Search Engine Marketing is an Endeavour Where Patience is a Virtue!

I like analogies – and I am going to use one right now. Search engine marketing is like fishing. Just like fishing, there is a certain amount of experience needed to execute a search engine marketing campaign that will have any degree of success.

If I were to go fishing with new bait, at a new lake, and with a new rod – and cast my hook into the water, the chances of having an instant bite and catching a fish are very remote. Just as with search engine marketing; I shouldn’t expect to simply have a new site, with a new theme, and new content and immediately attract search results. It is going to take time, patience, and focus to gain the results expected.

The longer you fish, the greater the chances of catching a fish. The same applies to search engine marketing, the more you work on your site, creating content, and staying focussed the greater the chances of success. If, however, your campaign lacks discipline and has expectations not in line with reality, then you can expect less success.

How long until I make my first dollar…?

This is a question often asked at the beginning of a search engine marketing campaign and the answer has to be ‘I have absolutely no idea.’ – anyone who tells you anything different, and who is positioning themselves as a search engine marketing professional is attempting to deceive you. If you were to go fishing whilst on vacation in a foreign country, and a local guide told you he would take you out on a boat fishing – it is highly unlikely that he would guarantee the catch of a giant blue fin tuna, and if he did, he would be lying to you.

More likely, he will use his knowledge to take you to where fish are normally caught, and he will use tackle and bait that normally catches fish, and then he will use his experience to set you up with the best chances of catching fish. If you didn’t catch any – then that would be unfortunate for you (but fortunate for the fish). All too often a search engine marketing campaign is started with the expectation that traffic and sales will start rolling in immediately. This can happen, and who is to say it will not happen with your campaign. However, it is important to have your expectation set on the campaign being a long-term process which will take a long time to achieve the desired results.

It is a Marathon, not a sprint.

These are the most important elements to bear in mind when beginning a SEO campaign;

1. Getting started right is the most important. Strategize, work out where you want to be, and then work out how you are going to get there.

2. Make your mistakes early. At the beginning of a SEO campaign, you can test, change thing up, make mistakes, and generally experiment. However – once you have made your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

3. Stay focussed & disciplined. At many points during an SEM campaign, you may be tempted to change direction, or to change your focus. Remember that each time you do, you in effect start from scratch again.

4. Concentrate on your game, not other peoples. This is not to say you should not watch what is going on around you – but do not become obsessed by the competition and what they are doing.

5. Getting your first sale (or lead, or whatever the end result of the campaign is) is a monumental moment – enjoy it!

6. Once you have your first sale (or whatever) work on getting your second, third, and more!

7. Do not quit! If things are not going well, make adjustments. You may not get your first sale for months so use the time to create content, network, and better understand online habits.

8. Think like your customers! It is so simple, but so very few people do it (more about this tomorrow).

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