Perhaps the question that we encounter the most at Safari Digital is “How long does SEO take?”. It’s a valid question, if you’re working with an SEO Agency, naturally you want to know how long it will take for you to start seeing a return on your investment.
Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising where you can expect to see an immediate return on investment (when done correctly), SEO timeframes are more difficult to predict. As an SEO company, one of the most difficult aspects of working with a new client is managing expectations.
Naturally, you want to see a return on your investment on a month-by-month basis. The fact of the matter is, for the first few months of your SEO campaign, you’re going to need to but faith in your SEO expert.
It takes time to research your business, understand your competition, and implement the changes that are necessary to attract the right audience for your business. When we talk about the right audience, we mean targeting keywords and key phrases that are going to generate leads and conversions for your business.
And those are just the things that we can control.
Waiting for Google to recognise changes, index new content, and assign authority also takes time. Google (and other search engines) must assess the quality of your content, link profile, and over 200 other ranking factors when deciding how your content stacks up against the competition.
So, How Long Does SEO Take?
So, now that you know why SEO takes longer than traditional marketing mediums to see results, lets answer the question at hand. Unfortunately, if you came here looking for an exact timeframe, the answer is probably going to irritate you. The answer is not 2- months, 3-months, or even 12-months. The correct answer is – it depends.
You’re probably wondering then, “what does it depend on?”. There’s a multitude of factors that affect exactly how long it is going to take to start seeing good results from SEO. Some of these factors include:
How long your website has been around
The history of your website (has it been penalised? What is your link profile like?)
Competition within your niche
How much SEO work has been done previously
How much content you already have on the website
And a slew of other on-site and off-site SEO factors.
No two websites are the same. How long it took for us to rank a website similar to yours is not a good indication of how long it will take to rank yours.
Can you Give a Rough Indication?
Generally speaking, you should start to see a noticeable increase in traffic and leads within 3-6 months.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy that will continue to generate traffic, leads, and sales for your business well after your SEO campaign has finished. The traction that you’re getting at 6 months is less than what you should be experiencing after 12 months.
Can you Speed up the Process?
The level of support that you are getting from your SEO provider will certainly have an impact on how long it will take for you to see results. If you’re a new business with a new domain name and fresh content, SEO will take longer than an established business looking to top up their organic marketing efforts.
If you’re working with an SEO expert who knows what they are doing, your investment will pay dividends in a big way.
SEO is A Process
Most companies underestimate how much time, effort and commitment it is going to take to be successful with SEO. Success rarely comes in the first three months, irrespective of your budget. If you can’t budget for at least 6 months of SEO, you are better off investing that money in another area of your marketing.
It’s important to stick with the process and understand that SEO will continue to work for your business for months and years after your SEO campaign has wrapped up. If you make the proper investment with a reputable SEO firm that you can trust, SEO is a marketing tactic that will deliver a hefty ROI and scalable solution for your business.