We live in an instant society. If we pay for something, we expect instant results. That’s why some find SEO frustrating because it’s difficult to pinpoint how long it takes to see effects.
SEO isn’t like other forms of digital marketing where you pay and can see action almost immediately. If you add money to a pay-per-click account, you can quickly see how your advertising dollars are working. Not so with SEO. It’s going to take time.
Industry experts will tell you a fully implemented SEO strategy can show results within six months to a year. But it’s important to see the big picture before you start investing your money.
Defining SEO success
Like other marketing goals, the more succinct you make your SEO strategy, the more measures you’ll have in place to know when you hit your goals.
SEO strategies combine two separate measurements to define campaigns:
- Goals – provide the outcome you will achieve
- KPIs – metrics used to demonstrate progress as you achieve your goals
Goals are typically longer in time frame – increase revenue by 10 percent this year.
KPIs include specific markers in online action items – likes to a page, signups, impressions, ranking.
The two work together to help you make progress as you move through the year. Marketing is an odds game. It can take a while to build momentum before the results begin to show. That’s where maintaining clearly defined goals can help ensure you’re on the right path.
SEO is not a one-time process. It’s an investment into the success of your online presence. There isn’t a secret checklist or path you can take that will lead you to the top of your industry.
It’s a consistent process to ensure your web presence stays relevant and that you’re maintaining your goals.
How long will it take for your SEO strategies to start working? Several things could hinder your results.
One of the biggest misconceptions of high ranking sites is that age matters. Google itself has stated that domain age is not a ranking factor. The reason many older domains seem to do better is because of the extensive work they’ve done on creating the web presence.
Older sites will have more backlinks. They have more time to create valuable content. They have more possibilities in connecting with other online resources. That’s what gives them value.
If you’re just starting, don’t let this be discouraging. Instead, factor this into your overall online strategy. If you’re planning on being in business ten years from today, look at all the growth you’ll experience. Look at this as an opportunity to do it right.
Authority is all about giving people what they most want – high-quality content they want to consume and share. And by paying attention to what Google wants too, it’s a win/win.
We alluded to it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Link building can be a very challenging action item on your SEO to-do list. It’s an essential part of ranking well in Google’s algorithm.
That’s where social media marketing comes into play. By creating an engaging audience, you’re more likely to see action on your content. This is where the real magic can happen because your content doesn’t just sit there. It’s repurposed for many uses. And your customers love it.
This is where older sites have an advantage. With more content, they have more to share. Don’t be in a hurry to create the content. Quality trumps quantity every time.
Still have a website built years before? Is it hard to load, difficult to navigate, and a no-show on mobile technology?
These factors are dragging down your SEO friendliness. Google gives priority to those who understand mobile is the way of the future, as statistics show that over 90 percent of the global internet population use mobile technology to go online.
How do your prospects and clients connect with you? Many move frequently between desktop and mobile applications. They expect to see the same results no matter what device they use to find you. Responsive design ensures your website works properly on all devices. Google knows this, and it will rank those with a poor mobile experience lower within the search results.
SEO results are contingent on the keywords you’re trying to rank for. The more popular those keywords are, the more difficult it will be to see SEO results.
If you are in an obscure niche and rely on just a handful of visitors to achieve your goals, your SEO work might be fairly easy to achieve. For most services like dentists or plumbers, competition is fierce. Your competition may already be out in the marketplace trying to achieve their own rankings in the results.
If you take a look at any results page, you’ll notice there are only ten pages ranked on the first page of Google. For busy industries, competition is fierce to try and gain access to those coveted spots.
If you’re in a tiny niche, you may be able to gain access to several of those slots.
The busier your industry, the more competition you have, the longer it will take to achieve results.
On-page and off-page SEO
To achieve long-lasting results with your SEO strategy, it’s crucial to ensure each page on your site is set up correctly. That means ensuring things like meta tags, headers, anchor text, alt tags, titles, and descriptions are all in place and used appropriately.
This is your starting point, but it’s also one of the easiest. Every page you design should have a checklist to ensure on-page SEO is in place.
Off-page SEO takes a little more time. This involves linking to authoritative websites, guest blogging, getting ranked in high-level directories, and ensuring your social media sharing strategies are in place.
This is where your regular maintenance comes into play. Your competition is working at this too. Are you staying up-to-date with your SEO tasks each month?
How long does it take to see SEO results?
When you’re spending money on marketing, it’s only natural to want a return on your investment. The faster you can see action, the better you’ll feel about spending your advertising dollars.
SEO is an important part of your digital strategy. For long-term growth, SEO results will ensure you’re where your customers are searching.
But it takes time. There isn’t a quick fix for getting instant results.
Every site is different. But if you put in the work and keep your strategy in place, you’ll be happy with the results over time.