Realistic SEO Expectations

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The question that SEO clients ask me most often “How long before we are #1 on Google?” Unfortunately, the answer can be very convoluted.

To a certain extent, SEO can give immediate results in the form of fresh content, backend site cleanup, and listing repairs, but most businesses are in search of more long term and visible results, seeking a top spot on page one of a major search engine.

There are other variables that determine how quickly you see results after you start SEO. Your domain age and the competition in your industry also play a vital role in how you gain search engine traffic.

It is customary that SEO results grow over time. You typically begin to see quality results after 6 months.  Baseline packages tend to see a spike in the beginning when initial site repairs are made and then results level off.  With higher level packages results continue to grow commensurate with content engagement & blogging both on & off-site.

Often, however this question can better be answered on a per domain basis. A local business website with a 10 page site, running on WordPress, competing in a small geographic area is going to see different results than a national eCommerce site, with hundreds of pages, selling products on mail order against larger competitors.  The techniques (Local SEO vs. National eCommerce SEO) would be totally different.

Can we speed it up you ask? The tough answer here is no.  SEO is an investment in your online presence.  Think of it as an IRA rather than blackjack.  You are investing in your future, not gambling.  Your investment will compound and slowly deliver greater results.

Just keep in mind that wanting to be on page one organically for certain keywords may be unrealistic.  You and 300 other competitors want the same thing.  And they may be willing to outwork you, out-write you or out-spend you.

SEO is often misunderstood.  Most don’t believe that it is time consuming work, but it is. It takes time to implement SEO strategies regardless of the many variables. Sites that have been around for years may have developed technical problems and errors. Sites that are new need to build their authority online and create attractive content.
Search engines change their algorithms for ranking frequently. If a prospect isn’t committed for long-term, they are not an ideal prospect for SEO.

Choose a company like Hallen Media to manage this equation for you.  Choose a budget that’s affordable.  Consistency is key with any marketing plan. Have patience and stick by both your short & long-term goals.