It seems like there are so many questions regarding timing when it comes to SEO. You can learn how to do something regarding SEO and you can learn why it matters and where it really matters, but your efforts won’t be nearly as successful if you don’t understand when to make the right move. After all, many aspects of business focus on timing—when to close the sale, when to make a purchase and file your taxes, when to launch a new product, when to discount a product, etc., and the SEO field is no exception. As the cliché saying goes, “timing is everything.”

Unfortunately, many companies do not realize that SEO also has a strategic timetable that helps it succeed. Because SEO is (believe it or not) still a fairly new aspect of business, many company owners complete crucial changes to their SEO campaign out of order.

Top 4 SEO Decisions Where Timing Really Matters

Below are some of the most crucial aspects of SEO that should only happen at certain points in your SEO campaign:

1. Target New Keywords

Most companies target a list of four to seven keywords where they hope to rank. Once your company has done its keyword research and determined which keywords don’t have much competition, it’s time for linking, sharing, linking, promoting, and some more linking. However, it is never a good idea for a company to target the same keywords over and over.

  • When to Target New Keywords – Your keywords should change when your content changes. There is no specific amount of time that you should wait before targeting new keywords, but in general it makes sense to target new keywords when you are at a standstill with your current set. If you are not moving up or down in rankings for your keywords, it might be time to change them.
  • What Happens If You Don’t – Targeting the same keywords for too long will begin to waste your time. Ranking for a keyword for a long time will be remembered by Google bots and will serve you well. People will continue to click on your article and link back to your website because it has been ranking for so long, so doing this work on your own won’t be as necessary. In other words, you would be missing out on opportunities to make this happen with another keyword.

It is also worth noting that you should, in general, swap out your keywords for your new keyword list. While it is okay to add a few keywords to your list, you shouldn’t think of your new keywords as “extras.” When it’s time to move on, move on and give your new list your full attention.

2. Hire an SEO Agency

Earlier this month SEM-Group wrote an entire post answering this very question, but it is something that still seems to get people nervous. Hiring anyone is a nerve-racking process for a business owner because you want to hire the right person. Hiring an entire SEO agency to help is even more nerve-racking because it is more money, a lot is at stake, and you won’t quite know whether or not the agency is doing well until you’ve been paying them for a few months.

  • When to Hire an SEO Agency – The biggest indicator that it is time to hire an SEO agency is when you keep getting hit by Google Panda and Penguin updates and you don’t know why. These updates will kill your rankings if you are unprepared, and you have no choice but to recover if you’ve been hit. If you don’t know how to recover and can’t keep up with all of the changes, an SEO agency is crucial. SEO agencies usually also help manage your social media, so if you are finding that you just don’t have time to connect with others or do anything but your own promotion, it’s the right time to hire.
  • What Happens If You Don’t – Your website is sure to drastically drop in search engine rankings if you are unable to keep up with SEO. This will in turn affect your brand’s visibility, and in the majority of cases you will see your sales and overall success decrease.

3. Begin Guest Posting

Guest posting is a great way to earn backlinks to your website. This takes a good amount of time to make happen and often requires a company hire writers who understand SEO, so it’s a big decision. Nonetheless, guest posting is one of the ways that you can ensure that you are receiving the backlinks that you deserve. After all, if you can create great content for another website your website is likely full of great content—people just a need a little push in finding it.

  • When to Begin Guest Posting – Guest posting should become part of an SEO strategy once a website is ready. In other words, once your website is easy to navigate and has a good library of content and information, it’s time to start guest posting and building up some backlinks.
  • What Happens if You Don’t – Many sites do well when it comes to search engine rankings even without guest posting, but it generally takes longer. Guest posting is one aspect of SEO that you can really control.

4. File a Re-Consideration Request

Many sites find themselves losing rankings after a Google Penguin or Panda update, and many feel that the loss in rankings is unwarranted. If you think that your site was wrongly hit by one of the algorithm changes, you may want to submit a re-consideration request to Google.

  • When to File a Request – If you know that you have violated the guidelines or were hit with a spam issue you should always file your requests after you have cleaned up your site. It’s also a good idea to file a request if Google notifies you that something was wrong with your website (your website was hacked, etc.). Finally, if you really feel like nothing is wrong you can file a request.
  • What Happens if You Don’t – Your site will continue to drop in rankings until Google bots discover that your site has been cleaned up. If you don’t clean up your site and just assume that nothing is wrong, you will continue to drop in rankings.

The “when’s” in SEO have always been tricky, but doing things in order will help ensure that your SEO is at its best without any wasted time. SEO results take long enough to really see and really benefit from, so understanding the big picture will help save you time and energy.

Is there anything else that you’re unsure about when it comes to timing? Let me know in the comments and I would be happy to help!

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