How To Win The SEO Waiting Game

Regular, engaging content, a well organized site and a healthy sprinkling of keywords will rocket you to the top of search rankings in no time, right? Wrong. Although the elements of a great search engine optimization (SEO) strategy are well known, getting a highly coveted top 10 ranking can be a slow and frustrating process, taking months at best. This period after you’ve optimized your website and its content to be the best it can be is like a waiting game – and how you win it (a.k.a., getting that first-page ranking) depends on how you spend it. Don’t brush off your shoulders just yet – there’s always SEO work to do. Here are some tips on how to win the SEO waiting game.

Be patient

Unlike pay-per-click, where results can come quickly, SEO is a long-term play where you continually optimize your site, knowing that search engines reward sites that do with higher organic rankings. These days, search engines are all about sites that create real user value. So trying to rush the process by using black hat tactics won’t work and could get you penalized. Creating great content and patiently building quality back links will pay dividends with time. Focus on the long haul and give priority to quality over quantity, which is the centerpiece of any SEO plan.

Stay the course

Once you’ve executed an SEO strategy, try not to make drastic changes to your plan. It takes a while for search engines to index your pages and include them in the database, allowing them to feature in search engine results pages (SERPs). Furthermore, different search engines use different criteria, meaning you may appear on one and take a while longer to get ranked on another.

Tinkering with your site may wipe out gains you’ve already made, and set you back several weeks. It will also make it harder to detect which part of your strategy is failing. Make only minor tweaks, and wait for your plan to bear fruit before deciding on major adjustments.

Build back links

You can’t sit back and wait for your SEO strategy to push you up the SERPs. You need to keep building more quality back links in order to improve your search engine visibility. Bear in mind that link building is a slow process. Back links also take time to be indexed by search robots, before they can appear in listings. Links are highly valued by search engines, especially when they come from related, credible and trusted sites. However, too many back links can lead to penalties by search engines, so be careful with your link building strategy.

Generate traffic

Your site is primarily built to generate traffic to your landing pages. As much as search engine rankings play a huge role, there are other ways in which you can increase traffic to your site. Use your social media pages, in-store signage, your blog, videos and possibly even some paid search campaigns to generate more traffic. Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing site, and post useful and value-rich content for users. This will build a loyal following, and encourage frequent return visits.

Look out for good signs

Despite not achieving quick results in your rankings, there are encouraging signs you can look out for that indicate you’re moving in the right direction, and help you stay on course. They include increased traffic to your site and a lower bounce rate, which means visitors are staying on your site. A low bounce rate will also improve your rankings, as well as increasing your conversion rates.

Keep monitoring traffic to your site through Google Analytics, which will give you an idea of your progress. Remember that listings at times disappear for no reason. Wait for a few months before making any changes to get them back. They should reappear after a while.

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