Search engine optimization, or SEO, remains a powerful digital marketing tool for the average business. While the nature of SEO has changed quite a bit over the years, plenty of constants remain.
One of these is that properly conceived and executed SEO can produce more impressive returns than any other digital marketing tactic. On the other hand, as marketing expert Danny DeMichele noted in a recent post, those dividends are sometimes slower to arrive than recipients would like. Understanding the usual schedules can make it much easier to develop a clear-eyed view about what to expect from an SEO initiative.
Results Can Be Slower to Develop Than in the Past
In the early days of the digital marketing industry, skilled SEO specialists were often capable of producing results for their clients almost right away. The relatively crude search engine algorithms of that time were both easier to manipulate and also more likely to weight recent developments heavily.
Since then, things have changed significantly in both respects. Google and other search providers have become much better about singling out and penalizing the most plainly manipulative SEO tactics. With subtler tools that more closely resemble natural activities now being needed instead, progress can be slower because of this factor alone.
Today’s search engines also tend to be quite a bit more conservative about adjusting rankings on the basis of recent updates. Even acquiring a truly valuable link from a site with a great deal of authority will often therefore take some time to register. Once again, progress can take more time to become apparent than in the past.
Patience Can Pay Off for Even Longer
None of this is to say that the value of SEO should be questioned, however. While it can take a good deal longer for results to materialize than used to be the case, any progress that is made will tend to more stable.
Once a site has risen significantly in the results, that movement will typically be more durable than it once was. As a result, investments made into SEO will be lose prone to being undermined by competitors who have the same idea, making returns that much more likely over time.