Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same goes for SEO.
If you're expecting quick fixes and instant results, you might be mistaken.
SEO is a long-term game, and constant efforts are needed to show and maintain results.
In this article, we'll explore why SEO takes time, the benefits of using a long-term SEO strategy, practical tips for creating one, and real-life success stories of SEO in action.
Let’s dive in.
Why Does SEO Take So Long?
Here are the reasons why SEO is considered a long-term game:
SEO Takes a Long Time to Show Results
To answer this question, we ask SEO expert Sreeram Sharma about estimated times to rank a website.
He says, "No one can predict the time to rank a website. But if you’re just starting new, then it’s not possible to skyrocket your traffic in 2 or 3 months.
I usually work for 6 months on a website. It's a perfect time, not less, not more. If you implement a change in one or two months, you will start seeing its results within 4 months."
Ahrefs conducted a poll, showing that SEO typically takes approximately 3-6 months to show results.
There are various factors influence the timeline for seeing SEO results:
Google's crawlers take time to analyze websites to determine the best search results.
Domain authority is built on backlinks; building backlinks is not a one-day game.
Quality content for SEO demands extensive research, careful planning, and crafting engaging, valuable, and relevant information that resonates with the target audience and aligns with search engine algorithms.
Technical optimization such as improving site speed and user experience is a time-consuming process.
Your Competitors Are Using SEO
You’re not alone in this industry; your competitors are also investing in SEO.
This fierce competition will keep you bound to work on your SEO for the long term. To be competitive, analyze your competitors' content, backlinks, and keyword targeting to identify areas where you can improve.
Continuously adapt and refine your SEO efforts to maintain a competitive edge and ensure that your website remains relevant and visible to your target audience.
Developing and implementing strategies takes time, and search engines require time to recognize their impact.
Setting short-term expectations for results within one or two months may not allow your company to achieve its full potential.
SEO Is a Process of Building Trust and Authority
Providing valuable, relevant, and top-notch content demands your consistency and time.
Making valuable connections with influential people can be a time-consuming process, especially when you're seeking links from high-quality websites.
It takes time to show that your information is trustworthy and worth linking to.
So, be prepared to spend a lot of time reaching out to editors and bloggers before they are willing to link to your site.
Don't fall for unethical tactics promising instant results. Stay true to ethical practices and invest in your website's growth.
How to Set Yourself Up for Long-Term SEO Success
To achieve long-term SEO success, you need a solid strategy.
Consider these tips to stay on top of the SEO game.
Tailor Your Website to Consumer Needs
Understanding your audience is crucial for nailing your SEO game. Prioritize your audience and be aware of their interests and pain points.
Conduct audience research to tailor your website to their needs effectively.
Create High-Quality Content
High-quality content must be your priority for winning an SEO game.
You'll waste your whole SEO investment if you create low-quality content that doesn’t meet your audience's demands.
A tool like WriterZen can help create high-quality content, making the process more efficient.
With WriterZen, HockeyStack has eliminated dozens of hours of manual work from the content planning and creation process.
Now, HockeyStack enjoys the top three SERP spots for dozens of keywords and continues to add hundreds of other high-ranking keywords to its arsenal every month.
Build Quality Links
Incorporate both internal and external links in your link-building strategy.
Internal links help Google find and index your website, while external links indicate your site's credibility to search engines.
Guest blogging is an excellent way to acquire backlinks.
Maxine Tubbe of Complete SEO explains how to get quality links well.
She says, “To do SEO well, you have to make it look like natural growth.
Imitate a fast-growing company without screaming at search engines "Look here! We are using SEO tactics!"
She further shares the following SEO tactics:
You should research keywords and add more website pages, but not all at once.
Get good, lasting links to your site, mix in some links from decent but not top-notch sites. This makes things look normal.
Try to get most links from webpages or sites that are somehow related to the content you're linking to, either in topic or location.
Make sure your pages aren't competing against each other. If they fight for the same keywords, your site can get confused.
Getting links from trusted sites with similar content and creating useful stuff that your audience likes takes time. It's not quick."
