Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has transitioned from a quick hit process to a more gradual improvement process. While consistent updates have long been the mantra of good SEO specialists, it’s now become a necessity. Many of the on page tricks or directory link blitzes of the past for immediate improvement have much less impact than in the past. Gradual updates and content development now serve to dominate rankings.
Everyone knows that page one ranking is critical. Most searches don’t bother moving on to page two. Top three ranking is the real goal for key search terms with the coveted top spot as the crown jewel.
I recently had a conversation with a trainer who was ranking in the three spot for his targeted geographic search terms. As we discussed his rankings I said, “Overall your rankings aren’t bad. Why are you looking to launch further SEO initiatives?” The trainer responded, “The number one spot is my direct competition. I know there are things on my site that can be changed so that I jump to number one. I had this done five years ago.”
The trainer went on to explain how they had hired an SEO specialist who made changes over a three month period and then their ranking jumped about a month after the edits were complete. Unfortunately he had seen his place slide since then.
In reviewing the trainer’s competition’s site we found an in depth SEO strategy. The competition had a well-established blog generating new content and healthy social media profiles promoting the information. On top of that, they had had on page elements and key words in place.
After reviewing the competition’s site I said, “Honestly, you are in for a fight to overcome your competition. They have a two year head start and you have a lot of ground to make up. We can do it but you should expect at least a year’s process and you’ll need to commit to writing some solid articles.
The trainer scoffed and said, “I don’t have time for that. Just edit the pages so I jump to number one.”
The type of SEO that the trainer was looking for has been replaced with a more gradual SEO. His site had fewer than twenty pages and he wanted to outpace a site creating a new content-rich page every week. The odds are vastly not in his favor.
SEO strategies should be intimately connected to the marketing campaign to provide consistent content that feeds the search engines. Furthermore, other platforms, like social media, should be leveraged to link to the new content to further establish relevancy.
Where SEO battles used to have blitzkrieg tactics, they have become more of a war of attrition. As long as established sites keep their processes in place they can often outlast challengers. Challengers need to be realistic about the competition they face and commit to a long term process. If that commitment can’t be made then paid advertising is the only fast and reliable way of jumping ahead of the organic results.