There are lots of scammy SEO artists out there who will tell you exactly what you want to hear… that getting to page 1, position 1 for competitive search terms is easy and can be achieved within the month.
If you hear that, our friends at Iron Maiden have some great advice…
RUN TO THE HILLS… RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
The unfortunate reality is anyone promising quick wins shouldn’t be trusted, SEO really is about playing the long game where consistent effort and attention over time gradually develops your Google rankings and improves your overall search visibility.
So how long does it realistically take?
Lilac James has been delivering specialist SEO services since 2008 and the quickest we have seen rankings begin to shift is 6 weeks but broadly we expect to see good moves within 3 months of project completion, but this does depend on the competition levels for the particular keywords we’re targeting.
Naturally if we’re targeting really competitive keywords it’s going to take more time than breaking onto page 1 for long tail and low competition keywords.
It’s really important to emphasise that SEO does develop over time, take a look at one of our clients SEO rankings and you can clearly see how month on month the rankings have developed and improved.
You can find the case study here: https://www.lilacjames.com/case-studies/march-may/
To achieve this we not only ensure all the on page elements are fully optimised but we also ensure we have an effective link building strategy which continues to boost our clients authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of Google, who then reward them with increased rankings and better search visibility.
Google Doesn’t Care About You.
The unfortunate reality is Google doesn’t care about you or your business. Google became the dominant force in search simply because it became the best at providing the most relevant search results for the search query.
Users trust Google to provide them the information they’re seeking, so Google has to trust your website before it’s going to put you in front of its searchers. The great thing is that if Google does decide to present your website on page 1, there is a transfer of consumer trust from Google to you that can be highly lucrative and is generally understood to have higher conversion rates.
The best way of measuring how much Google trusts your website is with your Domain Authority.
Domain authority is a search engine ranking score, developed by a company called Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank in the search engine results page (SERPS).
It scores between 1 and 100. A brand new website will score 1 and websites like Facebook, BBC and CNN have domain authorities close to 100.
Moz’s free domain analysis tool can be found here:
How do you improve your DA
One of the biggest things for improving your DA is unfortunately out of your control and that is… Time.
Literally thousands of websites are created every day and most of them lay dormant, soon being taken down when their yearly licence renewals are due. Google doesn’t want to send its searchers to websites that will only be around for 5 minutes.
Again this is all about trust and if you consider a bricks and mortar business, who would you trust more, a business that started last month or a business that has been around for 20 years?
Although longevity is out of your control what you can control is not messing around with your URL structure too much during a website redesign without consulting a reputable SEO specialist as this is the biggest way established businesses lose all their hard earned rankings.
What is in your control to improve your domain authority is your backlink profile.
Take a look at your backlink profile and seek to disavow all spam or low-quality backlinks. A low-quality backlink is simply a link that isn’t relevant to what you do, you want your backlinks to be from high domain authority and relevant websites that preferably drive genuine traffic to your website.
Once you’ve cleaned up your backlink profile you need to start building your own high-quality backlinks. Generally speaking the higher domain authority from the linking website the better, the linking website needs to be relevant, so if you’re in the hospitality sector, try to secure backlinks from other websites relevant to your sector.
Quick SEO Wins
1. Keywords and Competitors
You can learn a lot by analysing your competitors, especially if they’re doing well in the search results. Naturally if you’re competing for keywords with really big business, you’re going to have a hard time and you perhaps want to consider niching or long tailing your keywords to give you the best chance of success.
Whilst you should never copy what your competitors are doing, you can gain good insight into how they’re achieving SEO success for various keywords and look to model that success.
Model success, never copy and always be authentic.
2. Mobile first
From July 2019 Google introduced the mobile first index, meaning it will crawl the mobile version of your site first when determining indexing for search rankings.
If your website performs poorly on mobile devices, for example the website doesn’t automatically fit mobile device screens so users have to pinch the screen to move in and out and view content… (we’ve all been there) then you’re unlikely to achieve success in the search results.
Google offers a free mobile friendly test which can be accessed via the below link:
3. Meta Titles and Descriptions
This is one of the main ways you can communicate to Google what various web pages are and who they are for. You need to keep your Meta titles and descriptions simple and highly targeted to specific keywords so Google is clear on who to deliver your content for.
That’s it for now but hopefully that’s given you an understanding of how long it can take to improve rankings on Google and some simple strategies to help you get there.Remember, Google doesn’t crawl all your changes every day and you may see some elements improve before others, this is entirely normal.
Lilac James offers free SEO consultation to a limited number of businesses, if this sounds like it would be useful to you, please get in touch via our website or call the office during office hours on 01480 219355.