Why does SEO take so long?

Wednesday 19th October 2022

Search Engine Optimisation became a 'thing' about 2 decades ago, as the internet became an integral part of the marketing mix. Yet plenty of busy companies still don't understand the process or the value. Let me explain more.


The Importance of SEO

Your customer uses the internet. They search for things.

If using Google, they are often presented with a bunch of options including website links, images, shopping ads, text adverts, and videos.

Studes show they will probably click a few of these options, maybe going to the second page (or scrolling on a mobile), before changing their search term.

You need to be one or more of those options.

Great SEO ensures you are one of those options.


Why does SEO take so long?

Whilst adverts can be bought (Google Ads on search results pages, banner adverts on website pages), 'organic SEO results' need to be earned.

The organic results include the text website links, images, videos (and sometimes shopping ads) mentioned above.

So why does it take so long? Because it's a competition.

Thankfully there are billions of words and phrases that can be targeted, and be listed against those searches is in your control.

That is - you can improve your website's content, wider reputation and technical aspects (or hire an SEO expert to do so).


What's delaying your SEO success? Website Capability

Not all website platforms are considered SEO friendly.

WordPress and Wix are good site builder platforms but are not inherently search engine friendly. Sure WordPress has a host of third party plugins that can help improve things - but which ones are good, and which ones slow your website down?

Wix offers a basic set of SEO tools (page tieles, descriptions etc) but you are relying entirely on their codebase to see if your website is a) technically accessible and b) fast and reliable.

Following an SEO Audit, your optimisation expert may request changes that are simply not possible on your platform. Perhaps you are already one step behind your competition who can make those changes?

Perhaps your expert suggests that you change web hosting provider for improved speed and security, but your designer deems that too time consuming.


What's delaying your SEO success? Your Website Content

If your website does not openly talk about what you do - and in detail - how do you expect the Google or Bing search engines to offer you to their customers?

Too often I have seen home page paragraphs like this....which essentially say nothing:

"We have a dedicated team of experts. We support businesses of all sizes including SMEs, startups and microbusinesses."

Sorry - what is it you actually DO?

Don't be generic, and don't be lazy. The most successful sites on the internet are Amazon and Wikipedia which each have 15million+ pages. You don't have to go that far, but you do have to go into more detail. 

Don't worry - I can guide you in the right direction with a content plan (and even content writing) after a detailed Online Performance Report.


What's delaying your SEO Success? Your Competition

If you are a plumbing services company, and your competitor writes 10 pages on the 10 boiler types he handles, and you write just 1 - who do you think Google will prefer as a high ranking option?

Not you.

Whatever you publish on your website, you are up always up against your rivals - 'competing' for Google's trust in your relevance for that particular search phrase.

So your website needs to be faster, more detailed and more technically accessible than your competition. If lots of other sites link to you - all the better - as Google sees that as a trust signal too. Think business directories, to local new articles, to partner companies and blogs.

So your website and the SEO expert is in a constant flux of assessing and outdoing the competition, whilst the competition do the same to you.

It may sound like a lot of work - a mountain to climb - but that is why SEO and digital marketing experts often work on monthly retainer contracts - to manage the workload.


Is SEO even worth all of this work?

It's a fair question to ask.

If you think your customers use the web to find companies like yours, then yes.

If you think that 6 months hard work aimed at increasing your website traffic by 100% is worth it, then yes.

web traffic increases 100%


If you think that you'd rather increase web traffic by nearly 3,000%, then yes.


SEO increases web traffic by 3000%


Consider your SEO to conversion metrics

Any client with a brain will consider what they are spending versus what they are earning. 

To properly evaluate whether a monthly SEO Retainer Agreement or some fixed SEO services are worth the investment, you will need to undedtand what you are already earning for your current website traffic, and what you could earn. For example:

  • Current traffic: 200/mth
  • Current Enquiries: 5/mth
  • Revenue @ £500 per enquiry: £2,500
  • SEO driven traffic: 1000/mth
  • SEO driven Enquiries: 25/mth
  • Revenue @ £500/enquiry: £12,500

Of course, your metrics will be different, plus there will be additional phone generated enquiries or sales because of your increased brand.

SEO is now an established part of the marketing mix, used by multinational corporations and small high street ecommerce stores, and domestic services like the polumbers we mentioned before. If you can hire the right blend of experience and ideas, you could also see your business grow through SEO.