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Real Talk on SEO After Tackling 500+ Projects

I’ve been working in SEO for the past six years, and during this time, I have worked with over 500 different websites on small or bigger SEO projects. From SEO audits and content briefs, to fully managing a client’s SEO campaign for months at a time, I’ve come across a lot. 

No matter the size of the client, though, or the size of the project, most people worry about the same things when it comes to SEO. They believe in the same myths and they have the same misconceptions.

So, it’s about time that I try to clear the air around it. 

What should you expect when you (or an SEO expert) actively work on your SEO? 

First, what do I mean by “actively working on SEO”?

Well, exactly that. 

SEO is not a one-time solution. You can’t just research some keywords, add them to your web pages, titles, and meta descriptions, and expect to suddenly come up #1 on Google.

You’re in it for the long haul. 

My site used to do great on Google, but now it has disappeared without me changing anything.

That’s something I’ve heard from a few clients in the past years, and my answer is always the same: “Not changing anything could be the main issue.

Google’s ever-changing algorithm and the competitive landscape don’t allow for a one-time optimization. There have been 10 core updates in 2022, 9 in 2023, and more already coming in 2024. Your competitors might be updating their websites and improving constantly. 

Not changing anything does not mean you’re supposed to get the same results. Not changing anything means that you’re falling behind.

You have to keep working on your website, updating the design, improving the user experience, writing new content… 

So, what should you be doing? 

Everything.

SEO is not just technical fixes or adding keywords to your website. 

It’s about making the best first impression on your potential customers and making sure they maintain that good impression of you every time they return to your website or come across it online. 

It’s user experience. It’s branding. It’s everything.

  • You have to make sure there are no technical issues discouraging your site from being indexed on search engines.
  • You have to research and find all the ways your potential customers are searching for what you have to offer.
  • You have to make sure you’re explaining what it is you offer in a clear and useful way (on your website and everywhere online).
  • You have to make it easy and intuitive for people who want to buy or work with you to actually do just that.
  • You have to find ways to attract people that might still not know that they need what you have to offer them. 
  • You have to get people to trust you.
  • You have to optimize your website to be fast and offer a smooth experience to visitors.

You might say, “Well, yeah. Of course, I have to do all this. That’s not just SEO.”

I will argue that it is. 

Doing all this sends signals to search engines that you’re doing things right. And when you do things right, search engines start appreciating your work by ranking you higher. 

Higher rankings mean more traffic.

More traffic brings more customers.

More customers make for a happier you. 😀

What about results? What should you expect?

SEO takes time. 

There may be some actions we can take to get you some quick wins, but you can’t expect results overnight. 

Not after a week. Not even after a month.

Image Source: morningscore.io

How quickly we see results depends on the efforts we’re making, yes. But it also depends on the search engines, the competition, the search landscape for your target audience, and the industry you’re in.

In cases where competition is low and impactful changes were made on a site from day 1, you might see results within that first month. 

In most cases, however, you may begin to receive more organic traffic within two to six months of consistent SEO implementation. Especially when it comes to content, It’s important to keep in mind that it can take up to 12 months before you start seeing results. 

Here is an example where it took about six months to start seeing results but we went from about 150 to 400 clicks per month on average.

When you do start seeing results, though, you’ll know it was worth it. 

Please, don’t focus on rankings.

Something I also hear quite often is: “I still don’t rank high for my main keyword.

Maybe you don’t.

But that’s not necessarily something that should worry you. 🙂

Keyword rankings don’t drive revenue. Leads and sales do.

Even if we’re not ranking #1 for some of those important keywords you have singled out, we might still be getting the results we’re aiming for. (This is why configuring advanced tracking from the beginning of a project is so important.)

Can you do SEO on your own? 

Yeah, you could. 

And you might be very successful.

But depending on your industry, the size of your business, your competitors, and even the focus you want to give on your personal life, I will argue that one person can’t do everything. 

You are the expert in what you do. There is no better person than you to run your business. And you need to focus on doing just that. 

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and strategies that work today may not work tomorrow. So, in order to do SEO right, you need to be informed, stay up-to-date, and adapt on a daily basis. Plus, you need to know how to write very well and fast.

That’s another full-time job. 

Well, it’s my job 😉

So, if you have time and you love spending it learning new things, go ahead and try doing SEO on your own. 

But hiring an SEO expert to take care of this for you means you can spend all that free time growing your business. 

The choice is yours.

What can you expect when working with Zima Media?

We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all strategies when it comes to SEO management.

But we do have a framework that we follow in our work. 

  • First, we learn everything we can about you and your business. We do that by discussing with you, getting some specific questions answered in a survey, and auditing your website.
  • Then, we decide on a strategy and create an initial 3-month roadmap with the most important action items we discovered. 
  • On a monthly basis, we implement, we review our results, monitor the website for changes, and revisit the roadmap to make the necessary adjustments to your strategy.

No roadmap looks the same. 

Some websites might need a lot of technical work done while others need to focus more on content. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • We won’t fix everything all at once but rather prioritize the issues we find according to urgency, severity, and SEO impact.
  • Optimizing titles and meta descriptions can be a quick win that can help boost your rankings if done right.
  • SEO works best when it’s part of a larger omnichannel marketing strategy. Promote your articles on social media, advertise your services, and send email campaigns.
  • We’ll sometimes need your input. No matter how much research we do, you’ll always be our go-to expert in your business and industry. The better our cooperation, the better the results we can get.

What will you do about all this, then?

To wrap up, there are, in essence, three things you should remember about SEO:

  1. It is not a one-time optimization. You’re in it for the long haul.
  2. It includes technical fixes, keywords and content, user experience, branding, and anything else you can think of.
  3. It takes time. But when the results start coming in, it will all be worth it. 

SEO is a journey.

A journey of constant learning, tweaking, and adapting to ensure your website stands out. 

If you’re ready to navigate the ever-changing search landscape but want to stay on top of your business while someone else takes care of the SEO side of things, we’re here to help. 

Just send us a message!

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