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SEO, let’s be real – The expectations, timing, and the dreaded question

by jj233117 - April 11, 2018

The Setup – SEO

About two months ago we started posting to our social media profiles with a tag of #theyllfind you. Our goal after asking numerous clients and industry friends was to provide content behind what SEO is and does, how to achieve true success in your SEO efforts, but most of all – answer the questions that we hear the most. We’ll go ahead and call this our first of many to come. A guinea pig, if you will. And we thought the best way to start things off was to try and address the elephant in the room – our #1 question that is asked to us constantly. ‘How long is it going to take for me to rank in Google?’ It’s a totally relevant question. One that should be asked, but one that is a little more complex than what it sounds. We can almost hear the ‘sighs’ that we’ve become so accustomed to when answering – but let’s break it down a bit more.

‘How Long Will It Take?’

The question you’ve probably asked. The question we’ve heard and will continue to hear at the beginning of any relationship. The question that is totally relevant – and something you should be asking potential agencies… ‘How long will it take for my site to rank on Google?’ And to start it off – it’s most important to understand a few things before feeling ‘some sort of way’ towards a lengthy answer filled with words that essentially mean nothing to you. If we work backwards, the answer will vary in lengths of time depending on your competition, how new you are, and if you’ve been established previously. A site that is brand new in a field that is absolutely competitive is going to take much longer (understandably) than a site that has been live for 10 years and has content that is already tailored for customers. Further – any online presence will be a major factor in ranking times – think instagram, facebook, Google My Business, yelp, etc. In the equation of determining an amount of time – this is probably the first assessment for many agencies.

Budgets, Effort and Scope


Full disclosure – we felt way too corporate with that subhead, but it’s absolutely necessary for SEO. Unfortunately, when it comes to your SEO success your budget is going to directly correlate. Many, if not most SEO agencies (not us, cough – cough) will place clients on tiers based on budget. This budget tier will place a team effort on your account based on hourly work. $200 clients are most likely going to be lower on the totem pole than the $800 clients. Secondly, depending on what you want an agency to manage (scope) your timing will be affected. What does this mean? Company A that only wants SEO content written and placed on their site is going to be treated differently than Company B who wants SEO content written and placed on their site, social profiles and review profiles.


The Meat – Our Real Answer, Kind Of

We totally get it, you’re going to hear this question answered many different ways. But, what if you didn’t really want someone to spit a number out at you? You’re probably scared that you’ll get to that ‘X’ amount of months and you won’t be ranking – and then what? What if someone told you that there wasn’t an answer to your question? Further, what if the only way to get you an ‘exact’ answer was to bypass the ‘tier’ SEO solution and put a little more effort up front? All rhetorical – all to be taken with a grain of salt – all possibly not what you were looking for. We know – we know, ‘seriously?’ If it’s stats you wanted, we’ve got those. And here’s how we’ll put this all together…

SEO Timing – The Stats

From one end of the spectrum to the other, on average, it’ll take you about 8-12 months to effectively ‘rank’ on the first two pages of Google for your search terms. That’s what you’ll hear from everyone – and that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because YOU are not average, your business isn’t average, and your competition isn’t average. SEO is a monster of an effort that is treated differently by every person who performs it. And from our perspective, SEO is something that you can’t just let someone do with the attention of a ‘tiered’ pricing system or effort. If you can’t tell already, we’ll be transparent and let you know right now that we can get winded on ‘what’ SEO is. That’s a post for another day. What we want you to understand, and frankly, what you need to understand is that you don’t actually want someone to tell you that number blindly. If you want to get a site ranking on Google for specific terms in ‘X’ amount of time, you need someone who is going to treat you unique to your competitors. You need someone to tell you that it’s going to take longer than you probably anticipated. You need someone to ensure you that when you do rank, you’re going to convert that traffic bump into customers. We’ll go one step further – you need someone to sit down with you and understand your needs, assess their time estimation, and then ‘guarantee’ you rankings in that timeframe.


Our Answer – Why You’re Here

Don’t necessarily let that timing question be your end goal. Dive deeper, look for a company that is going to place you on custom pricing and who will answer that question ONLY AFTER getting a strategy for your whole SEO effort. Understand what they will provide in the meantime – while you’re waiting, are there low hanging fruits? (hint: there are!) Try to find someone that is willing to back ranking result guarantees in their timeline. And finally, if you’re reading and you feel like nobody has taken the time to understand your SEO goals, get in touch with us for a sit down – it’s on us! Lastly, know that if you trust someone who is going to treat your business unique to everyone else, #theyllfindyou (Instagram plug, we know. But it seemed too good to pass.

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