"How quickly will I see results?"

This is a question I occasionally receive from new clients and potential clients. Whether or not SEO works quickly depends on many factors. Chances are, if you are looking for a short cut, SEO will not be what you were expecting. You’ll certainly see some results in the short-term, but your long-term growth should be your focus.

Your expectations really boil down to how well you understand the SEO industry, in terms of what is effective today vs. what was effective 5 years ago.

Prior to 2011, SEO was a fairly simplistic process to outsource. A site’s ranking was primarily determined by the keyword content and domain authority (the number of websites linking to you). You could pay an SEO company a few hundred dollars and they would do the following…

– Create a series of blogs, websites, comments, etc filled with keywords linking back to your site
– Create mirror sites filled with keyword spam
– Create an excessive number of internal links on your website

And bam, within a month or two you were at the top of Google.

Then in 2011 and 2012, Google released two algorithms known as Panda and Penguin. These aimed to rid Google of all of these websites utilizing spammy and quick tactics intended to manipulate their rankings. All of these sites were hit with penalties and were dropped off of the rankings entirely. As a result, the services provided by SEO companies needed to change. SEO became content focused.

Some companies chose to update their services using Google’s quality guidelines, but others stayed with these old tactics with a disregard for how it would affect their clients in the long-term. Unfortunately, many of these companies still exist offering the same services they did 5 years ago. A large number of the clients I receive now begin with our penalty removal service, because they have contracted a poor SEO company prior to working with us or paid for back-links.

So where do things go wrong?

Many of the potential clients I speak with are unaware that the SEO process is no longer a short cut. I now make sure to educate all clients, present or potential, about the changes that exist. The internet is always evolving, so we are actively reviewing every trend we can. The service we provide aims to accomplish the following…

– Collaborate and develop quality content for your website with appropriate keyword use and internal linking
– Improve your user experience by making architectural, navigational, labeling, and layout changes.
– Improve your site speed and efficiency by working with your developer
– Improve the meta-tags, image-tags, and other relevant content on your site
– Focus on changes that will improve your company’s search-ability for the coming years

Many of our changes require that a client is communicating with us monthly, if not on a bi-weekly basis. It might require a developer who can comfortably work within your frameworks, or someone to write content for your products and services. You should feel like an active contributor to the SEO process. After all, it is one of many crucial aspects to your digital marketing efforts. While it seems tempting to pay for a quick fix, you can be sure that investing in long-term growth will lead your company to the top.

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