It really helps to understand SEO.

If you do, you can make an informed decision on how to put it in place on your own website. It also stops you from being ripped off by agencies that don’t know what they’re doing.

By the end of this page, you’ll get the most important aspects of SEO, without the big fancy words and technical blah blah.

Let’s dive in…

What does SEO mean and how does it work?

Search Engine Optimization, also simply called SEO, means:

  • Getting as many visitors as possible to a website from search engines (like Google).
  • It is done by making that website appear as high as possible on the right search results.
important parts of SEO

There are really 3 important parts of SEO:

  • Relevancy: A search engine’s job is to give the best possible answer to the question the user entered. How relevant your content is for that exact search makes a huge difference in how high it will rank in search results. For example, if you want to rank high for “tasty dog biscuits”, your web page about “The healthiest pet food” won’t do as well as “The 10 tastiest dog biscuits.”
  • Authority: Some people are more popular and respected by others. With websites, it’s exactly the same. Authority is how popular and trusted your website is compared to other websites on the same subject. Authority is created by links from other sites to yours. It also matters which websites are linking to yours. Links from the wrong websites can actually hurt your chances of ranking high.
  • Technical: A website is actually just some instructions in code, running on a machine, that is connected to the internet. Improving this code, and the machine it’s running on, helps you rank higher on Google.

Why is SEO important?

Google’s job is to give the very best answers to the search words users type in (called keywords or key phrases). Google does this so well that almost no one looks past the first 3-5 search results. If they don’t see what they’re looking for they change their search to something more specific.

percentage of clicks for a google search results page

For this reason, the rankings on Google search results get these percentages of clicks:

  1. 31% of the visitors to a search result click on No 1
  2. 16% click on No 2
  3. 10% click on No 3
  4. 6% click on No 4
  5. 4% click on No 5
  6. From there on down it quickly drops off to nothing.

Source: Advanced Web Ranking

This means that if you’re not in the top 5 search results, you’re pretty much invisible to search engines. 

It also means that position No 1 gets the lion’s share of the clicks and views.

Over 50% of all visits to all websites begin with a search engine (mostly Google). If you’re not getting in those top search results you’re losing a lot of visitors who are interested in your website, your business, your services.

You’re also losing them to your competitors who are investing in search engine optimization.

How does SEO help in marketing?

The average adult spends over 6 ½ hours a day online.

Most visits to all websites on the internet begin by using a search engine. Even if they find you offline, they will probably google you afterward to learn more before they decide to buy.

If you use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or other advertising you’re faced with a problem… You need to stop someone doing what they are already doing, and start looking at your website or Ad.

SEO marketing versus social media marketing

Social Media Advertising compared to SEO

Even if they do look at your Ad, they probably aren’t that interested in what you have to offer. They’re more interested in checking out the next big thing on social media. Remember, you’re competing with supermodels, celebrities, cute kittens, comedians, performers, and every other crazy thing people love in this wild world of ours.

That’s a tough game.

With search engine optimization, Google is where they begin.

If they search for “your product or service”  they want to find you, right now.

You’re just giving them what they’ve already decided they want if you come up in search results.

You can see how much better this type of website visitor is than the other kind, right? Which one is more likely to buy?

From experience on our own website and websites we manage, visitors from search engines stay on that website up to 4 times longer than referrals from other web pages and social media. They also convert to leads and sales at a much, much higher rate.

Can’t I just pay for Google Ads using PPC (Pay Per Click)?

You can. Using Google Ads (those results at the top of the search results that say “Ad”) is a quick way to get some clicks. They often work better than Facebook Ads because at least they’re searching for what you offer.

Before you do this though, realize that the non-paid search results (called “organic search results”) are getting 8 ½ times more clicks than the paid ones! So unless you have a huge advertising budget, it’s going to be hard to compete with others who are getting much more traffic than you… and paying nothing for it.

Pay per click can be a good way to get some traffic right away though, while your non-paid search traffic grows over time.

Does Search Engine Optimization take a long time?

The short answer to this is: yes.

It’s important to understand that SEO is a long term strategy. If you’re going to invest in search engine optimization, keep at it for at least 6 months.

Changes to a website typically take around 3-6 months to take effect, but the results will continue to improve even after 12 months. This isn’t a reason not to do it. It’s more of reason to start now so you can get the benefits as soon as possible.

Unlike most other forms of marketing, it’s an investment that will keep giving you returns for years to come.

The complete answer to this question is: it depends…

SEO for an established website getting search traffic already

If you have an established website with lots of content that is already getting a good amount of visits from Google, search engine optimization can help you grow your traffic quite quickly.

