SEO: Why We Can’t Promise Specific Results Within a Given Timeframe

16th January 2023

Sometimes prospective clients ask things like, “When will I be on the first page of Google?” or “What do you predict the progress will be in the next three months?”. While these seem like reasonable questions for someone who is about to invest their money, unfortunately it’s impossible to determine the specific outcomes of our efforts in a given timeframe. In fact, no trustworthy SEO provider will guarantee certain results by a particular date. You might not be happy with this answer, so I’m going to clear up why this is the case. It comes down to the fact that there are too many variables at play.

Every Website is Different

As every website is different, what works for one might not work for another. For instance, one domain might be fairly old and has therefore already established authority, so it would be easier to increase their rankings. Another might be in a really competitive industry, and therefore it would be much harder to increase their rankings as there will be lots of other companies fighting for the same top spot.

When working with a new client, we perform thorough keyword research to determine how well they are already ranking and how many average monthly searches there are for that keyword. This allows us to come up with a strategy for how we should proceed. For instance, if the client is already ranking position 1 for a particular keyword, we would be inclined to focus our efforts on something that is performing poorly. Essentially, as every website and company is unique, the plan of action should be equally as unique.

Google’s Algorithms Are Always Changing

One of the main reasons why SEO firms such as ourselves cannot guarantee specific results is because Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. There are hundreds of signals in the algorithms that determine a website’s keyword rankings, and these are continuously adjusted. Sometimes Google will announce updates, but usually these ranking signals are kept top secret; only key people at Google know what they are or what they’re going to be. That’s why SEO is based on a lot of trial and error. One SEO tactic that might have worked really well for six months might suddenly stop being as effective, and as a result keyword rankings could fluctuate.

Despite the fact that the algorithms are often tweaked, there are some key methods that will always be relevant. For instance, it’s crucial that websites are optimised well for both desktop and mobile and have fast loading times. It’s also crucial that they have relevant content, so that it provides value to visitors.

Physical Location & Search History Plays a Part

Physical location also plays a part, as Google tends to assume that users are looking for a company as close to their location as possible, so they often display local results. What’s more, Google considers a user’s search history, meaning a client could rank position 1 for one person, or position 5 for another, based on their personal preferences and what websites they have looked at in the past. The rankings we share with clients are based on an average position across the UK.

Although we cannot guarantee specific results within a certain time frame, we do suggest that clients continue an SEO campaign with us for a minimum of three to six months to allow time for the results to show. We perform quarterly reviews and alter the strategy where necessary to ensure we are keeping up with Google’s updates, and also because SEO often comes down to experimentation.

If you would like us to help you with your SEO campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our account managers to discuss costings.

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