Establishing Realistic SEO Expectations
If you’ve been in the search engine optimization (SEO) business for the last four or five year you know how much more competitive it is these days to achieve high search engine rankings. In the past two years alone the number of websites on the Internet has more than doubled. Search engines must now sort through billions of web page to find the most relevant content. Additionally, many webmasters and website owners now know enough SEO to be dangerous. In the past most websites didn’t give a second thought to search engines but today most individuals recognize the power that search engines yield. A decade ago anyone who knew even the slightest bit about SEO could obtain good rankings in all the top search engines, with minimal effort. Even more competitive keywords could be effectively targeted by more experienced SEO marketers. But times have changed.
The times of easy search engine optimization (and manipulation) are over. Today it can be difficult to obtain high rankings for less competitive keywords that only garner a few searches a month, unless you are an experienced SEO marketer that knows how to develop a comprehensive search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. Even if you obtain high rankings there’s no guarantee that you can maintain those rankings very long – you’re there one day and gone the next. And if your website isn’t at least a few years old these problems can be even worse. This is why search engine optimization should be seen as a long-term proposition and should part of a more comprehensive SEO strategy. Developing a website that targets only a few keywords is a sure path to failure and much frustration.
Today webmasters, site owners and SEO marketers alike must stop asking the question, “How can I get my site listed for this keyword” and start asking, “How do I create a comprehensive SEO and SEM marketing strategy that will get more targeted and sustainable traffic to my website?” Unfortunately, most SEO professionals are still asking the wrong question. Most individuals still want to “be listed in the top-5 rankings in Google and Yahoo” for a specific keyword. If millions of webmasters, site owners and SEO marketers are all trying to “be listed in the top-5 rankings in Google and Yahoo” for a specific keyword wouldn’t it be more prudent to adopt a strategy where you aren’t competing head to head with a million other websites? What are your chances of your SEO campaign succeeding long-term if you always have to beat out a million other websites for a few top rankings? What are your changes of succeeding long-term if you consistently have to beat out even 1000 other websites for a few keywords? Not good! Not good at all.
But don’t misunderstand me. I completely understand why people want to move their rankings up from #10 to #5 for a targeted keyword that everyone is searching on in to Google or Yahoo. Obviously, if you are able to achieve this you will drive a large number of quality consumers to your website. But again, remember that this is what everyone is trying to achieve and obviously with billions of websites on the Internet it just isn’t possible for everyone to succeed using this type of a SEO strategy.
SEO marketing is not magic and it does not provide immediate results. You simply can’t get your website listed at the top of a search engines organic search results overnight, especially if you have a new website (less than a year old).
So Is Search Engine Optimization Really That Valuable?
Search Engine Optimization is very valuable! We still have clients that are generating over 4000 daily visitors to their website via SEO. But focusing your SEO efforts on high rankings for a few of the most highly sought-after keywords in any industry (even niche industries) is becoming less and less effective. So where is the value? The value of search engine optimization is found in developing a comprehensive strategy that targets a large number of keywords and that focuses on long-term, sustainable results. And an effective search engine optimization strategy will differ for websites in different industries that employ different business models.