How quickly depends on how established your website is, how much content it already has and how many links it has from other high authority websites already.

A good SEO agency or specialist will concentrate on first understanding exactly what is or isn’t working on your website’s SEO. They’ll start with a complete review of your website (called an SEO audit).

The SEO company will then make changes to your website and content that help search engines understand it better. If some of your pages are on the second page of Google’s results (11-20) or low on the first page (5-10) for important keywords, the first goal will be to push these pages higher up so they start getting traffic.

SEO for a brand new website

Search engine optimization for a new website or a small website without much traffic and few pages usually takes a lot longer. The changes made now, can take 3 – 6 months to show results, and continue to grow for 12 months or more.

That’s no reason to lose hope. It just means get started right away so you can get the rewards sooner!

SEO on new website pages

Also depending on how established your website is, new pages added to a website will generally take longer to reach the top spots on search engines. The average age of a page in a top search result is at least a year old. But that is only the average. Pages that are well optimized can reach no 1 much more quickly.

I wrote this post on “websites for fantasy authors” in July 2019 and got to the top position in Google within two weeks and I’ve been there ever since!

Top results in Google in only 2 weeks

This is not normal but it shows that it can be done.

Think of SEO as a Service, not as a product

It’s important to understand that an SEO company or specialist isn’t going to give you a silver bullet that shoots you to the top of Google instantly.

  • They’re going to help you make your existing website have a higher chance of getting more traffic.
  • They’re going to help you get the right kind of traffic. (visitors that want to buy)
  • They’ll help you create and carry out an SEO strategy so you can keep on growing your traffic. Part of this strategy will involve creating new content for your website and creating the right content on other websites as well.

You need to invest in search engine optimization for at least 6 months to really, fully benefit from it.

SEO Strategy and Content Marketing

A good SEO company will closely tie your SEO to a traffic growth strategy for your business.

Part of this strategy will involve smart ways of creating content that your customers, and other websites in your space, love. This strategy, if done right, can get you a ton of traffic from other websites almost right away.

Then once your posts rank high google you again get more traffic from your content, only this time it will steadily continue for as long as you rank high on Google.

This type of strategy in which you create valuable content that attracts visitors to your site is called content marketing. It’s an important part of any strategy involving search engine optimization.

With a good content marketing strategy, you get upfront value from SEO because you can get immediate referral traffic when it’s shared by others. Then when the pages start ranking on Google, you get even more steady traffic.

SEO forms part of your customer journey from “Who the hell are you?”, to “I love your products and services and I’m telling all my friends about them”.

I want to work with an SEO Consultant to get more traffic, leads, sales, and success

Ok, you’ve decided it’s time to get some real traffic to your business, create some valuable connections in your industry, and grow your business that much faster.

More website traffic = more prospects who know about you = more leads = more sales.

But you have questions and concerns as any intelligent buyer would have.

Where do you go from here?

Make sure have some understanding of search engine optimization first.

Key facts about SEO

(some of this is a very quick summary of the earlier section)

percentage of clicks for a google search results page

  • If you’re not on the top 5 results on Google, you’re invisible.
  • Position 1 gets way more clicks. (almost a 1/3rd)
  • The average adult spends 6.5 hours a day online.
  • Over 50% of all traffic on the internet comes from search engines. Conclusion: if you’re not being found on search engines, you’re missing out on a lot of free exposure.
  • SEO is not fast. It usually takes about 3-6 months to start showing real results, but will continue to grow your website traffic even for 12 months from starting. Established websites with more content will show results faster than newer less established websites.
  • SEO is a service, not a product. An SEO consultant will need to work with you (and your website design and development team) for several months to give you real ROI. Don’t commit to an SEO contract for less than 6 months.
  • A key aspect of SEO is building links from other websites to yours. Without these links (called backlinks, you can’t rank high on Google for competitive search terms)
  • SEO should be used as a key part of your business’s lead generation process. It’s not just there to get traffic for traffic’s sake or to “feel good” or something.

If you skipped the initial section and still feel like you don’t really understand SEO that well, I’d highly recommend reading it first before continuing.

Why should I use an SEO Agency for at least 6 months?

SEO is provided as a service, not a once-off product. An SEO consultant won’t be able to do anything of much value with your website and traffic if you don’t commit to working with them for at least 6 months.

Believe it or not, this is a good thing.

Most of your competitors are going to look at this and think “6 months to a year?! Sorry, waaay too long.”

