How long do you have to wait for results after starting a new SEO strategy? It depends on several factors.
- The SEO agency you’ve chosen to work with
- How many hours per month you’ve purchased in SEO work
- Effectiveness of the SEO agency’s strategy
- Work needed on back-end SEO and website development to fix larger issues
But with the right strategist and time investment in the process, you should start to see results within 9-10 months.
Yes, SEO is a long game. It isn’t something where you can just flip a switch and experience instant results.
Morningscore conducted research with leading SEO experts to find how long it takes to see SEO results. 82 percent of experts said it takes six months to begin seeing results and 12-24 months to see the full impact of your efforts.
So why does it take so long to see SEO effects? Here’s a look at SEO strategy implications and when you might start seeing results.
Why Does SEO Take So Long?
The timing for SEO results will depend heavily on many factors.
1. Keyword Difficulty
If you’re entering an already crowded industry or product line, there is likely already stiff competition for the keywords you’re targeting. Many on-page and off-page factors influence keyword difficulty.
Search algorithms factor in the existing competition and their optimization effectiveness when deciding where to rank your newer website or web page. Keywords with lower monthly search volumes will likely have lower keyword difficulty and fewer brands will likely be targeting those keywords. But you want to ensure that the keywords you’re targeting have enough search volume to make them worth the effort.
2. Existing Competition
Local SEO can be even more challenging than regular SEO because you’ll have competitors in your neighborhood seeking to gain the same traffic as you. But even websites that don’t focus on a certain ZIP code or city might have tons of competition already.
In comparison, some companies are super unique and offer services that there is little competition for. These companies might find they can rank for SEO much faster than other industries where the competition is fierce.
More companies vying for the same keywords will mean larger challenges in ranking and longer timelines for seeing results.
3. Inbound Links Require Time
Inbound links (also known as backlinks) are links from other websites that direct to your website. The impact that inbound links will have on your SEO strategy will be dependent on the authority of the website that’s linking to yours.
So websites that are more trustworthy or have a higher domain authority are more likely to impact your search engine rankings positively.
Plus, your inbound links need to be relevant. So you can’t just ask any website with a high domain authority to link to your website. Instead, you need to do careful research to find highly respected websites in your industry to link to your website.
Looking for a Marketing Agency?
Get measurable results on your investment.
4. Age of Your Domain
The duration of how long your URL has been active with content will also impact how quickly you see results from your SEO. Newer domains will take longer to get established.
Google focuses on providing high-quality results for its searchers. And to do that, it needs to know that your company is reputable and that your website is to be trusted.
To do this, search engines reference when they first found and crawled the website and can pull registration data on the website. It will also review when it first discovered content on the domain.
5. Quality of Content You’re Producing
Search engines value readable, long-form content. That means a good distribution of headings, use of bullet points and numbered lists, simple sentence structure, short paragraphs and simple vocabulary.
Without quality content, it will be challenging to make an impact on your SEO. Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. Your blog content should be no less than 1,200 words and you should publish at least monthly.
Be careful you aren’t just recreating all the same content as your top competitors. Ask sales and customer service about some of the pain points they’ve encountered when talking to customers. Then generate a content calendar around that. The more unique and insightful your content, the better. However, that’s not to say that it should be full of jargon that is challenging for your customers to read and understand.
If I Don’t See Results for 9 Months, How Do I Know My SEO Is Working?
Observing search engine rankings and website traffic will help you know that your SEO is working. Seeing reports from your SEO consultant about the number of errors fixed each month and new content published are important metrics early on before you start seeing changes in your keyword ranking and website traffic.
In those first months of SEO work, your focus should be on creating the right foundation for website visitors to learn about your company and convert. This means setting up customer buying journeys that support educating your customers.
So once a customer has visited your website, how will you capture contact information to stay in touch? And then once you have that contact information, how do you stay in contact with your potential customers to build meaningful relationships?
SEO does not work on its own. You need a full online marketing strategy that puts together content marketing, reputation management, email marketing, automation and more to get the most out of each initiative, including your SEO efforts.
Other Consultants Promised Faster Results. Why Should I Trust This Longer Timeframe?
Sadly, the industry is filled with SEO consultants who lack the proper expertise to deliver true results. And to gain new customers, they make incredible promises that they rarely or never meet.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When seeking an SEO consultant, you should interview several and compare the promises they make. Some consultants will make promises that are clearly out of line with the market. Those are the ones who are likely selling spammy backlinking that could harm the long-term viability of your SEO efforts.
In many cases, it’s better to do nothing for your SEO than it is to hire one of these consultants who promise fast results. Once your website is listed as spam, it’s very challenging and time-consuming to turn that reputation around.
So imagine you have to spend 9 months to clean up a bad reputation and then wait another 9 months to start seeing positive results. That’s why it’s better to pay more and hire a consultant with proven results.
Always ask for references and read reviews before hiring a consultant. And if the consultant has no reviews and no references, keep looking.
New Light Digital has proven results with dozens of companies in various industries. We take a holistic approach to online marketing. SEO, content marketing, reputation management, website design and online advertising are all interconnected. We’ll help you put the pieces together to gain the greatest results and begin moving the needle on your search engine ranking. Schedule your free consultation now.