Did SEO For 7 Years. Here’s What I Learned

seo lessons

SEO – search engine optimization. It became a buzzword quite early after the conception of the internet. Webmasters emerged claiming to get your website to the top 3 results for any keyword you want. It worked. Then, it stopped working.

Soon, webmasters were forced to learn to do SEO the right way. Things kept evolving and they continue to do so. I, Manpreet, began with SEO about 7 years ago.

My first experience with SEO was with my own personal blog. I was publishing content & soon I was receiving thousands of visitors on my blog. The power was in the SEO.

Soon after, I picked up my first project – blogging & doing SEO for an Indian fashion brand. Brijraj. I committed to publishing 20 posts a month and the main source of traffic was SEO. We soon hit 1M views doing so. That’s the power of great SEO-optimized content writing.

Since then, I have worked for brands in several industries and countries and done SEO for them. In today’s post, I’m sharing the SEO lessons I learned from doing SEO all this time in hopes that I can help Maur Media readers learn from my experience.

seo and its components

1. Is SEO difficult?

A lot of people ask this question – is SEO difficult? How long does it take?

Ideally, SEO is not difficult. However, it does take time. It depends on the brand/website you are working with and their competition in Google’s search results.

It can take anywhere from 3-12 months to get to the top 3 results on Google.

But I’m sure you’ve heard this before. What you don’t usually hear about is the difficulty actually depends on several underrated factors like how old the brand is, how much it’s already known (doing SEO for startups is the hardest) and how much content you can actually produce for the brand.

A small business with a 4-page website will have much more difficulty with ranking in search results as compared to a small business that has many service description pages, pages like awards, certifications, testimonials, and a business blog.

Another major factor is whether the small business is investing in other digital marketing tactics. If you’re running ads for your website, doing SEO for that website would be much easier and everything ultimately comes together to help one another out.

So, to answer the question of whether SEO is difficult or not, it suffices to say SEO is difficult if you’re working with a new brand or with limited resources but if you have the ability to do omnichannel marketing, produce a lot of content, and are working with a brand that already has a few customers, it’s much easier.

2. Fast SEO is even worse than no SEO

Many people claim to get SEO results fast or they even guarantee the rankings. I fear such people for the damage they do to a small business website in that manner is more than wasted money and time. Often, we have a hard time convincing business owners about SEO and digital marketing because of the shoddy work they’ve experienced with other people.

SEO takes time. Bringing in results faster than it usually takes is often too risky and should be avoided. Slow and steady wins the race.

I’ve seen many business owners work with quickie SEO companies and get quick results in the first 2-3 months and then comes the major dip. In some scenarios, there are often manual penalties that come along which are extremely difficult to get rid of.

So, the SEO lessons I have learned through this is to never overdo it. Invest your time and money wisely on great content and outreach rather than spending on fast SEO.

3. Stop chasing the algorithm

I’m seeing this trend right now where we see website owners and content marketers getting anxious over the fluctuations of search results. They’re always checking whether their rankings are going up or down.

Google is always changing its algorithm – some changes are minor and barely impact SEO while others have a huge impact on the way content gets ranked.

As much as this is important for us SEOs, I feel that business owners should stop worrying about the fluctuations in search results.

You can do everything right for your website with solid on-page SEO, great content but it all comes down to Google’s algorithm.

One basic rule of SEO is that if you do the right things, your rankings will eventually go up. The algorithm update may affect your website or it may not – either way, you just need to keep doing what you’re doing on the website.

So, one of the SEO lessons for business owners is to stop over-obsessing about the rankings.

4. Being in Top 3 Results Isn’t Everything

There are many memes about being a loser if you’re not in the top 3 positions for any given keyword you’re trying to rank for.

I have been working with a brand for over 3 years and most of the keywords we’re trying to rank for still don’t have us in the top 3.

Reasons? Could be many. The top 3 positions are taken by aggregators while our client is a single business. There’s too much competition. We’re spending less time on it. Or we simply don’t think it’s important enough.

The thing is the client is super happy. We get many leads organically and they convert well. Of course, every now and then somebody comes along pointing out that the best place to bury a dead body is at position 4 of page 1 of search results and our client makes inquiries. Once we talk of what matters more to them – positions or leads & conversions, we’re all sorted. It takes less than 2 minutes.

Now, I’m not saying the first 3 results aren’t important. In fact, we do have tens of keywords for which this client ranks at #1 but the point is sometimes, it’s not necessary to rank at #1 for a keyword. It all depends on keyword relevancy and intent.

So, just trust the SEO agency you’ve hired to decide what’s more important and let them guide you for this. They may come up with keywords that really matter or the ones you missed out on and they will help you prioritize especially if you’re focused on multiple channels of digital marketing.

As a business owner, obsess about leads and conversions you’re getting. Let your digital marketing agency obsess about rankings, followers, and so on.

5. Measure The Right KPIs

One of our dear clients would open up Google Analytics in the very morning of their workday and just see real-time analytics on how many people are visiting the website. Do you think it was a productive activity?

Does it really matter how many people visit your website? Well, if you’re going to get paid on that basis – how many people are visiting our website, then yes. In all other cases, it doesn’t matter.

The actions on the website – what they’re doing matter. Are they filling out the lead form? Are they signing up for your newsletter? Are they looking for your portfolio or contact information? Are they convinced enough to take the next step in the buyer’s journey?

Those things matter and those are the things that should define the KPIs. There’s really no point getting millions of impressions and clicks and then having no real actions performed on your website.

So, yes, those million impressions a month is good but nobody really cares unless the number of leads & business that come from those impressions is also good.

As an SEO agency and business owner, it’s crucial we focus on the numbers that drive business. Hence, one of the SEO lessons I have got is how big of an impact it makes when you focus on the right KPIs and also, what damage it can do if you don’t focus on the right KPIs.

There you go! These are the top 5 SEO lessons I learned by doing search engine optimization for 7+ years. Of course, there are many more lessons that have come to me through this journey and I would surely add them to this post someday.

Until then, I hope you found this valuable. If you’re a small business owner looking for a reliable digital marketing agency in Toronto GTA to help you build your online presence and generate leads for your business, hire Maur Media agency today!

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