The Incredible, Remarkable, and Undeniable Power of Speed for SEO

During meetings with prospective clients, I tend to heavily emphasize the importance of speed to the success of their SEO initiatives.  By the way, I’m not referring to page speed, although that also matters in certain situations.  Instead, I’m referring to how quickly a client can move from idea to execution.  This includes how fast they can audit, change, brainstorm, publish, analyze, and optimize their efforts.  Many of you reading this post understand how digital marketing moves at light speed.  In addition, many of you have probably run into situations where you provide great advice, a solid plan, only to be left staring at a production schedule that covers an entire year (or longer).  And if matters get worse, that already long production schedule has to go through several committees for approval.

Yes, fun times.  The dreaded committee review, which can drag out execution, while also watering down your efforts, is one of the points I brought up in my post about compromise and failure in SEO.  I’ll touch on committees later in this post.

To me, you need to move fast, and at a high level, in order to succeed in today’s SEO environment.  If you don’t, your efforts can creep along, your rankings will suffer, your site will underperform, and your boss will be unhappy (to say the least).  Let’s explore speed for SEO in greater detail below.

The Impact of Speed on SEO

speed seo

I wanted to begin by displaying a graph that documents the various ways that speed can impact your SEO efforts.  The wedges represent Speed to Audit, Change, Brainstorm, Publish, and Analyze.  I’ll cover each segment in detail below.

Speed to AuditSpeed to Audit

If you’ve read previous posts of mine, then you know how powerful I believe SEO audits are.  If you are a company that isn’t seeing strong performance from your organic search efforts, then pull the trigger and have a thorough audit completed.  The faster you move to have one completed, the faster you’ll receive a thorough analysis of your current situation.  And the faster you receive a remediation plan based on the audit, the faster you can fix the problems SEO-wise.

Glenn Gabe
Featured SEO Writer for SEJ Glenn Gabe is a digital marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactive and focuses heavily on SEO, SEM, Social Advertising, Social Media Marketing, and Web Analytics. Glenn has over 18 years of experience and has held leadership positions both in-house and at a global interactive agency. During his career, Glenn has helped clients across a wide range of industries including consumer packaged goods (CPG), ecommerce, startups, pharmaceutical, healthcare, military, education, non-profits, online auctions, real-estate, and publishing. You can follow Glenn on Google+ here.

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22 thoughts on “The Incredible, Remarkable, and Undeniable Power of Speed for SEO

    1. As crazy as it sounds, it definitely works. I can’t remember someone passing by me without asking what the numbers meant. You should try it. I like to call it the “in-house viral campaign”. :)

      1. Great points Glenn! SEO can often make a business. I love the ‘wear your results’ platform. I’ve adopted the giant ‘where we’re at for the month meter’ similar to a drive-thru or car dealer…a nice big billboard showing where we need to get to. Conversation starting is key. Nice work!
        -Matt Leonard

      2. Thanks Matt, and it’s great to hear from you. I love the idea you’re using. Actually, combined with my nametag idea, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll get in front of a lot of eyeballs. :)

  1. Though many people keep on posting on how SEO is dead and not the most viable option.

    I Totally vouch for what is written above – SEO is unique. It takes time to build strength, it takes time to see results (usually), but it’s also residual. Results can last for a long time, and at a very low cost (as compared to other channels)

    Posts like these project the SEO spirit in the right essence and also establish a positive reputation for the SEO industry.

    1. Thanks for your comment, and I appreciate what you wrote. SEO is hard, it takes time, but it sure can pay off if you do the right things. It’s always tough to watch organizations move slowly and miss key opportunities to succeed. Speed matters. :)

  2. Love the closing tips. The company I work for really needs to read those. I guess sending out weekly reports with numbers isn’t as engaging as wearing them.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mike. I can tell you with almost 100% certainty that “metric nametags” will turn heads and start conversations. Then you’ll have your platform for communicating the issues at hand. I’ve seen this work numerous times. :)

  3. So true Glenn,

    Its amazing how excited the client is to get started in that initial kick off meeting. However 3 months later, you are trying to get the client motivated and back on track. Then 6 months down the road they are pointing the finger at you, wondering why they are not seeing results.

    Thats why I always try to put responsibilities onto the client as much as possible. They are the experts in the industry and need to be able to contribute to their online strategy, just like they would with doing tradeshow presentations or interviews. They need to help with blog posts, online videos, whitepapers, etc..

    Good stuff Glenn!
    Mark

    1. Great points Mark. It’s easy for clients to get excited about the potential from SEO, but they need to realize that there is a lot of work to do. And some of that work will need to be completed quickly. It’s a good idea to fully explain what’s involved from the beginning. Without full cooperation, SEO efforts can drag along. I guess these points fit under the Speed to Change and Speed to Publish segments of my chart.

    2. You are absolutely right, At the initial meeting clients tend to ignore the fact that SEO takes time, no matter how many times you say it.

  4. Love this. In our outline when kicking clients off we emphasize that it’s largely up to them how fast they see results. Not being able to make content changes, internal linking changes, redirects, and other necessities significantly hinders campaigns that have the potential to kick butt, but get bogged down with that red tape.

    1. That’s absolutely right Adam. SEO is different than other channels where an agency or consultant can move quickly without as much involvement from a client. There’s still work that needs to be done or reviewed by clients, but not as much as with SEO. I love when clients move fast… results usually follow quickly.

  5. Hey, thanks for sharing the speed graph here. Thank you very much. I want to have faster transmission so I can reach those speeds. great read for people who does SEO.

  6. I love the nametag idea for big businesses with offices, but unfortunately I work remotely from home.

    On the other hand I’m familiar with the client who wants ‘SEO’ but can’t get their head around the idea that it’s THEM that needs to write their content with certain things in mind, completely ignoring my advice about keywords, headings, titles, etc. Essentially making most of my input pointless.

  7. Awesome words by Glenn! wonderful. What you ll do with the greatest idea in the world if you can not implement it? In my opinion no idea is great if you cannot execute it!

    Glenn, here is another problem, in the companies where there are several different layers between SEO strategist and Boss (may be some non technical/less technical) people in between (unfortunately tis happens)…then how to go with the speed though it is important!

    1. Great question. Education is probably the best path. Analyze, report, and then present the results, along with how that’s impacting the company. I would try and set up meetings with key people to ensure they understand the problems at hand. Tying your findings to financials is also a strong way to go. I hope that helps.