The True Story Is Often HiddenA lot of the technical side of SEO is troubleshooting. When a site is underperforming there are many reasons why that might be the case. The same is true for increases in traffic or rankings: the reasoning behind Google’s algorithms can often seem opaque. It takes time to figure out the underlying causes for success or failure. For example, did a recent Google update mean that something that was done to the site in the past is now recognized as bad practice, and deemed worthy of a penalty? An issue such as this may cause a huge drop in rankings—yet many clients may rush to blame the SEO consultant, even as he or she is working to fix the problem. When you hire an SEO, it’s important to be open to the fact that there are many variables that can affect your rankings. Remember that your SEO is working with all the decisions (and mistakes) that have been made on your site throughout its existence: every content update, every redevelopment, and every rebranding. That’s why it’s incredibly important to start out an SEO relationship with a thorough audit of your website. Once you understand all the issues that are dogging your site and stopping it from ranking, you can develop the right plan of attack. Without a detailed map of what’s currently going wrong, you’ll be flying blind.
Size MattersIf you ran a huge corporation with dozens of departments and you hired a business consultant to optimize your internal systems, you wouldn’t expect results in a week—or even a month. It’s the same when you’re talking about huge, complex corporate websites with tens of thousands of pages and large teams who manage them. Often times an SEO will have to work within your existing systems and processes. Even the simplest changes may need to go through a complex chain of approval before they are implemented. A lot of time can be spent waiting in the wings for these processes to run their course. That’s why cooperation is essential—especially when you’re talking about the IT department and the marketing and social media teams. How quickly these groups can work to get changes approved and enacted can directly effect how long it takes to see results. SEO is not just adding a bunch keywords to your site and waiting for it to rank. It affects every aspect of your online strategy, from your content and social media to your site architecture. It’s important not to underestimate the workload that you are undertaking.
Virality is ComplicatedOnce upon a time it was possible to simply upload a few well thought-out blog posts, do some intelligent promotion, and attract a lot of eyeballs. Nowadays competition is stiff, audiences are jaded, and virality is incredibly hard to predict. Rather than jumping on every trending topic hoping to attract a few clicks, you need to develop a long-term content strategy that is tailored to the information needs of your audience. That means regular posts across all your social channels, creating content in a range of mediums (live video, podcasts, blog posts), and, most importantly, paying attention to your analytics. When a client is not open to creating innovative, engaging content in order to attract links and traffic, it can limit an SEOs ability to achieve quick rankings.
What This Means When You’re Hiring an SEO
- Never trust an SEO that says they will guarantee the number #1 spot in 6 months or less. Usually serious SEO work, especially on a site that has a lot of issues, is going to take at least a year to start showing substantial results.
- Ask for a timeline when you bring your SEO on board. Then, ask for another revised timeline after the initial audit is done.
- Don’t look for rankings, look for growth. Find an SEO with leadership skills and an impressive track record of working with companies to achieve holistic change rather than just landing rankings for a few keywords.
- Find someone who breaks the SEO strategy down into small, actionable goals. To achieve results, you’ll have to work at a steady pace—the last thing you want is someone that overwhelms you with too much information.
- Don’t focus on fast results; focus on lasting results. What rankings can you achieve that can be kept up over time?
- Ask for reports that target what is being done and how this will improve your overall growth. Success isn’t landing the number one spot for one keyword, it’s about overall growth in traffic and sales.
It can be hard to find a truly expert SEO consultant when you know little about SEO yourself. In this free guide, Stephan reveals his top tips and tricks to measure whether an SEO consultant’s claims are worth their salt. Download it right now to save your company thousands in wasted consultant fees and lost leads due to bad SEO advice or implementation.
GSM Marketing Agency says
Yes, I fully agree with these tips. Thanks for this great information.
I like that you say SEO is troubleshooting. That makes sense since SEO is a variety of strategies. Like, there’s both onsite and offsite SEO.
Roma Sindhi says
That was an informative post. Yes, it is not possible to rank number #1 within six months with white HAT SEO activities. SEO is a long-term resulting technique. Using right techniques will take time but will deliver quality results that last long.
