SEO: Expectations vs Reality

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a marketing tactic that is used to boost a webpage’s position in Google’s rankings. In turn, this can lead to more traffic, more leads, and growing revenue.

Many business owners expect to quickly see positive returns on a one-time SEO investment. However, in reality, the SEO process can take time to produce results, will require sustained effort, and may not necessarily result in growth if the leads it generates are not properly nurtured.

Because there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to SEO, here are the 5 most common SEO myths that we want to debunk.

SEO Results Can Happen Overnight

Some people expect to see the results of their SEO efforts overnight. However, results take time to materialize. Even with high-quality content or skyscraper content, building enough domain authority and page authority to launch a page to the top of Google’s rankings can take time.

SEO is better understood as a long-term investment that will require time and effort in order to produce meaningful results. This may lead some to wonder if SEO is really a worthwhile investment. However, not engaging in SEO while your competition does is a sure-fire way to drop down the rankings and get left behind. Considering how many people now use Google for shopping purposes (35% of product searches begin on Google), neglecting your website’s ranking will not only lead to fewer sales for you, but likely to more for your competitors.

A good rule of thumb is to not expect any serious SEO-related boosts in traffic for at least 3–6 months. According to Google themselves, the SEO process may even take as long as 4–12 months before producing meaningful results.

SEO Is a One-Time Investment

SEO Expectations vs Reality
Search engine optimization is a long-term investment for your business. Although you might see an uptick in traffic after just a few months, that does not mean that it will continue without a sustained effort.

The continuous monitoring of traffic, optimization of new pages, addition of new content, and building of authority are all required for successful search engine optimization. Making a one-time investment and expecting it to produce long-term results is a common SEO mistake. In reality, investment must be sustained in order for it to produce results.

Some business owners may be put off by the idea of investing in SEO over the long-run. However, search engine optimization is actually much more cost-effective than PPC (paid ads), especially for highly competitive industries. Recent research by Wordstream found that keywords like “insurance” and “attorney” can cost well over $45 for a single click-through, leading to astronomical PPC costs.

More Traffic Leads to More Sales

SEO Expectations vs Reality
Just because your SEO strategy is successful in driving traffic to your website doesn’t necessarily mean that traffic will result in sales or revenue. How you manage this traffic and how successfully you can push it down the marketing funnel will determine how valuable it really is.

In order for traffic to convert into sales, the leads generated by organic search traffic must be nurtured. Data shows that, when leads are nurtured correctly, search engine optimization has the best lead-to-customer rate of all inbound marketing channels.

A good way to figure out if your leads are actually getting somewhere is by tracking conversions. Tracking when and how leads are converting on your website can give you a better idea of how your SEO is really performing, and how it can be improved in order to actually generate more conversions and grow revenue.

SEO Is All About Keywords and Links

Newcomers to SEO may think that search engine optimization is nothing but keywords and links. However, in reality, search engine optimization is actually a range of activities that encompasses both on-page and off-page SEO.

Keyword stuffing is an outdated strategy that now leads to penalization from Google and will actually cause more harm than good. Moreover, stuffing your pages with low-quality links is a similarly outdated strategy that is unlikely to produce any kind of meaningful results. Modern SEO is a much more complex process that consists of factors such as technical optimization, mobile optimization, page speed, user experience, and more.

SEO Will Make You Rank First on Google

SEO Expectations vs Reality
While search engine optimization will definitely help you rank, there’s no guarantee it will help you rank first, especially if you are operating in a competitive industry.

High rankings require a significant and sustained investment of time, effort, and resources. Even so, if the competition is particularly fierce, there is really no guarantee that your SEO efforts will get your website to the very top of Google’s rankings.

Ranking first for high-volume keywords is a monumental task. Adjusting your expectations accordingly and focusing on less competitive keywords will prevent you from being disappointed.

We think SEO is a valuable digital marketing tactic for dispensaries and marijuana delivery services. If you haven’t started optimizing your site, now is the time! Give us a call to learn more.