“How long does SEO take to yield results?” is one of the most frequently asked queries of SEOs. It is a hot topic in the industry.
Companies want to know when they are going to see the impact of their investment (and rightfully so), but SEO is not like paid media where results can be seen almost as soon as ads are activated. It takes time to see SEO success. But how long?
You should expect to see SEO results within 6-12 months…
SEO should show results in a period of 6 to 12 months. A quantifiable increase in traffic, as well as accompanying leads or conversions, is what we mean by results.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved your goal at this point, but any business investing in SEO should expect to be able to see progress within this time frame.
It is impossible to give a figure that applies to all websites, and the best that an SEO can do is to give a rough estimate based on the analysis of the current performance of a website and the proposed strategy.
There is no escaping the fact that SEO takes time. Google (and other search engines) want to show the best result for any given search query, and it takes time to earn a ranking. You have to gain maximum search visibility.
But with the right strategy in place, 6-12 months is long enough to see the impact of your SEO efforts and justify continued investment in growth.
To help you better understand how long it takes to see SEO success, let’s take a look at the factors that determine this.
History of your website
Whether or not you’re working on a new domain, it’s one of the key factors that influence how long it takes to see SEO results.
A new domain will almost always take longer to show success than an established one since it hasn’t built any authority or gained any backlinks yet. By comparison, an established domain will generally have gained at least some level of authority and will have some backlinks pointing to it.
A new domain should expect to see results within 9-12 months, rather than 6-12.
However, an established domain doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get faster results. You may not see quick results if the domain was previously affected by a penalty, a core algorithm update, or had SEO work that goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Results can be seen much faster on low competition niches and low competition search queries than on competitive ones.
Trying to rank a website for competitive personal finance keywords (e.g. “credit cards”)? It could take 2 years or more to get featured visibility on page 1.
On the other hand, for narrower local or less competitive keywords, it might be possible to show promising results within 3-6 months.
Keyword difficulty is another factor. This is a percentage from 0 to 100, and the higher the percentage, the harder it would be to rank.
You should expect it to take longer to show results against keywords with a high keyword difficulty percentage. But there is more to competition than just keyword difficulty.
You need to consider how your competitors got to their current position and what they are doing to maintain this visibility. Your strategy and projections should consider what you’re competing against, including the aggressiveness of other people’s strategies.
You cannot control the history of a website or the competition. But what you (usually) can control are the resources that are allocated to an SEO project.
It’s important to understand exactly how this plays a role in the time it takes to see results from a campaign. The more resources you can allocate to SEO, the faster you’ll see results.
The most important resource you need is time.
Reasons for lack of SEO success
1. Technical SEO issues
If there are technical SEO issues with a site, they will need to be resolved before you can experience the growth you want to see.
Technical SEO relates to things like:
- Tracking and indexing
- Site speed
- Structured data
- Duplicate content
- XML sitemaps
- and more
Solving problems in some of these areas will have a greater impact than others, but the fact is that any technical problem must be solved. Call Small Biz Web Design Studio to take a look at these glitches, so as to ensure quicker SEO success.
You’ve probably heard that content is king, and the fact is that content is still one of the top 3 Google ranking factors. Google’s goal is to return the best results for a given search query, so why would poor content perform well in the SERPs?
It’s important that you make creating great content that matches searcher intent a high priority. But take the time to understand what’s currently ranking and figure out how to create something better. You can learn a lot by studying the content that is already being done.
Low-quality (or even average) content can mean it takes longer to see results, while great content that’s carefully planned and adds something new to a topic can help your site rank faster.
Along with content, backlinks are also one of the top 3 ranking factors for Google. These are indicators of trust and popularity and have the ability to improve a website’s ranking.
After all, links are effectively two-way votes of confidence. But you need to understand that there is seldom a shortcut to getting quality backlinks.
It takes time, and it usually entails producing excellent content that others want to link to. And when there is a sizeable link gap with competitors, this can take time to close.
That said, not all links are created equal, and ultimately higher quality links have the ability to drive rankings faster than lower quality links.
4. You gave up too quickly
Ultimately, many people fail when it comes to SEO because they start out good but give up. In other words, they work hard for a few weeks and expect quick results. But when they don’t see immediate changes, they give up altogether.
If this sounds like you, this is probably why you’re not seeing the desired effect. You didn’t follow your strategy long enough.
5. You took optimization too far
When you’re learning about SEO, you’ll recognize the necessity of optimizing your content. But, it’s easy to do too much without realizing it. To put it another way, you might well be optimizing your content more than you need to.
While many people assume this will mean they’ll see better results faster, it can actually have a damaging effect. That is, too much optimization can generate penalties and drop in Google rankings.
6. You didn’t have a strategy
SEO can be complicated. You need to think about it and come up with a strategy that is suitable for your new website. Many people make the mistake of just trying a few different things here and there.
But you have to be consistent and have a strategy to work on. After a while, you can adjust your strategy based on the results you receive.
SEO is not an easy thing. It requires a lot of time, perseverance, and, ultimately, constant work. This is particularly true when you have a new website and have to start from scratch.
Be prepared to wait a while for your efforts to pay off. But, if you create the right SEO through Small Biz Web Design Studio, you will rank higher and gain more traffic.
By Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones specializes in the marketing and distribution of web design and development products. He is in Market Development at Small Biz Web Design Studio, a web design & development company in Los Angeles.
Source: How Long Will It Take for SEO To Show Results?
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