Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Understanding & Explaining A Realistic SEO Timeline

How long should it take to see results from SEO? Columnist Stephan Spencer says there is no simple answer to this question, but explains some of the factors that can affect a timeline of SEO.

It is the site is in deep water in search engines? Maybe you were hit with a penalty manual. Maybe the competition is simply outperforming and sales. Maybe you're a consultant or SEO in the house that has been assigned a difficult case....

For site owners or directors of marketing, it is often difficult to understand why your ranking or conversion rates are not improving - are perhaps even decline - after the application of huge site changes the advice of your physician SEO. If you are the SEO in that situation, you may have a hard time explaining exactly why you cannot just "faster SEO."

Now, it may be that your strategy is not working; However, it is more likely to simply be a disconnect between the SEO practitioner and the rest of the team about the nature of a "timeline SEO realistic." 
How to solve the lack of information?

Here are some ideas that are great to start the discussion:
SEO is site fitness

Optimize Worldwide Matt Morgan wrote a great article in May comparing SEO for taking antibiotics. While this is a good analogy, do not tell the whole story.

SEO is about solving current problems as much as is preventive measures and continuous improvement. Once your "treatment" of SEO tasks in the short term this is done, your site should never stop practicing SEO.

Perhaps a better analogy would be to say that SEO works similar to an exercise routine manner. If you start skipping routine - or not do everything together - you will not achieve or maintain optimal results.

Of course, before starting a fitness routine, it is always important to check with your doctor, who will make recommendations on what to do possible without damaging your body. This is the first job of SEO: looking at your site to diagnose what problems are going on, and provide guidance on how you can build a strong, reputable authority and rankings over time.

Go too fast and expect extreme results often end up leading to a sort of "over correction" that could damage the site more like an extreme diet may work in the short term, but in the end it will return to starting point - or worse, damage to your body.

SEO is complex and requires long-term thinking

a lot of the technical side of SEO is the solution of problems. The fact is, it is not always obvious why your rankings are fluctuating. For example, is it possible that SEO tactics used in the past is now being recognized as spam, which means that its value has decreased in the Google ranking algorithm? That could lead to a huge drop in the rankings, and the efforts of an SEO consultant have been doing, slow positive progress can be hidden or blame for this.

It is important to understand that there are many variables that go on with your SEO. The consultant or local SEO is working with all the SEO, design, code, etc., decisions made in the past over the recent past, present and future. That is why it is very important to begin a relationship with SEO site audit. This will uncover problems not normally show up on your radar screen and expose the damage that may be doing to your site.

Once you have a solid base, develop an action plan to further strengthen the reputation of your site and scope. Sometimes, when determining a site of some great dirty game, you'll see worse before improving long-term and stable.

For example, in a recent conversation with the consultant forensic SEO Alan Bleiweiss, I described a case with one of his clients, illustrating the need to look long term SEO projects.

Alan told me:

      I did the audit in January 2013, and the customer began implementing changes immediately. Organic traffic continued to fall until July 2013, and only began to slowly back out at that point. As you can see, from that time, there was a decline, rise, decline bump up process several times until finally, a year later, he is breaking.

      This site was a combination of issues through various algorithms, most of the panda. That's actually harder - Panda has continued over the past two years to get most strict, with some "flexibility" lying in the road. That makes it very difficult for a site to achieve sustainability.

      Another important consideration is that the work cannot be done once and left. These sites need constant pressure applied strongest signal quality on-site and brand authority and strengthen confidence.

You can see in the graph of web traffic that this site really big changes, with the added complication of Google algorithm changes, actually caused organic traffic to fall by a significant period of time is required.

However, by taking the long view, be patient, and doing all the right things to create sustainable success of SEO, traffic has recovered and actually surpassed previous levels. Alan had prepared the client by the fact that this may probably be the case, he and members of internal teams responsible for SEO might well have faced some very difficult discussions with the management team.

SEO requires a joint effort

there are a variety of factors that influence the success of SEO - and many depend on cooperation from other teams or departments.

With older clients, we are often looking tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands, or millions) of web pages and large, sometimes geographically distributed teams to work. There is also the bureaucracy of getting approved and enacted changes. Much time can be spent waiting in the wings in obtaining approval, deciding preferred courses of action, or just get the job queue SEO site development.

