— September 6, 2017
Without a doubt, SEO is one of the most valuable long term marketing strategies you can employ.
These prospects are ready to buy, they’re searching for a business just like yours, and it’s how they want to find you (rather than getting interrupted in other media).
However, all too often I see business owners get cold feet.
They’ve been at it for a few months, trying to get ranked by themselves or working with an SEO agency.
But the phone calls and traffic aren’t coming in yet, so they stop their SEO efforts entirely.
This is a BIG mistake for most businesses.
In this article, I will explain the psychology behind why people stop SEO too early before seeing results, why you may only be one month away from long term lead generation and sales, and why it detrimental to your business to stop too early.
Let’s dive right in:
Why Some People Stop SEO Too Early
While being extremely valuable, SEO is characteristically different than other forms of marketing.
It’s based entirely online, you’re working with an unknown algorithm, and you’re largely beholden to one company (Google).
Most notably, SEO takes time to implement.
It’s usually a matter of months before you see results and start to benefit from those results.
But once you have them, and you keep up your SEO efforts, you now have a long term lead generation and sales system in place for the foreseeable future.
However, it’s the time aspect of SEO which causes business owners to get cold feet.
If they feel like it’s taking too long, they start to imagine their investment losses.
They start feeling like they don’t know what they’re doing.
They start losing confidence in their SEO agency.
And the unknowns of Google start plaguing their thoughts.
All of these are completely understandable.
They’re natural thoughts and feelings to have if you’re not accustomed to navigating the small business SEO landscape.
But if you are an experienced SEO, you understand if you make the right moves, if you play the game the right way (the way Google wants you to), it’s only a matter of time before you see results.
Once the results come in, and you’re ecstatic about the new marketing system serving your business, you begin to realize all of those fears were unfounded.
And now you’re much more confident moving forward in scaling your SEO efforts, traffic, and leads.
Unfortunately for those who stop too soon, they never see these results.
Yet, they may have been just around the corner.
Like the miner in the graphic below, you’re sometimes just a fraction away from the goal you’re trying to reach.
Why You May Only Be One Month Away
I’ve seen it happen many times.
Clients get to the 4th month of SEO and if the phone isn’t ringing off the hook or traffic isn’t exploding, they start freaking out.
I don’t think it’s an overreaction.
It’s simply inexperience navigating this landscape.
But it almost always happens in the fourth month.
And guess what?
Month 5 is usually when phone calls and traffic start to really climb.
Here’s what business owners must realize:
SEO takes anywhere from 3 to 9 months to kick in, depending on the site’s current authority, age of the website, and quality of the tactics being deployed.
And this amount of time can vary due to a number of factors.
For instance, brand new websites are typically put into what’s called the “Google sandbox.”
In the sandbox, Google holds back your rankings and traffic, even if other factors would otherwise have you ranking higher. (Google does this to mitigate the amount of spam in their search results).
But older websites are out of the sandbox already.
So if you’re starting SEO on a site that’s twelve months old or more, results will generally come faster.
In my experience, business owners tend to get nervous about a month before they actually start seeing results, because SEO is a slower marketing process than most of them are used to.
But once those rankings are in, clients are always happy they waited it out.
Why You Shouldn’t Stop SEO Too Soon
The biggest fear people have when doing SEO is wasting their time/monetary investment.
They’ve put four months into it with little results, and they’re afraid they might never see results if they continue.
Here’s why you shouldn’t stop:
First, if you’re working with an experienced SEO agency, they know what they’re doing.
They live, breathe, and sleep search engine optimization.
They’re on top of the latest trends, they understand Google’s penalties, they know which strategies work and which don’t, and they have a ton of experience getting results in different industries.
Second, search engine optimization ROI is very high, and the potential benefits to your business are far too great.
Here are some of the benefits of search engine traffic:
- Prospects are actively searching for your business
- They want to find you
- Once ranked, you have system for bringing in leads and sales for the long term
- The buyers are pre-qualified and high quality
It’s not a “maybe” anymore.
And if you have a change of heart and restart a few months later, you’ve increased your costs in terms of lost sales, traffic, and momentum.
Finally, if you aren’t ranking at the top of Google, one or more of your competitors will be.
They will convert the customers which should have been yours.
If you’re a few months into your first SEO campaign, and you’re getting worried, I completely understand.
You’re not the only one.
Many business owners start to get stressed out if they haven’t seen results in three or four months.
But I’m here to tell you that this is completely normal.
Rankings typically start climbing noticeably in the fifth month, so you may only be a month or two away from seeing the results you’re looking for.
My top suggestion is to stick it out.
Trust in yourself or your SEO agency.
Because if they’re doing it right, it’s only a matter of time before your rankings come in.
Afterwards, you will have a lead generation and sales system which will serve your business for many months and years to come.