SEO is complex – and appreciating how vital it is for the continued success of your business is important. But once you understand the benefits of SEO, it’s easy to be overly keen to see rapid results, expecting to achieve unrealistic goals in a short space of time. This can lead to frustration, rash decisions and could even impair your success online if you decide to opt for a different method or abolish your SEO strategy entirely. In this blog we’ve put together a few handy tips for businesses embarking on SEO for the first time – helping you to be completely prepared and know what to expect when setting realistic goals.
Understand that SEO takes time
SEO is naturally a process that takes at least a month to produce any kind of result. This is because Google’s ‘spiders’ take a few weeks to crawl and index your site, taking into account the changes that have been made. Once your freshly optimised site has been indexed and ranked, SEO is then a continuous effort, involving constant maintenance, fresh content, blogs and the nurturing of other channels such as social media. Every business has a different budget and starting point – some are embarking on SEO with a brand new website or freshly optimised site, and poorly populated social media platforms. Others are already well established and simply need professional support to help them to increase their current flow of traffic. For this reason your ranking could take three weeks or three months to improve depending on individual circumstances.
Set smaller goals to reach a larger objective
We’ve all heard this before – especially as business owners – but it’s worth remembering, especially when it comes to SEO. By nature SEO is best planned and observed from a perspective of smaller milestones that lead to a desired ‘end goal’. But even then, the end goal itself is part of a wider objective, and is constantly shifting. For example, perhaps you want to rank first on Google for several different products and terms, increase your web exposure on social media and optimise your site to be more user friendly so that you can convert more visitors. There are many goals there – and each will take time to come to fruition. Keep stepping back to look at the bigger picture, but remember to acknowledge and celebrate smaller triumphs – seeing where they fit in and how they’ll help you get there.
Structure an honest timeline with contingency periods
In light of the many smaller goals that make up a whole target, your SEO provider should put together a realistic plan on your behalf, incorporating all key objectives in chronological order. It’s naturally easy to feel impatient for results – especially given the value of investment required for SEO. But putting together a timeline ensures that you can expect certain things to happen at a certain time – and acknowledge when progress is being made rather than being frustrated by an apparent lack of it.
Make incremental progress and growth, and constantly reassess
SEO targets will constantly be moving – by nature once you reach one, you may want to keep going and growing your business online. For this reason it’s important to register the continuous incremental successes made as a result of having an SEO strategy in place. It’s also key to reassess at intervals, making sure that your strategy is still relevant to your business and is in line with your current goals. There may be new focuses to concentrate on, or stumbling blocks – perhaps your website needs to be tweaked for a higher conversion rate. No matter what your objectives may be, keep checking in and continue to monitor and remould.