When does long term SEO show ranking results? It takes time for optimization to produce targeted traffic to your website. Organic SEO requires time to take effect, just as it takes time for your web pages to start showing up in the search engine results.
Clients regularly ask me about the timing of a search engine optimization campaign and when those results will be seen in the search engine listings. A long term marketing campaign based on search engine optimization takes time: patience is the name of the game.
SEO's timeframe depends on a number of factors. Part of this involves the accuracy of keyword phrase choices: is the keyword phrase one your visitors would use to find your product or website? If your keyword phrases are targeted to your audience, you will gain optimum results. Did you use Paid Inclusion and/or PPC services? The best combination for success involves using a combination of SEO, Paid Inclusion and PPC services. If you do not use Paid Inclusion or PPC, using organic SEO only, it takes more time to achieve results.
When you use Paid Inclusion or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) bidding, your results show up sooner than traditional SEO. Paid Inclusion submissions state the time-frame in which your page will be indexed by the search engine robots when you sign up for services. PPC bidding results show up as soon as searchers start clicking on your PPC ads. This type of search engine marketing requires an annual budget to renew Paid Inclusion submissions and payment per month for PPC click-through costs. If you are paying too much for your PPC services, organic SEO combined with PPC often helps to keep the prices down for the paid service. By generating additional targeted traffic on those costly terms you may be able to bring the bidding prices down in your PPC campaign or even eliminate some keyword bidding.
The timeline given for paid submissions means the search engines are generating income through this process. Paying for results also gives you a guarantee the listings will be relatively stable in the database.
Paid Inclusion submissions will always take precedence over free submissions because the company makes money from Paid Inclusion. For this reason most search engines will implement free search engine submissions over a longer period of time than paid submissions. When using SEO without the paid submission choices, the process is the same but the optimized pages take longer to be processed into the search engine databases.
Organic SEO works differently. The best reason to use organic SEO is that it is a low-cost method to promote your website. It can take up to three to six months to see the full results of optimizing your website, especially if you are only using organic optimization. The plus to an organic approach is that once you optimize your pages, the main part of the work is done. You may tweak your keywords and text here and there, but unless you completely re-design your pages, you have what you need in place to begin drawing in targeted traffic. Continue checking your ranking status and reading your log statistics, especially for new keywords visitors are using to find your website.
When using free submissions, expect a three to six month wait before seeing most of the long term results showing in the search engine listings. If you build on a link popularity program and have links pointing back to your website, the search engine robots will find your website through the links, eliminating the need for free submissions. Look at it this way: you pay once for basic optimization and over time the results improve to optimum level. You don't have to keep paying for this service because, unless search engine databases drops your free submission pages (which is not often these days), you will be visible and present to the search engine users when they search on your targeted keyword phrases. Over time you should see a progression in your ranking, depending on how competitive your keyword phrases are.
What if you can't afford Paid Inclusion or PPC services? Organic SEO is a great way to increase targeted traffic to your website over time. If you do not have a budget for Paid Inclusion submissions and PPC programs, organic SEO will give you good results if you are willing to wait instead of gaining immediate results. Combine organic SEO with plenty of good content and a solid link building program for optimum results. Remember, the search engine listings may entice visitors to come to your website, but you must give them a reason to stay once they arrive. Build your content to keep your new visitors at your website.
Patience Pays Off
Organic SEO is "common sense" promotion. Not a lot of fancy bells and whistles, and it takes time. The addition of good navigation, good content with your keyword phrases throughout the pages and topical sites pointing links back to your website equals long term success.
Practice patience when going organic for your SEO campaign. It may take time but it will be worth the long term results you reap.
November 6, 2003
Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation, a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her own company, Daria is an associate of WebMama.com, an Internet web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical book publishing company.