That is why the cooperation of other teams - especially the IT department and the team of social media - is crucial to the success of SEO. The SEO management is not just a bunch of keywords, but a movement for the address of your site. Do not underestimate the amount of work that is done, especially when taken in the time necessary to achieve the acceptance of these other departments or executives.

Time is often a gamble

one tactic effective SEO used to be the placement of 50 new pieces of blog content and promoting the heck out of them with the hope that a small number would be seen by many people, and perhaps gain social actions and link authority for the site.

The thing is that virality is incredibly difficult to predict, even by experts. Often it comes to placing content in the right place at the right time; however, this timing can happen at any time.

You can make an effort to predict what content your audience will want to use seasonality (related to basketball during March Madness content, etc.), drawing a current event (this is complicated, because if it becomes too late, is something the past), or simply trying to put awesome content and ideas that people want to share, and hope it touches a chord.
ROI Gets Complicated

Google Algorithm Hummingbird and loss of reference data keyword ("not always") have made things a heck of a lot harder for SEOs in order to measure the exact ROI of their actions.

It is no longer an option to measure the exact amount of traffic a unique keyword is receiving. Moreover, Hummingbird does what he cannot always control directly the variations of a word that your site to rank for. Sometimes this can even lead the irrelevant traffic for your site.

Instead, look KPIs that add more value to their overall objectives. Is the ultimate goal of your SEO press review for more positive line? Is to facilitate brand loyalty? Is it to improve conversion rates? What indicators have value is ultimately determined by its specific business objectives; useful information for a site can be completely useless for another.

A metric I always recommend is "performing tasks" - this leads to the center of understanding why people use your site, which helps inform strategies to increase conversions. This methodology recognizes that not everyone will come to your site to buy - not just the way it works. Instead, he asks: "Is it complete visitor (s) set out to do on the site?"

For example, some users will use the site to investigate a kind of product of interest at a later purchase on the path. To help you get the best possible experience, have a large system with clear and clean subjective ratings that you keep spam free, and use background, original content for your product descriptions. You could even create a forum where users ask questions, then keep track of these questions and give content to the site pages answering them. Track the time a user spends on product page or pages that provide more in depth information about the product.

It may be useful to collect some data on completion rates tasks in Part audit your SEO plan. To do this, set a short survey asking only yes or no, as "Completed I wanted to get done?", "Are you satisfied with your visit?" Or even a brief multiple choice question that asks users if they are visiting for research, for entertainment, or to purchase. You can use this metric later to review the effectiveness of SEO plan on creating a better customer experience.
What that means when you're Recruitment / Working with an SEO

      Never trust an SEO professional who tells ensure a number # 1 in six months or less. Often, the benefits of a well-executed SEO strategy will not manifest for at least a year, especially when the web site is optimized has a lot of problems. The tactics that could get your ranking soar in the short term can turn against you in the long run.

      Ask me for a timeline of expectations at first, and then another timeline after the audit is performed.

      Find someone who, instead of focusing on the ranking, focusing on their business objectives. Instead of the rankings, seek growth in the KPI as organic traffic, sales, completed tasks, etc.

      as with your own personal fitness, it is often best to focus on small, achievable goals that are right in front of you. Doing so allows progress to occur, less inhibited by the constant worry of where you are in comparison to the mountain of work ahead. Instead of trying to succeed in SEO with one Herculean effort, you can create something great, measure their performance, and then create another starting point for further improvement.

      Ask them will not give the fastest results, but what will lead to results that can be sustained over time.

      Try a timeline that is segmented into actions: 2-4 weeks for a full site audit 1-2 months for technical changes, 2 months of renovation of contents, 3-4 months for acquisition efforts links etc.
      Have reports that clearly explain what is being done and how it will improve its global growth; downplay pure ranking metrics.

This article should not be seen as validating SEO done wrong-that do not show you the fastest results possible. There are some situations where great SEO can actually show very quick results - and eliminate hidden from hackers spam links, fixing trace or site architecture critical issues, or manual recovery penalty.

What you should take from this article is that before starting any SEO effort, you should take the time to assess the situation, plan short and long term strategies long, SEO approach as an ongoing process, and communicate the objectives and realistic for improving equipment and larger executive deadlines.

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