Understanding the SEO Ranking Timeline and Process
“How long will it take to see results from my website’s SEO campaign?” is one of the most common questions that we get from clients who are new to search engine optimization. The short answer is you should start to see results (better rankings and increased traffic to the website) in approximately 4-6 months, if your SEO campaign is run correctly.
The more complete answer is that aside from SEO work, there are other factors which affect your website’s ability to rank for a given keyword or set of keywords. Factors such as the competitiveness of your industry, the age of your domain, and whether your website has any penalties against it (caused by past SEO work/black hat techniques) can all impact your rankings. Your websites SEO Ranking timeline can also be affected by your industry and the level of competition.
Is Your Website the New Kid on the Block?
If your website is brand new (whether it is a website for a startup, or a longstanding business that is new to the internet), it can take up to three months for search engines like Google and Bing to even acknowledge it exists and begin indexing it, let alone ranking it. The truth is, it is just as hard to develop a following, presence and customer/fan base in the digital world as it is in the real world. It takes time, a smart game plan and a consistent approach to be successful.
The More Established Web Brand
If your business’s website is like the majority of small businesses we work with, your website has been around for a while with mixed results. Maybe you have had a few different SEO companies do occasional stretches of work, or maybe your current campaign is on auto-pilot. Your site is not in terrible shape, but there is room for improvement, and you are not under any Google imposed penalties. With some hard work, we can begin to see positive effects of SEO work in as little as 2-3 months for this type of website.
What Are Your Real Expectations from SEO?
One of the jokes we make at JSMT Media is that we don’t develop websites, we manage expectations. Before allocating your budget towards search engine optimization, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself, business partner or trusted advisor about your expectations. While you may begin to see results from SEO work in as little as 2-3 months, true SEO work is about a long term investment in an online digital marketing strategy that you need to budget for. If you plan to quit or stop doing SEO work after 2-3 months because you are not ranking #1 on Google, you are wasting your hard earned money.
Again, while you may begin to see results in as little as 2-3 months, that is not when you stop working on your website, it’s when the work really begins. Maintaining good search rankings, and improving them, is when the hardest work is required. You can guarantee that even if you do not see the value in ongoing SEO work, your competition does. Every day you stand still, your competitors are targeting new keywords and improving rankings on existing keywords.