How long before Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Increases Your Site’s Ranking?

It seems there’s one comment most SEO experts have in common:

“SEO takes a long time before you’ll see success”

I guess either I have a different understanding of “success” or “a long time”. A good portion of my clients have seen noticeable increase in search terms after just 4-6 months. Maybe that’s “a long time” to many folks, but I suspect those people are the ones that desperately fell for the ‘get rich overnight’ by buying my secret tip and gaming the system while it exists’ scam. Our clients don’t think a six month time period is “long”…most are thrilled to start seeing results since they’ve had their site for years and have never seen it move upward much at all.

So, maybe I have a different idea of ranking “success”? I wouldn’t think so, but agree that I don’t feel the #1 spot is required to be successful, just in the top five on the first page for a range of highly searched terms. Of course, longer tail words should definitely be in the top three. I have one client that I struggle to make sure is never the top link, as they sell rugged portable desktop computers, not laptops. When they end up as the #1 link on “rugged portable computer”, we can get too many clicks, followed by bounces, so the ranking falls too far, too quick. This is a case where making sure the description and the page title clearly show “no laptop found here”. That’s helped to keep it on the front page, but mostly attract traffic that converts…or at least stays and reads a few pages.

So, can you get success in an even shorter time period? Of course, if you focus on words that nobody really searches on. 🙂

But, you can actually get high rankings quicker if your product or services falls into the ‘seasonal sales’ category. One of our clients has a seasonal business and we’ve found interesting results when planning and executing new product line launches to “go live” along with targetted SEO campaigns…again just employing the basics (see Top SEO Tips: The Blocking and Tackling of Internet Marketing).

What helps seasonal sites is also very relevant to all our clients: a few years ago some search engines began inflating a page’s quality score, or ranking score, due to “freshness”, such that new content and new links carry a little more weight for a short time period (usually one to two weeks). We have seen quick ranking (just over a month) by coordinating the site content with the link building efforts and rolling live content continuously throughout the seasonal period.

Again, we try to stress to our clients that one of the most important SEO techniques they can employ is to ADD CONTENT and ADD LINKS. If you make an effort to add a new page twice a month, you’ll be constantly getting the freshness boost, though not on all your targetted words of course. (You do have a list of high search frequency word phrases that are important to you, don’t you?)

By the way, this seasonal client saw a 400% increase in overall site revenue from organic traffic over the last seasonal period, in a poor economy.

Of course, your results will likely vary. 🙂 There are always tough challenges in very competitive areas (example: “Make money at home with Google”), but we’ve generally been able to find some profitable keyword ‘niche’ that convinces clients to invest in the tough areas as well. You can be successful in the short term by following basic ‘Best Practices’ and starting with a realistic keyword list plus ranking expectations that match.

Or, you can find an expert you trust to do it for you. Either way, it should be like checking and changing the oil in your automobile. You need to do it or your ride will die one day. Just don’t fall for the secret gas filler product that will double your mileage…


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