Lee Odden

Rushing Your SEO Doesn’t Mean Quicker Results

Lee Odden     SEO, SEO Tips

Companies that take their search engine visibility for granted or that ride the technical SEO loophole/manipulation train often get a hard smack back to reality when their online sales disappear. Orders start to slip or fall off the map altogether and the IT team red alert phone rings off the hook with calls from the business owner, “What the hell happened to our rankings???”

You can imagine Google being brought up in a browser and searches for “search engine optimization firms” and similar queries are place to find a SEO consultant to “quick fix the problem”.

The real “problem” is that there is rarely a quick fix for the kinds of issues that result in a dramatic change downward in search visibility. The exception being the removal of an errant robots.txt file placed to disallow all engines from crawling a site during development.

“I know enough to be dangerous” is an interesting thing to hear from a web site developer looking for quick SEO services. In some cases, they really do know quite a bit about optimizing and marketing web sites online, they just don’t have the people resources to execute and need outside help. Others might know enough to be dangerous – to themselves. SEO information from 1999 isn’t going to cut it in 2008.

When a company generates a substantial portion of it’s business from the internet, the influences on that online visibility cannot be left to chance. Not staying on top of what’s working and what’s not can result in unexpected outcomes. Bad and outdated information can be very costly.

While I don’t think all company web site owners need to retain a full time in-house SEO consultant or agency in all cases, they do need to allocate resources either internally or externally to keeping company knowledge current. The best source for that information is through testing and measuring the performance of company online marketing campaigns. Conferences, blogs, forums, articles and newsletters can be helpful as well but also require time and money commitments.

I’ll admit to being biased as a consultant myself, but I would rank the periodic or ongoing consultation of an outside agency higher than many other sources since it’s their job to test and measure online campaigns for a multiple companies on an ongoing basis. The cumulative knowledge, experience and insight that comes from working with many different web sites and their associated challenges is of benefit to each web site client individually.

In situations where search visibility has dropped, web site owners and developers responsible for site management/marketing must realize there is rarely a quick fix. The quick drop in rankings does not mean there’s a quick solution to get back.

What is a web site owner to do? Diversification as is possible through strategies such as digital asset optimization are the best prevention. Otherwise, PPC campaigns can be run as well as social media promotions, blogger outreach, online public relations and press release marketing – all to drive traffic while the SEO issues are worked out.

With an industry that has the potential to change as much as search marketing, it makes sense to leverage expert knowledge and experience as well as a process for continuously harvesting new insight from direct observation. Bringing in full time web marketing staff is one option as is hiring an outside agency. Many companies are doing both by using the agency for strategic direction and in-house staff for implementation. Either way, the solution is smart and data based, not a rush for a quick fix.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Anthony Bloch says

    Your article couldn’t come at a more opportune time. In the past few months, I’ve been revaluating my site’s SEO and web development (I still have a ton of work to do).
    In the past, I was able to receive decent amounts of traffic, largely because of certain relationships that I had with some other sites.
    Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t considering SEO and receiving natural search traffic. I was happy with the traffic that traffic that I was receiving. What about the long-term effects of not taking the time to really work on SEO?.
    Well, due to repositioning my website, some of those relationships had to be terminated and I was looking for quality traffic that would yield a good ROI.
    I’m an affiliate marketer and we sometimes disregard SEO. We think we can slap a few banners and text links on a page and “Presto…here come the commissions”.
    Like any business, you have to work on marketing and branding.
    While I may not receive the huge traffic of a year ago, I have been doing better with organic search results and my ROI is increasing.
    This year has been a good one on the commission front and my CTR is above the industry average.
    The only problem is that I’m now playing catch-up.

    Another fact is true. If you have the budget to outsource your SEO to a professional, you will be far ahead of the game.
    I know first-hand the benefits that companies receive by going to companies like TopRank.

