Realistic Expectations of a SEO Campaign

  Written by on February 19, 2009

What are realistic SEO campaign expectations? I think this might just be the 64 million dollar question! So, what’s the answer?

High Expectations

It’s human nature to want to be the best, the first, the know-it-all. With search, however, everyone may seem to have the answer to the approximate time frame as to when you will see optimal results – but in reality, it’s just a bunch of opinions (for the most part).

Without hard cold facts to back up a SEO campaign; not me, not you, nor the next SEO firm can really tell you exactly what you should expect to see within a given time frame. Sure, we can speculate based upon previous stats, past SEO experiences or what has happened with like-clients in your industry…but ultimately, SEO firms do not control the search engine algorithms, nor should they pretend to.

The Evolution of Search

With the on-set of behavioral-personalized search, the search-wiki, social media optimization and other forms of search – it is the job of your SEO strategist to determine the best online marketing initiatives and execute them accordingly. There are no miracles, no fairies, no stardust here – just dedicated hard work from your Marketing Firm. As we’ve mention before, the verdict is in…true SEO takes time.

(P.S: I’m not the only one in this industry who thinks this way, see this, read that, or find out what they have to say.)

SEO expectations need to be established from the get-go during the initial talks between SEO firm and potential client. This is how you build trust.  A thorough site analysis needs to happen first in order to determine what services are needed to develop a comprehensive SEO plan. How much time it will take for results to show depends upon many website variables: has the site ever had optimization in the past, how old is the domain, how many backlinks (are they from credible sites?), is the site already optimized in the social media arena, does the site already have placements, is the domain name new, how much copy is on the site vs. how much copy needs to be written, competitive analysis (targeting local/niche vs. broad/national),  and the list goes on from there.

An example: Are you targeting the keyword ‘cars’ or the phrase ‘albany used car dealerships’…this is a HUGE difference.  5,000,000 searches vs. a mere 700,000 searches! A 10 page site targeting ‘cars’ vs. a thousand page site targeting ‘cars’ – you get my point, I hope.

SEO is Part Art, Part Science – Don’t believe me? Let me explain.

Crafting search engine friendly, ‘sticky’ Title tags and Meta descriptions (the snippets of text that the search engines pull in) are extremely important. And, despite what most people think, is best done  by an experienced copywriter. If you are working with a SEO firm that has copywriters on staff who specialize in internet marketing, you have hit a goldmine. Embrace this. Writing for the web is much different than writing for print. You have 3-5 seconds to captivate your audience, can you do it alone? I think not. You need experienced professionals on your side.

Link marketing and building brand awareness takes time. You think you can just throw some keyword phrases in your text copy and send your website on its way? Think again. The web has advanced light years since it’s inception. Gone are the days of adding a ton of keywords in the <head> tag, gone are the days of link resources and link directories being ‘the way’ to get found, gone are the days of creating one new page of copy per month and seeing high results in the search engines. Currently, there are over 7 billion searches per month. Um, that’s a lot of searches.

It takes time to get a website optimized to beat out those within your industry. Still not convinced SEO takes time? Here are some more reasons why…

Code, code and more code. Does that sound good? Not really. Long  URLS? No good – most of the time. Search engine spiders have an allotted amount of time to scan your web pages looking for keyword phrases and links.  Do you really want to waste their time scanning javascript, flash or frame sets? This stuff isn’t SEO friendly.

Just like anything in life, if there is one bad apple – well, then it clouds everyone. Unfortunately with competition comes greed. Since the explosion of internet marketing and SEO, there are those that feel the need to spam rather than do things the right way.  Some claim that SEO’s are snakes. Kudos to Mark Jackson for setting the record straight. If this guy knew better (the one making the ridiculous claims), he would’ve done his homework first before posting an article in a well known online magazine for millions to see. Read the original article bashing the SEO industry – what’s your take?

You can see why it’s impossible to answer the 64 million dollar question in 5 minutes :)

There are no cookie cutter approaches, no bargains, no gimmicks, and no trickery in ethical SEO. Don’t let a couple bad apples spoil your online marketing initiative. Read testimonials from our SEO firm and you be the judge! Trust the facts, listen to what’s being said, and trust your gut.

Internet Marketing is still the best way to advertise your business. TV/radio ads are expensive and may show at odd times of the day. If your site isn’t optimized, you could potentially miss out on over 70% of prospective business. Why would you want to do that?

Still confused? Contact us. We’d be happy to help.

Posted Under: SEO & Internet Marketing, Tools & Tips
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About Sara Mannix

Sara Mannix is the CEO of Mannix Marketing, Inc., a Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Glens Falls, NY. She founded Mannix Marketing in 1996 with a goal to get clients "found" on the web through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company now serves over 1500 clients worldwide and employs a team of over 30 specialists, still operating under the tagline "We Get You Found On The Web." This multifaceted company is an industry leader, specializing in organic SEO, Link Earning, SEO-friendly Website Design, Online Advertising, Social Media and more. Mannix Marketing also has one of the largest portfolios of tourism and city guides in Upstate New York. These guides, which include Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFallsRegion.com, CliftonPark.com and Adirondack.net, reach over 10 million visitors a year. Corresponding social media profiles for the region extend this reach to millions more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.

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