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So, all done with your first round of website optimization with SEO-friendly keywords and yet sales don’t seem to trickle in? Eager to know when your hard work will pay off and attract a regular flow of traffic to your website? Do these thoughts come across as familiar to you? If so, then you are not alone who has fallen into the irresistible trap of eyeing SEO as a quick means to drive sales! Budget-constrained businesses too are prone to this temptation of investing in SEO in the hope of bagging immediate returns. Not only is this aspiration unrealistic and short-sighted but it is also quite a dangerous proposition to deal with, once a business gets started with its SEO efforts. While one may be plain lucky and hit a jackpot in the first 2-3 months itself, the reality is often otherwise as search engines take time to rank websites, having to scour billions of them periodically in order to index their text, assess their content’s relevancy and deliver results. Underestimating the amount of time and money that is required to generate outcomes can lead to severe budget shortfalls and cause you to let go of your SEO efforts prematurely. So, it is important that you analyse the various aspects that govern how soon your SEO will deliver results and plan your SEO endeavour well to avoid any disappointment at a later stage.
Time is money
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is no magic wand that will generate overnight sales. While it is indeed an effective marketing strategy, SEO is not for you if you are looking for quick hits and immediate profits. Neither is it only about financial expenditures. SEO demands patience and long-term investment. Apart from the monetary essentials, time is the other important investment that you as an entrepreneur or a business owner have to be prepared for to allow your website adequate time to build trust with leading search engines such as Google or Bing. Typically, it can take anything between 4 – 12 months for one to see traction depending upon a host of other factors that come into play while experimenting with SEO.
Factors that drive faster outcomes post SEO initiation
Effective SEO strategy:
Simply put, the motto of any SEO exercise is to divert organic traffic to your website in a sensible and focused manner. The aim is to reach out to prospects with a genuine need for your products or services. After all, you surely don’t want a bunch of visitors searching for ‘salon services’ and landing up on your website in order to avail skin care packages when your salon is primarily offering hair-related service! Another important factor worth remembering is the excessive usage of high-traffic keywords in your website content. Keyword stuffing can actually lower your website’s ranking with high possibility of search engines blocking it as a spam site.
One of the archaic ways to look at SEO is to explore the ‘most searched for’ words or catchphrases with the intent of attracting voluminous traffic. One must bear in mind though that search engines have complex algorithms that are dynamic and subject to sporadic modification. With the advent of new – age tools such as Siri and Google, increasingly information seekers are relying upon voice-based elaborate natural language searches unlike the erstwhile rudimentary approach of typing specific words to source information. Thus, the frequently used generic keywords that reaped significant results a year ago might not even be relevant today! So, if you are planning to target a specific demographic rather than the broad group of searchers out there, then exploit expressive natural language searches such as “Which refrigerator is the most energy-efficient and has ample space for small families?” instead of “best energy-efficient refrigerators”. Not only are such long-tail phrases less competitive but they are also easier to rank for and will help you reach out to your leads faster.
Maturity of your website and its domain:
“Slow and steady wins the race.” Indeed, this age-old adage holds true for your website too! If your website is relatively new and enriched with freshly created content, then search engines may take a while (usually ranging between 6-9 months) to trust your website and its text. Another aspect to this is the tenure and the past history of your domain name. Purchasing an already optimized domain with an established reputation is a smart technique to boost your website rankings. However, caution should be exercised when you buy one.
If you recently acquired a domain name with a previous record of SEO malpractices, then you might be at a disadvantage due to its one-time tarnished reputation. Your website also runs the risk of being blacklisted by search engines due to the negative SEO techniques employed in the past. According to a new patent application from Microsoft, a website’s ranking is also influenced by the maturity of its contributing domains (whether the linking domains are trusted ones or relatively unknown) – an interesting facet that may come handy when you flaunt associated links on your website.
Content is the king:
Whether you are a small or a mid-sized business, meaningful and engaging content is non-negotiable for good ROI and long-lasting interest of your qualified leads. Even if you have harnessed all the technical aspects of SEO, your website stands a poor chance of making it to the top pages quickly or reaching there at all unless your website incorporates high-quality content – vital for effective lead generation and successful conversion. Ensure that your website is periodically updated with fresh, accurate and interesting content to enhance its credibility and mass appeal. Get to know your audience, what interests or detracts them. Utilize this knowledge to keep your visitors hooked on to your website with interactive interfaces, compelling blogs, FAQs and thought-provoking discussions. Lastly, market your content well and leverage action-oriented call-outs strategically to convert casual interest into serious business. You will surely see your SEO efforts triggering sales faster than what your well-wishers might have prepped you for