It's Simple: Time, Effort, Budget, and Expertise. However, getting a website to rank on page one is virtually impossible without all four. The mix and extent required of these four variables within the context of each website's competitive landscape vary wildly. The more competitive the industry, the more each variable will have to be increased.
Before exploring the required mix for ranking success, let's dispel any idea that a new website will rank well overnight. Assuming a competitive landscape, there is no substitute for time. Be extremely wary of any website developer/ search specialist that promises overnight ranking success.
First, at a very high level, let's explore the expertise basics to begin ranking well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) begins with an extensive best practices checklist far too numerous to list here. If a website does not adhere to all best practices baseline mechanics, a goal of a page one ranking is crippled at the gate. Being found and indexed is just the tip of a colossal iceberg when setting up a website to rank well over time. The expertise to deliver superior base mechanics is far less prevalent than the number of vendors purporting to possess such expertise.
Think of a superior website ranking as the top of a skyscraper. Without solid best-practices mechanics as a base, the number of potential floors possible, a.k.a. ever higher rankings, will be limited.
The experience and expertise needed to get a website to this first stage of potentially ranking well should never be minimized or taken for granted. None the less, compared to the entirety of the best practices roadmap for ranking success, a solid base is just the starting gate.
Taking Google search alone, excluding all the other search engines, optimizing a website to rank well is far more highly entailed and complex than building the base phase. In truth, there may be no finite number, but 200 or so ranking factors and variables are a solid starting point for this part of the discussion. On any list of 200, at least one-third only qualify as "somewhat solid theories." Despite what many so-called experts will try to sell you, ranking factors are a bit of a black box with no one outside of Google [or other search engines] knowing with 100% certainty what's in the black box.
Adding to the complexities of navigating and adhering to all 200 best practices, search engines such as Google regularly update their guidance on best practices based upon their latest algorithm update. An entire information industry is based solely on keeping an ear to the ground to provide guidance for SEO best practices. SEO gurus with a substantial following make millions delivering best practices guidance. While some guidance is explicitly clear, the rest is akin to reading tea leaves. Since no one outside of Google has the algorithms, if there is any certainty, it depends almost entirely upon experience and proven results — based upon as many best practice checkboxes "as possible."
Only a major e-commerce website — both highly profitable and highly dependent on its website for revenue — can even aspire to SEO nirvana 100% with certainty, much less achieve such a pinnacle. For these types of companies, it is a constant, almost daily pursuit of tweaks and variables. Every company or non-profit, along with its website, has different priorities and, often, has many competing priorities. The importance of search ranking is usually just one criterion for a website's success measurement. If, for instance, a business has a small finite marketplace and the budget to reach them, pouring budget dollars into SEO is not a prudent use of marketing expenditures.
An experienced website development partner can significantly assist in sorting out all the priorities to enable planning and budgeting to meet priorities and exceed the goals of a website. Suppose SEO and ranking are Job #1. In that case, an experienced website developer/ search specialist should be able to accurately tie down a minimum and maximum cost range required to achieve ranking goals. There are no guarantees, however, due to changes in search engine algorithms and what the competition is up to — ranking is a moving target.
A website, within the context of search ranking, is never completed, much less perfect. A website's search rankings are always either on the way up or down. That's where effort plays a critical role via attention to detail while constantly adding to and tweaking content, search engine signals, and navigation mechanics. Unlike building a skyscraper, a website is not a build-it-and-forget-it project if the goal is a high search ranking.
Whether an internal resource or company such as Adroitsquare , "effort" is tied to "budget." Payroll or invoice, most often a combination of both, there must be an adequate budget applied to complete the efforts required to rise within search rankings. With that being said, any idea that the more money spent on SEO, the better a website will rank is missing the two most critical variables to ranking well — expertise and experience. Expertise and experience can slash the budget required for ranking well. Therefore, be extremely wary of any vendor with their hand out seeking more funding to achieve an ever-higher ranking. Tying spending directly to KPIs that can be measured regarding ranking goes a long way in conserving budgets for SEO. The reason is that there is never any assurance as to what the competition is up to and algorithm changes. Promising an ambitious ranking or even a range in writing seldom happens . . . most especially if a vendor is asked for a money-back guarantee.
The saying "there is no substitute for time" could not be more pertinent to the discussion of search rankings. In fact, no amount of the other three factors can instantly erase the time variable. As underlined to begin this blog, be extremely wary of any website developer/search specialist that promises overnight ranking success.
No one has an unlimited budget, and even if every ranking factor was completed to perfection, climbing the ranks in search engines still takes time. It is never overnight; the reality is, assuming a website is in a competitive environment, it takes 30 to 60 days to see any significant movement whatsoever in most cases.
The Unvarnished Truth
When it comes to website development and search rankings, rarely are potential clients given the truth as detailed above at a high level. Typically — due to a competitive environment focused on short-term revenues instead of long-term partnering for win-win outcomes — over-promising and under-delivering prevail. Rarely, if ever, are the absolute truths communicated herein posted within the contents of a website developer and search specialist website.
Instead of 200 ranking factors, the number should be 201, with vendor honesty that sets realistic expectations being the first and most crucial check box on the list. "It's simple," when it comes to raking well, could not be any further from the truth!
Adhering to the highest ethical standards is the most unwavering standard that exists at Adroitsquare. Giving every prospective client the truth, even though it is misrepresented elsewhere for financial gain, is what a long-term partnering posture is all about. Most especially regarding SEO and ranking, only a company with the highest ethical standards should be considered.
The developers and website design team at Adroitsquare deliver a robust online presence that provides the competitive edge required to succeed. No matter the mandate, be it e-commerce, ranking mechanics, or technological know-how — our website development team has the experience and complete mastery of every tool required to meet or exceed the mandate.