The Value of SEO, and Why Patience is a Virtue

The Value of SEO, and Why Patience is a Virtue

21/09/18 | Alex Stockton

The value of SEO, one of the more intangible aspects of an already intangible digital marketing world, is often disputed. It’s not exactly surprising, either. Why pay hundreds, even thousands of pounds a month to a company potentially miles away from you when you can’t even see what you’re getting for it? Well, allow us to explain. The main point we’re going to emphasize throughout this blog post is that long-term strategies are better than short-term quick fixes.

Therein lies the true value of SEO; when done properly, it provides a clear return on investment and becomes, arguably, one of the most fruitful parts of a digital marketing plan. Here, Active Internet Marketing (UK) explain the importance of patience when it comes to your SEO marketing strategy, while also offering advice about how to get the most out of the early stages. We’ve split the post up into two halves. The first examines the value of SEO, with the second explaining the importance of patience when it comes to your campaign.

Why listen to us? We’re biased!

Image of a model of lady justice holding scales

Welcome to the simplest part of the blog post, where we explain why SEO is great and why you should definitely be hiring experts, such as ourselves, to manage your online presence. We’re not going to tell you to pay us now and ask questions later – we want you to understand the value of SEO and where that money’s going.

All joking aside, it’s kind of obvious that we’re going to be in favour of SEO marketing. We are in a pretty good position to explain the practice’s value, though. We work in the industry from 9-5, five days a week, and we’ve even been known to answer the phone while on holiday … our entire jobs (and lives!) revolve around keeping up with the SEO world and improving the online visibility of our clients. While that does, clearly, make us more likely to wax lyrical about the effectiveness of SEO, it also means we know loads about it.

The value of SEO

The Basics

Firstly, the basic principles behind the value of SEO are that the more people landing on your website, the more chance you have of making sales; it’s been proven time and time again the most valuable (with a view to conversions) source of website traffic comes from search engines. Whether or not you’ve invested much money in your site, it’s basically completely redundant without SEO marketing. You could have the best website in the world from an aesthetic, informative, and functional perspective, but if no-one sees it then it might as well be a single page site featuring one line of comic sans text. Unless it’s been built by an SEO expert, there is always going to be serious room for improvement if you want your site to be found in the most relevant search results.

The SEO industry is a frustrating one to work in, in many ways. With Google updating its algorithms so frequently (Google made 2500 changes in 2017), there’s no way you could keep on top of that unless you’re working on it constantly. When it’s not your entire job, it’s going to be impossible for anyone to keep up. The logical solution? Give that headache to someone else. People working in SEO will have ways of staying on top of Google and its numerous mood changes, so let those people take care of your site.

Everyone Does it These Days

I’ve heard people say “everyone does SEO now, it won’t make any difference” a few times before. There are a few issues with this line of thought: one, everyone does SEO so you can’t afford not to; two, it most certainly will make a difference if you don’t think about your own SEO. The idea that something loses its value because everyone’s doing it might be applicable in some situations, but this industry is not one of them. You’re going to fall miles behind your competitors if they’re investing in SEO marketing and you’re not. Like it or not, the internet and Google are a fundamental part of our lives in this country and a large number of others. If your business is going to succeed, you need to work out how to harness them.

It Runs Deep

Try, for a moment, to look past the data. No, we’re not all stats-obsessed and solely data-driven in the industry. Some of us realise that you need something transferable, something to show for a potentially sizeable investment. One of the primary reasons for investing in SEO is that it helps a load of people out. It helps you, because it brings more people onto your site where they can spend money, but it also helps the customer, as it presents them with what they’re looking for and makes their life a whole lot easier (which, in turn, helps you again because they’re less likely to get bored and leave without converting). Having a superior online presence is absolutely essential.

SEO, done properly, allows people to find your business but also to find the right part of your business. That means you’ve got useful website traffic that will convert into actual sales. The perfect SEO marketing campaign will both present potential customers with your company and then make it ridiculously simple for them to find what they’re looking for, vastly reducing the likelihood of them leaving the site without parting with any money. Rankings and traffic are great indicators of how well you’re doing, but an all-encompassing SEO marketing campaign will allow you to access a huge number of customers with a wide range of preferences.

Why patience is a virtue

The Obligatory Analogy

Image of a man checking his watch

Analogies can be exceptionally useful when it comes to explaining a relatively unfamiliar concept, and the very fact that this blog post is attempting to explain the value of SEO places it firmly in that category.

With that in mind, let’s go completely universal here and talk about building. It can be a house, a table, or whatever you’d like – the principles are the same. There are a few different options when it comes to your approach. One the one hand, you could take the attitude that you want results fast. You need something to eat your dinner off tonight, so it has to be done. With that in mind, you build a table out of recycled cardboard and it breaks after one use. You can rebuild it the next day, though, and so on and so forth. The problem is, doing this too much will not only start to add up cost-wise, but it also fails to provide a long-lasting fix. There are pros and cons to short-term solutions; sure, you get to reap the rewards immediately, but what about that dinner party in a month’s time?

There’s a risk that, by rushing, you won’t have given enough attention to the structural integrity of the piece, and overloading it with serving pots could prove disastrous. If you’ve made 30 tables by then, too, that cost will have hit you a little harder than it did initially. Let’s say, then, that you take the other route: the one that takes longer. Again, there are pros and cons here. You might have to wait a bit before you’re able to enjoy a proper sit-down meal. A couple of nights eating off your lap might be due, but think about that dinner party again. The guests will leave with full stomachs and clean dinner jackets, and you won’t have to budget for that recycled cardboard for the rest of your life. The main argument in favour of taking your time is a long-term one. By spending more time on the piece, you dramatically reduce the chances of it wobbling or collapsing. Sure, you’ll have to spend a bit of time on the upkeep of the thing, but doing so will allow you to enjoy sophisticated, sit-down meals for months and years to come (unless you genuinely have no idea how to make a table, in which case you shouldn’t bother).

Translating the Table Example

Image of a table set for a dinner party

This analogy relates specifically to the “patience” section of the blog. It’s not hard to work out what all of that woodwork chat was really saying: it might take a while before you see your results, but the more foundations you lay early on, the better chance you’ll have of earning an impressive return on your investment at a later stage. Don’t start doubting the value of SEO if you’re not all over page one within 6 months. If a site isn’t ranking at all when you start your SEO marketing campaign, it can take that long to get it onto page five. Page five. Remember how that table was better when you took longer over it? Well, doing SEO properly and taking longer over it is better, too. You could go the black hat or paid advertising route for quicker “gains”, but there’s a decent chance it’ll all come crashing down, leaving you much more of a mess than you began with. “Slow and steady wi” – no, sorry, we’re not going to bring that one out.

Try to see it from Google’s perspective here. It’s exactly what we have to do every single day, and yeah, it’s kind of hard. If they’ve got a couple of websites, though, and one’s doing absolutely everything they want and the other’s just started to do things better, they’re not going to immediately push that previously under-performing site right to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Eventually they will, once that site has been worked on hard enough and for long enough, but that isn’t going to be their immediate reaction. You essentially need to prove to Google that you’re good enough to reach number one. Again, that translates to a number of other aspects of life – it’s not just digital marketing.

The takeaway message

In conclusion, there are two main points to take away from this blog: SEO is important because you need a way of distinguishing your website from your competitors’; and it’s essential that you give it time. Remembering these two points should help you to understand your own SEO marketing campaign a little better and, therefore, allow you to make more money from it. If you would like to discuss the contents of this post further, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01604 765 796, and we’ll happily spend some time discussing things further.