If you think increasing your website's ranking in the search engines, you may be wondering 'How long does it take to see results from SEO?'
Unlike paid media where ad results can be noticed almost immediately, it takes time to notice the impact of SEO due to a variety of factors. Here’s a handy guide on what to expect from month to month:
When can you expect to start seeing results from SEO?
The factors determining the time needed for your SEO strategy to start producing results are numerous and include your website’s age, robustness of your SEO strategy and the quantity and quality of your content.
The effort and resource you put in your SEO strategy will determine its success and while this isn’t an exact science, consider external factors such as algorithm updates.
- Month 1 – The effects of your SEO strategy will be little to none during the first month. This time should in fact be used to audit your site and come up with a strategy that should map out your actions for the following months. The audit and research process can take from as little as two weeks to over a month, depending on how much content there is on your site.
- Month 2 – Once your website audit is complete and you feel confident you have all the information you need to start making changes, it’s time to put your SEO strategy into action. Besides link and content building, most of the work you will carry out during the second month will involve the website being overhauled, a complicated process that can take months. If that is the case, you won’t be seeing any results from your SEO strategy until you’re completely done with making changes.
- Month 3 – Let the creativity run free. Once the technical side of things has been handled, it’s time to start focusing on content creation, including blog posts, whitepapers, FAQs, articles and company information. As the overhaul has been completed and you start producing high-quality content, you can now expect to see the first results of your SEO strategy. If done properly, the work you carried out over the first three months should bring some improvements in rankings, which will eventually convert into leads or sales over time (but just not yet!)
- Month 4 – Now it’s down to you to maintain the progress made and keep the content creation and technical optimisation up. Month 4 can be used to focus on cleaning up low-quality links – our article on toxic backlinks and how to remove them can help you if you want to know more about this. By now, your strategy should be in full swing and you should be getting a rough indication that the changes implemented are working.
- Month 5 – If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to kick off your social media management to amplify your content and increase direct traffic. It’s also crucial to keep up the content creation and, if you have the time and resources, invest in some digital PR or media outreach.
- Month 6 – This marks a good turning point for any SEO strategy; by month six you should see some substantial improvements that should have led to higher quality traffic and conversions. From this point onwards, you will be focusing on maintaining the work you’ve already completed, carrying on with the content creation and promotion.
How to measure SEO success
While we can’t give you a precise answer to the question How long does it take to see results from SEO, we can give you a few key factors to correctly measure your SEO success.
When creating a strategy, it’s crucial to have specific goals and KPIs in mind. Goals indicate the end outcome you want to achieve and KPIs are the metrics demonstrating the progress you’re making towards that goal.
In order for any strategy to be successful, businesses should set themselves measurable yet realistic targets, which are less focused on the length of time needed to achieve the results and more on the quality of these results and how likely they are to last over time.
Most businesses can expect to see results from their SEO strategy within a 6 to 12 month period. While this may vary based on the number of factors we listed above, one thing is for sure, if you spend enough time auditing your site and coming up with a tailored strategy and tangible KPIs, chances are your rankings and overall traffic will improve over time, leading to higher engagement rates and sales.