How Long Does SEO Take?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most effective marketing strategies in existence today. Many startups and other business owners not all that familiar with SEO wonder how long it takes to see results.

While there is no one concrete answer to that question, SEO experts tend to agree that you can start seeing results of a fully-fledged SEO strategy within 6 months. Some results can be seen earlier in as little as a couple of weeks or the process can take upwards of a year.

Website owners who prioritise speed over sustainability often find their efforts end up hurting them in the long run. Google becomes suspicious of any website that has a sudden upward spike in its ranking, assuming black hat tactics have been used.

SEO isn’t a one-time deal that instantly starts to work. It’s a long-term process requiring time, planning, and patience.

Factors That Can Determine How Long SEO Takes

While there’s no one answer to how long SEO takes to work, there are factors that can determine how long it’ll take until you start seeing positive results including:

Your Website’s History: A brand new website you just built and optimised won’t show up in search results immediately. But if your website has been in existence for a few months, you should be able to see it in search results.

A new domain will take longer to show success than an established one, if it hasn’t yet built up any authority or earned backlinks. On the other hand, an established domain earns itself some level of authority and has some backlinks pointing to it.

If your domain is brand new, you can expect to see some SEO results within 9 to 12 months, rather than 6 months.

Content: Poor content doesn’t perform well on the SERPs because Google aims to return the very best results for a given keyword query. It’s important to put a high priority on creating great content that matches a searcher’s intent. This involves knowing what’s currently ranking and figuring out how to create something better.

Take the time to study the content on ranking websites in your niche so you can add something new to the topic to get your site pushed up in the SERPs.

Link Building: Even though it takes time to do correctly, link building is a key ranking factor used by Google. Instead of using black hat link building tactics, stick to tactics approved by Google so you don’t risk being penalised.

Good quality, relevant links coming from authoritative websites take time to earn so don’t expect fast results with your link building campaign.

Errors, Hosting Problems, and Penalties: If your site has 404 errors, broken links, 301 redirects, and unreliable hosting, it’s going to take longer to see SEO results. This means you need to address and fix any errors with your site, Google penalties, and hosting. Once you’ve done this, you should start seeing results fairly quickly.

They say slow and steady wins the race every time and that’s certainly the case with search engine optimisation!