If you've decided to invest in SEO, you've probably discovered that it involves a lot of work, and the results don't come as a surprise. Maybe you've been actively optimizing your website for some time already, or maybe you're just getting started. Either way, it's good to know that SEO is a long-term process that takes time. Not getting any results from SEO today? That doesn't mean you won't get results in the future. On the contrary, here we explain why.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is recognized in English as search engine optimization. When you search engine optimise your website, you use tricks that make your website appear as high as possible in the search results on Google, for example. Examples include updating your site with unique and relevant content and keywords, ensuring that all pages are well structured and including images and meta descriptions. The more thorough and persistent you are with your SEO work, the better Google's algorithms will like your particular website and prioritise it higher than your competitors'. If you're not getting results from SEO, it might be a good idea first to see if you can improve your search engine optimization skills and make sure you haven't missed any fundamental pieces. Or get outside help!
How do search engines like Google work?
If you find that your search engine optimisation is not generating any results, the problem may be that it is not easy enough for the search engine to understand what your page is about. But how does a search engine actually work? Google, by far the most widely used search engine in the world, has two main purposes. Firstly, to find and index websites. The second is to make sure that those of us who search for something find what we're looking for. In order to find and index all the web pages and websites that exist, search robots, also known as 'spiders', are used.
4 quick ones about Google's spiders:
- The spiders read and store information in Google's large index.
- Keywords, relevance, meta descriptions and how often your page is updated are examples of the kind of information the spiders detect.
- This information is used as a ranking factor when Google decides which page should appear in the search results and which ranking the page should receive.
- The spiders also detect if your page links to other websites, as well as if other websites link to yours.
Your SEO work therefore affects the extent to which spiders can read your content and further assess whether your page should rank high in search results.
The importance of technical SEO
Relevant keywords and unique content are super important and you're well on your way once you've got the hang of this. However, if the technical elements are missing, you won't see any results. If you're not getting results from SEO even though you've been working on it for a while, you may have missed the technical part. With technical SEO, you make it easier for search engines to interpret your content faster, which in turn leads to better rankings. Most basic is making sure your website and all its landing pages are indexed correctly. The most common is to optimize your meta title and meta description which has two benefits. Firstly, it gives Google more information about what the page is about. Secondly, it also helps potential visitors find the right page when they search. With relevant meta description, you can thus get more clicks and visits from Google search results.
SEO takes time
The same premises apply to SEO as to many other things in life - it takes time and it takes a lot of work. You won't win a 100-meter race after training once on the running track. Nor will you rank at the top of organic search the day after you've search engine optimised your website. Expect it to take several months before you see the real results. However, there are a few different factors that affect how long it takes for your work to take effect. Some examples of these factors are:
- Do you have an old or new website?
Google gives priority to websites with established content. If you're SEOing a brand new website, you can expect it to take longer for Google to rank your content highly, compared to someone who's SEOing a website that's several years old.
- Are there links to and from the website?
Both external and internal links help to rank the website higher. Especially external links that refer to your domain from another. This type of link building can be difficult to achieve. Instead, internal links can help Google understand that your content is relevant. Internal links refer from and to your own website and help visitors find more relevant content.
- What is the competition like?
Competition is partly about the extent to which your competitors are actively doing SEO or not. It is also about how competitive your optimal keywords are. Very niche industries may get faster results because they are not competing with as many for positions. Always do a keyword analysis to find out the search volume of each keyword. Then you can more easily determine which keywords you should use to have a good chance of being seen.
SEO requires continuous work
To use the analogy of the 100 meter race again, you won't win the same race over and over again just because you managed to win once. You need to maintain your training on the track, just as you need to maintain your SEO work to keep ranking high on Google. The algorithm evolves and changes, and the factors that applied in the past may not apply in the long run. Have you been working with SEO for a long time and are starting to see your website rank high in the search results? Well done and well done! Don't stop now! When you stop updating your content, you signal to Google that your page is no longer relevant and it will gradually be prioritized lower. And as we just mentioned, Google updates its algorithms at regular intervals, which for those of us who work with SEO means that we must constantly keep up with the changes.
You can download our SEO guide for 2023 here.