How Long Does SEO Take?
The numbers are swimming in your head as well as are the variables. You could give them the numbers game, or you can give a short and sweet answer.
Every SEO consultant or agency must come to terms with this fact. It is impossible to measure a specific timeframe for SEO results. And frankly, there is no “secret formula” because it doesn’t exist.
Thankfully, there is less guesswork than there are credible answers. As I’ve mentioned before, it all comes down to the variables in both your own website and your competitor’s websites.
According to Search Engine Land, there are three specific criteria’s that determine how long your search engine optimization efforts will take:
- Supply Vs Demand
- Link Building
- Quality Content
Supply Vs Demand
Pro Tip: If you are a kitchen remodeling business, you are less likely to face competition than a real estate agency in the same city. And the real estate agent in that city would face less competition than a national mortgage company.
Simply put: the more websites there are in your industry you are up against, the longer it will take to get results. The graph below is a bell curve illustrating the point above. Websites that are ranked lower in Google will be the easiest to outrank than web pages the closer you are to the first page.
A great way to look at this is demand drives companies into specific niches, increasing its competition within that niche. The greater the demand, the more the competition offers competitive deals. This means they must grab a hold of the larger share of that demand to continually increase revenue, month over month. In this type of demand, larger companies can afford the best in the SEO industry, making your SEO efforts longer and more competitive.
In the beginning, link building was dependent on volume: the more links you have, the better your SEO success, and in less time.
Today, the number of links no longer matters.
Pro Tip: A mass amount of low-quality links will not help your rankings. In fact, a high number of low-quality links can hinder your SEO success. Instead, focus on nothing but high-quality links from relevant but high domain authority websites.
In 2018, the speed at which you earn links and have historically earned links are factors worth considering. A sudden, dramatic increase tells Google you are attempting to manipulate rankings. A natural link growth should look like the image below:
Only when you use black hat techniques will your website be penalized thus hindering your overall SEO success.
Don’t worry – not all content published needs to be miniature novels.
While there may not be a defined minimum or ideal length, it must address a “searcher’s intent”. It must be long enough to communicate and effectively solve their problem.
From The Industry Leaders
“Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.”
Again, there are no minimum or maximum lengths but there are recommended lengths for better user-experience.
There is no right or wrong way when to post content. If you have several pieces of high-quality content ready to be published, publish them. There is no metric or penalty for posting them all at once. Waiting to publish high-quality, relevant content may hurt your SEO efforts. But there’s a caveat here.
Our recommendation is having publishing schedule.
When new content is added on a regular basis, it encourages Google’s spiders to crawl your site more frequently. This helps with the speed of your SEO efforts. More importantly, this creates “return visitors”. Visitors that return to your website sends a positive message to Google about your UX (User Experience), again, increasing the speed of your SEO efforts.
So, What’s the Point of Hiring an SEO Person or Agency then?
“Our job is a lot like that of meteorologists, where despite all of our knowledge, experience, and tools, we often get things wrong. And much like my local weatherman, whom I want to choke until he turns blue when my beach plans are ruined by the rain that he promised wasn’t going to happen, our clients are often just as frustrated when they don’t see results from their SEO campaign as quickly as they would like.”
It’s my job as an SEO professional to manage client expectations. If I don’t, then failure is inevitable.
With little keyword competition, you may see improvements in organic rankings and traffic in as little as a few weeks. Greater competition may take months whereas highly competitive keyword topics may take a year or more.
For example, in Arizona, we have a highly competitive market for “phoenix home remodeling” businesses. Thankfully, our recent home remodeling client was in a “semi-decent” ranking position before starting SEO services. We were able to rank their website to the #4 spot on the first page in a matter of 60 days as compared to being found on page 57!
This was no easy task since a website redesign had to take place plus focus on generating leads from the SEO practices performed.
It should be noted when clients and agencies both use tactics that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it will work in the short term – in the end, you will be penalized and fall back to square one.
“only 5.7 percent of newly published pages will get to Google’s top 10 within the first year”
There is no one perfect method for accurately predicting when you will achieve first page rankings for specific keywords, but you can make “best guesses” from certain variables. As you go along your SEO journey, you will discover which niches rank well within a defined period based on those variables.