As a business owner or marketer, you may be wondering how long it takes for SEO to work and produce results. The answer, unfortunately, is not a straightforward one. As with many aspects of digital marketing, it all depends.
Many factors can affect the timeline for SEO success. Understanding these factors and having realistic expectations can help you plan and implement effective SEO strategies that will drive more targeted traffic to your website and improve your online visibility.
What is SEO?
When an internet user Google searches the type of product you sell, wouldn’t it be nice if your website was the first that appeared on the search page?
That’s exactly what SEO tries to achieve for your website.
The goal of SEO is to drive more targeted traffic to your web pages, with the ultimate objective of generating leads and sales. A website with excellent SEO optimization will rank higher on a search query for a related keyword to its product or service. Essentially, it’s all about showing up higher on the page and increasing how much your links are seen.
SEO includes both on-page optimizations, like optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, and internal links, as well as off-page optimizations, like building high-quality backlinks from other relevant websites.
By implementing effective SEO strategies, businesses can improve their online visibility, attract more qualified traffic to their website, and ultimately drive more conversions and revenue.
Long-term digital marketing strategy
Any strategy with a sustainable payoff over time will take a moment before it starts raking in all the sales. A good SEO strategy is multi-pronged and needs time to see real results. You'll need patience and consistency for your site to become more visible on search engines over time.
When a real concerted effort is made on SEO, it could be a few short months before you see any significant growth in organic traffic from SEO alone. This varies greatly depending on how competitive your niche is, how much content you have on your website, and whether or not other sites are competing with yours for rankings in the same keyword categories.
You'll see results faster if your website was already ranking well, or if you have high domain authority. But neither of these scenarios apply to most small businesses seeking an SEO boost to compete against larger competitors ranking higher on the search engine result pages. In these cases, it may take a bit longer to see increases in your analytics. Be patient!
What makes SEO so slow?
SEO is not a quick and immediate pathway to sales. It’s more of a long-term investment in consistent organic traffic over time. The time it takes for SEO to “work” can vary, depending on the competitiveness of the industry, the current state of the website, and the quality of the SEO strategy being implemented. In general, it can take several months to start seeing significant improvements in website traffic and search engine rankings.
Because SEO involves optimizing various aspects of a website, it can be more complicated than just adding the best keywords and Voila! more sales. True search engine optimization deals not only with content, but also with website structure, usability, and backlink profile to make it more visible and relevant to search engines.
These changes can take time to be crawled and indexed by search engines, and the impact of the optimizations may not be immediately apparent. Many people might abandon their SEO efforts before seeing real results. The key is to be patient and trust that an algorithm is like a mathematical equation– if SEO is done right, there’s no way to truly fail.
If you’re feeling discouraged, remember that SEO is an ongoing process that requires ongoing effort and refinement. What people are searching for, and how search engines actually sort results, is subject to change. Even after initial improvements have been made, continued optimization is necessary to maintain and improve search engine rankings over time.
What you can do about it?
There are several strategies you can implement to speed up the effectiveness of your new SEO skills or strategies. To improve the speed at which you raise on the results page, you’ll want to take the below basics of SEO to the next level with high-quality content and a concerted effort.
- Conduct thorough keyword research to help you optimize your content and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.
- Ensure that your website is properly structured, with clean and organized code, which can make it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your site, thus improving your rankings faster.
- Create valuable and informative content that's relevant to your target audience to help you establish your brand as an authority.
- Build high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites.
- Promote your content on as many social media channels as possible.
- Monitor your progress and adjust your strategy according to what is and isn’t working. This can speed up the traffic you build from SEO alone, by encouraging you to remove and change what hasn’t been helping to rank your website.
- Employ the help of a professional! Basic SEO skills can be learned through a quick google search (no pun intended!). However, advanced and critical SEO skills require an educated and experienced expert to help implement, especially for brand-new brands and websites.
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of an SEO expert or professional who can take your website to the next level, saving you the headache of figuring it out yourself.