SEO is not about quick wins. I get asked all the time to “give us something that we can do now that will have a noticeable effect”. People, everyone, wants to get the most bang for their buck, and this especially happens in business where there is direct pressure to produce ROI. After all, no one brings in a consultant until they are unable to solve their own problems. At this point, your problems become mine.
If you’ve been seeking quick wins and they’re not working, what the heck makes you think that me giving you quick wins is going to fix your problems? Quick wins have not been solving your issues until now, so why do you think anything is going to be different with my quick wins?
Remember, doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results isn’t smart. It’s actually a sign of madness. Once you’ve gotten the real quick wins (which more often than not do exist) taken care of, now you have to put in the work.
Good Work Takes Time
I’ve mentioned this before, but let me show you some examples of content that has taken a long time to create, but continually drives great traffic, has good rankings, and helps with brand awareness for Distilled.
Excel for SEOs
My coworker Mike Pantoliano, who can do some awesome things with Excel, put together the Excel Guide for SEOs in 2011.
Mike told me that he spent over 30 hours on this one piece of content. To date, this thing has received:
* 235 linking root domains;
* Over 2,000 tweets and Likes probably (hard to know since we transferred URLs);
* Been mentioned in countless conference slidedecks.
Whose clients wouldn’t love this kind of exposure?
We can also talk about Ed Fry’s Linkbait Guide, which he did during a two week internship at Distilled during Summer 2011. He shot videos, brought his cat into the office (I think), had a 3-d Distilled logo created, and put together this monstrosity of a document.
To date, this guide has received:
* 159 linking root domains
* Almost 1,000 tweets
* 244 +1s
Once again, whose clients wouldn’t love this kind of return?
Time Invested Wisely = Bigger Return
I’m always preaching to my clients that it’s the big things you do that have the biggest returns. We took risks with creating these guides by dedicating time to them, but they’ve had quite a payoff – between them, that make up about 1/10th of our overall link profile!
And don’t get me wrong, this can be text content in the form of well-research stories. This article from TheAtlantic has almost 3,600 linking root domains (z0mg!) –
Even for me, I usually spend a couple of hours on a blog post (though this one has taken considerably less). But the one that got the most attention and still gets links took me about 8 hours –
And if you’re an SEO, you know Jon Cooper’s linkbuilding strategies post, which I saw him tweeting about for WEEKS before it was published:
And this is what happened when DollarShaveClub’s video went viral. Check out that link velocity!
What about SEOmoz Search Engine Ranking Factors?
And Dr Pete’s Google Algorithm Change History, which he talked about in his big content post:
I’d love to see other examples y’all have of content that took forever, but paid off! I’d also love to see examples where it did not!
tl;DR – Spend more time, higher risk/reward, but when you get it right, the reward is sweet.