Nice article, I totaly agree with, and you cant always be at rank,but we can maintain being at the first page Thanks and Best Regards!
The number of people who want quick results is very large. The surprise in the voice when they are told you could see results in a couple of months but the real results will take over 6months is alarming. Unfortunately, with SEO it’s a slow process but when done right can hold a lot longer than the quick fix brigade.
Nasir Uddin Shamim says
Website age plays a very important part in ranking a website. It takes more time to rank a new website than an old website.
Joy Butler says
Hi Stephan, my cousin is a business management student. She dropped by to ask if we could help her with her assignment. Since we have a limited knowledge of SEO, we did search for it until we’ve found your post. We are so thankful that you have just answered her task in a very detailed manner. Cheers!
Honestly, never trust an SEO that guarantees any position in any time-frame. Not just 6 months.
Ganesh Dasari says
Nice article, You have shared great comprehensive strategies. You can’t always rank, but we can maintain backlinks, great content and other activity who will continue to play larger roles in getting at the first page. Thank you.
Bright Speed Media says
Good stuff my friend. The remnants of bad SEO can make for great clients. Picking up the pieces and being the hero can be fun, lol.
Servicios Seo says
If you have a newborn company, forget about positioning by generic keywords such as "professional hairdresser" and focus on those phrases and questions that your customers actually enter in the search engines.
Great post, I agree with these tips you definitely have to check for these signs before hiring an SEO consultant. Nobody can rank you for a competitive keyword within 6 months.
Stephen Chong says
Good post. Yes there are multiple factors which make our ranking up and down. Many companies are promising to give results in 3-4 months. Might possible but not for all the businesses. so its hard to determine.
Peter Brown says
I love this. Great stuff.
Ryan Hough says
Nice points. If you’re selling SEO don’t talk about backlinks or on page optimization. Talk about traffic leads and sales as that’s the language business owners care about.
We get this questions all of the time as well. We tell them right out of the gate; it depends. Competition size and link quality are usually the biggest factors that affect ranking times in the local market. Great article Stephan.
Lewis Chaffey says
Great post and topic. I always find clients want clear timelines for SEO and often ask for the exact number of months/weeks it would take to achieve position 1 for keyword X. It just doesn’t work like that! I encourage them to take a more holistic look at SEO, first we improve the health of the site and long-tail, lower-volume keywords will start to improve – the big keywords will come later. Authority also comes into the equation – it’s going to take a while if your main competitor has 1000s more backlinks than you!
Franklin White says
Thanks for the tip to have an SEO company do a thorough audit of your website. That way you can see what is wrong and what you need to change. Then they can find keywords to help your website do better on Google.
You have very well described about SEO strategies. I have been working in marketing for past 9 years, I don’t consider myself an expert because there is still so much to learn in marketing. Marketing ideas are born every day and it makes for an exciting career, I am known for my skills in SEO, Paid advertising, and PR.
Doodle Digital says
Hey Stephan Spencer, your tips and tricks are really helpful. There are many companies out there in market but just few of them keep their promises.
It is not possible to provide any assumptions about the position in future. Just doing work according to the plan and strategy.
Really thanks to you.
Thanks for sharing. Seo is a great tool to rank your business online and backlinks are very much useful for getting a higher rank on the search engine.
Yash Kumar says
I completely agree with what you have written. Great article for seo and content creation.
SEO Consultant says
This is the most effective digital marketing campaign I’ve ever seen! Thank you very much for providing this information.
ncourage them to take a more holistic look at SEO, first we improve the health of the site and long-tail, lower-volume
Digital Marketing is a best marketing place which is helping loads of businesses around the Globe. The role of digital marketing a huge help to power you some free advertising and help your business increase.
You said the truth, Focus on growth rather than focus on ranking 1st position on certain keywords.
Weboney Designs says
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SEO Strategy Depends on manny factors including all the Aspects, Like On-site, technical and off-site.
The SEO strategy totally depends on the targeted niche and the competition on the different keywords.
KS WeberTech says
Very useful blog for the Digital marketing Company to plan and execute the ideas.
This is the great article for Digital Marketing ideas and Very useful blog for the Digital Marketing Company to plan and execute the ideas. Thank you for providing this useful information.