The Ugly Truth About SEO

By Rachel Whitfield, Digital Strategist at Vivid Creative

Do you ever find yourself asking “How long should SEO take until I see results?” “Am I using the right keywords?” “Did I hire the right SEO team?” We hear these questions all of the time. The simple answer is that there is no one-size-fits all solution when it comes to SEO.

Allow us to break down three basic elements to keep in mind when taking a look at your SEO strategy.

Google’s Algorithms

Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving. In turn, your strategy will most likely not be the same month-to-month. Google is using a machine learning artificial intelligence system called RankBrain to help deliver search results. This technology focuses on two things: how long someone spends on your page (dwell time) and the percentage of people that click on your result (CTR, or click through rate). To put it simply: if users are coming to your site and bouncing off because they’re not finding the information they’re looking for, Google is more likely to rank your site lower for the next user.

Measuring Success

Always start by setting realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and noting baseline metrics so you know if you’re meeting your goals. Two metrics to start with would be user dwell and CTR, as mentioned above. It’s also important to note that SEO takes time! We recommend giving it three months minimum before you will see any changes in your analytics. Implement your SEO strategy and make it a point to regularly check in on your metrics and tweak your strategy to get results.

Website Content

After you’ve narrowed down your keywords, take a look at your website content. Does it accomplish the goals of the user? It’s getting harder to convince Google that you have good website content when you actually do not. Google has started analyzing user behavior and indexing websites according to the relevance of the user’s search query. In other words, it’s not just about title tags and meta descriptions. Your web content matters.

We are going to see a major shift from generic content with keyword stuffing to optimized content based on user behavior. Keep in mind, it takes a lot of time and effort when it comes to SEO. Google will continue to enhance the web user’s experience and personalize user search results for the rest of 2018.


Written by Rachel Whitfield: Immersed in digital strategy and experienced in marketing, Rachel supports client relationships and helps to achieve client goals through online marketing tactics, including search engine marketing, social media strategy, content optimization, and web development. She loves learning and researching anything and everything digital. She applies this same joy of problem solving and a "bring it on" attitude to every situation.