Why Does SEO Take So Long?
It’s a question many frustrated business owners have asked again and again. It’s completely valid, yet one that rarely gets answered to anyone’s satisfaction.
Before getting an answer to this question, you should know what SEO is and how it works.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization is not like any other type of advertising that you would normally think of, but it has become increasingly more essential as our world becomes more digital.
Search engine optimization can increase the reach and popularity of your website by enabling it to achieve a higher ranking in search engines. Considering most people trust their search engines and click the first few results they see, this is huge.
There are a lot of factors that affect the amount of time search engine optimization is going to take for a particular website. Google uses about 200 different ranking factors in their algorithm to determine the best websites. Some are proven, some are controversial. (Others are SEO nerd speculations!)
Some of these factors include:
- The age of your website
- The current SEO friendliness of your website
- Your competitors
- Your location
The Age of Your Website
It won’t be a cake walk for a newly created website. Google can see how long your site has been around, and that affects SEO. Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain. A site with volatile ownership or several drops may tell Google to “reset” the site’s history, negating links pointing to the domain and hurting the website’s quality score.
SEO Friendly Website
It is important to know how SEO friendly your current website already happens to be. Some of these factors include the content on your site, how easy it is to navigate, how long it takes to load, how mobile friendly it is, metadata and more. These are some of the different factors search engines use to determine how SEO friendly your site is.
If a website has been online for a long time and has been updating its content regularly, it has a better chance of getting a high search engine ranking. But in case yours is a new domain which is being updated regularly, it would be better off than an old website that doesn’t update its content so often. If you want a higher ranking and better result for your website, you need to update the website regularly and with relevant information.
Your industry competitors can prevent you from ranking as high as you would like. Unless you’re selling a product or service that is brand new, you will have competitors who are already ranking well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Even the best SEO analysts will need to do research to find out where your business stands. In most markets, your competitors have spent a decade or more building both their websites and links to those websites. A thorough competitive analysis will take into account every link that leads to every competitor result, which shows up on the first few pages of results that rank your desired keywords.
The type of content being posted on your website makes a huge difference. Google algorithms give a better ranking to websites that make use of relevant pictures and videos to make the website more attractive. If the content on your website is just plain text, your SEO strategy is lacking and hence you will take more time to get a higher ranking compared to your competitors.
SEO Requires Commitment
All good things take time, and SEO isn’t an exception. Search engine optimization isn’t magic, and doesn’t produce outstanding results immediately. However, commitment to SEO will do wonders for your business in the long run. Even after you have achieved a high ranking spot on search engines, it is important to continue to optimize your website’s SEO.
Speedy Results Aren’t Always Successful Long Term
Sometimes, the first SEO strategy that you adopt may give you noticeable results in the start. However, that success can be short-lived if your strategy isn’t properly optimized. A great SEO strategy is built for long term gain.
The general rule for SEO is it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That’s generally accurate, but bear in mind when you start seeing those results, they will continue to grow over time. Whatever results you’re getting at 6 months should be considerably less than what you’re getting at 12 months. At some point, you may see your results taper off, and then it may be a matter of maintaining results rather than growing them.
Don’t Stop Too Soon
Many companies underestimate how much time and money it takes to be successful with SEO. Success by any standard rarely comes within the first 3 months, even with a healthy SEO budget. Paying for just a few months of SEO is not always the best strategy. SEO is a long term marketing tactic and shouldn’t be seen as a way to generate sales quickly. However, if you make the proper investment, and plan on being in it for the long haul, SEO is a marketing tactic with one of the best ROIs out there.
How Do I Get My Website On the First Page of Google?
Getting to the coveted top spot or even on the first page of Google isn’t easy. So that you can understand how you can get your website on the first page of Google, let us briefly cover what one of Google’s search result pages (or SERPs) looks like:
At the very top of the page, there will usually be paid ads occupying the first few spots. Websites pay Google for these placements because they are so valuable.
After the paid ads, there will sometimes be local businesses. This is a list of nearby businesses relevant to your search query. Below the local businesses are the organic search results.
Now, let’s go back to the question: how do I get my website to the first page of Google? If your website isn’t where you want it to be, you can continue optimizing your site using SEO or use Google Ads.
Use Google Ads
If you want to be on the first page quickly, you can bid on keywords using Google Ads. Although paying for ads seems simple, it’s very easy for your money to go to waste. That’s why hiring an expert is essential.
In order to have your ad appear, you will need to be one of the top three bidders for a keyword and make sure that the content you are linking to is highly relevant to the search. This will make sure that your ads have a high quality score. It isn’t as easy as paying your way- even with Google Ads, you need to make sure that you have a well-designed web page backing up your ad.
SEO is still the best option if you want to rank organically in Google (i.e., without paid Google Ads). With Google Ads, you have to keep paying if you want more traffic. With SEO, you’ll keep getting traffic as long as your pages are optimized and continue to rank.
First Page Organic Ranking Factors Include:
- High-quality and regular content
- Fast page loading speed
- Optimized and targeted keywords on a page
- Mobile-friendliness of the site
- Inbound links
- Secure pages (https)
- Human-readable URL structure
- Domain authority
Maintain Your Spot
The algorithm Google uses to calculate which pages rank organically is complicated and not 100% known. But we do know some of the things Google looks for. That also means you are never done with SEO. After you reach the first page, you need to keep optimizing to maintain your spot or achieve better rankings. Keep in mind that Google updates its algorithm and ranking signals all the time.
Remember that your competitors are continuously working on their rankings. If want to outrank them, you will need to continually improve your ads.
Why Do I Want to Be Seen on Google?
Being on the first page of Google is essential if you want your business to have a strong online presence. Ranking on Google’s first page has its perks. The following are just some of the key benefits:
It increases website exposure.
No one will see your website unless it ranks well on Google. High organic rankings result in a lot of free traffic. And when you have more traffic, you’ll get more conversions and sales. Even if users don’t click on your link, being on the first page of Google will increase your brand awareness.
Most People Don’t Go To Page 2 on Google
According to a study from Backlinko, only 0.78% of searchers will click a result from the second page.
The study also found out that the #1 result will garner a click-through rate of as much as 31.7%. Moreover, moving up one spot from your initial ranking will boost your CTR by up to 30.8%.
You should never be satisfied with your ranking. With this mindset, you will keep going even after you reach the top spot.
The First Page Builds Trust
Google searchers often associate first page results as trustworthy websites. If your page is ranking outside the top page, not only are you not going to be seen by thousands of people, but they aren’t going to associate your brand with their search.
Reduce Marketing Cost with SEO
The benefits of SEO are highly competitive. Sure, it takes 3 to 6 months to see the results, but it’s worth it since you’re going to save more and earn more in the long run.
You can use the money you saved on other aspects of improving your business. Instead of paying for Google Ads non-stop, you can invest in SEO. Overall, search engine optimization grooms your website for long-term success.
Reaching the first page of Google is not the end of the race. When it comes to ranking, you are never finished. Keeping your website in high-ranking spots is a full-time job. You should always keep watch of new SEO ranking factors in order to outrank your competitors and grow your business.