Often, we get asked by prospecting customers is ‘How long does it take to rank on the first page of Google?’ and sadly, the straightforward response which we always give our clients is that there is no reliable timeframe which works for everyone. There is no formula to follow in SEO; there are a million and one different strategies and new ones continually being discovered. If there were a formula in SEO, then everyone and the average Joe would be doing it. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to how long it takes to rank. Typical ranges are 3-12months depending on the competition etc. However, your mileage may vary depending on your budget, target keywords, target location & competition within your industry.
The thought in most customers’ minds is around the success of their SEO campaign ranking #1 in the search results for their target phrases. After this milestone has been reached, clients proceed to ask whether they actually have to continue SEO to maintain the benefits and for how long. We often encounter clients that have the perception that now that their website has been completely SEO optimised and they are ranking for their keywords that their company will proceed to rank whether or not they continue the SEO campaign.
Sadly, this is a common misconception surrounding SEO. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not a short-term strategy; rather, it needs long-term love and care. At Marketing One, once the client is satisfied with their #1 rankings on search engine like Google, Bing or YouTube, we offer discounted rates depending on the campaign in order to maintain the current positions. This also protects the client from any Google algorithm updates and provides wiggle room to pursue and extend their budgets for other digital marketing initiatives such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. As an agency that puts our clients first in all respects, our focus is on maintaining long-term partnerships to maximise our clients ROI, in particular with our SEO packages.
Easy! As you stop an SEO campaign, your target keywords will begin to fall, which will result in a decrease in search volumes to your website as well as brand visibility. Your search ranks won’t drop instantly, however, over time they will gradually fall from the 1st page to the 2nd and so on. Furthermore, if you stop and start an SEO campaign, the link building & content strategy from a holistic view will look unnatural, which can set off flags with Google. We need to maintain the link velocity and content marketing strategies in order to continue to improve upon the search results if they aren’t already in the 1st position.
As previously mentioned, Search Engine Optimisation is not like other pay-per-click advertising (PPC) strategies where you can play a game of stop and start depending on whether your business can accommodate the additional leads. If the aim of your business is to get a quick boost in sales & traffic, then PPC advertising or even social media marketing (SMM) is more suitable for you.
When creating ads for a PPC campaign, you assign a budget to the target search query. These search queries are then targeted to a precise demographic of your choosing to match your business goals. An additional benefit of pay-per-click advertising is most of the clicks are intent-drive. These customers are often already in hunt mode your service or product resulting in potentially higher conversion rates.
While Search Engine Optimisation conversely is a life-long strategy which involves gradual, routine maintenance on the on-page and off-page SEO of the website. Results for SEO strategies often are seen after a few months and an increased revenue around the 6-month stage of a campaign (your mileage may vary depending on your campaign complexity). If you’re patient and allow the SEO agency to put the time, effort and the research into the campaign and you reach that golden position on the first page of Google, it is essential to continue onwards with the SEO campaign and avoid dropping the momentum. The potential for your competitors to seize this opportunity and outrank the website and push you back into the position of being the prey and not the hunter is a very real possibility which we see all too often. Once the momentum has been lost, so too has your investment, time and resources, so it is essential to keep up your SEO efforts.
If SEO is done right, and there is an increase in searches and the goals of the campaign have been achieved, then you should be seeing a return on investment and SEO should be paying for greatly. If you’re struggling to see a positive ROI from your investment, we would recommend reaching out to us for your obligation free SEO analysis to identify any loopholes which could otherwise be improved upon.
There’s a variety of implications associated with stopping your SEO campaign, which can affect your overall digital presence, website as well as your brand’s visibility within the market.
First and foremost, your rankings and traffic volumes will gradually begin to drop, which can occur for a number of reasons:
It is well documented that google heavily rewards unique and relevant content that resolves the problems associated with their user’s search query. Websites which produce regular fresh content are known to dominate organic rankings. Google doesn’t necessarily favourite long-form text, as long as the user’s question is answered, you are likely to be rewarded.
Why is this? Simple, when a website regularly adds new content, search engine crawlers are sent to index that fresh new content you just uploaded. This grants you a higher chance of ranking within the search results. If you’re crafting unique content every month, this also provides a solid foundation for internal linking which can contribute to passing authority around your website.