  2. Loved the article Lee! There is never a quick fix for anything in life that is worth it.

  3. Avatar Mario Bonilla says

    Lee, solid thoughts that we can learn from. I speak to many people that think they can will the search engines to find them relevant. And even after I tell that it cannot be done I know they do not believe me.

    On another note, will you be attending SES San Jose or Blogworld Las Vegas? If you are please stop by our booth and it would be my pleasure to meet you.


  4. It reminds me of the quality/cost/time triangle

  5. Lee! I have clients trying to rush things all the time. “Where are those title tags?” they ask. I say you just signed up yesterday… lets 1st see if you have indexing issues. no point in optimizing title tags of pages that are not or will never be indexed.

    I loved your comment about “The best source for that information is through testing and measuring the performance of company online marketing campaigns.”

    I personally beleive its the only truly valid source. blogs and forums, even some conventions propagate old “wives tales” about SEO.

    The only way to be sure is to test and test again. And while your waiting for those test to finish, do some more testing.

    Properly done test with valid current data beats any ones opinion, even my own opinion. Keyword verticals are not all created equally.


  6. Avatar Internet Marketing Joy says

    It is always important that in all things we do..we are always careful..although slow but sure is most most important.

  7. great points lee, i think you’re spot on (as usual)

  8. That’s a great story Anthony, thanks for sharing. Thank you also for the kind words about our agency.

    Thanks Garrett and Russ, I agree.

  9. Hi Mario, we’re sponsoring both Blog World Expo and SES San Jose so I’m sure I’ll see you soon.

  10. Hey Bart, we are very much on the same page regarding testing. It’s the first and the last thing to do with any online marketing campaign. Cold hard data cuts through irrelevant and outdated opinions pretty quickly.

  11. Even a rudimentary A/B test can provide incredible insights about a site and about your testing approach — the more you test, the more information you gain about your site and the more you are able to fine tune your tests to gain even more detailed info.

  12. The first comment is a fantastic testimonial and almost worth a blog post in its own right!

    Highlight: “…there is rarely a quick fix.”

    And to Lee, Happy Birthday! Thanks for writing content that’s not “dangerous!”

  13. “I would rank the periodic or ongoing consultation of an outside agency higher than many other sources since it’s their job to test and measure online campaigns for a multiple companies on an ongoing basis. The cumulative knowledge, experience and insight that comes from working with many different web sites and their associated challenges is of benefit to each web site client individually.”

    Amen, brother! Also, though an agency may have less time to work on a client than an in-house might, that means agencies have to focus on what works best- most efficient use of optimization resources. We keep track of all changes so we can see what worked and what didn’t. We can’t afford not to learn from everything.

  14. Brian,

    I absolutely agree in most cases. The issue I run into as a consultant is often times implementation of the consulting advice.

    Sometimes just getting a client to install simple website analytics can be a trial.

  15. Wow – so true. One our mantras is “if you don’t measure, you can’t manage”. As a web design firm, we get asked on a regular basis (often within days of site launch) by clients “why is my site not on Google?”.

    From the initial meeting with our clients we start asking about the search terms they want to be found on, counsel them on writing copy that supports it and use basic analytics tools to get things started.

    When the stars align and the clients work with us on the content, we’ve had good results (SEO is not one of our core offerings – yet). The challenge always comes with the clients who assume they’ll be found just because they have a website.

  16. Thanks Lee, its true, SEO takes time and proper understanding of how it works.

    Great article.

    Thank you.

  17. Thanks Lee, Nice writeup. Especially your un-biased comment.

  18. Nice post. It’s true that SEO plans take time to draw and deliver results slowly, which could vary anywhere from 6 months to a year.

  19. I agree. Many mid-market companies don’t see SEO in the same light as offline traffic generation. They buy ads and send direct mail every month, but “did some SEO last year that really worked well.” Makes no sense.

    Then there are those of us who think people exist only online, perhaps because they do. I don’t care what you sell, people look for it off and online. You need to be both places!

  20. Nice post Lee, you bring up alot of good points


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