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SEO Strategy: The Timing of Implementation
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
From an organic SEO perspective, one of the greatest secrets to a successful SEO strategy is the timing of implementation or more importantly the timing of lack of implementation. All of you search marketers out there can relate I'm sure. Have you ever worked with a client who did not implement recommendations in a defined time period only to see their rankings drop in the search results?

One of the drawbacks to SEO and one of the main reasons why so many companies are hesitant to follow through with a detailed organic SEO strategy is the time that it takes to see results. Organic results are not as easy to track as sponsored listings. It's fairly easy to determine if your PPC campaign is a success or not as you can measure your return directly compared to your spend. However with organic there are a number of factors that can impact your organic rankings... simply put you cannot just pay to be found (in the algorithmic/organic results).

With search engine optimization, timing is everything. For the simple fact that if you do not implement your strategy, a competing site will with the end result being that this competing site moves up in rankings while your site remains the same or begins to slip in the rankings. It comes down to fundamental SEO best practices. It still amazes me when I look at well known brands and sites and see that they have overlooked SEO fundamentals. It's important to understand that while some of these fundamentals can be easily implemented, others do in fact take time to plan out and bring to fruition. Examples of fundamental SEO strategies that should be implemented sooner rather than later include:
  • Having search engine friendly URLs
  • Having unique, optimized title tags on site pages
  • Having unique, optimized meta data
  • Having sufficient keyword density on site content
  • Having sufficient content (seriously do you think that a 10 page site will outrank a site with thousands of pages? Highly unlikely.)
  • Building your external link inventory
  • Improving your interlinking within your site
Of course there are specifics to each of these items, but the fact is that until you implement these items, you should not expect to see an increase in your organic visibility in the search engine results. To top that off while you may not have the resources or are reluctant in the implementation of your SEO strategies, other competing sites will be implementing the necessary changes (some white-hat some grey-hat and yes even black-hat) to do what it takes to jump up in the rankings. And while the focus should not solely be on rankings without them you do not receive the traffic to the site that you should be getting. Getting traffic to your site is the first step, increasing site stickiness and time spent on site is the second step. Having the users convert in some manner is the third step.

Implementation is Critical

In order to see a change, you have to make a change. The fact is, you need to implement the changes to your site to make it a relevant authority in the search engines. In addition you cannot just make these changes once and expect to shoot up to number one and rank forever in top spot. You need to update your content and work on building your external link inventory to site pages. You need to be aware of what strategies your competitors are leveraging to increase their search engine visibility. The timing of implementation plays a key role in how successful your site can be in the search results. The longer you hold off in implementing SEO strategy items, the easier it is for competitors to move past you in the rankings. The easier it becomes for the search engines to drop your site in rankings.

While SEO results take time to achieve, without timely implementation, you risk the chance of digging yourself in a deeper hole. Strive to communicate this to your IT teams and especially to your management teams as these are the folks who will be looking for quick results. The fact remains that there will be no results without implementation of your SEO best practices and fundamentals.

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posted by Jody @ Wednesday, March 26, 2008  
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