffic might be your biggest concern. If you want more leads from your website, then ranking higher in search engines isn’t as important. Make sure to define expectations and goals for any SEO company or project before proceeding; with well-defined goals, any company can tailor their strategy towards your specific needs.
Know your industry (good keywords can be hard to find!)
Google Keyword Planner is free and can give you insight into what people are searching for, but it doesn’t necessarily mean those terms will be good for your website. If you really want your business to grow, you’ll have to set up some paid advertising. The key here is to go after high-volume keywords. They may not be easy or cheap, but they will drive traffic that can convert if you do it right! It’s also important to find a balance between popular terms and phrases and those that are highly specific. Take care when using broad terms as well—they may bring in too many unrelated users who aren’t looking for what you offer specifically.
Not all backlinks are created equal
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I’ve heard too many times of small business owners who only see their traffic going up because they have one or two backlinks. They don’t see any other benefits to their site. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for when running a successful SEO campaign.