Often when clients come to us for SEO work, we hear the same request:
“I want to rank on the first page.”
This is a seemingly simple request, but once you start to unravel it, it becomes very complicated. What keywords do you want to rank for? How many keywords do you want to rank for? How quickly do you want to rank? What marketing strategy will you use to support your SEO?
Most clients know that SEO is important, but they still don’t exactly know how it works. SEO is a notoriously confusing process that navigates constantly-changing algorithms, so it can be hard to pinpoint. There are a lot of misconceptions about SEO that we want to clear up, so you can be better prepared and know what to expect.
Expectation: You’ll Rank Overnight
Reality: Organic SEO Can Take Up to 6 Months
The most common misconception about SEO is how quickly it moves. Business owners often assume that because SEO yields fantastic results, that also means it moves quickly. The truth is that SEO is a slow build, and can take anywhere between 1-6 months before you see drastic results. It may be a slow build, but the good news is that, with regular work, SEO has enormous staying power once you’ve built up the authority.
Expectation: SEO is One-and-Done
Reality: SEO is Ongoing
Another expectation with SEO is that once you’ve hit the first page of results you don’t need to do anything else. SEO is very much a continuous process. You constantly need to research new keywords, add new content to your website, fix pages and adapt to changing search algorithms.
Expectation: Use As Many Keywords as Possible
Reality: Topics > Keywords
In the early days of Google, the ranking system was pretty rudimentary. The more a certain phrase (or keyword) appeared on a page, the more likely it was to come up in search results. Since then, Google has become more and more sophisticated. Shoving a keyword into every place you can (also known as keyword stuffing) won’t help you rank – and may actually get your site penalized by Google. Instead, focusing on topics (or long tail keywords) and following SEO best practice guidelines for writing is a much more sound strategy. A topic/long tail strategy focuses on more specific keywords used strategically – for example, instead of “digital marketing” as a keyword, you might use “inbound marketing in Minneapolis.”
Expectation: Ads Are Most Important for SEO
Reality: Blogs are Most Important for SEO
Online ads see such immediate results (and are also often the first thing visitors see on Google) that it’s easy to think ads are the most important element to SEO. The truth is, ongoing content has much more value for your SEO than ads do. Blogs are an easy and effective way to regularly update your website while also hitting those long tail keywords to focus in your ranking.
Now that you know what to expect from SEO, you can better set your own strategy and measure success.
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Find Out What To Do To Improve Your Rankings
Get your Free Buzz Report and use it to find out what needs to be changed on your website to improve your search engine rankings.
What you’ll get in this report:
- Speed, tag, description and image analysis
- Top keywords
- Social analysis
- Link analysis
- Domain analysis
- Tasks for your next steps
Need a new digital marketing or web design plan? We are a Minneapolis SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, web design and HubSpot inbound marketing agency. We’re located just outside of Minneapolis. Stop on by and get started – and while you’re here, pick up a free honey stick (yes, we love our bee-related theme).