How to Set Realistic Expectations for Your SEO Campaign

March 25, 2016

2:33 pm

You can’t ignore SEO if you what to make it real big with your startup. Social media traffic comes and goes, while paying for ads isn’t a sustainable long-term strategy.  Hence, comes search engine optimization and marketing as the next step to undertake.

You already know the key elements of a winning SEO campaign. You’ve carefully followed all the best practices, hired the best marketers and now anxiously wait for results. However, the traffic curve in Google analytics still looks rather flat.

Here’s the deal: SEO is the kind of a strategy, where pressing urgency will not bring you the best results and the overall timeline may get fuzzy. Now before you quit SEO altogether, give yourself a quick reality-check with the following tips.

Focus On Long-Term Benefits

SEO will not bring you instant results. In fact, anyone promising you the opposite are either pure amateurs or utilize non-legit practices.

What SEO does, however, is creating a sustainable traffic channel in the long run, once your content starts ranking for targeted keywords.  In fact, the longer time you spend on SEO and the more consistent you are, the higher ROI you’ll receive. Your first step should be to create the exact processes roadmap, which will lead you to your final goal and help you stay committed to your marketing plan.

You may need to fix a lot of things on-site first before you start spending the next months on link acquisition and aggressive content promotion before you see the very first rankings and conversion stats in your GA.

Bottom line: SEO is a long-term commitment. Don’t expect it to bring you immediate ROI.

Focus on Better Conversion Than Traffic

So you want every single page of your website to rank on the very first page for the top targeted keywords. Sorry, but this likely will not going to happen in the first 3 months to the least.

Instead focus on your existing endeavors and squeeze out the max out of them.

“During the early days of your SEO campaign, focus on reviewing and optimizing the pages, which currently bring the most traffic to your blog. What are your current conversion rates? Do you have enough email opt-ins and lead magnets to turn those casual browsers into prospective customers? Review your existing asserts: A/B test page design, CTAs and copy to make sure you are getting the most of your existing traffic while your positions in search grow,” – advices Paul Granger from Website Promoter.

What You Put in Is What You Get

The results of your SEO campaign heavily depend on the amount of efforts and budgets you put in.  If you are an early-stage startup with a single marketer in-house trying to tackle everything at once, you should not expect to get as fast results as when hiring a large SEO agency with a dedicated team to work on your campaign.

Sure, a one-man marketing band can bring you great results as well, but you need to re-adjust your expectations accordingly. Behind the most successful campaigns stands an efficient marketing team. You can’t juggle community management, content marketing and on-site optimization all in once.  Focus on one major problem at a time e.g. link acquisition or social media management rather than spreading your efforts to thin over multiple strategies.

To get tangible results from your SEO campaign you need to have a clear action plan and razor sharp focus on the end goals, rather than expect immediate results and quick wins.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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