But how do you get your site found in search engines? How does Google decide which sites appear when someone performs a search? And how do they determine the order in which they appear? And more importantly, when someone queries a keyword phrase that is relevant to your business, does your site show up in the listings?
These are all very important questions to ask yourself when formulating a strategy for SEO (search engine optimization). The answers depend on a wide variety of factors and everyone’s situation is different. But of all the successful campaigns we’ve ever been a part of, all of these successful endeavors all had exactly one thing in common:
They recognized that for SEO to be successful, a long term commitment is required.
As we’ve discussed before, the best way to wrap your mind around search engines and how they function is to think of them as giant keyword-searchable directories. In order to get your site found in Google, you need to first make sure Google knows you exist. Then you need to make sure Google can crawl the pages of your site in order to index your content. Then you need to continue to bolster your site’s authority in order for search engines to reward your Web presence with prominent placement in the search results for the keywords relevant to your business or organization.
To put it another way, SEO isn’t something you try in the same sense as other forms of marketing, both online and off. SEO requires a consistent effort over a period of time in order to achieve the desired results, and the amount of time and effort required depends on a large number of factors, such as age of your site, amount of content on your site, amount of relevant competitors, SEO efforts of those competitors, etc.
When you compare SEO to other marketing initiatives, such as billboard advertising or television commercials for example, the main difference is with most of these mediums, you invest the advertising dollars, wait on the results, and adjust and scale accordingly – or simply abandon the initiative if it’s completely ineffective. For example, if you invest in a billboard for a six month period and you don’t receive the amount of conversions (or worse have no legitimate method to track them) necessary to continue, you simply discontinue the service. Unfortunately, many forms of advertising are this way.
SEO is a different kind of investment.
The most successful SEO campaigns function with a long-view type of approach. SEO is different than any other form of marketing in that it can and quite frankly usually doesn’t show an immediate return on investment.
Things take time to develop with SEO, and authority takes time to build up in order to achieve favorable search engine placement. But once the results have been realized, SEO is the type of thing where once it begins to gain some momentum, it tends to accelerate at a much quicker pace. In other words, the faster it grows, the faster it tends to grow from there.