Search engine marketing is a long term affair. Success comes from running a marathon not a sprint.
For natural search rankings it takes time for the search engines to find links pointing to a website and it takes time to gain increased trust with an engine like Google. But the results of this waiting game can be spectacular.
A case in point is a client I built a website for a little over a year ago. This is a seasonal business where the bulk of the activity occurs in the spring and summer. The site was launched in January of 2007 and the bulk of SEO work was done over the following month.
It took a couple months before we began to see a good volume of targeted local searches. This was perfect timing for the first wave of traffic that occurs during the spring time. Initially it was longer tail type search terms that were bringing this traffic.
It took longer to achieve good rankings for the main set of keywords for this business in the city they operate it. There was much more competition there. These kewords began to perform during the summer peak of traffic for their services.
All told, that first year was an incredible marketing success for that business. A little skeptical at first, the business owner was amazed at how well the interenet had performed for their business during that first year. What’s more incredible now is how traffic is responding going into the second spring season. Just take a look at the traffic chart below as well as goal conversions (sales leads) for the same time frame.
*Actual traffic numbers removed for clients privacy. The conversion spike you see in the winter was related to a service they offer during the winter and related to a large weather event that had occurred at that time.
You see how traffic rose quickly leading into the first spring then a second peak for summer. Traffic steadily died off through the winter and began to rise slowly after the new year. Now, as we head into spring, the traffic levels are rising fast and already beyond the peak of last summer.
This is solely from organic search traffic as no PPC marketing is being done for this client. As it is they get more requests for work than they can handle so pay-per-click is just not necessary. A good position to be in.
I’m sure most local businesses could see the same kind of longer term benefits from local search marketing. If you’ve been holding off on creating a proper internet marketing presence now is the time. The opportunity costs of waiting are just not worth it.
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