Waiting For SEO

Occasionally, I have a local client who doesn’t understand why he can’t just hire me and have his rankings immediately at the top of a search results page as soon as my work is completed.

It ain’t that easy.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is not like paying for a print ad and choosing where you want it to appear in a publication. Nor is it like paying for a digital ad that shows up alongside organic searches.

There are many factors that affect search rankings. Yes, content written specifically with search algorithms in mind is a huge help. But once the content is up and loaded, the search engines have to find it. Usually, that happens quickly, but not always. It’s called getting “indexed.”

Once your new page is “indexed,” it begins competing with other pages that may have similar optimization work. Depending on how well your competitors have optimized their content, your ranking will find its proper place. Usually, for local clients this is less of a problem, as most local businesses don’t pay that much attention to SEO.

Then there are other things that the search engines take into account. How many links does your site have coming from directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.? How many times are folks posting about your site on Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, etc.

Search engines are also interested in other incoming links like from trade associations, dealer sites, consumer articles, blogs, etc.

Often with local clients, I see near-immediate improvements as local search simply isn’t as competitive as a national search. But sometimes even local SEO can take awhile. I had one local client who started out around #50 for his primary keywords, after about three months the company went to #15, and by six months was either #1 or #2 consistently and has stayed there for years.

So assuming you hired someone who knows what they’re doing, do be patient. While waiting you can work on getting some of those directory listings and fleshing them out with content.

Easy Web Tip 215: Be prepared to wait for the results of a search engine optimization effort.

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