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How Long Does SEO Take?

Rochelle Harris
Aug 26, 2020

Common Questions #1: How Long Does SEO Take? 

Results Are Everything

Search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated, and doesn't happen overnight. If you are a business owner today who is still trying to adjust to digital marketing practices, you may be asking the question; how long does SEO take to start paying off and showing results? 

If so, you are not alone! The problem with this kind of question is there is not a simple or standard answer. There is only a sort of "generic" answer, of about 6 months or so. The problem with applying that answer to everyone is that every business is different, as well as every digital marketing company has a little bit different way of doing things. 

And just like you can buy discounted items at most any store, you can also buy discounted SEO services. However, when you take that risk with half-priced paper towels, the worst case scenario is that you end up having to use twice as many (or more). When you take a chance on your SEO services, you're risking your entire business - and the ability to buy paper towels, at all! 

Because bad marketing equals bad business. Bad business equals a bad profit margin, and possibly even a bad reputation. A bad reputation, could ultimately result in your business failing completely. Although you may say to yourself that wouldn't happen, the reality is that it happens all the time. The American Dream is alive and well today, but the competition is incredibly fierce. In order to play, you've sometimes got to pay. When it comes to the advertising and marketing of your business, this is something you're really going to need to consider carefully. 

Never has the saying "you get what you pay for" been more appropriate. Weigh your options carefully, and be sure to research the choices you narrow down thoroughly. Ask to see examples of proven successes, and of marketing campaigns. Look at past ideas and strategies, taking extra care to get a feel for the company and its team, so you can gauge whether or not you're a good fit with each other. Make sure they are able to demonstrate the fact that they "get" you, and what you're trying to convey. 

These are all vitally essential to the kind of relationship necessary between a business and its advertising and marketing company, in order to succeed and achieve the kind of positive results you pay someone for. Your SEO and digital marketing services don't have to cost you an arm and a leg, but certainly if you're paying someone to do this, which is practically a necessity these days, you can expect viable, measurable results. Therefore, the next logical question is; when should you expect to see these results? After all, that's a huge part of the whole reason you hire them in the first place: to get results. 

Time-Frames Are Unpredictable ?

OK, so we've established that every business is different, and all marketers should have their own unique approach. Still, there has to be a time-frame you can expect to see results in, right? Otherwise, a good sales rep could string you along for years. Then again, a good marketing company could be achieving worthy results for you, for years. 

So what is reasonable to expect from the digital marketing company you hire? 

About the only thing that can really be gauged is the fact that you shouldn't be paying more money out, than you are receiving back in, from your advertising budget. In other words, your digital marketing company should be steadily making you money. 

You should also see better results over time, so that you see an increase in business at 12 months that's more than you saw after 6 months, and much better than at only 3 months. Your digital marketing company should also be able to show you hard data, showing the difference they've been making for you over time, at any time you request. 

Keep in mind that SEO is always changing, and its exact science and algorithm method is one of the best kept secrets in the universe! Google has become better and more refined about their practices over time as well, and they do not allow their specifics to be learned, which is actually good news for everybody. It keeps the competition fair, because it's not predictable, therefore more accurately reflecting the ever-changing needs, opinions and preferences of the average consumer. 

Quality Over Quantity?

The other big thing you have to remember here, is that quality over quantity really matters. It's not hard to show visible results for things like website visits or even leads. Even the most discounted SEO firms can accomplish visible increases in numbers like these, fairly quickly and easily. 

Oh, did you say you wanted good leads, not just "blind" leads that result in more time spent (work) for you or your employees and less or no change in sales? 

Well, this is your first lesson in "you get what you pay for", and it was free! Next time, it will cost you in real profits - or lack thereof. A good digital marketing firm will not only get you results, but it will get you the kind of results needed to increase your sales, your brand awareness and ultimately your reputation itself. 

Plus, they can show you how they accomplish these goals, over the time-frame specified in their marketing campaigns. Don't pay someone to do a discounted job on your business advertising. When it comes to digital marketing, there are a lot of choices in companies. Take the time to research and talk with each one you consider. 

Go over what you want, what you expect, and how much your budget is. Then listen carefully to what they initially discuss and present for your business goals. This decision will be one that directly impacts the success or failure of your business. 

Each member of their team is important, as well. You may even want to briefly speak to each person who will be working on your account, or schedule a conference call. Little things are all worth mentioning. 

Remember: hiring an excellent digital marketing company that understands your needs and does high quality work is probably the single most important business decision you can make. Be sure you make the right one! 

