It’s not hard to find SEO advice. A simple Google search will reveal thousands of SEO “how to pages” in less than a second. Yet, even with those thousands of SEO content pages there is still a lot of misconception surrounding SEO.
SEO is a big part of what we do at VisualFizz, and we aim to clear up the misconception concerning SEO, what it does, and how long it takes to work.
Shift in Perspective
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of increasing quality traffic to your website. SEO isn’t necessarily complicated, but that doesn’t make it easy.
Like lifting a piano, successful SEO campaigns take effort, patience and, in some cases, a change to what is considered success.
Redefine SEO Success
Let’s start by examining two very common SEO questions. “How long will it take for SEO to start generating leads and sales?” and “How long after publishing does SEO take?”
We can’t answer these questions broadly because each answer depends on variables specific to an individual campaign. Metrics like traffic levels, keyword rankings, leads, sales and site engagement all have a varying effect depending on the goals of the brand, the purpose of the website, and how the website is used.
For example, an increase in user traffic to a website is only significant if users convert when the get to the site. Extra traffic is useless if it doesn’t generate the desired outcome. Therefore it’s very common for SEOs working on different brands to disagree on the importance of a specific metric as it relates to their client.
Instead, many SEO’s measure the success of their campaigns by whether it has delivered the brands desired outcome. In other words – are users completing the desired actions on the site; purchases, lead form completions, newsletter signups, etc.?
SEO is a Long-Term Investment
Now that we have redefined SEO success, we can tackle the misconceptions regarding the average SEO timeline. SEO is a long-term investment that requires painstaking development, thorough implementation, and ongoing maintenance.
According Ahrefs, a firm that conducts SEO studies and research, 95% of newly published pages fail to rank in the top ten in less than a year.
Like fine wine, the longer you maintain your SEO practice the better your results will be. For these reasons, responsible SEO’s rarely promise results prior to 4-6 months after implementing an SEO strategy.
SEO Time Frame
There is no standard timeframe for SEO, however, most SEO campaigns can be broken down into seven basic parts that can serve as an outline for a year of SEO.
Month One of SEO Strategy: Research & SEO Sweep
Month one of an SEO campaign includes research and discovery. SEO’s will begin their first audit of the client website, as well as keyword research to determine the most beneficial keyword strategy.
If need be the first month of an SEO campaign will include technical changes to the website, and rebranding. Do you think it may be time to rebrand? Check out When to Rebrand Your Business.
Month Two of SEO Strategy: Technical SEO
Modifications are made to the website according to the website audit conducted in month one. If a website requires a complete overhaul the initial timeline may need to be extended. Month two may also include the development of a link profile and content strategy development.
Month Three & Four of SEO Strategy : Content Creation
Surveys show 45% of companies say content marketing is ‘highly integrated’ with their SEO strategy, (Econsultancy) that is because content is the cornerstone of good SEO and the key to SEO Success.
Month three and four will include content creation. Blogging, FAQs, white papers, articles and other content should be created in mass to expand product & company information and your overall digital presence.
Remember, humans and search engines need to be told about the subject matter of each page in a language they understand. Therefore, months three and four will typically include optimizing a site for search; making it easier for search engines to match queries to website offerings.
Month Five of SEO Strategy: Social Media & PR Management
Month five will typically include social media development and PR management to increase traffic and amplify the reach of your content.
Brand voice is also important and can make or break your month five social media efforts. Click here for more on how to Maintain Brand Voice over Different Social Media Channels.
Month Six of SEO Strategy: Conversion Rate Optimization
To improve how site traffic converts into leads and sales, an SEO will typically begin conversion rate optimization. After six months of continual SEO you may begin to expect an increase in traffic month over month.
Month Seven and Beyond: Regular Content Creation & Site Optimization
From month seven and beyond SEO activities will be focused on content creation and promoting that content via social channels.
SEO is Never Done
The biggest mistake a brand can make after implementing an SEO strategy is quitting. Yet every SEO campaign inevitably runs into the same concern, “we aren’t seeing the results we need to justify the continued investment.”
This is the wrong attitude to have. Like the beloved tamagotchi, SEO takes long-term care, patience and regular upkeep to be successful.
Our Tamagotchis are still alive, and our expert SEO staff have the experience and dedication to run a successful SEO campaign. Click here to see what a VisualFizz custom SEO Campaign can do for your brand.