Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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It’s common for website owners to have a love/hate relationship with SEO. They love it because if done correctly, it means an increase in traffic from the search engines, which means more leads and more sales. They hate it because if done correctly, it takes a long time to see those results, which can be extremely frustrating! Website owners that are just getting started with SEO or are finally deciding to take it seriously and give it a real “go” need to have realistic expectations. If you have unrealistic SEO expectations you are setting yourself up for a campaign cut short, fueled by frustration.

Here are 3 signs that you are being unrealistic when it comes to SEO:

You don’t understand the effort that is necessary

SEO in theory isn’t hard. Anyone with marketing know-how can be trained and read up on SEO best practices in order to implement a campaign. What is difficult about SEO is that it is time consuming. SEO requires a commitment and we often see companies that aren’t giving the campaign the time it needs. Either it’s one of many responsibilities of a small marketing team that is already slammed with other duties or an SEO firm isn’t getting feedback in a timely manner and the SEO campaign is sitting idle for weeks or months. SEO requires constant action. An SEO campaign thrives on fresh content being posted and shared in social media in order to generate natural inbound links. A new page of content posted here or there or when you “get around to it” just isn’t going to cut it.

You wanted results yesterdaySigns That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

The most important thing to understand about SEO is that it is a long-term process. There is no such thing as a quick ROI. SEO efforts work to build search engine trust, which can take awhile to achieve. Think about it like this. How long does it take you to really trust someone? You need to learn more about them, what their character is like, their history, etc. The search engines work the same way. The search engines want to serve the best results to users and a new website or one that is just getting started with SEO needs to prove that it’s deserving of prominent search engine placement. For many websites, 6-9 months is a good time frame to have in mind to start seeing some traction. Of course, no two websites are the same.

You play the comparison game

Website owners need to be realistic about who their true SEO competitors are. For example, a boutique clothing store isn’t competing with Gap. Gap is a huge corporation that has a huge marketing and SEO budget and has the resources to get to the top of a search result. If the boutique clothing store isn’t “beating” Gap in the SERPs (search engine results page) it doesn’t mean SEO isn’t working. Don’t focus on rank or where your competitors are, instead focus on organic visitor growth.

SEO Success depends on your ongoing effort. It is a long term process and it’s important to have realistic expectations during the process. It makes your life so much easier!


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