Why does SEO take so long and cost so much?
It’s common for people to assume that SEO is an overnight success. However, this is far from the truth. A successful SEO campaign takes time and effort. But why does SEO take so long to work? Why is it expensive? We answer these questions in this article.
1. SEO is a complex maze
Several factors determine your SERPs ranking. And interestingly, they keep changing from time to time. Google has over 200 ranking factors that need optimizing. Some of the most common include:
Quality and unique content
You need to publish content with valuable information for your audience. Otherwise, you’ll have a high bounce rate further hurting your search engine ranking. Your content needs to have the right keyword density and do not overlook its freshness.
Your content needs to have the right keyword density and do not overlook its freshness.
Website responsiveness ensures readers on a mobile device can easily go through your website. That said, content between desktop and mobile should be identical.
Your website’s user experience (UX) also has a crucial impact on SEO. This is the design and content hierarchy of your website. If it has an unattractive design, few people will engage with it and vice versa.
Since 2018, Google has been using page speed as a ranking factor. The higher the loading speed, the more revenue and visitors you’ll get.
Others include internal and external links, on-page SEO, and more.
2. It is a long-term strategy
SEO is not an overnight exercise. Rather, it is a long-term task taking anywhere from six to 12 months or more, depending on your industry. You’ll need a robust framework to support the gains after the completion of the campaign.
Companies claiming to offer results massive results in one to two months are there to fleece you of your money. Optimizing your website will take time and dedication. For example, it might take search engines a week to index your site. Ranking for Google’s first page will even take longer.
Changes in consumer behavior also evolve, meaning SEO companies keep tweaking their tactics to ensure your site remains visible. Likewise, competition is dynamic since competitors keep improving their content and websites. As such, you’ll constantly create fresh content that better answers your audience’s queries.
Changes in consumer behavior also evolve, meaning SEO companies keep tweaking their tactics to ensure your site remains visible.
3. It requires expertise
When working with an established SEO company, you are leveraging on their decades of experience. SEO is one of the most complex digital marketing landscapes that most people shy away from. This means the few that make it through charge a premium for their services.
And if you opt to go for a cheaper option, you are more likely to get half-baked results. As mentioned, SEO is a long-term strategy requiring a team of dedicated experts. To get desired results, you’ll need to have a budget in mind.
4. It requires work and maintenance
To achieve SEO success, a lot of legwork goes into play. Gradually improving your website takes months or more of work. Most campaigns are top-heavy meaning they require a lot of effort and time in the beginning. After this, strategic maintenance comes into play to keep results running.
Some of the work includes:
Before an SEO company can recommend ways to improve your website, they’ll have to run a site audit. This helps the company gauge how search engine-friendly your site is. As such, they’ll identify issues that prevent your site from ranking high. Auditing involves elements such as:
- Site health: The audit assesses your site’s usability and architecture. It will involve auditing external links, internal links, site structure, page titles, and others. Here, tools such as Google Analytics are used.
- Site security: It gauges how secure your site is. This prevents compromising of users’ sensitive data.
- Content and SEO: The audit helps you understand the performance of your website’s content. This allows the SEO expert to fix duplicate content, broken links, incorrect anchor text, and other issues.
- Links: The SEO company will also audit inbound links removing those hurting your website. This process is labor-intensive and requires the input of an expert.
To run a successful SEO campaign, you need to rank for the right keywords. It takes effort and time to identify the right keywords for your business. Keep in mind each page of your website will require new keywords.
Improving website backend
A website’s backend also plays a crucial role in ranking. If your code is poor, then you’ll miss out on visitors and revenue. You’ll rank poorly on search engines since crawlers cannot index your pages. An SEO company can therefore improve your code and loading speed and make the site responsive.
5. Impact of your domain age
Domain age is basically the longevity of the root URL. It affects how long you’ll achieve your SEO goals. Ideally, it is easier to rank for keywords on an older domain name compared to a new one. The older the URL, the more credible the site appears to search engines.
Ideally, it is easier to rank for keywords on an older domain name compared to a new one. The older the URL, the more credible the site appears to search engines.
So how do search engine crawlers dictate the age of a domain?
- They can use the WHOIS register
- Identifying when search engines first crawled the website
- Identifying when the first link to the website was discovered
Setting realistic SEO goals
Now that you know what makes SEO relatively expensive and time-consuming, let’s look at how you can set realistic and practical goals.
- Keep in mind it is a long-term strategy: Expecting SEO to be a long-term game will allow you to set actionable goals you can achieve with the help of an SEO company.
- Expect it to cost you money: As mentioned, SEO can be expensive since you are investing in expertise. The best part, you’ll benefit from a compounding return.
- Expect to re-evaluate your goals: Since SEO is dynamic; you cannot rely on one plan. Rather, you’ll need to change it as time goes.
As you see, a lot of effort and time goes into ensuring a successful SEO campaign. SEO companies employ some of the best tactics to see your website rank high. As such, you should approach SEO with patience and be ready to invest in it.
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