As an agency, all our clients come to us expecting different things and holding different ideas about SEO. Some clients are looking for a way to grow their traffic a little more, while others are making a last-ditch effort to save a sinking business. Regardless of the situation they come to us in, we end up hearing a lot of the same questions, comments, and concerns: How long will it take? What works the fastest?
In response to these questions, we find ourselves explaining time and time again that there aren’t any shortcuts to instant viral content or top rankings overnight. Even as an SEO agency and Google Partner, we don’t have special insider hacks or cheats that allow us to bypass the best practices and strategies that take time to help websites. Google is also very clear about the fact that there are no shortcuts for SEO. In fact, in a recent video, they stated 4 months to a year as the typical amount of time needed for SEOs to first implement improvements and then see potential benefit:
There is no secret formula, shortcut, or back door method for SEO, and we think that’s a good thing. Here’s why.
If there were a shortcut, everyone would take it.
SEO has a broad range of approaches, so businesses can pick and choose which strategies will work best with for them (and their budget). SEO is by no means a one size fits all solution and that’s a good thing, because it creates multiple pathways for online success. If there were a shortcut for secret formula that bypassed the process of SEO, everyone would take the easy route. The result would be a bunch of jumbled together results in response to user queries, none of which stand above the rest because they’ve all taken the same shortcut to get there. Search engines are driven by user intent and focused on user experience, and the absence of shortcuts keeps it that way.
Transparency is part of SEO’s appeal.
Part of what makes SEO such an attractive option for websites is its transparency. Our clients can look up and read about the exact methods we’re using for their account, how it works, why it works, and more. In an industry with a lot of moving, it’s rare to have transparency on how it all works. The areas that lack that transparency, like black hat SEO, are the ones most likely to offer shortcuts and quick fixes, which is exactly what you should be avoiding.
Quality is imperative-and that’s a good thing for businesses.
In a world full of fraudulence, quality remains one of the few things that’s really hard to fake. That’s why the foundation of successful SEO starts with a good hard look at the quality of your website, content, usability, and so on. The best SEO strategy in the world won’t work if it’s for an extremely low-quality business or blog. Part of the reason there aren’t recognized SEO shortcuts is because it would take away from the necessity of quality that search engines are trying to provide users with. Plus, when has improving the quality of business practices and/or content ever hurt a business?
Some things to keep in mind…
SEO is not for everyone.
Different businesses have different needs, and you shouldn’t do SEO if you think it’s going to be a magical, instant fix for all of your challenges. Prior to seeking SEO services, business owners should always look into what their competitors within their industry are doing. Maybe they’re focused on different forms of marketing, or maybe your business just doesn’t have the need for SEO that others do. If your business is on its last leg, maybe there’s a more effective way to spend your last marketing dollars rather than pour them into SEO. Whatever your situation may be, do your homework and decide early on if SEO is the right solution for your business.
Patience is important.
If you do decide that SEO would be beneficial to your business, try and have patience right from the start. As I stated earlier, SEO is not an overnight fix or a quick solution. SEO done well and SEO done right takes some time, and no honest or worthwhile agency will promise you a shortcut. In fact, a recent study by Ahrefs investigated how old the top ranking pages on Google are and how long it takes a page to rank on average, and the results all reinforce the same message: it takes time, often at least a year:
Remember: a customized SEO strategy that’s both well put together and executed will take time, patience, transparency, and quality.