16 Dec Why Am I Not Ranking – 5 Myths behind SEO
“I don’t understand. My web developer said he did SEO when he created my website, but it’s not ranking on Google. I think he didn’t do it. How can I check that he did what he promised me?”
This is one of the most common questions I hear from potential clients. And the answer is … well, there is no real answer, because parts of the question are wrong. Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) in layman’s terms can be defined as doing what it takes to get your website ranking on Google for relevant searches. And I find that most people think it’s a lot simpler to do than it actually is. Here are 5 myths about SEO that business owners should know.
(1) SEO does NOT have a magic formula
There is no recipe for success. And there is no magic wand that anyone can wave to get you high on search engines. If it was that easy, then everyone would be doing it, which would put everyone back on the same playing field. It normally takes a lot of concentrated, time-consuming efforts to get your website ranking at the top.
(2) SEO is NOT tasks performed by your web developer
It’s sad to see that in this day and age, web developers claim to “do SEO” to a website for an extra hundred bucks or so on top of the website creation price. Most aren’t trying to be deceiving, they likely don’t know any better. What they commonly do for this price is set up some extra background code, page titles and text so that search engines understand more clearly what your website is about. While it is important to have this done, it’s only the first piece of a massive puzzle, and perhaps could be called “making your website SEO ready”, but certainly should not be given the all-encompassing title of “SEO”.
(3) SEO is NOT controlled on your website
Who would you believe more: a person who tells you he himself has the world’s best furniture, or a person who tells you about another person who has the world’s best furniture? Most would choose the latter. Referrals are powerful because in theory a person has little or no incentive to lie.
Now, think of a link from another website to your website as a confident referral to your business. Sure you can declare on your own website that you have the world’s best furniture, but if other websites link to yours and have discussions about your great furniture, Google will favour your website a lot more because it considers those links trustworthy referrals from others. So in short, it is third party websites that control your Google fate, not your own.
(4) SEO does NOT produce fast results
If you start SEO efforts now, and put even a sizable budget behind it, it can take 3 to 8 months before you rank close to where you want to. Google needs to slowly build trust with your website before it will rank you close to the top. SEO needs to be looked at as a long term, ongoing investment that you will benefit from in future months and years, but very seldom will you see immediate results.
(5) SEO is NOT the same for every industry
How much time and money you put into your SEO investment is directly related to how much time and money your competitors are putting in. For this reason, a price for SEO efforts can’t be quoted until after competitive research has been done. In theory, if you are trying to rank higher than someone but can’t, it is often because they are putting more time, money and/or thought into SEO than you are.
When investing in SEO from a professional digital marketing company, remember the 5 facts above. You will have some knowledge of the size and time of the project to a degree so that there is no major shock along the way.