Why a Solid SEO Strategy is Worth the Time
by Kristine Pratt • April 13, 2020
Is your search engine optimization strategy working for you? If you’re using tried-and-proven SEO techniques but still aren’t seeing the results you want, the solution may be simpler than you think. You may just need to sit back and wait a while.
Keep in mind that there are more than 1.5 billion websites on the internet. It will take time for your SEO strategy to help you stand out from the competition.
If you’re the impatient type and you want to see the outcome of your efforts right away, you’ll need to change your thinking. Keep in mind that SEO rarely, if ever, delivers immediate results. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time.
John Robert Wooden, a renowned American basketball player and coach, once said, “Good things take time, as they should.” In no situation is this more true than in your online optimization approach.
Here’s why building a solid SEO strategy is always worth the time.
How SEO Works
To understand why SEO takes so long, you first need to know how this popular online marketing technique works. Search engine optimization is the process of getting organic, or free, traffic to your site. It involves many different strategies, including keyword use, HTML code optimization and more.
A good SEO approach takes time to develop and implement. If you rush the process, you’re more likely to make mistakes or inadvertently violate rules. When creating your online marketing strategy, it’s essential to follow best practices so your website doesn’t get flagged.
Using “black hat” methods might get you faster results initially, but you’ll eventually get caught and penalized. You’ll also hurt your reputation and lose the trust of your target audience. Shortcuts are never worth it when it comes to creating an effective optimization approach.
What Makes a Good SEO Strategy
On the surface, SEO sounds a little simplistic. You just need to get people to come to your site when they search for specific keywords or terms. How hard could that be?
It turns out that SEO is a bit more complicated than many people think. There is a lot that goes into a successful SEO approach. Here are the four main “pillars” of SEO that all site owners should keep in mind when developing a marketing strategy:
- Technical SEO
- Off-site SEO
- On-site SEO
Without all of these pieces, your optimization efforts will inevitably fall flat. Here’s what you should know about each.
Most people think of content first when they hear the term “SEO,” and it’s easy to see why. While much of the optimization process goes on behind the scenes, content is front and center. It’s the hook that draws in your audience and gets them to stay.
Your content tells your visitors all about you, and—more importantly—what you can do for them. Content is one of the most important aspects of your SEO strategy. All content you create should include keywords that are relevant to your products and services. It should also engage your audience and establish your credibility.
2. Technical SEO
If you’re not especially tech-savvy, technical SEO may seem overwhelming to you. But don’t worry too much. With a little education and lots of practice, it can become second nature.
Here are a few of the tech-related questions you should ask when developing your SEO strategy:
- Does my site adapt for mobile users?
- Can a search engine crawl, or explore, my site?
- Am I using CMS or other search-friendly technology on my site?
- Do I have fast page load times?
- Can my pages be easily indexed?
- Is my content structured optimally, in a natural hierarchy?
Fortunately, if you have any experience with WordPress, you’re already familiar with basic technical SEO factors. For you, the learning curve for technical SEO is much smaller than it is for someone who has never dealt with WordPress. On the other hand, if all of this is way over your head, it may be worth hiring a professional to take care of it for you.
3. Off-Site SEO
Not all SEO work should happen on your site. You also need to work on off-site SEO if you want to build your authority and improve your web rank.
Link-building is a technique that involves getting traffic from other, relevant sources. You can do this by getting other websites to link to your website. Make sure you only use websites that are reputable.
4. On-Site SEO
Your content isn’t the only thing on your website that needs optimization. You also need to consider your page titles, URLs and meta descriptions. Don’t forget to make sure your site provides a good user experience (UX).
All of these things are essential components of an optimized website. Local SEO strategy is also important if you’re a local business trying to appeal to nearby customers.
How Long SEO Takes to Work
Most SEO firms forecast that it will take at least six to nine months to begin seeing the results of your SEO strategy. These are the months you should be very busy developing your approach.
Here’s what to expect, month-by-month, for the first six months:
- Month 1: Research and planning stage
- Month 2: Technical SEO stage
- Month 3: Content creation stage
- Month 4: Continued technical optimization, content creation and link building
- Month 5: Social media engagement and continued SEO efforts
- Month 6: Conversion rate optimization (if you receive at least 5,000 visitors per month by now), continued SEO efforts
Generally, after six-to-nine months you should start seeing the results of your labor. With continued work on your SEO approach, you should continue to see upward growth over the following months and years.
Why It’s Worth the Wait
Now that you know what goes into building a solid SEO strategy, you can probably understand why it takes so long to see results. The next question is whether or not it’s worth it to invest your time and money into something that doesn’t pay off right away.
The answer, for most, is a resounding “Yes!” Here’s why.
Once you’ve optimized your content and website, you’ll provide visitors with a better user experience. You’ll also leverage free organic search, which is how most businesses get the majority of their traffic. In the long run, SEO is more cost-effective than many other marketing strategies and provides a high return on investment.
A good SEO strategy is vital to effective online marketing. Yes, it takes time, but the end results are well worth the investment.
If you want results now and later, try coupling your SEO strategy with PPC marketing. That way, you can get results fast while you wait for your SEO efforts to start paying off. Then, as your organic traffic starts to pick up, you can dial back your PPC spend some or keep the pressure up for maximum results.
How do you feel about SEO? Have any recommendations to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.