How long does SEO take to display results? This is a common question asked by many independent bloggers who are looking to get their blogs ranked higher in search engines.
How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?
Is it possible to see the results of your SEO efforts in a few days or weeks? Or take months, even years? This article will explain how long it takes for search engine optimization to display results.
This is the question that haunts all those who have just started their SEO efforts. Well, you don't have to worry anymore. In this article, we will discuss why your SEO efforts should be timed precisely and how long SEO takes to display results
How do you answer the most common question an SEO client asks? While the correct answer is "it depends", many companies are unwilling to accept it.
There is no way to guarantee SEO results within a specific time frame, simply because we can never guarantee what we cannot control and Google is not under our power.
There can be approximations that need to be explained to the customer clearly as they are, i.e.not guaranteed expectations.
Your customer needs to understand that there are no magic bullets and that you don't know any secrets. All you can do is follow best practices to ensure gradual growth. This is the key to properly managing customer expectations.
But let's get back to the question: How long does SEO take to display results?
What are we trying to achieve?
First of all, it is important to understand and adjust the client's goals. What are they looking for when investing in an SEO strategy?
Most clients will insist on improving your ranking for keywords they already know they are targeting. In many cases, these keywords are unrealistic and may take years to achieve.
Here comes the role of "modifying" goals.
By expanding these keywords to make them longer and less competitive, you can be more confident of achieving your SEO goals within a realistic time frame. Consider the following:
- Long-form keywords can actually bring in organic traffic that converts better: the more specific the search query, the closer the searcher is to complete the buying journey.
- Keyword gap analysis helps identify business gaps that can help a company stand out and find its unique audience.
- Discovering new keywords and expanding existing keywords helps diversify organic traffic sources which in turn helps maintain a more consistent organic view. If you lose a position or two on a short-tailed search query with a huge search volume, you risk losing 20 to 30 percent of your traffic. If you lose a few long rankings here and there, your site will still drive pretty much the same amount of organic traffic. Google SERPs are dynamic and versatile: losing rankings is inevitable, so diversification is key to stability.
In general, the best way to set customer expectations right is to set a goal of incremental growth of organic traffic (and conversions). This way you focus on the positive results that come from a large number of pages rather than on monitoring the ranking of a few major pages that may move very slowly.
What are the metrics "It all depends?"
However, the inevitable "it depends" will still pop up.
Every site is different: some sites will benefit from active SEO work faster than others, even if you focus on the incremental growth of traffic, rather than a few rankings.
The SEO time frame mainly depends on:
- Site size: It is easier to achieve incremental growth when the site is large and already has a few possibilities
- Site Age: New sites take longer for Google to finally accept the fact that they can be trusted.
- Site History: If a site has had a slow but steady decline in organic ranking and visibility for a few years, it can be difficult to finally flatten and turn that curve. In addition, if a site is affected by certain updates (such as a product review update) that requires Google to re-run that update for all prior work to reflect (or not reflect) on ratings. No SEO specialist can be sure when the next update will happen, so it will affect your SEO results to become obvious. And let's not even talk about the wildly unpopular fact that none of Google's latest updates have any obvious cure: you need to work on everything under the sun hoping it helps and sometimes it doesn't.
- Existing inbound link profile (and potential actions): Things like backlink cleaning can take some time for Google to recognize and react to changes
There are more factors, of course. Whether a site is actually an entity is another factor that can affect how quickly results appear. Another big thing that can be a challenge is the current structure of a site: restructuring a site can make Google discover it for a while, even if you're doing everything right.
Obviously, customer conversion is another factor to discuss: some businesses require a lengthy process to approve any change needed to make their sites more SEO friendly. New and improved content can take weeks or months of the legal review process.
Other companies simply don't have development teams to help them work on-site, so they rely on freelancers. This is another level of back-and-forth process that slows it down, especially when ongoing technical tasks are required. In addition, some CMSs are easier to administer (such as Wix, WordPress, and a few others), while others require technical skills.
SEOs are rarely fortunate enough to obtain keys from customer sites allowing them to directly push all needed changes in a matter of days.
So How Long Does SEO Take to Display Results?
With all of the above in mind, the minimum time required for SEO to start delivering tangible results is six months.
Your SEO results should appear within 6-12 months. By results, we mean a measurable increase in traffic and leads or associated conversions. This does not necessarily mean that you have achieved your goal at this point, but any business that invests in SEO should expect to be able to see progress within this time frame.
It is impossible to give a number that applies to all websites, and the best SEO can do is give the best estimate based on an analysis of current site performance and the proposed strategy.
There is no escaping the fact that SEO optimization takes time. Google (and other search engines) want to show you the best result for any given search query, and it takes time for it to rank well. You must gain the highest search visibility.
But with the right strategy in place, 6 to 12 months is long enough to be able to see the impact of your SEO efforts and to be able to justify the continued investment in growth.
There are quick wins possible...
Of course, there are tricks to start delivering some results within a shorter period of time to keep your customers happy. Here are some of the tricks that you should follow:
- Brand search optimization is something that can quickly help your customers see more traffic that converts like magic (because people who search for a brand name are very likely to convert once they get to that site).
- Internal linking can quickly boost the performance of existing pages, especially if they are optimized for search queries with less competition.
- Exploring rich snippets opportunities and using structured markup (where it makes sense) will likely improve CTR without having to wait for rankings to grow (which will be slower to happen).
- Refreshing older articles that currently rank within the top two pages of search results can also make you SEO quick wins if you do it right.
These are the first steps to take when starting an active SEO business.
It is actually an endless process
This is another thing to make clear when customers ask that inevitable question: How long will it take?
Indeed, SEO never ends. You can't just improve a site and watch your organic traffic come in and convert. Google's algorithm evolves, existing content gets outdated (so it has to be monitored, updated, and re-optimized), and competitors keep building backlinks and other major boosts.
You need to always stay on top of your SEO efforts, develop new content and new link-building assets and lead magnets, explore new search patterns… the list goes on and on.
An effective SEO service will always include exploring new tactics, detailed competitor monitoring (and learning from them), and continually investigating new SEO opportunities (such as new keywords, new rich snippet opportunities, and new media).