Even the best-executed SEO campaign takes time to show results. You should make an effort to set up the campaign correctly, but you should also set aside some time for your work to take effect later.
It is not always easy to be patient. Many companies want to see the results of their SEO campaigns right away. They might even question if the campaign is working because web traffic doesn’t skyrocket in a few days or weeks. But the truth is that the long-term results of a good SEO campaign are worth it.
In this article, we will see how long SEO takes to work and why it works that way.
What Does SEO Success Look Like?
To answer the question, we must first determine what SEO success looks like to make sure the outcome measures are clear.
And when it comes to putting together an SEO strategy, it’s common to bring your campaign goals and KPIs together.
Let’s analyze it.
- Goals = the end result you want to achieve
- KPI = metrics that demonstrate progress towards your goals
These are important measures of success and ultimately the results of your efforts. Typically, the reality is that these goals and KPIs look like this:
Goals = Achieve an increase in income by a certain amount over a 12-month period.
KPI = growth in organic traffic, visibility, impressions or rankings.
Of course, goal setting is about setting measurable but realistic goals. To answer this question, let’s focus on how long it typically takes to see results on key KPIs, understanding that goals are often much more unique to a company and change significantly based on multiple factors.
How Long Until I See Results From My SEO Campaign?
SEO should show results in a period of 6 to 12 months. By results, we mean a measurable increase in traffic and associated leads or conversions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have reached your goal at this point, but any company investing in SEO should expect to see progress within that time frame.
It is impossible to provide one number that applies to all sites, and the best SEO can do is give an estimate based on an analysis of a site’s current performance and the proposed strategy.
You cannot escape the fact that SEO takes time. Google (and other search engines) want to show the best result for any search query, and it takes time to earn rankings. You have to get better visibility in search.
But with the right strategy in place, 6-12 months is a long enough period to see the impact of your SEO efforts and justify your continued investment in growth.
Important Factors That Determine How Long SEO Takes
Your website’s Age
Imagine that you just graduated from college and you go to your first job interview. If you don’t have any references on your resume, your potential employer might be suspicious. They worry about your legitimacy if no one can vouch for you.
This is similar to the way Google views your business when you start a new website. You have a clean slate, which can work for you or against you. It generally takes Google several months to index a new site.
You can speed up this process by getting high-quality website links. This is basically like getting references for that first job after college. If a high-quality site thinks yours is worth linking to, it’s telling Google that you have a good reputation. Your website will appear in Google’s index faster and your SEO campaign will also be implemented faster.
If, on the other hand, you have a well-established website, your SEO campaign should be effective more quickly. Google does not need to find out if your site is legitimate and this cuts down on time.
Your Site’s Past History With Google
Google gives each web page a score that reflects its reliability and trustworthiness. Often referred to as the TrustRank or Trust Score, this ranking determines how high your website can climb in search engine rankings.
The higher your score, the higher you will get and the better the results of your SEO campaign will be. The best way to increase this score is to increase the number of inbound links to your site or links from external sources. This, again, is like getting the endorsement of another site by telling Google it’s worth linking to you.
You cannot control website’s history nor the competition.
But what you can control (usually) are the resources allocated to an SEO project. It is important to understand exactly how this plays a role in the time it takes to see the results of a campaign. The more resources you can allocate to SEO, the faster you will generally see results.
The most important resource you need is time. Let’s take an example …
Two small business owned sites are competing for the same keyword. They are both aware that the main drivers of SEO success are technical SEO, content, and backlinks. They both employ the services of a freelance SEO professional. For simplicity, let’s assume both sites start on an equal footing.
Site A hires its chosen expert for 5 days a month, while Site B hires its expert for only 2 days.
Obviously Site A should expect faster results.
Keep in mind that conversations about the time it takes to see an impact should take into account the resources that are being allocated, understanding that the best way to reduce this (within reason) is to allocate more to the project.
What To Do While You Wait For Your SEO To Work: You don’t have to sit around waiting for your SEO to start working anytime soon. With digital marketing, you have many options for driving traffic to your website, besides SEO.