How Long Does SEO Take?

Search Engine Optimization


When you’re ready to start your SEO campaign, you want an estimate of how long SEO takes.

Please watch this video for insight into the factors that determine how long before SEO results. 

Audio Transcription

All right, welcome. Thank you so much for being here, watching this video. We’re going to talk about how long SEO takes. How long does SEO take? Well, that is a great question and here’s the answer, unequivocally, we’ll find out. It really depends. It depends on a lot of factors, and we’re going to talk about those briefly in this video so that you have an understanding of what your SEO campaign can look like. So first of all, it depends. It depends. It can take 1 to 12 months, usually. It’s generally three to six to really see some strong rankings at the top of page one, but depending on how competitive the terms are, it could be nine, even as long as 12.

So a lot of it depends on where is your site now? Is it brand new? Has it been around a long time? Is it big and strong? Is it small and quiet? What’s going on with other online assets that you have? What’s going on with the competition? How aggressive do you want to be in your campaign? How ambitious are you going to be? How responsive are you going to be to my request? If you’re able to turn things around quickly, then I can get moving faster. How ambitious, what do I mean by that? I mean how many different phrases of what level of competition, how wide do you want to cast your net? So how many things do you want to be ranking for? That’s all going to figure in. And then the complexity of the business, that kind of goes under the ambitious but in a different sort of way, how wide or how narrow is the scope of your business, and how many things that your site needs to cover and rank for.

So a lot, a lot of your rankings are going to figure into where your site is already. That’s going to be our starting point, right? And we know where we want to end up, so it’s a here to their process. Now, there are a lot of unknown factors and here are a few things to keep in mind.

So first of all, the cat pee house example. When my husband and I were doing real estate investing, we took on a house that was … It smelled like cat pee. Well, we were working on it over the winter, so we did something … We had contractors doing some things. They took care of the walls, they took care of the floor, and then we thought the project was almost done, and then we turned on the HVAC after we had replaced the HVAC, boom, the house smells like cat pee again. We had to replace the duct work. So, you know, you don’t necessarily know what it’s going to take until we start really working on your campaign. So it’s an iterative process. We do, we check, we analyze, and we keep doing that. I keep doing that.

Google also is always changing and tweaking their ranking algorithms. So of course, they’re the basics of what’s going on, but they’re always making changes too. So in your daily ranking report, you’re going to be seeing things fluctuate up and down, and a lot of that has to do with Google on how they’re weighing things. So there are some key factors that really dictate where you’re going to rank, but Google has about 200 different ranking factors. I focus on the top three or four. And of course, I incorporate lots of other little things in, but there are the big things and those are the things that I focus on.

So when I see things working effectively on test sites that I have or other clients’ sites that I’m working on, then I’m going to incorporate that into yours. So even if it wasn’t necessarily part of the strategy initially when we started out, if I see things that are working really well, I’m going to apply those to your site too as we’re down the road. And also, depending on your industry, your market, there may be additional opportunities, so there are a lot of unknown factors. There may be some great, great sites that we can use to boost your site up.

But it’s difficult to analyze until I get inside, and here’s another thing to remember, is that your market may be a cyclical sort of thing. So even if we’re getting more traffic to your site, it might be a down cycle point in time, and so you might be seeing more traffic than you did last year at this time, but it still isn’t necessarily what the peak of your market is because it’s not the right season, so keep that in mind. And then also, current traffic comparisons. So we have to know what the traffic is like right now to figure out, have we made improvements? So we start at one place and then we track to see where things are going.

Now, the rankings are going to increase first and then the traffic. So let’s say you’re on page eight or nine for something, and you’re making some great movements onto page three, onto page two. Bottom of page one, that’s when you’re going to start seeing more traffic come in. As you move up page one especially, that’s when it starts getting exponentially more. So my job is to increase your traffic. The sales and conversion side of it, that is the side that you’re responsible for. I can make recommendations, but overall, your company is answering the phone, responding to email, taking care of customer service, all those things. Going on the sales calls, going out to people’s homes, having clients come into your office, whatever it is for your particular business, that is where you have the opportunity to grow your revenues exponentially after the traffic is coming in significantly more.

 So there are also things outside of my control that may impact your rankings. A hacked site, that’s something outside of my control. I do put site security on all of my clients, so that blocks out a lot of things that otherwise you might be susceptible to, but hacked sites can happen. I’ve had that happen to clients, and yes, your site can get de-indexed if things aren’t taken care of. But then it’ll get resolved and get back and ranking again, but things outside of my control can happen to your site. If you’re undoing changes that I’ve made to the site, that’s going to affect your rankings. I make them for a reason. And then also if you have a competitor, somebody doing a negative SEO campaign to your site, I can help mitigate that, but obviously that’s out of my control.

 So here are some examples. New sites, if you have a brand new site, it’s going to take longer to rank initially. Usually, especially if it’s for a money type keyword, so city plumber or something like that, Google knows that that is a money keyword, and so they’re going to kind of hold you back for a little bit. Now, if you’re in an ultra competitive niche, it can take longer and may require a lot more resources. That’s why every campaign has a different cost associated with it, a different investment associated with it, has a different timeline associated with it, because every keyword and market is different.

And then there are also simple sites. I mean, there are some sites that I can just do some small changes and an easy minor campaign and boom, you’re ranking before you realize it. So that can be great too, but we’ll only know these things when we get inside and start working on your site. So that’s why I want to give you this video so that you have an idea of what to expect. There are a lot of factors that figure in, and of course, I’m doing my best to keep things moving along at an efficient pace, but also not pushing it to spam your site or anything like that, that Google would see as unnatural. I do things in a natural way, that a company that is essentially getting its presence online will do in a normal way so that it can be trusted and relevant for its market, and that is what I do. I use the resources that are required, and we keep going to get you to the top page one so that your investment is well spent.

Now, if you go in for a month or two and let’s say you’re not number one yet, well, that’s really no surprise, but please realize that you’re going to get the best return on your investment by sticking with the campaign because it does take time. It takes time. And just like planting a seed, you’re not going to have a tree the next day. That’s the same thing with SEO. So there are various things that we can do to generate leads in the meantime, and I’m happy to talk with you about those also, but in terms of your SEO, this is what SEO’s going to look like. So I hope this was a helpful video for you, and I look forward to working on your campaign. Thank you so …

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