Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important components of any marketing strategy. Unlike PPC marketing and other quick tactics, SEO may take a while to start showing results.
The time, money, and effort invested in SEO provide substantial ongoing effects. While you can use faster promotional strategies to generate leads, without SEO, you can’t achieve consistent results, sufficient brand awareness, and high search engine rankings.
Since all companies want to see the results as quickly as possible, it’s important to dig a little deeper into how long SEO takes and why it may be a while to see it working.
Important Components: Why Does SEO Take So Long?
SEO is an efficient strategy. If a company is doing digital marketing, it must invest in SEO. It’s impossible to reap the benefits of other marketing tactics without search engine optimization. In the era of digital marketing, all the key strategies are intertwined.
Let’s look at the important parts of the SEO strategy that make it slower than other approaches.
1. Fierce Competition
One of the key reasons why SEO takes so long is the toughness of the competition. Your company’s competitors are employing similar tactics to get to the high spots of Google search results. Each company puts its own twist on the effort, making achieving your goal similar to shooting at a moving target.
To stay ahead of the competition, you need to monitor its efforts continuously and adapt to new technologies and trends immediately. That’s what makes SEO so complicated and why DIY efforts are often insufficient.
The speed of your SEO results depends on how fast your competitors are and how well they adjust to the situation on the market. Since you are fighting for the same audience, you are trying to rank for the same keyword. Whatever you try to rank for has already been checked out by others.
That’s why each battle won by the competition slows you down. On the bright side, SEO is always evolving. It has endless potential. So if you are behind the competition now, it’s possible to advance at any second.
2. Cumulative Effect
The main reason why SEO results don’t manifest themselves immediately is the nature of the strategy. SEO is aimed at long-term results.
Achieving goals with SEO is similar to losing weight. Can one extensive gym visit help you get rid of the extra pounds? No matter how hard you run, jump or pump, you won’t lose any weight. Instead, you may damage your health.
On the other hand, if you go to the gym several times a week for two months, you’ll definitely notice changes. Your training has a cumulative effect. Regular, sustainable efforts bring results.
In their race to achieve marketing goals quicker, many companies lose leads and clients while dropping down in the search results. They don’t understand that most efficient marketing strategies take time. Eventually, they end up ruining their health rather than losing weight.
One of the main goals of any company is to build a strong and trusting relationship with the client. You can hardly make a strong connection with a person in one day, week or even a month. Such relationships take time to develop.
Since brand awareness and credibility are part of your marketing journey, be ready for it to take time.
3. High-Quality Content
High-quality content is the backbone of any SEO effort. It helps improve brand awareness, establish a good reputation, make your website more appealing, bring in the target audience, inspire word-of-mouth marketing…the list goes on and on.
It takes time to create content. It takes even more time for people to notice it and realize it has value. Numerous strategies employed in making the content more valuable are time-consuming.
Coming up with new ideas while following the ever-changing guidelines can get in the way of quick content creation. With Google Algorithms becoming stronger and stronger, what may have seemed like impressive content could lose value at any time.
Meanwhile, alterations in the competitors’ approaches and new trends can change the content marketing strategy entirely. It takes time to adapt.
Important Factors: How Long Does SEO Take to Start Working?
It’s almost impossible to predict when Google will finally index your website as one for the top of search results. Too many factors go into determining how long it takes for SEO to start working. However, several components of the process can be identified. Let’s look into what influences how fast first results start showing.
- Age of the website – how long has the website been online? When were the latest changes to content made according to SEO tactics?
- Competition for keywords – how many websites are currently struggling to rank high for your keywords? Are there keywords with the weaker competition?
- Website workability – is your website currently showing sufficient performance for Google to notice it? Do you have enough valuable content? Does your website load quickly? Does it have enough internal links and backlinks?
- On-page optimization – how well did you redesign the structure of your website to accommodate keywords and other SEO strategies? Are meta descriptions in place? Schema markup?
When you consider all of the above factors, predictions are hard to make. Just think about it, it takes Google from four days to a whopping four weeks to index your website. So if you’ve done a perfect job optimizing webpages for SEO, you may not see any results before four weeks are up.
In an ideal environment, you may see your SEO strategy starting to work four days after your website is fully optimized. In reality, the process may take weeks.
