When it comes to search engine optimization, most of us want to see results. But we don’t want to be waiting for too long. We want to see results soon!
The problem is that massive leaps in search engine positioning don’t tend to happen in a matter of days. I’m not saying that it’s impossible, but it’s certainly unlikely, that you’ll see a website rising in this way.
Under normal conditions, a site will tend to rise in a gradual manner. There may even be occasions when it slips down the rankings, before making a further upwards movement. This can be frustrating, particularly if you’re relying on the optimization work to generate much-needed income for your business.
Why does it take so long?
Although I don’t work for Google, I have worked on plenty of websites. As a result, I’m able to offer some insights into the way in which search engines work and react. Explaining why things don’t happen overnight may help you to feel better at least!
Most of us will carry out on-page changes in order to optimize a website for our chosen target keywords. When we make those changes, we expect that the search engines will notice that we’ve made them. But will they?
Well, the answer is that they will do, but not necessarily as quickly as we might like. It may take them some days, or even weeks, to take those changes into account. Although you can speed things up a little, it’s worth remembering that there will be this delay at the outset of the project.
After making those on-page changes, you’ll probably be concentrating on building links. This is certainly a sensible strategy, but it can be frustrating. As you build links, you should see your website gradually moving up the rankings. But, once again, you may notice that there are significant delays.
This is because it will take a while for the search engines to become aware of your links. It may then take them a little longer to take those links into account, given you the benefit of having gained them.
Under some circumstances, of course, a link may actually add little value in terms of SEO. In other words, you may gain a link and then find out that it doesn’t improve your rankings. That can certainly be pretty exasperating!
Can you speed things up?
In general terms, as your website becomes more established online, the search engines will tend to visit more regularly. This is particularly likely if you regularly add fresh content on a regular basis. As a result, you’ll find that on-page changes are picked up more quickly.
If you want your links to be noticed, then concentrate on gaining them from authority websites. You might be able to give things a bit of a push by building your own links to those authority sites too.
But be prepared for the fact that SEO simply takes time. Also be aware that your competitors will all be trying to improve their own positioning.
Overnight SEO success stories tend to be associated with uncompetitive markets, or with websites that don’t manage to maintain those positions. Your aim is to achieve positioning that will last. Keep patient and the results will come!
Keith Barrett is a search engine optimisation consultant, based in the UK. He provides Ringwood SEO services for small businesses.