How Long Does SEO Take to Produce Results?
In a world of instant gratification, SEO is not. But as the saying goes, nothing good comes easy. Search engine optimization takes time.
Once you build momentum though, you can expect results. You should find your organic channel driving the most traffic to your site, and often being the largest contributor to your revenue online. Let’s now look closer at how long SEO takes to see results and the factors that come into play.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from SEO?
Depending on the website, it could take up to one year to see the kind of results you are hoping for — but for many, results could happen in months. At one point it took us two years to rank No. 1 out of millions of results for a certain target query. So a precise answer to how long will it take is: “It depends.”
In some instances, certain fixes can produce near-instant results. For example, if something is hindering the site’s being crawled and indexed, like a robots.txt file that’s blocking the search engines, a correction can make an instant impact.
But, in most cases, several months to a year is the timeframe. And even Google confirmed this:
How many months? It depends on many factors, which I’ll discuss in this article.
That said, let’s look at the contributors that impact how long it will take a website to see results from SEO.
5 Factors That Impact How Quickly You Can Get SEO Results
1. Your Website
The website is the weapon we take into the SEO battle. Entering into a gunfight with a dull knife is not going to be a rewarding experience.
Remember: It’s not the job of SEO to make a pig fly. You need useful, quality content to rank in search. But even with that, if a website has been unmaintained for years, it’s going to take a lot more work to get it to a place where it can start competing in the search results.
Let’s also not forget the work that goes into cleaning up a low-quality link profile or a Google penalty situation, which must be done before you can start competing.
2. Your Industry
Some industries are held to a higher standard than others in the Google universe. What that means is that if, for example, your website has “your money or your life” content (aka YMYL webpages), you may have more work to do in order to compete. It’s important to understand things like Google’s “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines” and its guidance on expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) and on making sure your content passes the “needs met” test.
3. Your Competition
Whether or not you get traction sooner rather than later also hinges on your competition online. If, for example, you are targeting a more competitive space that is saturated, then it may take longer to gain visibility in the search results. So, you need to understand your competition in order to beat them. What is their SEO strategy? What do they have that you don’t? Getting these insights can help you move along further and faster.
4. Your Resources
A big contributor to how fast you can get results is your resources. What I mean when I say resources is the size of your budget, the type of SEO you invest in and how seriously you take it.
Getting recommendations and implementing them are two entirely different things. For example, don’t expect to get fast results if you:
- Hire a cheap SEO service
- Don’t put effort into SEO
- Don’t have a plan of attack
- Don’t make SEO a company-wide initiative
- Stop doing SEO
5. Your Strategy
Keep in mind that when you invest in high-quality SEO services, there’s a lot more to it than simply ticking boxes on an SEO checklist. The SEO strategy you apply to your website has a lot to do with how fast you see results. You’ll want a roadmap with an SEO audit, which lays the needed groundwork to identify any site issues, architect the content in an SEO-friendly way, and go after a whole-SERP strategy.
At the end of the day, SEO takes time. It’s a long-term investment you will want to make in your site so that you can continue to be relevant in the search results and reap the rewards.
If you’re ready to explore what it will take to see SEO results for your business, contact us today.