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How Long Does It Take To Rank On Page 1?

For seven years, I have been performing search engine optimization best practices on many industry websites. The question I am most often asked by clients and prospects alike:

“How long will it take to get ranked on the first page of Google for my desired keywords?”

Just How Long Does It Take To Rank On Page 1 Of Google?

If you’re a small business owner yourself, you’ve no doubt received countless emails promising first page rankings in 30 days or less for a low cost.

While I wish it were that simple, it just isn’t true. It’s a scam. Sadly, there are legitimate businesses offering these deals, but at the end of the day they’ve no idea what it truly takes to not only get to Page 1 but to remain on Page 1.

Let’s take a look at a few things first before giving you both my personal and professional answer.

  1. They say “content is king”, so do rankings no longer matter?
  2. How difficult is it to get to Page 1?

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Do Rankings No Longer Matter?

When we get leads in from either a networking event, case studies, or even a referral, the story is always the same. The person responsible for their company’s marketing strategies is approached by the owner and says “We need to rank for this term on page one by this time next month.”

After doing a little bit of research on their desired keywords, we find there is little to no traffic volume nor search or purchase intent.

Rankings still matter but getting qualified traffic that results in conversions is a better measurement of SEO.

It’s best to also keep in mind getting to the first position on Google will not mean anything if it doesn’t positively impact your sales and conversions.

Plainly, your SEO efforts will not matter if no one is searching for those terms/keywords.

If your company is looking to rank for terms relevant to the CEO’s name, then maybe ranking on the first page could be done in a month if not less with external links, internal links, social links, etc…

Are Websites Still Relevant?

In short, websites are still required for small business success. And while websites are still relevant and required, content is being consumed more by social media and in apps, alike.

We now live in an “app economy” so it’s best to stop thinking about your website as your only marketing option and start thinking about voice search and an ease-of-use app strategy.

Fact: In 2018, people spent 90% of their mobile time using applications, according to Mobileloud. Additionally, in 2017, mobile apps are now leading 87% of mobile time while web browsing only reporting in at 13%.

ComScore Mobile App Data - How Long Does It Take To Rank On Page 1

How Do I Get On Page 1 Of Google?

Now that you have my personal and professional opinion on websites, mobile app strategies, and voice search, let’s explore how long it takes to rank on Page 1.

There are many factors that go into getting that answer. Is it a new or an existing site? How competitive are the keywords and industry type? Is it a brand trying to get established? Or is it more of a household name? What are you ranking for (voice search, mobile, quick guide, etc.) And the list of questions continues to grow.

When I am asked by clients and prospects how long till keywords will appear on the first page, I simply tell them “let’s do some research and I’ll get back with you”. Why? Because there are so many factors before giving a full answer.

For example, competitive industry in their early stages i.e. new website, no links, authority, signals, etc… may take years before getting page 1 rankings if their desired and related terms are just as competitive.

Quick note: create authoritative content and links about why people should buy your product or service, what products and services are available, the best products and services, etc.

Once Google and other search engines find your site is getting more popular and has routinely fresh and relevant content people are consuming, determined by the end user data, your site will improve in terms of visibility and traffic from keywords, finding your website on page 1.

“It’s easier to come online, but you must establish a presence.”

Take the average time it takes to rank on page 1 with a grain of salt, but here is a general guideline:


  • For a new site ranking for competitive keywords, it can take 9 to 12+ months versus 1 to 4+ months for non-competitive keywords.
  • As a household name ranking for competitive keywords, it can take 3 to 6 months versus 1 month or less for non-competitive keywords.


It is no simple task ranking on page 1 of Google.

Through machine learning and constantly updating real-time algorithms, we must deploy smarter strategies for ranking on page 1.

Don’t just focus on your website as a brand but also build a positive content community on all devices and platforms. Remember, content is king because it must be relevant and “in the moment” for the user.

All in all, everything takes time, if done correctly, but oh so worth it. By helping your website receive gradual increases in traffic and conversions, your brand will receive great success online.

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