Technology has altered our brains to want everything right now. With smart phones at our finger tips we have the ability to learn anything we want in an instant and communicate with someone across the earth in a split second. While the conveniences of our modern world have improved our levels of productivity ten-fold, they’ve also made us increasingly impatient. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load, we get visibly frustrated. If our social media post isn’t performing within a few hours, we get annoyed. We want results as quickly as possible and we are so used to getting them that patience has paid the price. People often ask us ‘Why does SEO take so long?‘ and the best answer we can provide to them is that the more patience you have the better!
Does SEO Work Anymore?
A lot of people wonder about what really is SEO and does it even work? The short answer is a resounding yes. SEO continues to be a hugely important aspect of any digital marketing and branding plan. While SEO has gotten increasingly more difficult, with more and more businesses investing in this strategy and Google’s algorithm becoming pickier everyday, it’s still a crucial tool for most businesses. If anyone tells you that SEO doesn’t work anymore they don’t really understand how it works. Working to obtain search rankings in Google should be top of mind for any business, regardless of industry.
How Long Does it Take for SEO to Show Results?
It’s extremely difficult to predict when Google will begin to index your content as one of the top search engine results. There’s an enormous variety of factors that come into play which effect how long it takes for SEO to work. While there’s an almost never-ending list of important things to consider, below we’ve complied some of the most influential elements which effect how quickly SEO works.
- Longevity of Website:How long has it been live on the internet?
- Competition of Desired Keyword: How big are the websites currently ranking for what you want?
- Website Function: Is your website functioning at top performance according to Google when it comes to things like page speed?
- On Page Optimization: How well has the page in which you assigned a keyword been optimized for that keyword
- Backlink Profile: How many high authority links are currently pointing to your website?
Taking all the above into consideration plus a variety of other factors, you can see that trying to predict when SEO is going to start producing results is a very tough thing to do.
As a general rule of thumb, you should wait an absolute minimum of 3 months to start seeing some new rankings that produce organic traffic. That being said you should wait 6 months or more before judging the effectiveness of a campaign.
Content Marketing: The Engine of SEO
Whether you are a small business, a global enterprise, or a self-employed blogger, if you’ve experimented with digital marketing odds are that you’ve dabbled in a bit of content marketing. We could go on for hours about the importance of content marketing in our modern world, but in a nut shell the idea is creating content with the intention of getting readers to visit your website. There are a countless number of strategies in doing this and within the digital marketing world ‘WRITE GOOD CONTENT‘ gets repeated over and over as the secret formula to success. What most people don’t talk about is that even if you have the literary prowess of Hemingway, without a solid content distribution strategy and the patience to see out a campaign, you may find yourself quickly dismissing the idea of content marketing altogether.
SEO Content vs Traffic Content
In our eyes there are two primary category buckets for content. One type is what we would call ‘traffic content’ where the primary goal is short-term traffic. This is the type of content that gets shared on social media, it’s usually not a direct call to action or a sales pitch for a business, but something interesting that slightly relates to the industry as a whole. The objective of traffic content can be viewed more as short-term as the purpose is to get as many people to read it as possible as soon as it gets published. The other category of content that requires a bit more patience is what’s referred to as SEO content. This is where you do research to determine a keyword or phrase that would be useful to rank for in a Google search result. Then you write an article optimized for this keyword in hopes that one day it will show up on the first page, bring you in qualified traffic, grow your business, and make you millions of dollars. The most important part of this last sentence is the words ‘one day’ because there’s no easy way to tell how long it will take SEO to work. There’s such a web of variables, from competition to quality of your content, you must be willing to see out a campaign if you want to invest in this type of strategy.
Being Patient with SEO Content
The SEO industry has come a long way over the last decade. It’s evolved from a game where cheat codes can help you win, to a game requiring long-term tactics and skills. While the days of gaming Google to get your content ranking quickly are long gone, there’s still a lot of value in playing by the rules for long term wins. All too often small businesses dismiss the idea that achieving rankings for valuable keywords and phrases is too difficult and takes too much time, all the while fruitlessly spending their marketing budget on social media and paid online advertising. The problem with this philosophy is that while paid ads and more likes on Facebook might seem like progress in the short term, sprinkling the internet with quality content aimed at long term rankings can provide exponentially more value in the end.
Google isn’t going anywhere and it’s still the most common way that people obtain information on the Internet. Rather than trying to trick users with click-bait content, taking the time to create a well-organized piece of information that is formatted and edited well, with quality images to make it more appealing, is much more appreciated by the online community. Rather than spamming the Internet with 20 blogs a month all repeating the same information in hopes that you will generate a few clicks, be patient. Spend a week writing something good. Watch how that content performs. Add to the article, re-publish it and build on it over time. Develop a distribution strategy to get it in front of people who actually care. And most importantly of all, be patient with results.