What to Expect from SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are not independent of each other (please read “SEO SEM | What’s the difference”), as for this article we will be discussing both. Maybe a better title would be: What to expect from search marketing? Any respectable SEM (Search Engine Marketer, I know, so many Acronyms) will tell you not to expect anything major for three months. While this is a worst case scenario, this is why:

Indexing is when the search engine sends out a “spider” to download and read your site. New sites, at times, only receive KBs (kilobytes) of download. This is why code heavy sites rarely do well in the SERPs.

Indexing is out of our control. Most of the time it takes a few days to a week, but I have seen up to six weeks for no discernable reason.

An impression is when you show up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). An impression just means you showed on the page, it does not mean the user clicked, or even saw your listing! This is why placement is so important. If your site is at the bottom of the page, even if the user doesn’t scroll down, it counts as an impression.

Your impression share is CRITICAL to the success of your website. The Search engines job is to show the best website for any given search. So if your market represents 10,000 impressions, and Google is only showing you for a few hundred – it is clear feedback that Google doesn’t want to show you, and you are not the best result.

While impression share is not the only feedback from Google (or any search engine, but Google represents that vast majority of online search traffic), it is a clear indicator we did something wrong, OR someone is doing something better. We simply correct the problem, and reindex!


This is where SEO & SEM merge. Initially, the majority of your traffic will be from PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, as it is the best, and cheapest form of advertising available today (by far).

It takes a few days, to a week in most cases to negotiate pricing, and garner a respectable impression share (most of our clients see about 10% in this time). Both pricing & impression share improve drastically over the course of the month.

During this first month, we also start to see organic listings. Usually page 4-8.

Our paid ads smooth out and deliver a solid and steady ROI (Return on Investment) as we nurture organic listings, improve paid ad pricing and increase impression share.

So to answer your question: In the first few weeks you should have a steady ROI and be planning for a bright organic future.

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