How long should it take to see SEO results?

Start with the end in mind…
27th February 2017
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31st January 2019

When a company begins to develop an SEO strategy or work with an optimisation agency (like ourselves), the single biggest question we get asked is…

how long until our site tops the search engine results?

This question has split opinions for years, here’s why

There are many different variables that come into play when it comes to getting a top search result.

Factors such as competition, how many companies are focussing on your chosen keywords. What your baseline site traffic is like, how much traffic you had to start with, how long have you had your domain & website and what your target market is.

All of these things need to be analysed to understand a website’s current position.

There are four main factors that determine your search results that are listed below.It has been said that Google won’t love you until everyone else does. There should be a real effort made to drive traffic to your website outside of search engines from on and offline sources.

Four main factors that impact SEO

1. Web domain

At a basic level, a website domain plays a significant role in how a website will rank. Aspects of a domain such as keyword inclusion will impact your overall results.

However elements such as a sites age can override these factors, this down to trust, the older a site, the more credit it is given (providing the site reputation has been good and not abused using black hat techniques or spamming).

2. Keywords

Targeted keywords help websites drive the traffic they wish to earn and the more organic traffic is gained, the higher they rank. If you have a new website and domain, it is important to start offline marketing your site to boost traffic to improve organic search results.

3. Optimised Content

Content is at the heart of SEO, this is often referred to as “Content Marketing”. Many years ago the technique was to cram the words you want to be ranked on into a page as many times as you could. Search engines have evolved so much, they can tell if you’re keyword spamming in your content. Content should be written like a human would expect to read it.

Good content will have a positive impact on your SEO timeframe.

4. Referring Domains and Link Quality

Building inbound and reciprocal links is another major impact on your search results. There are tools available online to help you check how many pages link to your content.

When building an inbound link strategy, be aware it’s not necessarily about quantity, it’s about quality! Don’t be tempted by link farms, like with your friends, you are judged by association, if you hang around a bad neighbourhood, you will be tarnished with the same brush.

Before you start

As we’ve said in a previous article, you should always start with the end in mind, this means setting a target/goal. By measuring your results, you can set a budget and track real results and return on investment.

So how long will it take?

Ahrefs released a study exploring this very question and came to a conclusion that timeframes vary drastically from company to company, all of the factors above can cause the timeframe to fluctuate.

They did say however that 95 percent of companies won’t crack the top ten within 12 months.

SEO is a long term strategy, if you start with a target/goal you can track real results and return on investment.