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Nearly every business owner has heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and they all have similar SEO Expectations. I like to ask my clients what they think SEO is and 99% of the time they respond with “It’s keywords on the website,“ or “it makes you show up on Google.”

Both of these answers are not wrong. In fact SEO is all about optimizing the website for certain keywords in the hopes of dominating the front page of Google. However, this is just a basic understanding of what SEO is. Along with this basic understanding comes many wrong expectations or misconceptions about SEO.

Here are a few of the most common expectations my clients have when engaging in an SEO campaign:

SEO Expectations #1: Amazing Results Happen Over Night

This is a very common expectation many clients have as they think we can just add some keywords to the site and have them rank #1 the next day. They are usually bombarded by emails and advertising saying “We can get your company #1 on Google in a week!” or something similar to that affect.  You need to be VERY cautious if any SEO company approaches you with such fantasies.

The Reality:

Proper SEO campaigns usually take around 4 – 12 months to implement the changes and to start seeing positive results. This isn’t just me saying it either, this is coming straight from Google in a YouTube video about hiring a good SEO company (at the 1:40 mark). I highly recommend watching the whole video as it provides a lot of beneficial information. SEO is a long-term investment into your company, so make that investment count with proper SEO.

SEO Expectations #2: Internal Links Are A Waste of Time

Internal linking is something that most clients feel is a waste of time when I explain it to them. “If the whole point of an Authority building campaign is to get external backlinks, why would you bother with internal linking?”

The Reality:

Internal linking helps users navigate throughout your website. They also help Google search engine crawlers understand your content. Google does this by looking at the anchoring text you use in an internal link.

SEO Expectations #3: Your Website Needs to be Crammed Full of Keywords

I had a client once that had some SEO done on their site many years prior and gained great results from it. The client had told me that the SEO guy they had before had stuffed keywords all over his website. He hid them with white text on a white background, or way down in the footer where no one would really see them. At the time it had worked great as it helped this client’s website rank for a multitude of keywords and this is what the client wanted me to do.

The Reality:

The methods used were far outdated and could actually lead to worse rankings in Google today, not to mention potential penalties. Google is constantly changing the search algorithm to ensure that good, quality content and trustworthiness is what determines rank. Saying that the client was utterly shocked at just how alive SEO is would be an understatement. The same goes for stuffing content with a specific keyword. While there is no real golden ratio of keyword to content, it’s always good to keep keyword density to around 1-3%. Too much and you run the risk of Google thinking it is a spam post. Too little and you could loose ranking for that keyword.

SEO Expectations #4: Authority Building Isn’t Worth the Extra Expense

I always get raised eyebrows and wide eyes when I tell clients the additional cost of adding Authority building to their SEO campaign. “Why on earth would I pay an extra $X for people to link to my site!? I don’t need the extra domain authority, It’s not worth it.”

The Reality:

Authority Building is a crucial part of a successful competitive SEO campaign. Authority often separates a 5th page result from a 1st page result. Your website’s Authority is how trustworthy your website is in the eyes of Google. It consists of Blog Posts, Backlinks generated from other sites, and citations. Backlinks are links that people put on their own websites that link back to your website. Usually this happens when someone visits your site, reads something they really like, and then puts a link back to your website when they refer to you and what they read. Relevant, high authority backlinks are a great way to boost your Domain Authority.

SEO Expectations #5: SEO is a One Time Service

Some people believe that they just pay an expert for their SEO services for six (6) months. Then they don’t renew their contract thinking, my site is all optimized now, no need to keep paying my SEO people!

The Reality:

SEO is a long-term investment into your business, and a six-month contract won’t get you anywhere.

Being a born and raised Floridian, I like to use this analogy when describing SEO:

SEO is a lot like growing an Orange Tree. Imagine the Orange tree being your website, and SEO is what you do to nurture the tree. In order for your Orange Tree to produce Oranges, you need to water it, you need to have a compost pile to add nutrients to the soil, and you need to have proper sunlight. When all of these things are met, your orange tree will eventually grow and bear fruit. The same is true for your website. The Structural and Content portions of SEO are the foundations of your search engine rankings. The continual monitoring, addition of fresh new content, and building your authority all go towards nurturing your website. After some time, your website will start to bear fruit of its own in the form of converted visitors.

In Summary:

SEO is an amazing tool to help your business grow. It takes time for it to work. Internal links are important to help Google structure your site. You don’t want to overload your pages with keywords, keep keyword density at 1-3%. Authority building gives you the competitive edge. SEO is a continuous investment into your business.

We at Ignition Digital Marketing have a burning passion for helping local businesses grow. SEO is a great way to drive relevant traffic to your website and help convert that traffic into paying customers.

If you are interested in growing your business using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the power of the internet, please feel free to contact us.