By Darilyn Gallegos 09 Jun, 2020
When you’re looking into doing SEO, you are basically making changes to your website design and content that make your website more attractive to a search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process that organizations go through to help make sure their site rankings are high in search engines for relevant keywords and phrases. For a well-rounded organic search strategy, there are three types of SEO: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. By breaking down your strategy and thinking about search engine optimization as these three categories, you will have a much easier time organizing and executing your optimization plans. We are going to focus on off-page SEO, specifically Backlinks SEO in this article. In SEO terminology, a backlink is a hyperlink that links from a webpage back to your own webpage or website. Search engines, like Google, consider websites with more backlinks more relevant in search results pages. Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. Basically, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If you have enough sites linking to your website, search engines will infer that the content on your webpage is worth linking to, therefore also worth ranking you higher in search results. Earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility. The process of obtaining these links is known as link earning or link building. Backlinks can be time-consuming to earn and it’s very easy to get caught up in the idea of getting as many backlinks as possible. The more, the better, right? Not necessarily. You want to link build organically, meaning people discover your content and choose to link to your page. Whether that be via social media, word of mouth, or search engines. By creating truly useful content that people want to link to, you improve your chances of earning more backlinks. If you want to link build with quality sites, you can try a few different, beloved methods: Unlinked mentions: reaching out to authors who have your brand on their site and asking them to make the mention clickable. Guest blogging: creating quality content for another website in exchange for a backlink Broken link building: find dead links relevant to your content and reach out to the authors to suggest they replace it with a working link to your site. The quantity-over-quality strategy is outdated and frowned upon in the SEO world. Search engines value the quality of your link profile over the quantity of backlinks you have. Having a balanced and diverse backlink profile built naturally will boost your site’s strength. If you have thousands of low-authority, spammy links attached to your site, search engines see this as a sneaky way of getting around their quality guidelines and can hit you with a big drop of your rankings, and it can be more difficult to come back from something like that. There are different forms of backlinks, all of which help to raise your rankings with search engines. These include images, banners, and badges, hyperlinked text, URL’s, and embedding in videos and infographics. Our article on seo for car dealerships outline how to hyperlink and the various backlinks in that niche. Keep in mind, these need to come across naturally in the content. URL’s are hard to place naturally, but can easily be replaced with a hyperlink if used in a place that makes sense. Plus, hyperlinking the website name as opposed to using the URL looks much tidier and gives a clearer idea of where the link is leading them. If you’re starting from the bottom, here is a good strategy to start earning organic, quality backlinks: Local Listings and Directories A simple, yet tedious, way to score backlinks is to go through all the local directories. Whether you are creating a new business listing or making sure your existing listing is current with correct information, this is the easiest way to score backlinks. Many consider it low hanging fruit, but with your name, address, contact details, and a link back to your website, you’re earning good street cred with these listings. Be sure to not only update on Google, but also Yelp and your social media pages. These directory backlinks are a standard first step for every website. It’s a “two birds, one stone” kind of process because you earn link credit for your site as well as invite new customers to find you. Just be sure that when you write your business description, you mix it up for each directory. If you just copy and paste, it could count as duplicate content and trigger the search engine to negatively impact your score. Existing Relationships This ties into the “Guest Blogging” we mentioned earlier. Now that you’ve dotted your T’s and crossed your I’s, it’s time to start utilizing relationships and offering an exchange of value. Consider your existing relationships and determine if any of them could provide a good link opportunity for you. They don’t need to have the same status of the New York Times, but a decent website and a good relationship with you could be just enough to be beneficial. For example, offer to write a glowing review of a product or service your business uses that they can put on their site. In exchange, they can include your name, along with a backlink, in the author bio. Or you can keep it subtle by using a small, clickable business logo, which would allow the review to shine. Exchanges like this are valued and often underestimated. Consider your partners, clients, suppliers, and so on and start considering what you can offer them. Guest Posting This tactic takes a lot of work, but when done right, it works very well. Start by researching into relevant industry blogs, business, and influencers. The key is to find opportunities where you can offer something well-written, insightful, and perfectly tailored to their audience. If you want these people to consider and accept what you’ve written, you’ll be more successful if you present a tailored post that you’ve already written. Especially if they don’t know much about you, the goal is to pique their interest enough to give you a chance; first impressions are everything. This can work both ways; allowing others to guest blog on your site could expand your network while also giving you content. Most likely, they’re going to backlink to the post they wrote on your site. Bad Backlink SEO Tactic If you want to avoid negatively impacting your search engine ranking, avoid Hidden Links. These are links on a website that the site owner has literally hidden from users and from Google. Search engines consider these spam and should be avoided at all costs. For example, white text on a white background, hiding links in a punctuation mark in a random sentence, and even resizing text so small it’s almost invisible. Site owners will do this to hide a lot of links on their website, and if one of those links comes back to you, it will most definitely affect your rankings. Their site ranking gets penalized by violating one of Google’s quality guidelines, and in turn, will pull down the overall quality of your backlink profile. There are several steps, start to finish, to successfully link build your website. Although it may seem daunting, keep in mind it isn’t complicated. With a solid approach plan and a firm understanding of what you want for your site, you can be rewarded tenfold. Once you see your website rise in the rankings and see your traffic and revenue increase, the tedious process of link building will be worth it. Analyze each potential link carefully, make sure it’s a good one that will pass value to your site and then follow a tailored outreach strategy to secure it. Happy linking!
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