When do I see the benefits of SEO?
Don't you just love it when you ask a simple question and all you get is "it depends" and a whole bunch of mumbo-jumbo and technobabble?
Unfortunately this question needs an "it depends", but the mumbo-jumbo and technobabble will be kept to a minimum?
Let's start by listing the factors that influence the timetable. The big factors are:
- what changes you make to your site (changes to just structure, content or links, some combination or all)
- how often the search engines visit your site (3 to 6 months between visits is not uncommon for a poorly performing site)
- how much scope there is in your site for improvement
- where your competition is placed relative to you and what they are doing to improve their situation
- the keywords you are targeting and the competition for those keywords
- each search engine works independently, using their own algorithms and update timetables
Each of these factors will change the time it takes for the optimisation process to pay dividends. The only one you can seriously control is the first.
But are we talking weeks, months or years?
In our experience, the impact of SEO may take 2 or more months before a significant change is noticed. It is unreasonable to expect anything faster than that.
Here is a summary of results for one of the sites we are assisting.
|Aust.||O'seas||% Aus||Pages /
We don't believe there is any seasonal impact in these numbers. Visits and page views by the search engine visits have been excluded from these figure.
This result shows a gradual rise in the number of visitors in the months after implementing the SEO strategies. During the fourth month the visitor rate rose to a point just short of double the initial rate. The numbers for the pages viewed also rose in this same period by a larger percentage. This reflects the increase number of visitors but also reflects the increase in the number of pages available for display.
These are the results of another of our customer sites.
Again, we don't believe there is any significant seasonal impact in these numbers and the search engines have been excluded. You may be inclined to think the wedding industry is seasonal - brides prefer Spring weddings. This may be true, but bookings and website enquiries for related services are made with widely varying lead times. This will act to minimise any seasonal effect.
Also present in this case is the geographic nature to the potential client base. This client is in Canberra and can only reasonably service the ACT area. This limits the number of potential customers. According to ABS there were approximately 30 weddings per week in the ACT during 2004.
In this case the visitor rate was double the starting rate by the third month. Visitor rates fluctuate from month to month but the overall trend is upwards, with a terrific result by January '07. Again, the page view rates are influenced by the increased number of pages available, and are also experiencing an overall upward trend.
So I can expect this sort of result for my site?
We cannot and do not promise any specific result for any website. Both of these sites were getting little traffic from the search engines (or any external source for that matter). Both had structural issues that were easy to address. We didn't focus on a narrow set of keywords but emphasised a broad range of keyword phrases and added or improved content. We think these sorts of results are possible for many sites through the use of similar techniques.
In case you're interested, we consider a "visitor" as any number of pages displayed from one IP address with a consistent browser and where the gap between pages shown is less than 30 minutes.
If you would like to discuss what might be possible for your website, please contact us.