SEO Isn’t Magic, an Overnight Affair, or a One-Time Thing
Marketing your business online takes time, money, patience … and dedication. Getting your site to rank high in the search engines is just the first step, and it almost certainly isn’t going to happen overnight.
Anyone who guarantees top search results by this Friday is probably not someone you want to have working on your site — especially with all the changes that have been going on with Google of late.
Set-and-Forget SEO Factors
Sure, there are a few things that can be left pretty much alone for some time, once they’re in place. That’s if you took the necessary time and money to ensure it was done right.
One example is your site design. If you develop a great-looking, search-friendly site that loads fast and enables the user to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, then you probably won’t have to do any major overhauls in the near future. But honestly, the set-and-forget parts of building a site that will make you money are few and far between.
Ensuring your site will continue to be profitable in the long run requires long-term SEO. There’s a constant stream of things that need to be done in order to maximize your income.
Some vendors will tell you they can identify the best keywords to go after and rank your site for those terms quickly. Even in cases where that’s possible, it isn’t a be-all and end-all. Keyword research should be ongoing — and there’s a lot that goes into good keyword research.
Just because a search term is related and targeted to your business, that doesn’t mean it’s worth the time, money, or effort to rank for it. You can rank #1 all day long and never bank a cent if no one searches for that term. The same can be said even if it does get a lot of searches, if the people who search for that term have no interest in buying. We call these people “information seekers.”
Let’s say you find a slew of amazing keywords that you believe you should be trying to rank for. Well, guess what: That might not be true in three months. Hot keyword phrases can change constantly. In the spring and early summer, for example, the demand and number of searches for a site that sells Santa letter services isn’t going to be very high.
A swimsuit-related keyword phrase for a clothing store might be awesome in June, but not so much in November. Researching trends and planning for the future are integral parts of a well-developed SEO strategy.
A sustainable SEO strategy that evolves over time should identify new and valuable keywords to work into your site on a continual basis.
Over time, conditions change and adjustments need to made if you want to stay competitive in your market. An SEO strategy for the long term must give you plenty of room to monitor important stats and research your analytics.
Someone who promises you super-quick results might be able to rank your site fairly quickly. But you can bet they’ll be using shortcut tactics to do it. You can also bet your glorious, top-ranking site may not be king of the hill for long: once Google rolls out another update to their algorithms, your site could tank. And it can be one helluva climb to to recover.
SEO isn’t an overnight thing. If you’re looking for overnight results, then you might want to consider PPC (pay per click). This will often require some hefty upfront investment, though … depending on your market and competition. Even with PPC, though it’s a whole other ball game, extensive understanding of keyword and competition research is required. Ad copy and structure also become a priority.
If you want long-term success, then you have to plan for it with a long-term SEO strategy. At the same time, you don’t want to “over-optimize.” It’s a delicate balancing act and the rules are always changing. What was considered good SEO a few years ago isn’t necessarily the case today.
Oh, and one other thing to remember about long-term SEO? The SEO team remains responsible, because it’s an ongoing process. It isn’t something rushed to put together and then handed over and put on the shelf.
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