So we’re constantly being asked if we can get our clients on page one of Google, organically, using the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy / process we use at Masterpiece Web Designs. Then the next question: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Where do we begin? Depends on what the search is! Depends on your competition, etc!
We promise to provide an answer, but you’ll have to promise to not skip to the end!
First, let’s assume you are A) a new business or just starting your ‘SEO’ work on an existing site – and – B) that you’re talking about ‘organic’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – not paid. Paid search will let you get to page one quickly, but it will cost you each time someone clicks on your link. Back to SEO, where the first page doesn’t come in a day… Most people when they asked “what are your keywords?” are thinking of one thing: a “fat head” keyword. Something like, let’s say “dentist.” They think “if I only ranked for the word dentist, I would get so much business!” This person might even have used to Google Keyword Planner to get estimated search volume, done the math and saw a pot of gold at the end of the search rainbow. Ranking for “dentist” might get you a lot of new business, but there are a few things to consider:
- Is it worth the time and effort to focus on only one keyword? (We’re talking several months, at least!)
- Is it realistic, if at all even possible? If Google shows different results to different people, will it really pay off as much as I think it will? How qualified will those leads be?
- Would spending some of your money on a conversion-friendly page be better than investing it all in SEO?
- Do the majority of people still search that way?
- What is going to make YOU any more of a dentist than any other dentist out there? I.e. how are you going to be more RELEVANT for that search?
For those of you not familiar with “Fat Head” “Chunky Middle” and “Long Tail” this diagram from the leading SEO site Moz illustrates the idea quite well: ”Dentist” would be a fat head term for our purposes. Note the three categories:
- Fat Head: dentist, dentist office, dental office, dental clinic
- Chunky Middle: dentist toronto, dental office toronto, toronto dentist emergency, toronto dentist open sunday, toronto dentist prices, toronto dentist downtown.
- Longtail: “what dental procedures are covered by OHIP?” “does it hurt to have a root canal?” “are dental x-rays damaging?”
If you focus on creating a website that satisfies a good portion of the chunky middle and even a small slice of the long-tail, you’ll inevitably end up satisfying Google for the fat head keywords like dentist, dentist office, and dental clinic (for some of the searchers, remember that everyone’s search results are different).
If you’re still set on ‘fat head’ keywords, be prepared to pay!
If you’re talking SEO, you could end up paying a very big price: having your site never show in Google search results again!
If an SEO company says they can get you to the number one position in a number of weeks then you’re dealing with one of two scenarios:
A) They have a black hat link network that they’ll gladly weave you into for a hefty fee – What’s ‘Black Hat SEO?’ – Go HERE for some insights.
B) They are wizards- plain WIZARDS!
If you’re dealing with scenario “A” – that is very risky, because although your site may get some traffic, the next Google algorithm update is bound to knock you off the first page. If you choose this path, and you’re de-indexed from Google, your only hope is to build a new site and re-name your business while you’re at it.
So really, how long does it take to make it to the first page of Google? If you’re doing it with sustainability in mind, then it will probably take 3-6 months depending on how much you invest, and how savvy your competition is. At Masterpiece Web Designs, we’ll take a holistic approach that is more long-term, and goes beyond simple SEO and building links. You would be required to provide content to go after those chunky middle and long-tail terms (blogs are especially great for long-tails). You’ll also benefit from social media in order to get that content out there. Ideally, also you’re willing to put a little bit of budget into Facebook promoted posts to expand your reach.
If you work with us, we also offer a service that shows Google Analytics with monthly reporting as part of the strategy. As your site ages it will earn Google’s trust and will begin to rank for a broader range of keywords. Using Google Analytics we can carefully track the progress and tweak your content to get results. On average, we expect to see first page organic rankings at the 3-6 month mark (this can take less, or more time depending on your industry). After 3-6 months our goal is to rank on the first page for a subset of the initial keyword list.
An SEO agency shouldn’t limit you to a tight list of keywords to focus on, remember if that were the case you’d be missing out on a lot of “chunky middle” traffic.
If you sit down to talk ‘SEO’ with us, be prepared to discuss the following questions, which we will ask you or you might ask us: What is the competition like in your market sector? What level of service would we recommend to be competitive? Do you want to track your results over time?
Let’s get started when you’re ready! Unlike some of the ‘spammers & scammers’ from whom you may have received calls, we’re not going to promise you an overnight remedy… but we do have a process and we enjoy the challenge of helping our clients. We’re local, and we’ll stay with you until you get results. We want your site to be a real MASTERPIECE!
Most of the inspiration for this article and some of the content was found at www.techwyse.com. Read more at http://www.techwyse.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/how-long-does-it-take-a-website-to-rank-on-google/