When you’re new to SEO, you have a lot of expectations. But what should you reasonably expect from an initial SEO campaign? Read on for a reality check.
As a business owner and an entrepreneur, you should always think in the present. You need to know how to get results quickly and how to improve the visibility of your business. You need to generate more income and get more leads. The earlier you meet your paramount goals, the faster you can reach your long-term goals. As a result, you will see your business grow.
This is the mentality you should have in regard to your business. That’s what makes you a successful business person. Thus, there are some strategies you can’t rush. And an SEO strategy is exactly that.
Those businesses that have a right keyword in their business name rank 1.5 places higher in search than if there is none in the name.
Last year’s study revealed that 83 percent of marketers stated that SEO is becoming more efficient and is on the rise, while 42 percent said that it’s growing significantly.
In the business environment, a conversion optimization of even a portion of a percent can have a significant influence on your overall profit.
Measuring your success can be a complicated process. And investing in search engine optimization method requires understanding what to realistically expect from the plan.
However, the truth is that SEO is a trial-and-error method. What works for others may not work for you. Because of this nature, it’s difficult to set a certain number on your goals.
The result of an SEO campaign depends on what you put into it. The type of drive and amount of money you are willing to invest will influence your expected output.
Are you ready to invest in an SEO campaign and would like to know what realistic expectations you should have? Then read on to know what you should consider doing.
Learn How an SEO Campaign Works
To have more realistic expectations of your first SEO campaign, you need to know how SEO works. We can divide it into two main sections: On-page and off-page.
On-page SEO includes the website content, what keywords you used, and how well formatted it is for search engine crawlers.
Off-page is a more complicated process. You need backlinks from other sites to yours. Search engine platforms use these links to determine a site’s liability and decide which pages to rank in their results.
Some people try to cheat the system. But Google’s sophisticated algorithm prevents such attempts. A patent allows them to delay any benefit from your SEO efforts, which is why it takes time. It’s okay! As said above, SEO takes time and requires your patience.
Understand That It’s Long-Term
The second thing to know in your SEO campaign is that it’s a long-term campaign. Trying to deliver fast numbers is an illusion. These campaigns have no end date and should continue through the lifetime of your business.
The best thing about an SEO campaign is that it pays off with increasing interest; you receive better ROI (return on investment) if you spend more money and are consistent. The key here is to stay dedicated to quality content and best methods.
When you first plan your SEO campaign, try not to make too many expectations. Every site is different, and circumstances always change. For instance, you never know when a new competitor emerges on the market, or when a new trend takes off that better places you for a definitive range of keywords.
Alternatively, to set goals that are result oriented, focus on goals that are progress oriented.
Your Efforts Determine the Outcome
Your SEO campaign profoundly relies on your endeavors. It’s not a one-man marketing manager job while the person has other responsibilities within your company. You won’t get the results you identified in your goals.
This, however, doesn’t mean that a small team can’t do an adequate job with SEO. What we mean is that, in this case, you need to adjust your expectations respectively.
If you have one person to do the job, prioritize which social media networks you want to optimize. Otherwise, your metrics won’t grow.
What You Should Focus On
Click-throughs on your website is vital to complete a conversion. Ranking high in search engines with a given keyword phrase or a keyword increases your click-through rate.
According to a study, those who are ranked on page one gets 71.33 percent clicks, while second and third pages get only 5.59 percent.
However, the issue is ranking on the first page. It’s difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. For instance, getting from the 40th spot to 20th isn’t hard. But going from 20th to top 10 is and so forth.
The truth is that even if you try, you won’t be able to rise past a certain ranking for the keyword you use. And as the top-ranking companies take most of the clicks, it might be clever to cut your loss and come up with another keyword.
The keyword does matter! Some are searched more often than others, and some generate more click-through rates. To identify which works best for you is a trial and error process. That’s why you need to measure the SEO campaign in weeks, months, and years.
Before starting the SEO campaign, it might be a good idea to examine your website and identify where you lose visitors. Getting new customers to your site is one thing, but converting them into frequent visitors is another. Or at least, leave them with good impressions and intent to return.
Finding the Right Keywords
One of the first steps to start your SEO campaign would be to find proper keywords and put them on your website. Avoid industry specific terms as no one outside the industry knows it.
Therefore, people won’t be searching those technical terms. Think of more “human” phrases and if you have trouble coming up with the word, ask someone else – your family or staff member.
SEO marketers use Google Keyword tool, which gives a general search volume for any word combination and is quite reasonable too.
