One of the biggest concerns I hear from people considering launching a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is the length of time it takes to see results. Depending on when you start, the competitiveness of your industry, how much you invest, and a handful of other variables, it will likely take weeks, or even months before you start to climb rankings and earn more organic traffic to your site. Sometimes, it can even take years.
Can You Afford to Wait Months for an SEO Strategy to Develop?
So if your company is eager to grow or if you’re struggling to turn a profit the way things are now, can you really afford to wait months for that strategy to develop?
Why SEO Takes So Long
Before we can understand the costs and benefits of waiting for an SEO strategy to develop, we need to understand why SEO takes so long in the first place.
SEO increases your rankings in search, but that takes time.
In case you aren’t familiar, SEO is all about increasing your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) for terms related to your brand and business. Over time, you’ll optimize your website for specific keywords, write excellent content, earn a better reputation, and eventually build the domain-level “authority” necessary to rank higher.
This is a time-intensive process for a few major reasons:
- It takes a lot to move the authority needle. If a total stranger gave you a single piece of advice that happened to work out, would you trust everything they say from then on? Probably not. But if you got 10 or 15 good pieces of advice from them, with no pieces of bad advice, you might feel a strong sense of trust in their judgment. When Google evaluates websites, it goes through a similar sequence of considerations. A single good article isn’t enough to prove that you’re an authority on a subject (in most cases); instead, it takes months of consistently good pieces to establish yourself as a reputable source.
- Going too quickly can hurt you. Let’s imagine it takes 50 good articles to start seeing SEO momentum (though keep in mind, there are more than 200 ranking factors, extending beyond your content). Why not just pump out 50 articles in week 1 and call it a day? While there aren’t explicit penalties for publishing too much content on your own site, Google is wary of spam and rank manipulators. If you try to push for too much, too fast, it’s only going to work against you.
- Competition exists. Also, competition in your industry is probably already thriving. If you’re entering an existing industry (and not creating a new one from scratch), there are likely dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors who have spent months to years climbing the SERPs. You’ll need to do even more work than they did if you want a chance to dethrone them.
ROI and the Timing Conundrum
As an aspiring search optimizer, it can feel intimidating to recognize how long it takes to see results – and how there are no real shortcuts. So is it even worth it to pursue SEO?
The short answer is yes, at least for most brands, because of the remarkable return on investment (ROI) that becomes possible after a long enough period of investment. Most of the assets you acquire and changes you make for SEO will be permanent; for example, the backlinks you build will remain up indefinitely, and each piece of content you create can remain relevant so long as you update it periodically.
Because you’ll be accumulating these permanent assets, your benefits can compound over time. Plus, as you jump in rankings in SERPs, your organic traffic stands to skyrocket; the vast majority of search engine traffic comes from the top 3 rankings of a SERP, so going from rank 6 to rank 3 is huge, and going from rank 3 to rank 1 is even bigger.
Together, these effects result in a strategy that outpaces almost every other marketing strategy regarding ROI.
Compensating for the Slow Ramp Up
Unfortunately, that alluring ROI doesn’t make the “slow start” problem go away. If your business is in desperate need of customers now or if you don’t have the consistent revenue to justify ongoing investment in SEO, there are a few ways you can compensate for the ramp-up, including:
- PPC ads. Pay per click (PPC) ads have the capacity to generate traffic instantly, since you’ll only pay for people who click those ads and get to your site. It’s also a slick way of getting people from search engines to your site – and good practice for creating and perfecting landing pages.
- In-house and periodic SEO work. You don’t need to hire a seasoned SEO veteran or work with a formal SEO agency – at least, not right away. You can learn the basics yourself and start doing some of the ground-level work on your own, in your free time, to build momentum.
- User-submitted content and collaborations. You can also collect user-submitted content and collaborate with other contributors to start developing content for SEO – without putting too much of a burden on your schedule or budget.
SEO isn’t a perfect strategy, but it’s incredibly beneficial if understood and used properly. Even its slow-going early momentum can be easily compensated for with the right approach – and in just a few months, you could be capitalizing on a sizable stream of organic traffic generated by your efforts.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!