Understanding SEO Rankings
- How long before you see results?
- How often should you check your rankings?
- Why may rankings become stagnant or fluctuate?
- Why have your rankings gone down?
How long before you see results?
Rankings are a highly debated topic when discussing SEO. If you are not familiar with SEO, you may wonder how long before you see actual results from SEO efforts?
And, the answer is, “well, it depends.” When we are talking about small businesses and using a local SEO strategy, there are many influential factors that come into play. Examples of those factors include:
- the keywords you’re targeting
- how much online industry competition your city has
- how new your domain is
Typically, rankings solidify around six months from the start of your services; however, this does not apply to everyone. The actual timeline is determined by the many influential factors we mentioned earlier. This list of variables is very long, and many of them are complex in nature. It’s also important to note that the longer an SEO strategy is in place, the more your potential online authority has time to build. That leads to higher rankings, more traffic to your website, and ultimately, more potential customers.
Once you have established an SEO strategy, you may wonder how often you should check your rankings?
We recommend checking your rankings monthly rather than daily or even weekly. It is very common for rankings to fluctuate up or down each day due to Google’s minor algorithm changes that occur daily. Looking at your rankings about every 30 days gives you a more accurate picture of how your SEO program is performing. It’s tempting to check rankings frequently due to the common misconception that those good rankings equal return on investment. Rankings should only be used as a gauge of how strong your online presence is, not a replacement for actual conversion numbers.
For those who have been utilizing SEO for quite some time, you may ask why my rankings have become stagnant?
It’s important to remember that you aren’t the only ones seeking out SEO services on the internet. Everyone on the first page of search results is there, likely because they are involved in an SEO program of their own. This also means that the closer you get to the top of results, the more difficult it is to surpass businesses that appear ahead of you. However, suppose you have hit a “ceiling” and feel you are incapable of moving up. In that case, consider a more aggressive SEO package to strengthen your overall efforts. But suppose you don’t have the budget for the additional cost of a more aggressive SEO package. In that instance, there are a couple of free ways to boost your potential authority and, in turn, potentially boost your rankings. One is by acquiring more high star, quality Google reviews. The other is writing and publishing original blog content to your website related to your industry, business, or the services you provide.
Lastly, another commonly asked question you may have is, why have my rankings gone down?
It is very common for rankings to fluctuate up or down daily due to potential reasons such as:
- changes in Google’s algorithm
- settling of those changes while everything propagates
- indexing outside information
- new competition online
- competition upgrades
- or updates that your competitors make on their websites
These are just some of the many potential causes. Fortunately, rankings typically recover as your website settles within Google’s algorithm. This excludes instances where the ranking drop can be traced to a known cause, such as prior domain issues, website problems, or other over-optimization that may have been made. The important thing is not to panic and consult with your client success manager to address your concern.