What ends up happening is that most businesses don’t invest in SEO and this means it’s so much less competitive than if everyone was jumping on board and competing with you when you do invest in it. Because there’s a barrier to entry, much fewer competitors jump in the race.

What these shortsighted businesses don’t realize is that once search engine optimization starts working for your website it can be a massive source of traffic, leads, and sales for years and years to come, for no extra cost than the basic upkeep of your website.

Rocket Expansion’s 6 month SEO Strategy

SEO strategy 6 month timeline

Month 1 – Discovery

We get a full understanding of everything SEO-related in your website, business, competitors, and opportunities.

This involves at least 5 deep website audits.

  • Consultation to understand your business, goals, industry and target audience.
  • Competitor analysis: who is currently doing well on search engines in your niche and why? What can we learn from their strategies
  • Website audit: Includes a technical SEO audit, a content audit and an investigation of any other SEO done on your site in the past
  • Local SEO audit (this would only apply if your website serves a specific geographical location)
  • Keyword research: we identify which keywords we should target with your current and future content.

We make changes to your website (either working with your development team or using our own) to correct and optimize according to our findings in month 1. This may continue into further months on larger websites.

We also plan out an SEO content strategy to target important keywords for your website in the future and start getting this content created. Along with content we create and begin a link building strategy.

  • Technical Optimization: Website speed, page structure, URL structure, user experience
  • Content optimization: Changes to content optimizing them for their relevant keywords
  • Local SEO optimization: Google my business, business citations, reviews
  • Content marketing: Using our keyword research we create a content plan for the coming months and start creating the new content right away. We can use your existing writers or our own. 
  • Link building: Links from other websites to yours (called backlinks) are an important ranking factor to search engines. We create a plan to build backlinks and begin putting it in place.

Month 3 – Adjust and Build

The basics of your SEO success have now been defined. From here we continue to build on this foundation.

  • Further content and technical optimization
  • Continuing our content strategy, including optimizing new content
  • Continuing link building strategy
  • User experience optimization

Month 4 – Optimize for Sales

Since at this stage we’re getting closer to seeing real traffic improvements in your website we concentrate more on how to convert this traffic into sales for your business

  • Smart user monitoring
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Lead magnet consultation
  • Continuing our content strategy including optimizing new content
  • Continuing link building strategy

Month 5 and onward – Scale and Grow

From this point on we revise everything we’ve put in place. We continue to ensure your content is being built and optimized correctly.

  • Continuing our content strategy including optimizing new content
  • Continuing link building strategy
  • Continuing conversion rate optimization

Month 6 – Mid-year assessment

While continuing our traffic and conversion growth plan we also consult regarding everything we’ve built up to this point and set out the next objectives for the future.

At the end of month 6 we give you the option to cancel further services, but by this time I doubt you’ll want to.

  • Continuing our content strategy including optimizing new content
  • Continuing link building strategy
  • Continuing conversion rate optimization
  • Mid-year assessment

You’ll know exactly where you stand with detailed monthly SEO reporting

seo reporting

We believe in complete transparency. You’re paying us to work on your website, online presence, and your business. At the end of each month, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining exactly what we’ve delivered and a breakdown of what we’ve achieved.

No technical BS

We know how frustrating it is not understanding what a service provider is doing or saying. For this reason, we make our reports easy to understand. We’re also happy to go over the report with you any time you’re uncertain what something means.

SEO working with your other digital marketing and marketing strategies

We play nice! We work with your current:

  • Content creators
  • Website designers
  • Website developers
  • Digital strategists
  • Growth consultants
  • Social media managers
  • and marketing staff, whether in-house or outsourced.

We know from experience that the whole working together is so much bigger than the sum of its parts. All we ask is that we’re granted enough authority within our area of expertise to make the changes we know we need to, to grow your traffic and conversions.

Filling the gaps

If needed we’re happy to help you carry out our winning SEO strategy with our own:

  • Website designers and developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Social media managers
  • Content writers
  • Etc.

In some cases we’ll absorb this into our monthly fee. In general, the more cavalry we call in, the more funds we’ll need to keep the growth engine running.

Our SEO Certification

our SEO qualification

Our SEO team has been trained and certified under one of the top SEO specialists and coaches on earth, responsible for the massive SEO-driven growth at Airbnb and PayPal. Our staff use this exact same SEO training as the SEO specialist teams at Microsoft, Grammarly, Airbnb and PayPal.

Cost of Search Engine Optimization

The right SEO package for you will depend on your needs and your business.

Contact us for a comprehensive assessment and proposal.