Joining the dots between a couple of articles this week, I wanted to highlight an insight into why SEO is difficult and time-consuming.
Reading a great article on “day-parting” (essentially using ad scheduling to maximise ROI from your PPC campaign) highlighted the genesis of this thought – “Working in PPC is all about making the most of what you have”.
And then I read this article today from Chris Liversidge. Now it’s hardly ground-breaking to make comparisons between PPC and organic search marketing, even less so to dwell on how best practice in one area can help improve your actions in the other. Nevertheless, sometimes hearing the same thing said in a different way makes you listen a little more clearly and this was one of those occasions.
The reality is that, once you have make the technical fixes that represent the foundations of a good SEO campaign (and once you have benefitted from the traffic uplift that those improvements can bring), the next stage of an SEO campaign can seem relatively hard-going – it’s rare that you’ll experience regular step-changes; more likely is a steady development of reach and influence, coupled with a consolidation of authority that provides brand protection and security.
This is what everyone wants from SEO, after all – business security underwritten by long-term ranking and traffic success. However, it’s surprising how few are willing to accept that long-term results require long-term effort.
In terms of over-arching strategy, it means that sometimes we need to step back and look at whether optimising for rankings is the most important thing – as Dr Pete says here, rather melodramatically, it’s entirely possible that organic rankings may not be the future of search marketing. Without any doubt, the shift in focus within search marketing back towards the primacy of brand authority (as it always was in traditional marketing) is clear.
Therefore, one needs to be sure of the targets, the strategies and the metrics in one’s campaign – and once those are in place, work hard to follow through in the knowledge that it takes time.
In terms of content development, this requires a big plan, supported by regular, informative and engaging work from all areas of the website. And a big plan doesn’t get completed in a short period of time. On the contrary, just like a good PPC campaign, a good SEO campaign is an iterative and ongoing process – you’ll always have competitors who are trying to overtake you so it stands to reason that you’ve got to keep running.
And in terms of optimisation, it means identifying the metrics you should be caring about, isolating the measuring of those metrics and working to improve the user experience of your site – it’s indisputable that a large percentage of your brand’s future authority will depend on how well you are engaging with your audience and meeting their developing needs.