Cultivating a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is a lot like having a garden. Results aren’t always immediate and even the very best SEO strategies take time to flourish—but after some planning and caretaking, the hard work pays off.
If you’re unsure of how to get started with SEO or you’re wondering what a prosperous SEO strategy looks like, you’re in the right place. The organic search experts at Gemini have put together the following SEO timeline and guide to give you an idea of what it takes to execute a thriving organic search program.
The Key Factors to a Successful SEO Timeline
SEO strategies and techniques are not one-size-fits-all. However, successful SEO strategies will likely include similar tactics. To help you know what to expect with your program, here are the key factors to a successful SEO timeline:
Website SEO Audit: Clearing the Ground
A successful SEO strategy will get your website found, so you want to ensure your site is ready for visitors.
That’s why we always start with a website audit. It is crucial that your website has the ability to make a great first impression by being aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, on-brand, and more.
What is a Website Audit for SEO?
A website audit is the time to take a deep dive into the technical and not-so-technical areas of your website to assess strengths, weaknesses, and dig up areas of opportunity. When Gemini performs organic audits, we look at:
- Organic Keyword Visibility
- Organic Traffic
- Technical Aspects and Site Health
- Organic Competitive Landscape
- Content Gap Analysis
- Content Optimization Opportunities
- Navigation and Site Architecture
- Mobile friendliness
- Website speed
Performing a site audit gives you an idea of what your SEO roadmap will look like. You’ll discover which fixes are higher priority, what other departments and services you may need to get your site performing adequately (like web development and design services, for example), and more.
Technical SEO Fixes: Improving Your Soil
Once your website audit is complete and you’ve created a plan on how to move forward, it’s time to begin the ongoing and rewarding process of your SEO strategy. Within the first couple months, it’s crucial to make technical SEO fixes; these fixes allow all relevant pages of your site to be easily found, crawled, and indexed by search engines. This step is a lot like preparing your soil for healthy plant growth.
The technical modifications made during this step may produce small and temporary spikes in traffic. However, if the website is brand new or in the early stages of an SEO strategy, it’s unlikely that rankings or return on investment (ROI) will change much during this time.
On-Page SEO Strategy: Planting Your Seeds
Due to semantic search, on-page optimization is more complex than it used to be. Semantic search describes a search engine’s attempt to generate the most accurate results; it has shifted the way marketers approach on-page optimization by making it more important to optimize for user intent rather than just individual keywords. Semantic search is why it’s important to ensure your website is pleasing to both search engines and users.
This is where content strategy comes into play. Content is crucial in improving organic performance. If your site’s content isn’t optimized, if there’s not enough content, or if the content that does exist is poorly written, it is likely that your site won’t perform well in search engine result pages (SERPs).
After planting your optimized pages, it’s likely that impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and overall visibility in search engines will start to grow. Increase to these metrics commonly occurs around 3 to 6 months into your SEO timeline.
Off-Page SEO: Getting Enough Sunlight
Off-page SEO refers to external factors that impact a website’s ability to rank—like sun and water to a garden. The goal is to build a sustainable backlink structure of trusted referral links on other credible websites.
Content plays a key role here, too. One of the main ways of developing a good backlink structure is creating content that people find interesting and relevant enough to share and link to. The more credible backlinks your website receives, the more authority it will get from search engines.
Ongoing content promotion establishes your brand as a proven thought leader across the web, and search engines typically start taking notice of this after around 6 to 9 months. The quality and consistency of organic search traffic will start picking up momentum as content continues getting shared, promoted, and indexed across the web.
Analyze & Improve: Continue Caring for Your Plants
Growing your digital garden is an ongoing practice. From analyzing historical data to fine-tuning everything you’ve been working on, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your website and make sure it continues to thrive.
Monthly SEO maintenance looks different with each and every strategy. It can take the form of content creation, technical upkeep, aesthetic changes to improve user experience and boost conversions, and much more.
Search engines love movement—the key is to never let your strategy become complacent. If executed correctly, the compounding power of SEO will yield quicker results and long-term ROI.
Achieve Results: Enjoying Your Thriving Garden
Even with a solid SEO strategy in place, it can still take months of dedicated work for websites to grow organically and earn credibility with search engines. But it sure does feel good once the results start rolling in!
With SEO, it’s all about the bigger picture. An SEO strategy, much like a garden, is a long-term investment. There will be ups and downs, but the results are extremely rewarding and impressive.
Need Help Planting Your Roots? We Can Help.
Unsure how to create an SEO strategy for your business? Looking for content marketing that’ll reach your target audience and boost organic traffic? We can help. At Gemini, we’ll work closely with you to establish goals and execute a holistic program for your website. Ready to get started planting your digital garden? Get in touch with us today!