SEO Results Are Like The Stock Market

Brendan Egan

SEO Results Are Like The Stock Market

When it comes to SEO and the stock market, it would be really nice if everything would just go straight up.  But in reality in both SEO and the stock market, even if something is trending up it’s very rarely a perfectly straight trend line.  More times than not it will be very jagged, with ups and downs along the way.
I know as an SEO client or someone doing SEO on their own you don’t want to hear this. You want to do a little work or hire someone to handle your SEO campaign and see very clear results in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, SEO just doesn’t work that way if you’re looking for long term, sustainable results.

A Stock Market Study

I personally have a fairly strong interest in the stock market and even trade fairly frequently, and one of the things I’ve learned over the years is if you’re looking for short term, quick gains, you’re likely going to end up losing much more than you make. I was talking with a portfolio manager a few weeks back who was explaining how many of his clients lost a great amount of money when the market crashed in 2008 because they were constantly getting in and out of the market due to the wild fluctuations, yet his clients who stuck it out and understood that it was just a small deviation from the overall uptrend in the market are the ones who saw the best results and made the most money.
This is really quite true, and if you think about it a chart of the stock market is extremely volatile, but if you look at a large portion of time, say 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years, there is almost always a strong upward price trend in the market.

The Same Applies To SEO Campaigns

This same logic applies to SEO campaigns — SEO is generally a long term business strategy. If you’re looking for quick gains overnight, then SEO really isn’t for you. In that case we would suggest some other marketing options, such as PPC, email marketing, social media marketing, and other forms of ads. SEO is really more for those looking for medium to long term results and rankings, which is exactly what we deliver. Sure, we can get you ranked pretty quickly for less competitive keywords, but the extremely competitive ones are going to take a good amount of time and work to see results.
And with the time factor pushed aside for a minute, even when we start to see results it’s important to remember that those results might not look so pretty on a chart. All our clients get access to our rank tracker, an in house software that plots your search engines rankings for your keywords over time, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case where the chart trends up very nicely. If you look at the rankings over say a 6 month period, nearly all our clients see an excellent improvement in rankings, but if you look at them on a smaller time frame, say daily or weekly, there’s some pretty wild fluctuations that can occur, especially when search engines are testing and making algorithm changes.

The Main Takeaway Of SEO Volatility

The key points to take from this article are quite simple:

  • Find a good SEO firm and be dedicated to sticking with the campaign; much like the stock market SEO campaigns have ups and downs, but you should overall see a nice improvement in your rankings
  • Try to see the big picture: Just because the keyword drops in rankings for a few days, or even sometimes a few weeks, doesn’t mean to pull out — there’s thousands of factors at play and the campaign can be a little volatile, especially at first
  • Look for case studies to ease your mind — we offer several to demonstrate what happens in an SEO campaign and demonstrate the final outcome of the campaign with our client ranking much better