As a person who blogs about SEO, I get tons of questions regarding the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This section is dedicated to answering some of the questions I get more frequently.
Q: How long will it take to see SEO-related results?
A: This is probably the most common question and also the most dicey to answer. Truth is, no SEO can really make a guarantee about how long it will take for you to see desired results. Why is that? Simply stated, nobody but the search engines knows exactly what goes into the ranking algorithms.
You’ll find that the best SEO’s are like good financial analysts – able to make accurate predictions based on diligent research, analysis of trends, and thorough examination of all relevant factors.
If the SEO strategy is implemented correctly, I’d say you may see some returns within 3-6 months, but most SEO timelines are open-ended. Why would the campaign be open-ended? Well, consider the fact that millions of new sites are created daily and that your competition never sleeps. Therefore, the best answer I can give regarding SEO timing expectations is that it takes as long as it takes.
Q: How do I measure SEO success?
A: One of the biggest faults of many SEO firms is the inability to convey success metrics to clients by means of hard data – simply expecting a client to rely on their word for it.
Luckily this is one of the easiest things to cure! There are many ways to measure the success in SEO, but the key is establishing baselines for future comparisons. Once you establish baselines, you’ll be able to measure increases and decreases in:
- Website Traffic
- Search Engine Rankings
- Leads / Conversions / Sales
Q: Why should I spend more money on SEO?
A: Now I’m not here to tell you that you absolutely have to spend more or less money on an SEO campaign. In fact, many people pay very little for SEO and get good results. However, these people are generally the exception and not the rule (i.e. you get what you pay for).
A good way to decide an SEO budget should be to first measure your expectations. If your expectations are too high, then don’t expect your desired level of success with a minuscule budget. Understanding what is realistic while tempering and balancing your expected returns is key.
The best way to think about it is, an SEO campaign is literally what you put into it. If you put in a lot of time and effort, chances are you’ll reach your desired level of success. If you don’t put in the effort (no matter how much you pay), you’ll probably fall short of your expectations.
This brings me to the next question.
Q: Is SEO something I can do on my own?
A: A resounding yes! SEO is absolutely something you can do on your own. If you don’t have money to pay an SEO firm (which is most of us these days) – you are in luck because there really isn’t an SEO secret out there that you can’t already find out!
Here is the issue. Many people who want to utilize SEO are business owners who are preoccupied with running their respective businesses – leaving little time to execute on the necessary short and long-term tactics that every good SEO campaign needs to succeed.
Therefore, (in most cases) hiring an SEO agency or independent SEO strategist is necessary. SEO agencies and strategists simply have more time to take care of the day-to-day details, and typically have more knowledge on the subject which allows them to implement Search Engine Optimization techniques more effectively. They aren’t trying to learn as they go. Instead, they typically rely on the tried and true tactics from the start – which makes them more effective in the end.
Q: How do I know if my SEO company is qualified?
A: This question is the bane of every good SEO’s existence! There are so many scammers and/or people who claim to offer “SEO Services” out there that it really gives quality SEO’s a bad name.
There is a lot of well-founded skepticism related to the SEO industry, often making the it difficult to decipher if an SEO vendor is qualified or not. Lucky for you, I’ve come up with a list of questions to ask that should shed light on their credentials.
Q: When can I stop doing SEO?
A: Truth be told, you can stop doing your SEO any time you want. However, just because you stop doesn’t mean your competitors will – meaning that #1 ranking today may be topped next week by your competition. With SEO, there’s always something that can be done. Therefore, it could theoretically go on forever.
My advice? SEO is what you put into it. Put in a lot of effort and you’re likely to have good results, a little effort and you’re likely to get about what you put into it.
Want to hit it and quit it (i.e. the tortoise and the hare approach)? It’s good to get as much optimization as you can done quickly, but if you let it set afterwards then what’s the point – can’t ride those coat-tails forever. The best approach is often one of patience, doing a little bit each day. Remember, after a while a little bit adds up to a lot – i.e. slow and steady wins the race!
Do you have an SEO question? Ask Me!