With SEO, the ultimate goal is to get found online. Simple right? One of the most common questions business owners have is how long before they start seeing results from their SEO efforts. However, the answer to this question depends on numerous factors.
Some SEO experts might offer a timeline of when you will start to see results, but the prevailing consensus is that SEO results will differ for each business and website. A professional Internet marketing agency can be indispensable in optimizing the process and results.
Be Careful of Misconceptions About Guaranteed SEO Results
SEO rules keep evolving, so it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it practice. The old SEO paradigm involved identifying relevant “golden” keywords underutilized by competitors. However, in today’s Internet landscape, a small number of keywords just won’t be enough. There are a number of search engine ranking signals that impact your websites from mobile usability to your website’s architecture. With that in mind, there are a number of factors that might be inhibiting your good SEO practices, delaying those results you’ve been hoping for. Consider asking yourself these questions:
- How old is your business website?
- Is it up to date and compatible with a range of devices?
- How much SEO have you done on it in the past?
Other variables include:
- The amount and quality of your website content
- Your link profile
It’s important to have benchmark data to rely on when determining how long to wait for those positive results from SEO.
A Timeline for Seeing Positive SEO Results
Every website has a different starting line and finish line, but the following phases will generally apply. Each phase can take days, weeks or months depending upon the current state of the website:
- Phase 1: Website assessment, research, keyword audit, create new keyword strategy.
- Phase 2: Modify website accordingly; the amount of time required can vary widely. This phase may entail editing, refining link profile, building new content, or an entire site overhaul.
- Phase 3: Content creation. Quality, SEO-rich content may include an FAQ section, blog, articles section, downloadable whitepapers, additional company and product information, and social media SEO. Many businesses will start to notice results from their SEO efforts around this phase.
- Phase 4: Continued content creation, link profile development, social media management, and technical optimization of the site. Low-quality areas and links are cleaned up and SEO is refined. Your results should start leading to substantial traffic, leads and sales.
From here, additional PR and media outreach might be considered. A professional Internet marketing agency can help with conversion rate optimization and other refinements going forward.
How to Tell If Your SEO Strategy Is Working
There are three basic ways to know your SEO strategy is working. You’ll see:
- Increases in organic website traffic
- Increases in keyword rankings
- More quality customer leads that turn into sales
While organic traffic is the biggest indicator of SEO success, keep in mind that the end goal is actually more leads and sales. If you see a large increase in traffic but don’t receive quality leads, your SEO strategy will need to be tweaked. Some experts will give a timeline on when you will start to see results, but the prevailing consensus is that SEO results differ for each business and approach.
How Long Will It Take for My SEO to Work?
In general, the timeframe of four to six months can act as a guideline. However, each project is unique. Bear in mind that SEO results will also change over time. Within a year, activity can begin to taper off, indicating that additional SEO work and maintenance is required.
Effective SEO can take up to six months to bear fruit, but some businesses will experience results much sooner. A top Internet marketing agency can bring expert assessment, optimization, tracking and refinements. Consider partnering with a pro so that you can make the most of your SEO efforts.
Stormie Andrews, Founder Yokel Local Marketing
AMA member number: 03304879
Author bio: Stormie Andrews is the founder of Yokel Local Internet Marketing, established in 2010. Stormie is an award-winning author, recognized expert contributor to Forbes, Member of the Forbes Agency Council, Hubspot Gold Agency Partner, Presidents Corporate Council Member for UNLV and 2015 Member of the Year of Las Vegas AMA chapter.