It’s the age-old question: how long does SEO take?
While we wish we could promise you overnight results when you start your SEO strategy, it’s just not a reality (and it should be a MASSIVE red flag if an agency does say they can achieve this because we can guarantee they can’t).
Picture this: you’ve just embarked on an SEO journey with your digital marketing agency. You’ve developed an awesome website with great UX, created some quality content, included all the right keywords, and built a few backlinks. Now you’re probably wondering, “why can’t I see any results yet?” Well, it’s time for a good dose of realistic expectations.
The reality is, when it comes to your SEO strategy, patience is a virtue. As with most things in life, slow and steady wins the race and SEO is certainly a marathon, not a sprint.
So, how long does SEO take to see results then, you ask? Well, it can vary depending on a range of factors, like the competitiveness of your industry, the quality of your website, and the amount of time and resources you’re willing to invest. But one thing is for sure, isn’t going to happen within 24 hours of your new website going live or the day after you start your new SEO strategy.
Just so everyone is clear, we are not talking about your business name here. Your business name and domain (assuming they are unique to your business and not generic terms like Bluewidget.com) will rank much sooner. What we are talking about here is generic search, e.g., “glass display cabinets’ or ‘family trust accountant” where there is no brand name involved.
As a general rule of thumb, it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to six months (or even longer) before you start seeing those significant improvements in your rankings and traffic.
So why the long wait?
- Algorithm Updates: Search engines like Google constantly update their algorithms to provide more accurate and relevant search results. When you implement an SEO strategy, it takes time for search engines to crawl and index your website according to the new rules. Depending on the frequency and impact of these updates, it can take weeks or even months to see the full impact of your efforts.
- Competition: Everyone is online these days, so it’s important to understand that you aren’t the only business battling for top spot on Google. If you are in a competitive industry, it will naturally take time to outrank your competitors and establish your online presence. If your competition has a strong SEO program in place, you will have to work a little smarter and harder to overtake them. This is why best practice is the only way to go. Building authority, creating high-quality content, and earning backlinks from other websites all require time and effort.
- Technical SEO: Technical issues on your website, such as slow page speed, broken links, or improper indexing, can hinder your SEO progress. We routinely check and resolve any technical issues; however, search engines may take some time to re-crawl and re-index your website after the issues have been resolved.
- Building Trust and Authority: Search engines prioritise websites that are trustworthy and authoritative, and Google takes its sweet time crawling these sites to establish whether the content, user experience, code, site structure and mobile responsiveness are optimised enough to be worthy of a top spot. While we can speed up the process slightly by requesting indexing through Google Search Console, it still takes time.
- Content Creation and Optimisation: Creating high-quality content, such as blogs or web pages, is a crucial aspect of SEO. However, this is an ongoing process that requires considerable research and professional copywriting in order to publish content that resonates with your target audience. It may take weeks or months for search engines to recognise and rank your optimised content.
Now, here’s the good news! Once the wheels start turning, you’ll notice a gradual increase in organic traffic, higher rankings for targeted keywords, and a boost in online visibility. While you may not skyrocket to number one immediately, your SEO strategy will be working in the background to improve your organic search results. SEO should be the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy because you don’t want to pay for every single click to your site through paid advertising. Over time, clients who embark on a top quality SEO strategy are rewarded with floods of free traffic and top organic rankings on search engines.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing journey. It’s not a set-and-forget deal. We will continue tweaking your strategy, analysing data, and fine-tuning your website to keep an upward trajectory going and help you steadily improve your organic results over time. This helps ensure your website content stays fresh and relevant (like Google likes it) and also keeps you one step ahead of your competitors.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy a cuppa while your SEO strategy unfolds; soon enough, you’ll be reaping the rewards of your newly-found page one rankings. If you’re looking for more immediate results, paid social media advertising or pay-per-click advertising may be a better solution. Call us today on (03) 9042 0714 to see how we can build a digital marketing strategy tailored to your business goals.
80/20 Digital's Content & SEO Specialist, Abbey Faulkner is dedicated to staying on top of industry trends and putting her creativity to good use for her clients. She combines her expertise in media and writing to boost rankings, improve brand awareness, increase engagement and generate leads across clients' websites, email marketing and social media.