Search engine rankings take time, SEO doesn‘t happen overnight and there is no SEO fairy that does all the work for you just because you wish for it really hard. Links don’t magically appear in the weeks following your site launch just because you showed up to the party – the process takes months. You might snag some #1 rankings for some long tail phrases in an obscure niche, but to rank your entire site competitively is a slow, painstaking process that takes work and dedication.
Among the factors to consider when looking at your long term expectations for your site, you need to balance each and think realistically. How optimized is your site? Do you have navigation issues that could prevent the spiders from crawling your site like too little text or too much Flash? If your site has been un-optimized, the first step is getting all your navigation kinks worked out and making sure that load speeds will not be a source of penalties for you.
What is the age of your website? If your site is new and has no links, Google may not have even seen you yet. You must get a couple of links and submit a sitemap if you really want to get indexed, and although Google will crawl you eventually, it is better to take charge and submit your site as soon as you are ready – the sooner the better. If you have an old site, you may or may not have links. With no links, you need to get moving if you want results in the next year! If you have a number of links already, Google will probably get you re-indexed as soon as they receive notification you are updating.
How flexible is your website? Can you quickly and easily change things on the fly to comply with new guidelines and best practices so that you don‘t unnecessarily lose ground? If your current back end is not inflexible, more time will be required to implement positive changes and to increase the productivity of your content management system. This is an easy fix that will pay big dividends over time.
Are your target phrases highly competitive or niche? The more competitive your key phrases are, the more links, pages, and fresh content you will need to gain ground and then stay atop the SERPs. You want to choose target phrases that have a decent amount of searches, but not so much competition.
Ask yourself this tough question – and be honest – is your site even capable of being competitive? Take a look at the top 10 sites for your target keyword phrases. If they have 10,000 inbound links and over 1000 pages, a beginner site with 7 links and 12 pages is not really going to have a chance. If the top 10 includes Amazon, eBay and Wikipedia, you really need to do some serious reevaluating of your goals to have a hope of success. You have to be realistic about what you can do against the giants.
If you have an established site, rankings will come rapidly once you get the ball rolling. If your site has been around long enough to accumulate plenty of links but falls short in the area of fundamental SEO and proper navigation, fixing these issues will also bring results quickly. It doesn’t really matter what industry and target phrases you are concentrating on – your search results will take time to pop. Just how long, is anyone’s guess. Don’t give up! Keep concentrating on SEO efforts, watching the long tail and analyzing your traffic to see your site slowly gaining speed in a rise to the top. Remember, there is no magic formula, SEO takes time, and you have to put in excellent effort to get excellent results.