Track Your Results
To improve your SEO strategy, you need to monitor your website's performance continuously.
Create a data-driven SEO strategy based on the insights you gather.
What Are the Long-Term Benefits of SEO Strategy?
While SEO requires consistency and patience, its long-term benefits are worth the investment and effort:
Here are some of the benefits of SEO strategy.
The search engine only ranks websites that are high quality and trustworthy.
These websites have the best content, high speed, mobile usability, and the highest level of security, enhancing customer credibility.
Investing in SEO results in the highest ROI (return on investment). SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate, far higher than traditional outbound methods, 1.7%.
Drive Quality Traffic to Your Website
It drives quality traffic to your website, unlike traditional marketing which relies on offline channels such as print ads, TV, radio, and direct mail to promote products or services.
SEO is customer-centric and hyper-targeted, allowing your website to rank higher in relevant search results.
Organic visibility drives high-quality traffic to your website without attempting to influence or persuade the user.
Reach Out to the Entire Target Audience
SEO not only reaches customers at every stage of the funnel but also connects with all kinds of customers.
You can target residential and commercial customers using intent keywords and creating relevant landing pages.
For example, a food delivery service provides food to both residential areas and commercial areas. You can target both customers by using intent keywords: create two pages with one with the keyword “commercial areas food delivery service” and the other with “Home food delivery services.”
Rank Better in Local Searches
Now, people search for questions on their cell phones like “hair salons near me.” With the increase in mobile phone users, local searches have also increased.
About 80% of these users are serious customers, which ultimately leads to sales. You can attract these "ready to buy" searchers with local SEO strategies.
Provide Constant Promotion
If you run out of budget for your PPC ads, your rank content will bring traffic. It constantly promotes your business 24/7 on search engines.
Case Studies: Success Stories of Long-Term SEO Strategies
Here are some real-life success stories of long-term SEO strategies.
Example 1: Mailmodo’s Long-Term SEO Success
Sankit Javiya, SEO Manager at Mailmodo shares their story.
“Mailmodo is an email marketing tool, back when we started SEO we didn't have the authority, and trust we needed to get rank on email marketing topics.
We wrote great content that solves people's problems.
We built authority first in interactive emails and then email marketing space by creating more than 300 content pieces on it.
Along with content pieces that can build organic backlinks. And in 2 years now we have 60K to 70K monthly visitors on our site and still growing.
Our patience pays off by creating website structure, content strategy, and content clusters to build the authority needed to rank on interactive emails and amp for emails at first.
Then we stick to our plan of creating great content to help our ICP.”
Example 2: GR0’s SEO Success over 12 Months
“We worked with a client called AdQuick for over 12 months to help them grow their website and profitability.
In that time, by using a diverse set of strategies from link-building to on-page optimization and content, we helped AdQuick increase its domain rating by 67.5% and increased its organic traffic by over 915%.
These results aren’t possible overnight, or else anyone would take advantage of them.
You must comply with Google guidelines and put in the work step-by-step for these results.”
Example 3: David Ramos’s SEO Patience Pays Off
David shares his SEO patience story.
“I like to share a story from a chess books article. I knew it was a good opportunity, so I sought out a chess expert to help me write the article.
Once we published it, we didn't see any traffic for about 6 months until one day, everything changed.
It hit the algorithm just right and it became one of my highest-trafficked pages to this day.
SEO is all about planting seeds. The more you plant, and the longer you give them to grow, the better you will do.
Here are the numbers for 2022 (I published it in March and this chart goes through December).”
SEO is a long-term commitment that requires adapting to constant changes, staying ahead of competitors, and building trust with search engines and users.
Embrace the dynamic nature of SEO, and with consistent effort and ethical practices, your website will thrive in the digital landscape.
By investing in SEO, you can enjoy increased credibility, a higher return on investment, quality traffic to your website, broader reach to your target audience, improved local search rankings, and constant promotion of your business.
But remember, consistency and patience are the keys to winning the long-term SEO game.