Success in organic search marketing does not happen overnight. In fact, you will see many peeks and valley along your way within SEO. When I speak with current and potential clients, I receive the question on how long it will take to reflect in Google the SEO strategy which is a fair question. Sometimes clients ask how long it will take to rank in Google after fixing technical issues. Other times the concern is how long it will take for SEO to work. It’s tough to answer these common questions due to many factors, but I like to say that somewhere between months three and six is where success begins to appear with a proper approach.
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Set Yourself up for Reality
My website, TM Blast, has been around for a few years now. I’ve built up natural backlinks along the way along with perfecting my organic knowledge. If you have a new website or your SEO skills are elementary, you should expect your results to take more time when your competition has been around for years. The hardest thing for me is to wait when it comes to search engine optimization, but it’s the nature of being aware that something published today will not rank tomorrow. There are case studies of people like Brian Dean from Backlinko who can publish a post in one day and have it rank on page one in Google, but his site is authoritative and established.
Research Topics to Cover
Did you know that on average, Google sees ‘s about 10-15% new queries each day? That means a root term like “financial advisor” can have new words to go after for your SEO strategy at any given time. A case and point example of this pertains to President Trump’s new tax plan. With all of the new rules around the tax cuts, people rely on Google and Bing for answers to queries. By having your site stay up to date on topics to cover, you allow yourself to drive evergreen traffic to your website.
Another thing to think about is how people search today and how you will serve them. With the rise of voice search, you should consider adding long-form questions and answers to your site. Google Assistant, Cortana, and Alexa all use site’s that ask questions and provide answers to serve their audience. Voice search yields a longer query when you compare it to traditional type search, so this is an opportunity to work on.
Publish + Re- Edit Content
One way to grow your organic potential is to add more content to the original post. The truth is search topics consistently change like the tax plan example I mentioned above. Updating old content to make it more relevant and useful for people to know about is a fantastic strategy to drive more traffic.
For example, I wrote a blog post about Bing Rewards in 2016. In 2017, Bing Rewards became Microsoft Rewards, so I went back to edit the content to explain the change to my audience. Recently, Microsoft Rewards made a change to Xbox one accounts, so I will go into the content again to update this new change.
Fetch as Google Bot and Bing
One way to expedite Google and Bing’s crawl pattern of a page is to fetch as their bot. Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools allow webmasters to ask the search bots to crawl a page. Everytime you publish a page, you should fetch as Google and Bing to speed up your organic rank potential.
Document All Work, Successes, and Failures
SEO is the long game that will take months to witness substantial movement. Educating your boss and or client about this channel is critical to having success and having people have confidence in your approach. My suggestion to help show your worth is to document all optimizations you perform for any piece of content. Leaving a paper trail allows you to show your work to others along with giving you the insight into what is working and why. I use OneNote for documenting all work with screenshots, but there are plenty of free tools that are ideal for this type of note-taking.
It’s valuable to document the failures when you are in SEO too. Sometimes a strategy that you want to implement does not work out, so it’s best to record that within OneNote so you can what the issue was. The problem with the organic channel is that there are too many factors into why a strategy does not work out. For example, you may implement a plan one week and then a week later Google releases a major algorithm update that hurts your site. Maybe it was Google’s update or your optimization, but your traffic is down and you have to react. Notes around failures can give you the perspective if you could attempt this strategy at a time in the future if the results were hard to read.
Example of Success
This picture above is similar to the image at the start of this blog post. Instead of weeks, I have this view as months within Google Analytics. A series of optimizations took place during the months where no growth was present. When the organic traffic began to climb, I was able to look back and see some the work that I performed to get me where I am today.
How long it will take to reflect on Google your SEO is tough to answer. Competition, your domain strength, keywords, the links you own, Google Updates, and more play contributing factors SEO. Google moving towards a mobile-first index in 2018 and beyond makes things more difficult to predict. My main takeaway from practicing SEO for years is that patience and trust in your work will pay off. A proper plan that tackles both technical and on page factors is a formula for success. If search engine optimization is a key to your digital marketing, you should go into it with the expectation that this will pay off down the road.