Blog
Jul
15
2015

You Have to Catch Up to the Competition, FIRST

In the SEO world getting top placement on the first page of Google is the ultimate goal. Much like a race others in your industry are competing not only to get there first but to maintain the position.

Chances are if you are just starting an SEO campaign there is already competition out there. How do you catch up? You might be late to the race however with the help of an experienced SEO expert it’s possible to catch up and even outrank the competition.

To keep with our analogy of a race SEO is not a sprint or a 10K SEO is a much like a marathon, SEO takes time.  It’s not uncommon for a client to get anxious about its top rankings. In fact, if the client isn’t fairly warned, they could get too anxious, suspicious, angry, and even impatient. Even if organic traffic is up and conversions have increased if the competitors are still ahead it can be very frustrating to a client.

My (Past) Post at Moz.com

This takes me back to 2013 when I wrote a post for Moz titled: 5 Ways to prove to the Client that the Traffic Will Come. I listed several ways I like to stay in communication with my client during the early stages of the SEO campaign when the site hasn’t fully reached the level the campaign is aiming toward.

The 5 ways were;

  1. Ranking reports and keyword improvements
  2. Working logs
  3. Summary reports and updates
  4. Other metrics to report
  5. Resources vouching that SEO takes time

If you look at how many people thumbs upped the post, you’ll see this was a hot topic. It’s actually hard to find another Moz article with more thumbs up than this one (they are out here though). The article isn’t cutting-edge or even that great. It was just well received, because, truth be told,  all SEO’s know that any help and tips to making that plateauing phase still worth the investment to the clients is a valuable resource indeed.

SEO Takes Time

ALL SEO companies have to deal with the fact that SEO takes time, SEO is an investment. If you want to outrank the competition, you need to first prove to Google that your website is as great as your competition. You must also mimic all the forms of off-page outreach and link building your competition has done in the past. Only then are you ready to compete. In order to catch up to years of competitors’ SEO efforts it takes time and hard work. Your competitor that are ranking well have experience with SEO success and are ready to compete with any site trying to dethrone them.

Signs of Improvement

You will typically see signs of improvement throughout the SEO campaign. As you check off different tasks on your SEO-list-of-things-to-do-to-compete, you’ll see gradual increases in rankings and traffic. However it isn’t until you’ve fully emulated the competitors and/or dramatically and loudly demonstrated why you are so different, will you be able to outrank them on Google.

There’s no secret sauce other than efficiency.

Don’t Throw It All Away. Hang in There!

Here are a couple examples of  2 different SEO campaigns with nearly the same results. One not getting results until most tasks have been completed around month 3 (TOP) and the other started seeing gradual results right away, month after month, as tasks are completed (BOTTOM).

SEO-Campaign-Traffic-Increase

Gradual-SEO-Increase

Even though Google prides itself on freshness and having the most relevant results, they’re not going to rank a site they know nothing about above its current sites that have already proven to provide great results. They have to protect their reputation and quite frankly, we use Google because they give us the best results (until you can prove them wrong).

If you are working with an SEO (that you trust) and you’re still in the 1st couple months of the campaign, hang in there. The results will come. It takes time for Google to react to changes and re-index your site among the billions of other pages online. And if you quit now, it’s just a waste of money. Because until you catch up (to constantly moving competitors) you’ll continue to sit just under them while they collect all the revenue that could have been yours, if you just had the patience.

 

author: James Harrison

James Harrison is the lead SEO specialist at SEO by the Hour. He's been doing SEO and internet marketing since 2005. Using his extensive experience working with large corporate sites, small business sites and personal sites, he provides readers with tips and useful information to help them with their online marketing goals. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to get posts straight to your inbox!

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