When I consult with clients, they always ask me two things.
How fast can you get me on page one of Google?
How do I stay there?
Just like shady deals can score you some quick money, shady SEO tactics (called “Black Hat SEO”) get you ranked well for a short time. Normally, just like bad business practices, the truth eventually comes out and that train comes to a quick end.
Your ultimate goal is for Google to consider your website a subject matter expert. Are SMEs created overnight? Ha, we wish! Unfortunately, of course the answer is no. This is really about reputation. Like most reputations, a good one takes time to build and is easily destroyed.
Back to the question at hand though… typically, you should be ranking for your relative search terms within 30 days. Page 1? That all depends on the competition for your particular industry and target locations.
Any SEO company who PROMISES they can get you on page 1, is either going to get you ranked for specific long tail keywords or using some technique which is shady. At Buzz My Biz, our goal is to get you ranked for short tail keywords in particular geographic locations.
Next question, you maintain a position through growth. There is no “treading water”. You’re a shark – you’re either moving forward or dying. You can think of Google as a dog. A dog loves the guy who feeds him. Feed the dog, the dog loves you. Ignore the dog, the dog ignores you.
Remember, our ultimate goal – to get Google to consider you a subject matter expert.