Expectations for SEO

A lot of people have the wrong expectations about what SEO is and what results it will produce. Find out what the SEO process involves and why you might need to adjust how you think about results.

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These sound like great promises that would benefit your company, right?

Unfortunately, a lot of website owners fall into the trap of believing that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies can guarantee their first page rankings or increase leads overnight. The truth is, search engine rankings are highly volitile and even Google states that "No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google".

So, as someone who owns a website, what expectations should you have regarding SEO? Why should you invest in it if results aren't guaranteed?


Search Engine Optimization used to mainly focus on keyword targeting and link building. While those are still factors, the SEO process has expanded to include, among a host of other factors, content building, user experience, page speed and accessibility, mobile friendliness, analysis of competition, crawlability, social media marketing, etc. There are literally hundreds of factors that search engines examine to determine the rankings for websites. So what does that mean for you? It means that if you don't have someone dedicated to deciphering all the factors and constantly working on improving your site to make sure each factor is improved as much as possible, you're going to fall behind. The good news is, it is possible to be a player in the rankings game if you use a company that isn't working towards the short term goal of ranking on the first page. The company you choose for SEO work needs to be aware of the factors, and have a process for implementing change so that you will see results in time. So what is this process?

Alt Media Studios contracts with website owners for SEO to improve rank, but also to make sure their site stays up to date. The process can be broken down like this:

  1. Once the SEO contract is agreed upon, the SEO analyst will do a site audit. This involves keyword research to see what phrases are worth going after in the search engines to get the website as much visibility as possible for keywords in the related industry. It also requires a lot of analysis for how best to reach customers with content, user experience while on the website, and social media. This is an ongoing process that never stops as long as the contract is in place. The analyst will continue to audit the site to see what improvements can be made and how best to attract customers.
  2. As the site audit progresses, the SEO analyst has to determine what investments are possible and which are most likely to give the website owner a return on investment. For instance, mobile friendly sites are now becoming more and more important to Google, so it is probably worth it to try to convince the website owner to do a redesign for a responsive site if they don't already have one.
  3. The digital marketing analyst at Alt Media Studios will work with the customer to get projects approved. This includes adding new content to the website, improving the text, improving the user experience, and adding information to social media pages.
  4. Working on off site signals so that the website gets visibility to as many people as possible. Some of this work is done by the digital marketing analyst, but website owners can do themselves a favor by really focusing on public relations and marketing. For instance, the analyst will do their best to keep social media pages up to date, but if they have nothing to post on behalf of the website owner, a lot of times, they are left to their own devices. It is MUCH BETTER when the website owner has news updates, pictures, events, specials/coupons, and content from their day to day business dealings to post about than say, an inspirational quote posted just for the sake of having something on the page. Too many site owners fall into the trap of giving all authority over to the analyst without keeping in contact about what is going on with the business.
  5. Wait and see the results of months of work. This is the most frustrating part about SEO and everyone knows it. The biggest factor for SEO is TIME!!! Results don't happen overnight, and sometimes, major results aren't seen for months or years. This can be extremely discouraging to the analyst and the website owner but it is reality.


So now that you know the process, realize that each step is contingent on the previous one. The digital marketing analysts at Alt Media Studios won't guarantee page rankings, but they will audit your site, determine what needs to be fixed, prioritize fixes, decide what investments need to be made by the website owner, work on off site engagement, and get results OVER TIME. They also won't promise how much time the results take because it is impossible to know for sure. So what should you take away from this information?

  1. Page rank results are never guaranteed. Our analysts always strive for first page rank, but it is not the end all be all of SEO. There are many other ways to drive traffic to your site and create conversions so SEO performance cannot be judged solely on page rank.
  2. SEO takes time and a lot of behind the scenes work that the website owner will never physically see.
  3. YOU WILL GET RESULTS, but it is up to you to decide how long and how much you're willing to spend on getting them.

So why invest in SEO? Because even small improvements made over a short time, can have an impact on creating customers.

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