When it comes to building your search presence, you’re always going to have competition in the search results. Even if your direct competitors are not engaged in web marketing, search engines will also rank informational results. So even though these aren’t your competitors for sales, they are your competitors for valuable search result real estate.
Many people think of digital marketing as a race. Only in their mind, they are the only ones actually moving around the track. You put on your sneakers, throw one foot in front of the other, and you’re on your way to the finish line. This is what we call false expectations.
Run, Don’t Walk
There are two problems with this mindset. The first is that you’re not the only one moving. Engaging in web marketing at a brisk walk isn’t going to help you to catch the guys who are sprinting around the track. The second is that there is no finish line. It’s not a matter of who gets there first, its a matter of who stays in the lead!
If you want to take the lead in this race, not only do you have to get up to speed with the competitors, you’re going to need to be going faster than them. If they’ve already been around the track a few times, you’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do. The race in the search results is one that favors the favorites–those already winning.
Getting From Zero to Awesome
That’s not to say they can’t be beat. Eventually, everyone loses their top search rankings. Either because they start slowing down or a more nimble competitor sneaks up behind them. But no matter what the reason, if you want to catch up or overtake your competition you’re going to have to perform better for a sustained period of time.
Which means you not only have to set your web marketing strategy, you need to set your expectations for success. We tell our clients that our goal is to go from zero to awesome as quickly as possible, but awesome takes time to achieve. While we expect to see some growth and improvement pretty quickly, expect it to be 12 months before you feel like the web marketing campaign is truly winning.
Every campaign is different, but we have to set realistic expectations. I don’t want clients that expect search engine rankings to be like painting a wall. Slap some paint on a brush and go at it. Before you know it, you now have a different colored wall. In reality, it’s more like painting a piece of art. You need lots of different paints, brushes, techniques and time for the vision to be realized.
But half of the battle is the expectations. If you set realistic expectations, then you’ll have the fortitude to see the race through. You may never be #1, but that’s not really the goal. Yeah, we want to overtake our competitors, but that’s not the measure of success.Success is continued improvement in standing, authority and web presence , bringing in new customers with each lap.