How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results? SEO is a time taking process and any business willing to invest in it must be ready to wait. But how long should you wait? This blog is an attempt to answer this question. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a hot topic in the industry and quite rightly so. SEO ensures improved visibility, better rankings, more traffic, leads, and ultimately increased revenue for any business.
Though there is no doubt that SEO is important, something that everyone wants to know is – how long does SEO take to show results? It’s natural for any business to wonder how quickly SEO will positively impact them? You must understand that, unlike advertising where you pay for a slot (on a medium) and can see them displayed immediately, SEO takes time to show results. There is a process that must be followed to reap benefits. But how long should you wait?
This is what we will attempt to answer in this blog. As we move forward, we will break down the factors that impact SEO success. Before we go any further, let’s first understand two things:
# 1 – What Does a Successful SEO Strategy Look Like?
Before you think about SEO success, you need to underline the campaign goals and KPIs. This helps not just your business, but also the SEO team to move in a certain direction. What are goals and KPIs?
- Goals – Simply, it is the end outcome you want after the campaign,
- KPIs – Ascertaining metrics that help move ahead towards your goal.
These are important indicators that assure the success of your SEO campaign. But they wouldn’t mean a thing if there isn’t a set time or defined variables. When these are added, your goals and KPIs will look something like this –
- Goals – Set to see an increase in revenue over a fixed period, say over 12 months.
- KPIs – See certain growth in terms of visibility, organic traffic, rankings, and impressions.
While we discuss how long does SEO takes to show results, it’s important that we talk about setting realistic targets. Typically, a certain length of time must pass before success is measured. Of course, the core KPIs and goals are also kept in mind.
# 2 – Time Frame within Which to Expect Results
Though we keep saying that you cannot expect SEO results immediately, setting a time frame helps to assess goals and measure KPIs. Generally, SEO experts believe that a 6-to-12-month period is a good time frame to assess success. Within this period, you should be able to measure the increase in traffic, lead generation, and conversion with measurable quantifiers.
When we talk about measuring success, we do not necessarily mean that you must have achieved all goals by this time. What we are indicating is that you should be able to measure progress in some form. However, it is almost impossible to say that this rule can be applied to all types of SEO, and for all types of websites. What any SEO expert can do is make the best-guess estimate after analyzing your business website. We reiterate that SEO takes time. Every search engine works continuously to show the best results for any search query. That’s the reason why they don’t simply rank any website randomly. You must earn your spot in the race by consistently performing. Having said so, we believe that 6 to 12 months is a good enough period to see some SEO impact. After this period, you can reassess your goals and KPIs and make improvements as and when necessary. Now, that we understand the importance of identifying goals, KPIs and measuring success over time, let’s now talk about the factors that determine success.
Factors Determining Time Taken for SEO Success
- Website History
When you are working with a new website domain, it will take time to see positive SEO results. However, if you are working with an old domain, chances are that it already has some established authority and thus will take lesser time to be successful. With a new domain, you will need to build authority and earn backlinks. That may not be the case with an old domain.
Thus, for a new domain, expect to enjoy results only after 9 to 12 months of rigorous SEO activity. But with an old domain, there is no guarantee of success within the expected timeframe. If the domain was previously jeopardized, there was a core faulty algorithm update, or if Google had penalized your website for going against their webmaster guidelines – it will take time to rebuild trust and authority. It is always a good idea to begin by assessing the site’s history. This will give you an idea about how the site performed previously.
For this, you can take help from Google Search Console. You can also use the SEMrush Organic Research tool. With the help of these tools, you can preview the estimated time it can take to generate traffic. These tools will help you know how organic visibility works for your business, what are the problems that must be fixed and how the quality of the website can be improved.
When you are dealing with lesser competition in your niche, it can be comparatively easier to get better rankings, and that too faster. For a keyword such as “software”, it can take you about 2 years to get visibility on a search engine’s first page. But if you are dealing with less competitive keywords or area-specific keywords, it is possible to see results within 3 to 6 months.
The best way to know if you are dealing with highly competitive keywords is to run a Keyword Difficulty test online. However, assessment based on just Keyword Difficulty isn’t enough. You must also understand how your competitors are ranking better than you and what are they doing to maintain visibility. When you plan a strategy, it must be based not only on your projections but also on how the competitors are strategizing. There are several tools that will help you estimate the competitive gap and the backlink gap. Use them while developing your SEO strategy.
