Getting to the first page of Google is no easy task and takes a fair amount of time. There are numerous variables involved. Ultimately, it will come down to the skills of the person doing the SEO, what tactics he or she employs, the quality of the content and how much effort is put into the exercise.
Competition is also a big factor. There are many highly popular keywords and ranking on the first page for these is extremely difficult, often impossible. A niche keyword with well-executed SEO will get to the top much faster than the very popular keywords.
Budget is another key factor, and paid marketing is infinitely more powerful and faster than organic growth. Unfortunately, this requires money. The more you spend, provided it is spent wisely, the faster your page will soar in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
To put it into perspective, a study done by Ahrefs (an SEO and online marketing application) did an extensive study on 2 million random keywords and analyzed their SERP ranking. What it found was a mere 2 percent of top-ranking sites on Google were less than a year old. The average age of those ranking first on Google was 3 years old.
Another alarming statistic from the same study showed that a mere 5.7 percent of all studied pages ranked in the Top 10 search results within one year for at least one keyword.
It is not all doom and gloom
Granted, getting to the first page and not the number one spot is certainly a lot easier, but those statistics still paint an interesting picture. It is hard work and takes time, effort, and money. Oh, and a bucket of skills.
Leave it to the professionals
There are some aspects of a business that are best left to the professionals. SEO, SEM, PPC, SMM, and other aspects of website marketing are a complex and constantly changing business. It requires the experience, skills, and training of professionals who know what they are doing and stay up to date with the regular changes made by Google.
Unless you have a good understanding of the process and the time to keep updating with the new developments, it’s highly recommended to outsource these aspects of your online marketing.
Many SEO companies will charge a success-based fee or a specific charge per project.
Beware of the many charlatans that promise the Earth and fail to deliver tangible results. Sadly, there are many such companies out there. It is also critical that the company you use do not employ any unethical or black-hat SEO techniques. While these might show positive results in the short term, Google will soon pick up on them and penalize your site. This will have lasting negative effects on the page ranking that will be difficult and time-consuming to overcome.
Study the SEO company and ask for details on their work and approach in a similar industry to yours. Ask the company to analyze your current website stats and let it explain its proposed solution.
Ranking in the Top 10 is achievable, but it is hard work and will take time. Also, bear in mind that while you are focusing on your SEO, your competitors are doing the same. You must be better and faster.
We all know that failure to reach the first page on Google is not going to help your business, so make it a top priority.
Follow the golden rules of SEO, spend a bit of money on marketing, respond quickly to changes, have a great site with excellent content, and you will get there eventually.