SEO – How Long Will This Take?

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Whenever Girl on the Roof begins work on a new Search Engine Optimization project, one of the questions we can always count on being asked is, “How long will it take for us to see results?” It’s certainly a reasonable question to ask. When a client invests in a service, it makes sense to want to know how long it will take to see the desired outcome. There’s nothing wrong with wanting fast results; but in the world of search engine optimization, this is usually much easier said than done. Good SEO just doesn’t happen overnight. Let’s look at a real-world example.

A CASE STUDY

In April of 2013, Girl on the Roof was hired to develop a new website for Knoxville, TN attorneys Bill Hotz and Associates. As part of the web and SEO strategy, the firm requested that their website rank highly on Google for the following keyword phrases:

Knoxville car wreck attorney
Knoxville truck wreck attorney
Knoxville car wreck lawyer
Knoxville truck wreck lawyer
Knoxville TN car wreck attorneys
Find a car wreck attorney in Knoxville TN

Girl on the Roof developed the new Bill Hotz and Associates website with these keyword phrases in mind, using several tested and proven SEO strategies. The new website, www.askthecarwreckattorneys.com, launched in May of 2013. In June we did a quick check on Google to see where the website was placing in the search results 1 month after launch. Here are those results from June 1, 2013:

Keyword Ranking on 06/01/13
Knoxville car wreck attorney 44
Knoxville truck wreck attorney 28
Knoxville car wreck lawyer 51
Knoxville truck wreck lawyer 36
Knoxville, TN car wreck attorneys 36
Find a car wreck attorney in Knoxville, TN 26

Not surprisingly, the news wasn’t good. It is common knowledge that if your website isn’t placing on page 1 or 2 of Google search results, you’re really not even on Google at all. Most of these initial rankings were on Page 4 or worse! With this being a brand new website, these results weren’t surprising.

CHALLENGES

Making matters more difficult was the fact that lawyer/attorney related keywords are among the most competitive keywords on the internet. The competition is fierce and constant. There are a lot of law firms in Knoxville, and most of them have their own strategy for appearing on Google’s front page. Add to that the fact that most of the other firms had a lengthy head start, and we knew we had a challenging road ahead.

Another challenge was the fact that this was not a simple redesign of an established website. Askthecarwreckattorneys.com was a brand new site at a brand new domain name. Google strongly favors domain names with some history and longevity behind them. This is a good thing for those of us who rely on search engines to find things online. When we’re searching, we want Google to show us trusted results from websites that have proven to be reliable over a long period of time. But what about those of us who are trying to get a new website onto the front page? We could have utilized a Google AdWords campaign (which can be very effective in many instances) but in this case, we placed more value on a high ranking in the organic search results. In such a highly competitive space, there are just no easy shortcuts to the top of the organic search restuls. Those results cannot be bought or cheated. You have to earn your way there.

TRUSTING THE PROCESS

Starting in June of 2013, Girl on the Roof put a strategic SEO plan into action. Each month, we followed a long list of steps to improve the SEO of the Bill Hotz and Associates website. These steps included frequent blogging, maintaining an active presence in social media, seeking out and receiving quality links from other high ranking websites, and constant monitoring of what competitors were doing. We knew that this process would not yield immediate results, but over time, we expected to see steady improvement.

Here are the rankings of those same keywords in March, 2014 after 9 months of monthly SEO work:

Keyword Ranking on 06/01/13 Ranking on 03/01/14
Knoxville car wreck attorney 44 30
Knoxville truck wreck attorney 28 20
Knoxville car wreck lawyer 51 25
Knoxville truck wreck lawyer 36 15
Knoxville, TN car wreck attorneys 36 33
Find a car wreck attorney in Knoxville, TN 26 32

Improvement, but still not where we wanted to be. Now take a look at our results from February of 2015, a full 18 months after the start of Girl on the Roof’s SEO work. We’ll look at the two previous rankings alongside the most recent rankings for comparison:

Keyword Ranking on 06/01/13 Ranking on 03/01/14 Ranking on 02/01/15
Knoxville car wreck attorney 44 30 5
Knoxville truck wreck attorney 28 20 2
Knoxville car wreck lawyer 51 25 7
Knoxville truck wreck lawyer 36 15 3
Knoxville, TN car wreck attorneys 36 33 9
Find a car wreck attorney in Knoxville, TN 26 32 5

It took a full year and a half, but Bill Hotz and Associates currently ranks on page 1 of Google for all 6 of their targeted keyword phrases.

Keep in mind that these results were in a highly competitive space. In less competitive areas, we have seen similar great results in as little as 4-6 months. If you would like to talk about what kind of results Girl on the Roof could achieve for your organization or business, get in touch with us. We would love to talk to you.

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