Alright! So, we’re in the final 3rd of the year.
Before we know it, Christmas will be here and we’ll be bracing ourselves for the next big thing in Search, which Google has already told us will be the Core Web Vitals – a new set of ranking factors Google will be rolling out sometime in 2021.
This change, will bring change, when it happens!
And judging by other major events that Google has released, when it does happen, it’s likely to have many organisations frustrated with SEO – yet again!
So today, I thought to talk about SEO expectations. Expectations you may have, specifically after a Google event has occurred and it has negatively impacted your rankings, leaving you desperately eager for SEO to fix the issues.
What can you expect from SEO when you’re expecting SEO to save the day?
Alright. The first thing, right after you’ve noticed your rankings have dropped, is to pinpoint exactly what caused the change in rankings.
Now, with something like the Core Web Vitals or a Broad Core Algorithm Update, you’ll have an idea of the cause.
An idea in that you’ll know that the drop has been from a Google event. However, this information is still too broad.
It’s broad because even though the event may have triggered your rankings drop, there may be several underlying issues.
SEO will need to carry out an analysis of your site and present the issues (and there’ll likely be several), which you’ll need to fix before your rankings can improve.
Now, figuring out the issues is great. It’s a first step!
This step may prevent further damage to your site. This will likely be the outcome.
However, simply identifying the issues is not going to get your rankings back. And unfortunately, it may also, not prevent your site from dropping even further, or dropping with more keywords.
Why is this…?
Well, when there is an event by Google that affects your site, its signals tells it that your site is no longer the ‘best’ for its targeted keywords. This is the case until these signals are changed.
You change these signals by fixing the identified issues.
But – here is where the frustration with SEO really starts to build – prior to the issues being fixed, those signals that caused your rankings to drop, may cause it to drop further.
So the reality is whilst you may have hired SEOs to improve your site, your site may perform worse before the SEO recommendations are implemented.
It may perform worse before the SEO recommendations are even made. Guess what this may cause…?
It may cause your site to be reassessed, which delays fixing whatever the issues may be.
If you’re unaware of all of this, you may consider the SEOs you’ve hired to be doing a rubbish job and seek to get new SEOs.
You see the cycle, right? This can build frustration!
When you do have your site issues identified, and have the recommendations to resolve them, you may be surprised to learn that the implementation brings about a new set of challenges.
A new set of challenges that your business will have to adapt to quickly in order to implement a fix.
The reality of getting your rankings to climb back up, after they’ve dropped upon a Google event, is that it will take more than SEOs.
If the issues are all technical-based for example, the Dev department will be required to implement the SEO recommendations.
This means you’ll need to have capacity in the Dev team to take on an ‘SEO project’.
This means, to an extent, you’ll need to have people in the Dev team, interested in SEO in the first place.
You know what happens when you do not have this?
What does this lead to…?
More frustration where there needn’t be frustration.
But unfortunately, if there isn’t a process of SEO evangelism in your organisation, when a Google event creates crisis in your business, inter-departmental performance regresses.
This is something you’ll need to bear in mind, and be ready for.
So, you see, simply hiring SEOs to deal with rankings drop, does not automatically resolve the problem.
Now, let me say… getting rankings back up the SERPs is possible.
It will just take longer than you may think.
You may have heard the standard timeframe for SEO to work – 3-6 months, right?
Well, you may be better off considering this timeframe as how long, on average, it will take for SEO to be implemented (from analysis to execution).
After making the changes to recover your rankings, Google will need to reconsider your site against the sites that now have the positions you once had.
How long will this take…? It depends! It’s like asking how long is a piece of string.
You see, when it comes to rankings, especially in the context of a Google event, you’re quicker to lose rankings than to gain them.
Climbing back up the SERPs is going to be a slow process.
A process that, no matter how frustrating, should act as a reminder of why you ought to consider SEO as an important asset that requires yours, and everyone else’s attention, if they have something to do with the website.
Being negatively impacted after a major Google event is a painful reminder that SEO is about making improvements to your site.
Improvements that have potential users, and not algorithms, at the heart of it.
And whether you’re aware of it or not, as long as you have a website, you need to always be making improvement to it.
In order words, whether you’re aware of it or not, as long as you have a website, you need to have SEO as the ‘always-on’ channel.
SEO can, and will, grow revenue! It just cannot do so instantly!