How long do you plan to keep your company in business? For the vast majority of business owners, the answer is something longer than 90 days. Why, then, are many business owners so reluctant to invest in online advertising for the long haul? If you want a long-lasting web presence that gets stronger and stronger as time goes on, then you must be patient as SEO builds. An SEO program may try your patience for the first 90 days, but the long-term ROI will be worth the wait.
Here’s why SEO requires your patience, and how your patience will pay off.
SEO = Building a Reputation
Why does SEO take at least three months to start generating results? It’s because SEO involves so much more than just building a website. As we’ve noted previously, SEO requires lots of repetition as you build your website’s reputation and establish its credibility with Google. This includes submitting your site to multiple tiers of directories in stages, updating your social media profile regularly, and performing other tasks that build your backlinks.
If you look at starting a new SEO campaign like starting a new business, it might make more sense: Opening a physical storefront is only the first step. You then have to get the word out about your business by announcing your arrival on the scene. You need to bring attention to your new business by holding a grand opening, sharing the news on Facebook, handing out business cards… Whatever it takes to get people to notice you. Then you can start expecting customers to roll in. It’s the same with an SEO campaign. Your advertiser needs to spend time putting your name online and demonstrating your legitimacy to Google before you can expect your phone to start ringing.
When all is said and done, the whole “grand opening” process for SEO campaigns usually takes at least three months.
Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare
While SEO may take a while to gain traction, it’s the only form of online advertising proven to go the distance. As your campaign gains momentum, its performance will grow until it doesn’t even resemble what it was like in those first few months.
To use another analogy, building an SEO campaign can be compared to building a house. During the initial stages of construction, you’ll have a fine-looking house from the outside, with four walls, a roof, and some windows. But when you open the door, you’ll see that the house is still uninhabitable, as the plumbing and electricity still need to be installed and the interior needs to be furnished.
Quitting your SEO campaign after the first four weeks because your website has been launched “without results” would be like deciding to move in to this uninhabitable house because it looks finished from the outside. You would soon realize you made a huge mistake by rushing it. However, if you’re patient for a few more weeks, you’ll have a cozy, fully functional home.
In the same way, if you stick it out with your SEO company for a little bit longer, you’ll have a high-performing advertising campaign that can start to generate leads from all different corners of the web. Best of all, once your site has established a solid reputation with Google, it’ll only require regular monitoring and occasional maintenance to keep going strong.
Stick With One SEO Provider
Whatever you do, don’t start working with another advertiser during this three-month waiting period in the hopes that it will speed up your wait time. It won’t. In fact, it could actually make you wait twice as long, considering the damage it would do to your Quality Score on Google. You’d make your advertiser’s job harder while making your campaign’s performance worse.
Make the Commitment. It’s Worth It.
When you put in the time and allow your SEO campaign to gain traction, you’ll be rewarded with prominence in local search results and a steady increase in leads. As time goes on and your website’s value becomes clearer to Google, your campaign’s performance will improve even more. Provided that your advertiser isn’t doing anything shady—like creating fake map listings or copying the same content for all of their sites—you should give your advertiser at least 90 days to work their magic. You’ll be glad you did.