In the first part of "Good Things Come to Those Who Wait," I went through some explanation on what its like to do the research and complete the planning that is neccessary before you start working on optimizing your site. This week, Ill look beyond the details of getting your site ready to optimize and will dive in to the actual work that takes place before your site goes live.

There's More Here than Meets the Eye

There are a lot of details that I left out simply because it can't all be addressed in a single article, but you can get the gist of the amount work that goes into just the initial optimization of a site. Depending on the size of the site or the number of pages being optimized, the processes above can take several weeks to a few months to compete. Going back to our boiling water analogy, you just filled the pot, now its time to put the pot on the stove.

Very rarely is search engine optimization a one-time-only process, but takes a continuous ongoing effort to build site relevance, evaluate performance, analyze effectiveness, and adjust the campaign accordingly to achieve and maintain top rankings against active competitors and substantial algorithm changes.

There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Link building and management is an important aspect to the total optimization campaign. Optimizing your site without considering your link campaign is like trying to drive a car without tires. You don't need great tires to make the car move forward, but you have to have some kind of tires in place, unless you're towing your car on a flatbed truck. Same holds true for a web site, it can be a great site but without links you just won't perform in the natural search results. (Just to complete the analogy, we can say that sponsored ads and off line marketing efforts are the flatbed truck.)

Linking has gotten more and more complex as the search engines fight link spam and seek to improve relevance. Whether you seek out one-way or reciprocal links, linked articles or directory submissions, or "authority" links, link building is a very time consuming process that undergoes constant re-evaluations. A good link today may not be a good link tomorrow, not because it was never a good link but because the linking site might become irrelevant to the search engines or become a search spammer, or whatever reason. A good half to two-thirds of the monthly man-hours assigned to ongoing optimization can easily be focused specifically on the link campaign.

Look at Both Sides of the Coin

Unless you are targeting no more than a single phrase for any given page of your site, inevitably it will take some finesse to achieve top rankings for all phrase being targeted. Good keyword research in the set-up process can greatly improve the ability to archive top rankings for multiple phrases per page, but no matter what there will always be certain elements working against each other. Adjust one phrase here and another one drops. Adjust that phrase and still another phrase drops.

With time, a good SEO will be effective at getting your keywords ranked well against the competition. Thats half the battle. The rest comes as new or existing competitors amp up their optimization efforts in order to take back what was achieved and as search engines adjust their algorithms. We've all heard of sites losing rankings with algo adjustments, even those that have never spammed. It happens and its the job of the SEO to see these things coming and adjust the site accordingly and should rankings dip, to move in and get them back in place.

Wait with Baited Breath

Again, this is just scratching the surface of what goes into the monthly optimization campaign. But all of these adjustments work over time. Even more so once you consider "sandboxing" and "aging delays" that are becoming a staple in the search engine algorithms.

If You're Not Part of the Solution, You're Part of the Problem

Don't expect instant results with your optimization campaign. Many SEOs require a six or twelve month contract, simply because they know it can often take that much time to show solid results for all of your keywords. Expecting great results any sooner is simply wishful thinking.

We all heard the saying, "A watch pot never boils." Well, in reality, it'll take the same amount of time to boil as an unwatched pot, but it just seems longer because you're there looking at it. Once you hire your SEO company, let them do their job and walk away. Don't completely forget about them and check in from time to time just so you know what's going on (and your SEO knows that you expect results), but just give it time for the process to work.

Go work on your site, your business and other marketing efforts. While your SEO is working to make your site successful in the search engines, look for other ways to bring success to you and, to use another clich'; don't put all your eggs in one basket. Search engine optimization should not be your only hope for success.

If you have done your research and chosen the right SEO company success will come, but only with time. Be willing to let the process work its course and good things will come... by the boatload.

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August 19, 2005

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Part 2