Also, when you stop the content marketing component of any SEO strategy, there are a few other things that occur:
In summary, when you stop producing content, you’re essentially informing Google that your site no longer wishes to provide value to its users and of your inactive status. The subsequent downfall is that Google then will find a replacement for your business to provide the answers to its users which will result in a drop in your rankings.
Our content marketing specialists advise that while it all seems doom and gloomy, there are actually some things which you as a business owner can do to keep fresh content. This includes the rewriting of existing copy on the website with new keywords that are only recently being targeted, expanding on existing content in further detail and answering additional queries associated with the topic, improving the existing user experience (UX), adding frequently asked questions sections to address specific queries, implementation of schema data, improving upon internal and external linking strategies and lastly, updating of the data, facts and statics to ensure it remains relevant and topical.
Many successful companies which invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and competition research to ensure they remain that competitive advantage and hunter/prey mentality. The businesses with an aggressive edge over their competition continually adapt and stay ahead of the pact by monitoring the tactics and strategies adopted by their rivals.
Then, if you’ve ranked well for particular search phrases, you will discover that your competitors will look towards your market dominance to seek any potential opportunities that may assist them in developing new innovative strategies to help them outrank your business. If you cancel your SEO campaign, your competition will likely overtake you and gain potential new customers or that big new client which could set your business up to scale to the next level.
Google, as well as many other search search engines, update their algorithm all the time. Google being the market leader in providing accurate search data updates with their algorithm daily, some are just minor updates which have little effect on rankings. In contrast, major updates usually referred to as ‘core-updates’, can change how SEO is performed entirely, such as the Penguin & Panda updates. As these updates are rolled out those strategies which were implemented can be turned obsolete, resulting in a drop in search rankings. Therefore, without an SEO specialist and a strategy, you’re left vulnerable to the constant evolution of Google in their quest to generate more qualified, accurate data.
In the last decade, Google has been aggressively pursuing how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be applied to search engines in order to provide more accurate data to search queries. With this gradual transition, SEO specialists will have their work cut out for them in adapting their strategies to stay ahead of these algorithm updates. Also, with the rise of voice assistances becoming more and more prevalent in our day to day lives, we anticipate a drastic shift towards how the consumer gets their information. Approximately 40% of Australia’s have a voice assistant in their home, which represents a significant challenge for inexperienced SEO specialists or business owners looking to save money. It will be those who abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which will remain or become market leaders.
When you stop your SEO campaign, you halt the constant monitoring of potential website issues. For example, when something breaks on your website or an algorithm update is released, and you do not have the correct tools or experience to detect such breakages, you can potentially jeopardise your SEO efforts. SEO encompasses a wide variety of components of website development and digital marketing from website loading issues, optimisation of meta-titles & descriptions, link disavowment due to anti-competitive practices being done by your competition to sabotage your SEO efforts etc.
Technical or other on-page SEO issues can quickly accumulate which left unresolved can result in negative SEO performance and become challenging to resolve, especially if you’re a business owner fulfilling an SEO campaign on your own. When it comes to an understanding technical issues with SEO it is vital to stay updated with the latest developments and standards—for example, Google’s release of AMP, page loading times, mobile and user experience.
Our Head of SEO strongly advises to remain updated with technical SEO best practices and when they arise, address them as quickly as possible before Google has a chance to detect them to avoid any unnecessary costs in the future. Consequently, if you choose to push the technical component aside, your site will become slow, which will affect the user experience and bounce rate, resulting in a drop in search rankings and search volume. Google is usually quick swift in detecting these problems because it affects the experience of their users, so if ignored long enough, you may become redundant to Google which can have serious side effects to your business.
Hopefully, we have succeeded in presenting a clear argument against why you should not stop doing SEO and why you should double down on the campaign. Search Engine Optimisation can be the start of something incredible for your business which drives your brand visibility to new heights and generates organic leads with minimal input allowing you to scale your business as the market grows and develops.
Although SEO is a long-term strategy which needs time, experience, effort and patience, the overall work which is involved in crafting and updating content for your website as well as resolving the technical issues which come about all work to improve your bottom line.
If you require any assistance to help scale your business to the next level, our seasoned SEO team at Marketing One are here to help! Feel free to give us a call on 07 3186 8445 or shoot us an email at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on delivering above industry standard ROI’s and quality service. Our extensive experience within the industry allows us to service any business from a small pop shop to enterprises requiring an extension of their team to drive their digital marketing and SEO efforts.