Why Does Search Engine Optimization Take So Long?
Many frustrated business owners approach me with this very question again and again. It is a completely valid question, yet it’s one that is rarely answered to anyone’s satisfaction.
Here is a detailed answer of why search engine optimization takes so long. The answer to this time-consuming process is all part of an assurance that your seo dollars are well spent.
Analyzing Your Competition Takes More Time Than You May Think
Unless you are selling a product or service that is less than a month or two old, you will have competitors who are already ranking well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Getting on equal ground with them is a process that takes time.
Even the best seo analyst will need to take time to find out where and what that ground really is. In the majority of markets, your competition has already 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 that rank for your desired keyword.
Link tools like Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO can be helpful in developing an understanding of where the ground is for your business website.
Search marketing competitive analysis tools can also be helpful to asses the levels of competition in your industry. You can use tools like iSpionage and Spyfu to assist you. If you have a newer website you might use iSpionage’s comparison functionality to assess the level of competition for industry keywords.
Build Links From Sites With Authority
Once your search engine optimization efforts have developed these insights, the next step is to find common sites that your competitors use for backlinks. You will find anywhere from 5-100 different sites that all of your major competitors will use for rank-boosting backlinks.
You will need to create a database of every link pointing to the top 50 pages that rank for each one of your keywords. You will need to know how many of those links come from the same sites, and from which pages on those sites, and how often. From here you may be able to see how to grab some of those links for your own website.
You then need to find links from pages that none of your competition is using. You should look for links that a very small percentage of your competition is using. While it is difficult to find quality sites for backlinks that aren’t already being used extensively, it is possible. It is also crucial to your success.
All of this takes time and this is only the beginning.
Getting on “Ground Zero” With Your Competition Takes Time
From here you must procure links in one of several ways, such as content creation, paid link placement, paid content creation, guest posts, site creation, subdomain creation, link bartering, and content trading.
Whether these links are paid for, traded, or otherwise acquired, dealing with site owners can take time. Blogs and web 2.0 pages built on your behalf need to be written by good writers who understand search engine optimization (seo).
You must also ensure that every image has an appropriate filename, title, and alternative text, specifically to a single keyword, on each page where it appears. And your content should have images on every single page.
Keeping in mind that good search engine campaigns involve all types of content, you will need to make videos, and make sure that each video has the right filename, and the right title (for both the video and the page), the right description, and the right account name for your video hosting channel.
As you can see, each of the literally thousands- and usually tens of thousands- of links that your site will need in order to rank well, needs to be supported by an entire page that has been precision-engineered in at least a dozen different ways.
Effective link building takes time but it is definitely worth the wait.
Google Rarely Trusts Speed
Taking the above information into account, it’s also important to understand that Google is wary of links that gain too much popularity, too quickly.
There was a time when you could create hundreds of links literally overnight and reap the benefits. The benefits typically didn’t last, but you were able to do it all over again until you either gained the traction you wanted or ended up being banned from Google’s search engine.
In this day and age, all it takes is a slight portion of unnatural-looking links pointing your way in a short period of time to put you in the google sandbox. Google may not remove your site completely from its index, but it may apply such a heavy penalty that you won’t really know the difference.
It doesn’t mean that getting lots of links all at once will instantly sink your ship. Getting hundreds of links from an article that goes viral on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media site, is a recipe for success.
Google has gotten very good at detecting “link spam”. While it’s good to share your content on Facebook and get as many links as possible in a short period of time, too many links in too short a time can trigger a manual review. If you or your seo firm are using techniques that provide too many links too quickly, this review could sink your business almost overnight.
So if your seo provider doesn’t build links at the pace you wish to see, rest easy. They’re doing you a favor.
Good Search Engine Optimization Takes Fine Tuning
Once you have completed all of this work thoroughly, you will then have to deal with the fact that Google doesn’t remain constant, and neither do the other major search engines.
The way search engines rank sites can change overnight. These changes have brought many profitable websites to their knees, knocking out 6, 7, and even 8 figure businesses literally overnight.
At the end of the day, no one but the search engines have control over the search engine optimization landscape. You only have control over how you respond to the changes. Good information and seo know-how is often the difference between sink and swim when it comes to conducting your business online.