While it may not be possible to control your competition or the website’s history, you can control (to a large extent) the resources in hand. How you allocate resources for SEO and how they are used can determine success. The equation here is simple – allocate more resources (time and money) and see faster results.
It’s important to note here that simply allocating the budget may not be enough. It takes time to see SEO results which means that if you have someone who is giving more time, the results should come faster. Let’s take an example to understand this better: There is two small business website that are using the same keywords to compete against each other. They have both started on a level playing field (for the sake of simplicity). Both have hired independent agencies for the job.
The first company agreed that the agency would be working five days a month to improve SEO whereas the second company agreed that the agency would work only 2 days a month on a similar project. As expected, Company A would see faster results because more time (and money) was allocated to their website. Thus, if you can use your resources wisely, you can see faster SEO results.
Things That Impact the Time Taken for SEO Success
Three things impact the time taken for SEO success. Let’s take a look at them.
- Technical SEO
Technically your website must be in the best conditions to perform well on search engines. With technical SEO, you can fix any issues that hamper visibility and affect rankings.
Some of the things that are taken care of with technical SEO are –
o Crawling and Indexing,
o Site Speed,
o Duplicate Content,
o Structured Data,
o XML Sitemaps,
o Hreflang tags
There are many online tools to help you audit the performance of your site. Take the help of such tools so that you know the problems that must be fixed immediately. However, simply making the website technically sound will not be enough for SEO. Technical SEO will simply give you the traction to move ahead overcoming other obstacles.
There is no denying that content is king, but did you know that it is one of the top three ranking factors for Google? Google increasing is laying stress on meeting user intent while displaying results on search queries. Informative quality content will always rank better than some content that is crammed with keywords.
Unless you stress quality content for improving your SEO, you are not going to achieve success on the search engine ranking page. But while you pay attention to high-quality content, you must also study what’s ranking in your niche. Your continuous endeavor must be to improve on your competitor’s content. When you publish poor-quality content, it will take your time to see results. But when there is great content that is adding something fresh it will rank better and faster.
Backlinks add credibility and that’s why it is another top-ranking factor for Google. When you earn backlinks, it means you are trusted in the industry and have become popular too. It can supercharge your website’s rankings. Though backlinks give a great boost to a site’s credibility, it isn’t easy to earn them.
If you are looking for shortcuts to earn backlinks (yes, there are dubious ways of earning them!), you must know that they will harm you in the long run. It takes time and great content to earn backlinks the right way. Links can be categorized as high-quality and low-quality ones. A higher-quality link will have a better impact than a lower-quality one.
Backlinking is important from the SEO point of view and hence building a backlink portfolio is necessary. But as we mentioned, it takes time to bridge the sizeable link gap. You should be ready to wait. Ultimately, it is better to wait than be penalized for wrongful doings.
What is Google’s Take on SEO Success and the Time it Takes to See Results
Google is clear about how long it can take for a business website to succeed with SEO. They say that in most cases, it can take about four months to a year to see any potential benefit. If Google says so, you have to agree so, right? But don’t let the time period worry you. All good things take time.
How To Improve Your SEO Prospects?
Having a clear goal and defining your KPIs is the first step toward achieving SEO success. But, as we discussed above, these are not lone contributors. You must be able to allocate resources (both in terms of budget as well as time) to be able to reap benefits.
By now you would have realized that it is hard work. Maybe you are not equipped to deal with all the technical as well as strategic requirements. Luckily there is nothing to worry about yet. All you need to do is hire the services of an SEO agency that will work continuously over a period to help improve your search engine rankings.
Cyrusson Inc. is a boutique digital marketing agency that has expertise in improving your search engine rankings. We have been working in the digital marketing industry for the last many years and have seen how SEO has evolved to its present state. We know what it takes to make a poorly ranked website gain prominence. From correcting your technical SEO loopholes to providing great content to backlinking – we do it all. If you are looking for a company that has all hands on deck – we are the ones for you.
We believe in providing 100% effort to every client. Our happy customers will vouch for our consistent performance. Get in touch with us today to know how we can help improve your SEO prospects. Be with us for 6 to 12 months and see how we improve your search engine rankings, visibility, and traffic.