SEO is factorial of any marketing campaign these days. Every company from brick and mortar, medium size businesses, and even corporations are striving to crack the secret code of success. On average, U.S. users perform 12 billion searches on the web monthly (HubSpot/ComScore, July 2014). That’s a ton of untapped potential to capture. How come SEO does not yield immediate results? Are you strategizing, implementing, and executing SEO campaigns the right way? Why are you not seeing the results you had hoped for achieving?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As a St. Louis SEO professional I strongly advise against a DIY SEO approach especially if it’s a completely unfamiliar territory. There’s far too many elements at stake and a single miscalculation or error can skew the performance for your website. For example, pages of an SEO client website were not being indexed in the SERPs. I was quite puzzled of the reason behind the dilemma. After some in-depth investigation I discovered that their robots.txt file was misconfigured. It was telling search engine robots not to index the entire domain and therefore the brand had absolutely no visibility in search. Peruse through a previous article on robots.txt to get acclimated if this seems like a foreign territory.

And that’s just it. Incoherence in SEO will cost you, largely. Consider the potential business opportunities this client missed out on due to a misconfiguration. Bottom line is that humans/consumers utilize search to find information. Whether it’s comparison shopping, reviews, leisure, search remains front and center.

So, how do you really plan for a strategic SEO campaign? What specifics do you need to consider for optimal success?

#1 Time

Anything worthwhile in digital marketing takes time to mature. Precisely the case with SEO where everything needs to align sequentially for optimal market penetration. On average, a successful campaign can take anywhere form 6-12 months. Why so long? Largely in part due to the index rate of search engine crawlers. Keep in mind that they are crawling millions of website on monthly basis. That makes time, money, and resources to accomplish in a systematic fashion. If you’re likable by Google then chances are you may establish a pattern of faster indexation and acquire stronger visibility in SERPs faster. There is no guarantee on this though as you are merely operating at the discretion of a search engine robot. Therefore, in order to be successful with an SEO campaign, set realistic expectations with realistic timeframes.

#2 Money

SEO is FREE traffic. We’ve already established that. However, the optimization component of SEO requires an investment. Depending on the size of your brand, goals, and objectives it can be a sizable one. The general rule of thumb here is the larger your website, the more attention it will require and ultimately a stronger monetary investment. So, plan accordingly. Evaluate the marketing budget in determining the part SEO will play in the big picture. Prepare to invest for the long haul. You won’t strike gold overnight. This is an organic approach that will take time to accomplish results.

This is probably one of the hardest parts about SEO. Even though it’s not obvious at times, in the reality of things brands seek instant gratification majority of the times. That is with anything marketing related really and not just SEO.

#3 Patience

Patience IS a virtue. It is going to take time for your brand to acquire market recognition. Definitely not something you are going to master overnight so you will need to test your patience. Nobody likes waiting and that’s the cruel reality in this situation. But you have to be cognizant of the fact that Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine does not operate on your watch. It would be nice though, right? The wait is definitely worth it and the reward that much sweeter. I’m referring to the boost in traffic potential you will experience.

#4 (Bonus) Strategy

SEO requires creative thinking. It is no longer a siloed area that entails in keyword stuffing, keyword inclusion, or any other manipulation tactic that may end up in a slap on the wrist for the long term. Think about the goals and objectives you are aiming to accomplish behind an SEO strategy so you can be successful.

Here are a few reasons that you should consider an SEO strategy:

  • SEO for traffic purposes
  • SEO for increased sales potential
  • SEO for visibility in search
  • SEO for ideation purposes
  • SEO for longevity and permanency of a solid brand footprint
  • SEO for reputation management
  • SEO for thought leadership

Certainly there are other reasons you may find to leverage organic traffic for but the ones listed above are some of the most common. Additionally, when strategizing over the SEO approach, consider the following areas for a blanket approach:

  • Audit
  • Campaigns planning
  • Keyword research
  • Content marketing and blogging endeavors
  • Competitor analysis
  • The 4 Pillars of SEO – Accessibility, Indexation, On-Page, and Off-Page
  • Reporting
  • Maintenance

Are you ready for a strategic SEO campaign? Have you consulted with a St. Louis SEO professional? Did you take time to identify goals and objectives behind this campaign? I’d love to hear your thoughts.