In business, we can be very pragmatic in that we often don’t expect miracles overnight.
However, when it comes to SEO, if we’re not ranking on the first page of Google for everything in a week, then we assume something must be wrong.
We become frustrated at the lack of traffic, leads, and even sales, leading us to doubt our tactics, plans, and strategies. If you’re carrying out the SEO yourself in-house, you can start and doubt your own ability, or maybe you’ve hired an SEO company, and now even their expertise is coming into question!
However, and we can’t stress this enough, SEO is not instant; rather, it’s a slow burner. It takes time, a plethora of patience, and a lot of testing and amending as you go.
There are a lot of moving variables to consider linked to SEO. In this post, we will try to break down some reasons why SEO takes time to give you peace of mind that this is a normal process and provide you with a detailed guide to keep your SEO on the right track.
Variables affecting SEO timescales
Ultimately, we like to think of SEO as an opportunity to build authority, trust, and relevancy in your industry sector. These three elements combined are what make you stand out and outrank your competition.
However, to achieve these, SEO tactics must be implemented across several areas, which all affect timescales. Hence, when you commit to SEO, you should be in it for the long-run.
Factors affecting SEO performance
How your website looks and feels can be a big turn-on or a big turn-off for your customers. You need to understand how your website makes your customers feel and how you can improve their experience. You then need to focus on building SEO into your website content, taking a look at your website information architecture, and ensuring this adds to your customer’s online journey with you.
Building and developing your website correctly from the start is an element that will help support your SEO strategies in the future and improve your search engine ranking.
Nothing sends a potential customer running into the arms of your competitors more than a slow-loading web page! It’s also not great for SEO either and will impact your rankings.
Today, online users expect sites and web pages to load in under 2 seconds, so you must optimise your pages correctly for your target audience.
Check out your competition
Unfortunately, the more competing websites you’re up against, the longer it will take to climb the search results ladder. That’s not to say it’s not possible; anything is. However, to support your work, you must consider your competitor’s SEO strategy, online activity, check out their website, social media channels, etc. It’s essential you know what you’re up against to understand what you need to do to outrank them!
Your keywords and content aren’t aligned
Driving traffic to your website is great until your customer gets there, only to see little to no relevant content! If you’re creating dedicated campaigns with much-needed landing pages, then you must have the right content appearing in the right places, all at the right time. We really can’t stress enough the most overused phrase of “content is king.”
You have content, but it’s not great
And if you’re really honest, it’s not great at all. For SEO to work, you must produce high-value, useful, and relevant content. Content that solves your visitor’s problems. This is one of the primary elements that Google uses in its algorithm to rank businesses and websites. You need to invest in quality articles, infographics, and videos.
You also need to maintain a consistent publishing schedule as regular content output will encourage repeat visits from customers, and it encourages search engines to crawl more frequently.
You now have great content, but it’s not optimised
Within your content strategy, check where your keywords are placed, are they used consistently, are you attaching these to images throughout using the ALT Text? Are you maximising the use of keywords in the H1 and H2 tags as well as the Title tag?
Now, you’ve stuffed so many keywords into your content Google doesn’t know where to look
Keyword stuffing will undoubtedly have a negative effect on your rankings, your customer experience, and your contents readability score. We’d advise that you read your content out loud, and if it doesn’t sound natural, it’s time to make a few changes.
Content is duplicated
Search engines get confused when duplicate content appears, and if customers can link to multiple versions, it soon lessons the value of the content initially provided.
There are two types of duplication to be aware of Internal (content appears multiple times in different web pages you own). External (the same piece of content is placed on various other websites).
Google can’t crawl your website to find the content it’s looking for
For Google to rank your website, it must first be able to rank and index your website’s content. This means having a sleek information architecture for your site and good navigation tools.
Where are your inbound links?
Earning high-value links is a big part of building SEO. If you don’t have enough high-value links, you can be deemed not valuable enough to rank!
This is where link building comes in, and trust us, this takes time.
You need to create content that naturally earns links, great content, and regular content that will help you to achieve this naturally.
Few high-quality links from relevant websites will have a much better impact on results than lots of links from irrelevant websites.
Your links are over optimised
Having too many links can look suspicious. It can also devalue your website and insinuate link manipulation.
Over-optimised links again come in two forms, internal (links that help a user navigate your website), external (created from article spinning, syndication, scrapping, etc.).
The information on your site is poorly organised
Your site’s information architecture should be perfectly aligned with your customer’s expectations and experience and should be fully optimised for search engine ranking.
Be aware of negative SEO
In very rare cases, your competitors can choose to carry out a damaging SEO attack where exact match links from your site are created and used on low-quality websites to downgrade and devalue you.
The good news is that Google’s team has been working extensively on this and have robust measures to combat negative SEO.
Work with the right SEO company
You need to find an agency that is the right fit for your business. That creates an SEO and website experience that your target audience loves and engages with. Look at how you can create long-term value that not only generates great content but allows you to build your brand.
Finally, keep going
When you reach the top, you must defend your position and be able to stay there.
To do so, you need to keep evolving, adding new content regularly, continually adding to your customer experience.
All of these elements combined take time, miracles in SEO can’t come overnight, but they are most certainly achievable.
At Buzz Panda Digital, we work with a range of clients on successful SEO campaigns. But we’re always honest and upfront. SEO takes time. Yes, there may be quick wins which are great, but for you to be truly amazing at SEO and continue to rank, we’d say SEO can take anything from 5 months up to a year and beyond.
We don’t rest on our laurels at Buzz Panda because we know your competitors won’t. That’s why we work hard on short and long-term strategies that help you to optimise your content and position.
Read related post: Why combine SEO with PPC?
Reference video: Neil Patel