Once you come up with the term, you want to optimize title tags, your website structure, and URL paths. If you have a small internet site, then it’s not a hard thing to do. However, for sites with more than ten pages, it is a very time-consuming process.
Understand How Google Works
Okay, we all know the basics of how Google works. We enter words we would like to get information about, and Google gives us the most relevant sources for our word combination.
However, we don’t know how Google finds those sources. Well, it operates on a unique algorithm that is continually updated to give us best results when we perform a search.
Google doesn’t share anything related to how this algorithm works. Therefore, no one can guarantee rankings. However, it gives us a set of guidelines which we use to rank well.
After making changes to your website according to those guidelines, you need to notify search engines to send out the bots. The more active you are on your site, the more quickly crawlers come to the site.
Once those bots see your site, now sit down and wait. It might take a few hours or few days before you see things reflected in the Google SERP results.
The reason for a delay is there are more than 1 billion websites, and Google is doing everything to index them.
After it sees your content, it stores the date in a ranking algorithm and gives an internal classification.
Local or Traditional SEO
Local SEO is when your site ranks for geo-targeted terms such as “burger joint new york”. This means you need to appear in local Google Business listings when customers in your area search for localized keyword phrases.
The approach to rank in a local market is different than ranking nationally and globally. With Google Places and local SEO, it’s important to list in local directories. Reviews and citations are also an integral part of those rankings.
Those companies or businesses that offer services and products all over the globe need a different method. If you search for “cat toys” you won’t see local listings in your search results. Instead, you will see websites selling cat toys.
Major worldwide brands appear on the first page because they are investing in SEO campaign which will rank them high internationally.
Review the First Month
Now you know what expectations you should have of your first SEO campaign. And don’t think that once you launch the campaign, the work is over. You need to reevaluate it.
At each milestone within your campaign, you need to look at your progress, strategy, and goals to make adjustments for the future.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you need to overhaul your strategy and SEO campaign entirely. You will make tweaks and changes throughout the process until you get the perfect balance of investment and revenue.
At the beginning of your SEO campaign, you will be at ground zero. Set up the Google Analytics script and take a screenshot of your current traffic. It’s the starting point of your campaign and will help you measure the results and milestones.
During this first month, you’ll emphasize on creating procedures and systems to carry your SEO campaign forward. Don’t weigh the results of your SEO campaign as any changes in the traffic could be the effect of a fluke.
Comments on your blog posts and social media shares can give you an idea of how customers are responding to your content. But those aren’t the major insights. You will start seeing these insights three months after running the campaign.
Repeat this step quarterly to be up-to-date on the success of your campaign.
Hire an SEO Company
SEO is complicated. You can’t do all the hard work alone. To be successful, you need to hire an SEO company. However, do not expect that they will deliver results quickly.
Every SEO company works differently and have different packages for different budget clients. Every company offers various services. For instance, not everyone that does SEO-related work creates content for the website. What they might do is to help you understand what kind of content you should create to help boost your rankings.
And those who do create content might offer on-site and off-site content. On-site means that they will produce blog posts for your site, while off-site content creation includes articles, forum posts, email marketing or newsletter and comments.
However, this is only part of the process; link building is another one. And this is where a good SEO company comes in handy. The company will draw attention to your content and how it will do this depends on the industry your business is in.
The SEO company might submit your business page to review sites, industry-related dictionaries, offer the content as guest posts, provide excerpts on social sites, and make comments on other related blogs. This all depends on your SEO campaign and goals.
Additionally, a good SEO company will go even further. Knowing the demographics of your target market will help you figure out which channels they use to deliver the message there.
Do your search well and identify real key players of SEO market. Then look at the service they offer and decide whether they fit your SEO campaign goals.
Once you choose which one to use, ask them for references and results they gained in their past projects. Ask for the experience with backlinking strategy. This is important when considering the company. You don’t want to waste your money and efforts with the enterprise that doesn’t meet your goals and expectations.
Afterward, an SEO expert will check your site, and see what he/she can do to improve the rankings and give you a full report. An SEO expert learns about the business first to do an excellent job in search engine optimization by following Google guidelines.
To form realistic expectations from your SEO campaign, you need to communicate openly with the agency or a person who is working on it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or saying what you expect out of this campaign.
When a person better understands client’s expectations, they provide a more accurate timeline and the budget. Communication is the only way to ensure that both sides are happy with the results and can work together to meet the goals of your business.