No. 1 Website Marketing Question: Is It Working?
The Marketing Square designs websites and rebuilds websites for lawyers, doctors, realtors, and financial firms who ask: How do you know if Website SEO is working and how long will website SEO take until I get new business?
You’ll know your SEO and SEM program is working because you’ll get new business calls. Your phone will begin ringing. You’ll get e-mail from prospective clients. You’ll sell more products online. Clients will tell you that they found you in a Google search or on your website.
It takes time. If it’s a new website in a competitive market it could take six to nine months. If it’s an open market, with little local competition, it may be several months. If you have a new service or product with high demand and low availability, you could sell out right away. It will vary depending on reasonable market conditions.
When the SEO works, you’re found online in Google, Yahoo and Bing searches. People contact you for meetings, services, ,products, they are buying, regularly if you’re paying enough and have hired the right company.
That’s it. That’s how you’ll know your SEO is working.
Don’t Be Fooled by Traffic Reports for Too Long
You shouldn’t be reading data or asking to see traffic reports. Your job is to handle your business and give the SEO and SEM a reasonable amount of time to work. You can’t smush a whole lot of content online and onto your website. Google won’t move any faster for you.
But to answer the question again, you’ll know the SEO is working because you’re getting new business. Period. Don’t let anyone tell you that “you’re getting great traffic.” “You’ll get there,” for too long. Yes, it’s great to know at the launch and for the first couple months. But after six months and no business, you need a market review to see what’s affecting the slowdown. What’s the phone answering situation? Are you letting phone calls go to voice mail? Are you picking up and answering all the calls? Are you forwarding calls to someone who will answer when you’re away from the phone?
Did you build a website for a fluctuating or tentative business without a business plan or without a marketing plan? Very often, the economy will effect a business as seen in the recession. Think and plan very carefully by doing market and online research so that you know what your window of opportunity is in a given field.
If it’s a new website, brand new, just built, it will take at least 6 to 9 months to get regular business from your website. That means steady business. But you should be getting clients after the website is viewed. If you’re getting a lot of views, you should be getting new business. However, if it’s a rebuilt website and you used a domain with a lot of penalties or a domain that wasn’t researched, that’s not going to bode well for your business. If you’re in a non-competitive category, it should be between six and nine months.
Lawyers, doctors, this doesn’t necessarily include you. You’re in one of the most competitive categories online. You’re also going to pay at least $100 an hour for monthly SEO and SEM programs from reputable firm. If you are not doing SEO and SEM and instead decide to pay for AdWords, you’ll pay several hundred dollars per click per word on Google AdWords. With an SEO and SEM program after nine months, you should be getting new calls, e-mails and online sales fairly regularly.
Beer Budget, Champagne Dreams
If you’re paying too little for SEO and SEM you can’t expect champagne results on a beer budget. You can’t expect miracles for pennies or for hundreds of dollars you spend on SEO and SEM. You’ll be paying thousands to make thousands. SEO is a lot of work, grueling non-stop work. You’ll definitely be paying for it at the very least $50 to $75 dollars an hour for at least 30 hours a month.
If you’re a lawyer and you’re paying thousands for SEO every month. You’ll get regular traffic and new business regularly after a year. But you have to maintain the SEO and tactics have to change regularly. It’s advertising.
Don’t Throw SEO Money into Dated Websites
Now, if you have an old website that didn’t get updated or changed and you’re paying for SEO, that’s a problem. Your website should always be updated, and rebuilt in WordPress to be sure your website is search engine-friendly. Then, you start the SEO.
Paying for SEO on an old website is like throwing good money away. You’re paying for your website to turn up in search. If people get there and don’t like it, your website is old, dated and boring, then you’re wasting your money. An SEO company should be telling you these things.
Be Realistic and Be Patient for SEO to Kick In
If you’ve been paying for SEO for a year and not getting any results it’s time to make a change. But if it’s only been four months, six months, wait it out. SEO takes a long time to kick in. You can’t pay anyone for a rapid rise to the top. And if you have, they’re lying to you because there’s no such thing in SEO. If you want to know how long does it take for SEO to work and you need to know if SEO works or how much to pay for SEO, get an estimate from a reputable firm. Find out if the company has experience and whether the firm has worked in the category
The Marketing Square is a Winter Park, Florida; Ventura & Orcutt, California; Westland, Michigan; and Madison, Wisconsin, website design and ad agency for lawyers, doctors, realtors and financial companies.