Four times a year we send out quarterly analytics reports to our clients. Generally speaking, we show clients how their quarterly traffic has increased by double digits. We alert them to high value links and report on the pages that have been most frequently shared by readers in social media. We let them know that their cost per click for Google Ads has gone down again and show the visitors they’ve had from their target audience. Over time, the news just gets better and better.
Sometimes there are surprises. Real world events (like the pandemic we’re experiencing right now) can have effects on traffic and conversions. New opportunities arise or a tech or algorithm change requires a response. But our long-term clients see the results of an important SEO secret: time.
What time does for on-page SEO
The value of a well-made website is higher than that of a poorly-made site. That’s true when you first launch. But when you keep up with basic SEO efforts, you can expect to see steady improvement.
What are basic SEO efforts?
- Regularly add fresh content — probably by blogging.
- Keep your website up to date in terms of technology and user experience.
- Use social media and other promotion to draw new visitors.
- Encourage high quality links by producing excellent content and promoting that content.
The value and authority of your entire website will increase. New pages will be indexed faster and ranked higher. You’ll have increasing amounts of high quality content to link to on your own website, and a better understanding of your community and your readers.
Your website will improve as you work on it, growing in stature and value as you go along.
What time does for off-site SEO
Once you have a well-respected website, you’ll get editorial links from high quality websites more easily and more frequently. The sites we’ve blogged for and managed for years get links from influencers, mainstream news outlets, and local organizations on a regular basis. Links from The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, Rolling Stone, schools, government websites, and more. The more great content we produce at well-maintained websites, the more great links we get.
Obviously. That’s why Google still cares about links.
We also get press releases from legitimate organizations, so we have the chance to show up early with news and information. We get products to test and review. Webmasters seek us out, so we don’t have to put in as much time seeking them out. All these things increase our chances of getting more of those coveted, high-quality links.
Time waits for no website
We’re misquoting St. Marher, but this is an important point. Time goes on whether you continue to manage your website well or not. If you’re doing a good job with your website, you can expect to see good results. If you’re inconsistent, you’re not going to see those results.
There are lots of different ways to measure your results. One of our sites was approached by a national testing company. They wanted to use content from the website in a state reading test. That was not on our list of goals, but it’s certainly a sign of authority and value for the website.
An article about COVID-19 which we wrote for a client is nationally ranked at #2 on Google for a primary keyphrase. Again, not something that happens every day, but evidence of the stature of that website.
Let’s look at the easiest metric to check: traffic.
Every website is different. Every organization has different goals, audiences, resources, and strategies. But you should be able to look at the traffic for your website over time and see growth: a line leading upward from left to right. It my be steeper or less steep, but this is what you ought to see.
If you don’t keep up with basic SEO, you’ll see that line heading up while you worked on it and then leveling off when you stopped, as shown below.
That’s your missed opportunity.
If you never made the effort, you’ll see a fairly straight line, as in the screenshot below. You might see peaks and valleys caused by occasional marketing efforts, but you don’t even know what your missed opportunity might look like.
Your website will not get better results over time just because it exists.
But your efforts — regular blogging, social media, gaining links — will get you better and better results over time.
If you’d like excellent results but working on your website is not the best use of your time, contact us. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your business, your website, what kind of results you’d like to see, and how we can help you make that happen.