On the bright side, once the initial work is done, things will start going faster. By continuously tweaking your website with SEO tactics, you can improve results daily.
Exercising Patience: How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?
In the past several years, SEO has come a long way. It began with cheating strategies to help you trick Google into thinking your website is the best (by creating poor content filled with keywords or generating useless webpages) to becoming a complex strategy that brings value to both companies and clients.
The days of tricking Google into thinking your content is worth high rankings are gone. The days of enjoying the rules while playing the game are here. Even though the path to achieving high rankings is tough, it isn’t impossible.
The best part about SEO is if you play by the rules and work hard, you will see results. It’s inevitable.
Some businesses still struggle against SEO, feeling unsure about employing a strategy that brings immediate visible results. These companies are usually the first in line to fall behind the competition.
By spending the majority of their marketing budget on quick tactics like paid ads, they are investing in a short-term solution. While effective, these solutions don’t work on their own. Without a strong SEO strategy, this money may be wasted.
While it may seem that investments are fruitless at first, SEO efforts have a substantial ROI. With 88% of people do some type of online research before making a large purchase, failing to capitalize on this fact is a step toward failure.
How long does it take for SEO to work? It depends. However, it will work eventually. And when it does, your company can start reaping impressive benefits.
Speeding Up the Process: Why Does SEO Take So Long?
While you can’t push Google to index your website faster, there are a few things you can do to speed up SEO.
1. Use Only High-Quality Content
The right content is the key to success. If you still have low-quality, short content hanging on your webpages, remove it. Replace it with keyword-filled valuable articles to make sure Google sees them as suitable for high rankings.
As we already discussed, content creation can take time. You may want to invest money in several content creators to speed up the process. Pay special attention to the length of the content.
Research shows that high-quality Google-approved posts should be at least 1,750 words. Shorter content may be viewed as too thin and invaluable.
2. Increase Page Load Speed
By speeding up the page loading time, you can speed up your SEO campaign. According to Neil Patel, 47% of consumers expect the website to load in 2 seconds or less. Google takes their needs into consideration when indexing your website.
3. Work on Your Links
While creating high-quality backlinks is a lengthy process that requires a professional approach, you can work on the internal links. Make sure your website is easy to navigate by taking full advantage of internal linking. Help visitors stay on your website longer, by making moving from one article to another easier.
Keep all of your articles in mind when writing new ones. Link to them whenever possible. If you haven’t practiced internal linking before, it’s possible to start fixing the problem immediately.
4. Work with an Expert
Millions of articles have been written on the subject of SEO. Hundreds of free and paid tools are available online. Even if you’ve never heard about SEO before, you have everything you need to start from scratch as soon as you load your browser.
However, learning how to make SEO work takes time. Without experience, it can take you many months to start employing a viable strategy. By that time, new trends will appear, rendering some of your efforts useless.
That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the experts in the field. Working with a team of SEO professionals can help you implement the strategy quickly and start reaping the benefits in weeks rather than months.
Why does SEO take so long? Sometimes the reason is the lack of sufficient experience and knowledge.
Monthly SEO Services: What to Expect
Since SEO efforts have a cumulative effect, SEO services must be ongoing. Depending on the company you work with, you can work out suitable collaboration and payment plans.
It’s not reasonable to expect the results to appear in the first months. However, if your website is in good shape, you can be reaping benefits by the time the second month is over.
Monthly SEO services ensure ongoing activities aimed at reaching high spots on search engine results.
Some companies mistakenly believe that when they reach the desired first page of Google, they can stop their SEO efforts. However, without continuous support, staying on top isn’t possible. As soon as you pause the SEO campaign, your ranking will drop inevitably.
Monthly SEO Report: Why You Need It
While you may not see the results of your SEO efforts immediately, it’s possible to analyze the campaign to learn how well it’s working. Monthly SEO reports can help you understand what you are investing your money in.
Bottom Line: How Long Does SEO Take to See Results?
The speed at which your SEO efforts will produce results depends on many factors, including the initial shape of your website, efforts of your competitors, and the professionalism of your team.
In an ideal environment, the first noticeable results may start appearing at the end of the first month of your SEO efforts. On average, it takes several months to see the campaign working.