SEO Goals, Realities, Expectations & Myths

In this article, we will learn the SEO importance of setting realistic expectations and SEO realities.

Search Engine Optimisation SEO is a longterm process, so you need to understand the realities and how to set achievable SEO expectations. This article teaches you what’s possible and what’s not likely to be possible is SEO. Normally this type of article is most often ignored in SEO basics. But I think having a clear understanding of achievable SEO rules, expectations & limits are important to the SEO success process.

Why Understanding SEO Realities is Important?

First, let’s see why understanding the SEO reality is important for different types of people:

First for Yourself:

When you’re learning SEO for yourself to optimize your website, setting realistic goals will help you to stay on course, keep you motivated, and plan your resources effectively.

When Hiring:

Someone else to do SEO for you sometimes just to get your order someone might make fake promises so when you have a clear understanding of SEO realities, then you know whether that is true or achievable.

When Selling:

If you are planning to sell or offer SEO services for your clients, then you can use this to educate your clients on achievable goals and not to mislead them unknowingly.

SEO Realities:

So, let’s take a look into the realities of an SEO where every marketer should know of these things.

It is Not Easy to Rank in Top Positions:

It is most often misunderstood or misled in the SEO industry. Most of the time top positions in the search results page for relevant and profitable searches will take significant time, effort and resources when you build a website or optimize a webpage for SEO for the first time, there are already dozens or hundreds of websites that have been doing SEO for years and search engine trust them to give them a top SERP position. Therefore, you have to perform an SEO better than them and convince search engines to rank your web pages or websites higher than them so the process is not going to be easy.


The ranking time varies based on multiple factors such as keyword competition industry websites SEO power, your SEO stats and a lot more.

Realistic Time Frame for Ranking:

This is critical to understand & these are estimated time, this is not fixed or set of defined rules, but from my experience, this is how you should set realistic time frame expectations for ranking.

Low Competition Search Queries:

If your SEO competition is really low, your competitors do not do any SEO at all and some might do a poor job of them, then you might be able to rank and search engines top spot within 1 to 3 months.

Medium Competition Search Queries:

If you target the queries that have low SEO competition, and that some of the fighters are doing a great SEO job, but most of them do not. Then you might be able to achieve higher rankings within 3 to 6 months.

Hard Competition Queries:

If you target search queries, which has high SEO competition and most of your competitors are doing solid SEO work and some competitors are doing good enough SEO then your search engine rankings can be expected within 6 to 12 months.

Highest Difficulty Search Queries:

If all your competitors are actively doing excellent SEO for years, then you can expect a ranking of no less than 12 months. Again, these are not fixed any number of factors can alter the time frame or duration, but these are reasonable estimates to keep in mind.

Additionally, you can reduce the time frame of ranking by investing more resources like time and money. However, do remember, if you want to appear natural, you need to maintain steady growth in the eyes of search engine algorithms. Otherwise, it will appear unnatural and search engines may negatively affect your site.

SEO is not a One-Time Process:

The SEO process is not a series of one-time steps it is a continuous process that involves optimization of on-site factors and outside ranking factors. You have to continually perform SEO to ensure that your competitors don’t overtake you and retain your top-ranking position. You need to do SEO continuously. There are valid reasons some people might assume it is a one-time process:

    • If there is very little SEO competition in your target industry, then you can just rank at the top position with just on-page and technical optimization.
    • Or if we have extremely high-powered SEO powered the website then you are more likely to rank for low to medium competition se
      arch queries with little or no SEO effort at all.

Therefore, you need to understand, it still requires continuous effort to achieve and maintain those SERP rankings.

On-Page SEO:

On-page SEO is not enough for competitive keyboards, as we discussed in search engine optimization, SEO is a 4 step process, where it consists of:

    1. Keyword Research
    2. On-Page Optimization
    3. Off-Page Optimization
    4. SERP Maintenance

You can get away with good keyword research and on-page SEO when your target market is not competitive. But when you have a highly competitive market, then outreach or off-page optimization & backlinks will be critical for ranking in the top position. So, generally to get better ranking solid SEO work will be needed on the 4 major areas of search engine optimization.

SEO can Cost You:

SEO optimization can be done for free, but it has a number of limitations. Now, let’s see, the reasons how SEO can cost you:

Time Factor:

For example, when we do keyword research or keyword research is the process to find targeted search queries for our business. Paid tools will get us data faster & more accurately. Where free tools provide limited data and will require us to invest more time in manual research.

Complete Metrics:

Whether it’s for the keyword research process, off-page SEO, or on-Page SEO, relying solely on the free solution may not provide complete data for SEO since sometimes their database wouldn’t be comprehensive or returning data might not be fully relevant for our queries.

High Competition:

Popular industry tends to have high difficulty SEO competition since all the competitors know the return on investment for top ranking so they do a lot of time, money, or premium SEO resources, so you won’t be able to compete or beat them just by using free resources in a short period of time without investing a lot of resources.

Inaccurate Data will Lead to Failure:

SEO is the optimization of the campaigns, the use of inadequate or incorrect information can cause a lot of errors.

For example, choosing the wrong target keyword will make the entire SEO process useless or selecting keyword based on an inaccurate SEO competition value also can delay your ranking process if it turns out to be a difficult keyword.

So, this does not mean that free SEO tools are wrong but sometimes with limited database or limited features set or limited functionalities can mislead you.

Outreach can be Expensive:

There are so many outreach techniques and you need to work on them smartly since your SEO competitors will also outreach a lot. Typically, not all outreach is paid.

There are so many free methods to get outreach when you work smartly but there will be always some expenses involved when you are link building, outreach, or partnership. For example, maybe sponsoring the event or paying for a press release submission, or paying for a software subscription that allows you to do outreach communication.

So, this does not mean outreach is fully paid. They are free methods but most of the time, it will at some cost, directly or indirectly.

More Traffic does not Mean more Profit:

When it comes to SEO search intent and targeted traffic are more important compared to the search volume per month. I’ve also mentioned this in my post about the SEO trends. In previous articles, I will talk about this in more depth in the keyword research, because you will get fewer conversation from search engine traffic which is not targeted compared to targeted traffic from fewer search volume will give you a greater number of conversions.

Therefore, do not mistake that more search traffic equals to greater profit instead focus on user intent and understanding your target audience’s mindset and what they
are looking for.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not Risk-Free:

It would be impossible for search engines to evaluate each site using humans, so they rely on automated search algorithms, use of AI & cutting-edge tech. It aims to identify that website which misuse or use spam SEO practices and negatively affect them on search engine ranking as we learned on our previous search algorithm and penalty article.

So don’t forget any process you do on SEO as a risk. If you do something wrong, it can negatively impact your website.


So, in conclusion, you need to stay aware of these SEO truths. And there are so many more facts and realities. But these are the common ones that I see most often get misunderstood all the time. So now with this truth and understanding the realities, you can set achievable goals or expectations to keep you motivated and keep you on track on your SEO campaigns.

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