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This Year's SEO = Next Year's Results

This Year's SEO = Next Year's Results

In the ever-changing landscape of SEO, it's crucial to recognize that the results you achieve in the upcoming year are closely tied to the efforts you put in during the current year. To help you justify the value of your SEO investment, here's a comprehensive five-step model that offers insights into forecasting the long-term impact of your organic search endeavors.

The Lagging Indicators of Traffic and Results

Before delving into the model, consider this: when you analyze your Google Analytics data and sort by top content, you'll likely notice that the highest-trafficked pages are often at least a year old.

This realization highlights a few key points:

  1. Traffic is a lagging indicator, reflecting past actions and output.
  2. The results you witness six months down the line are heavily influenced by your actions in the previous year.
  3. Your outcomes in the following year are entirely dependent on your efforts in the current year.

This understanding underscores the importance of those who consistently advance their strategies, even when faced with challenges. While others might be faltering or pivoting every few months, those who remain committed and steadfast will be the first to reap the rewards down the road.

The Journey of Rankings for Most Websites

For the majority of websites, achieving significant rankings isn't an instantaneous process.

Unlike the fortunate few with high-authority sites, for whom results seem immediate, most others have a longer journey.

Here's how the process typically unfolds:

  1. Day 0: Content not indexed.
  2. Day 30: Content appears.
  3. Day 45: Content starts to increase rankings, let's say on page 4.
  4. Day 60: Content reaches the bottom of page 3.
  5. Day 90: Reaches the top of page 3.
  6. Day 120: Gradually moves to the bottom of page 2.
  7. Day 180: Resurfaces at the top of page 3.
  8. Day 210: Slides to the bottom of page 2 again.
  9. Day 240: Celebrates by reaching the bottom of page 1.
  10. Day 270: Falters, returning to the top of page 2.
  11. Day 300: Triumphantly lands at position 7.
  12. Day 330: Teases with fluctuations between positions 4 and 6.
  13. Day 360: Achieves the ultimate goal of position 3.

This ranking trajectory highlights the investment aspect of SEO, with a defined payback period typically spanning 12 to 18 to 24 months in the future.

While SEO boasts impressive ROI and low customer acquisition costs, it's not a swift overnight solution.

Creating a Model to Justify Your SEO Efforts

Here's a five-step model to help you illustrate the long-term value of SEO:

Step 1: Estimate Volume Ranges

Begin by compiling a list of relevant keywords in your industry. Start with keywords of easy-to-moderate difficulty. Create a table to compare volume and traffic potential for these keywords.

Step 2: Define the Inputs

Determine the number of articles you plan to create. For instance, you might create a 2,000-word article for each identified keyword. Assuming you'll produce 10 articles per month, you'd end up with 120 articles over a year.

Step 3: Forecast Potential Traffic Output

Understand that during the initial six months, traffic might not be substantial, unless specific circumstances apply. If you're starting from scratch, allow time to establish a strong foundation before expecting significant traffic.

Step 4: Forecast the Next 12 Months

Consider the ranking timeline and how it affects traffic growth. As your content continues to improve and mature, you can anticipate a rise in average ranking positions, leading to increased traffic.

Step 5: Determine ROI

Finally, compare the potential traffic and revenue generated by your SEO efforts against alternative strategies. This comparison helps you make a compelling case for allocating budget to SEO and content creation.

Embrace SEO as a Long-Term Investment

Bottom line: recognize that SEO is an investment with a substantial payback period.

While it requires dedication and patience, the results are well worth it.

As you consider your marketing endeavors, remember that growth should never be compromised, especially when it comes to SEO.

The efforts you invest today will shape the outcomes you achieve in the future.

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