The most overlooked SEO tactic – Patience
This story is as old as the web itself. You launch a new website or project. You set up the analytics and expect the hits to start rolling in. After a few days you begin obsessively checking up on it. Over and over. Only nothing is there. You begin to become disheartened and perhaps entertain the notion of tossing your laptop in the river. Sound familiar?
Don’t get excited
Don’t run doom and gloom scenarios in your mind. Don’t automatically assume your anayltics are broken. It must be some kind of a broken html code, right? No, not really.
This scenario plays itself out over and over again all over the web constantly. It doesn’t even have to be a new project, either. Webmasters whose sites need maintenance in the form of XML sitemaps, link building efforts, title tag duplication, or 404 redirection are also guilty of this. The changes are made correctly, then a week later nothing has changed statistically. The rankings sit in exactly the same place. You are left thinking “What did I do wrong?”
Sometimes things just take time. For instance, a major website I work for recently needed some fixing. They had a 404 redirection and toolbar PageRank drop, in addition to a misplaced setting in Google Webmaster Tools pointing to the wrong version of their site. Everything got fixed, but nothing changed statistically. After the fix, there was even a there was a drop in their homepage for their name. This started making the higher ups worried. When higher ups worry people tend to get fired. Someone needs to get in that board room and preach the virtues of patience.
That homepage drop? It was minimal. It lasted for 2-3 days and then things got back to normal. Things can take up to a week or more to reflect in Google Webmaster Tools. That’s just the nature of the beast. The Internet “feels” instantaneous but not all things actually are.
We live in a society(Internet especially) that thrives on present, immediate returns. Search marketers must make c-level executives happy with their ability to show immediate returns on campaigns. But like the returns on SEO, these campaign returns can take time.
Of course, all of the administrative changes in the world aren’t going to change rankings too much if the content isn’t there. Content is king, after all. It may even be more important than patience, but that’s a topic for another post.
Also, of note, There has also been a recent crack down on over optimized local search listings. Some accounts are suspended or rank poorly just because they are in effect trying too hard. Too many changes at once can raise a flag with the search engines. Thinks of it as a relationship. You don’t want to bring candy to every single date, do you? It could creep them out.
One Month Rule
So here is what I am proposing. Make your changes and leave it. Do something else for a month. Work on social media and link building if you have to. Come back after that month and then see what’s up. If your site is small, feel free to adjust down to just two weeks. I find the smaller the site, the shorter the time it takes for changes to reflect on your analytics.
Just have patience and wait for the statistical algorithms to do their job. It’ll take time but trust in this: It will work.
So remember the next time something seems to be not working in Webmaster Tools or SERPs:
* Double check the code if you have to, but don’t triple or quadruple check it. Also, your oven is off and you locked your front door.
* Remember to breathe. There is always a logical explanation behind everything. Google is just slow sometimes.
* When did you make your last change?
* If it’s less than two weeks, give it more time.
* For major changes, like site redesign and URL restructuring, give it a full month. A full month. Not 24 days.
That’s it. Have patience grasshopper and soon your stats will grow into big, beautiful sunflowers.
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