How long does it take to see results from SEO?

Search engine optimization is an incredibly important strategy for boosting your search rating which then helps you reach more customers. Companies who invest in SEO often have increased web traffic that can directly help them spread their brand awareness more efficiently. As shown many times, higher ranking usually leads to better revenues. With the results like that, it’s easy to conclude why SEO is one of the most effective marketing strategies. But, it’s important to realize that these results don’t come overnight. Many are wondering about how long does it take to see results from SEO. But the answer is not so simple. It depends on many internal and external factors, and it can take from a couple of months to over a year to even notice some results.

How much time until you see results from SEO?

Many experts in the field will tell you that it takes, generally, at least four to six months to see some improvements from SEO implementation. And they are usually right to claim so. But there is more to it, under the hood, than it’s shown at first sight. SEO is not something you can do once and then completely leave it aside. Bear in mind that your competition is doing the same thing.

Woman at the laptop, wondering how long does it take to see results from SEO
Find out how long does it take to notice results from SEO

While ranking does matter, it’s not the only thing to focus on. Like many business strategies, you need to continuously improve and maintain it. Even if you do rank among the top 10 in results, it means nothing unless it’s generating leads and sales. To make it work, you need to look at it as a long-term investment. And it’s crucial to get reliable SEO professionals who focus on giving the right results, rather than just on emotionally satisfying ranking.

All things considered, here are a few elements that can affect your SEO results:

  • Quality of products
  • Content strategy
  • Competition
  • SEO and UX friendly design
  • Structure and architecture of your website
  • Keyword implementation
  • On-page and off-page SEO optimization
  • Quality of links and backlinks
  • Age and authority of a website
  • Errors, issues, loading speed, and possible penalties

So, how much time then to see results from SEO?

As you can see, it depends on many things. In essence, no two websites are the same and they don’t develop under the same circumstances. However, you can have a rough estimation based on previous experiences and examples. In reality, SEO is a tremendous process that develops and improves over time. Here is how the process should approximately look like, but again, it’s not always set in stone:

First month

At the start, proper research and discovery take place. Followed by a website audit, keyword strategy consideration, and detailed planning. Depending on the complexity of the situation your website is, this phase can last more than one month.

SEO elements in a cloud.
Implementing all the strategies takes time.

Second month

This is the month where technical work is applied. Depending on the audit results from the first month, it can be done relatively fast. But, if your website requires some serious changes, this phase also can take more time. Meanwhile, SEO professionals will focus their effort on building quality content and working on links. Don’t expect to see any results yet, even if everything is done on time.

Third Month

Depending on the previous two phases, in the third month, it’s a full dive into content creation and marketing. Social media, blogging, articles, Google My Business optimization, product details, and so on. Only after everything is done in this phase, you can expect to see some minor results. Whether it be an increase in ranking or improvement in web traffic. In some cases, you might see an increase in sales, but don’t hope for them yet.

Fourth month

This is where it’s important to realize why SEO never stops. Even if you have plenty of content and information spread, you should not stop with it. Remember, your competitors are doing the same, probably at the same time you do. It’s a constant race, and those who don’t give up will win. By this time, SEO analysis will show how to improve what’s already implemented, and where to go from here. In most situations, this is probably the earliest period you can expect to see results from SEO. Of course, if previous steps took ideally only a month each.

Fifth month

In the fifth month, it’s all about social media, content creation, and marketing. See, it doesn’t stop earlier because you constantly need to break through the ranking. Chances are, if you stop now, you will hardly keep the current position because of competition. In fact, your website will probably only go down in ratings after a while. Eventually, this is the right time to develop some outreach strategy.

Letters between a tablet and a smartphone saying “social medial”.
Social media is an excellent way to promote.

Sixth month

Again, in this phase, experts will evaluate the results once more. This is the part where, together, you can analyze how traffic is affecting sales. This, among other results, will show you how to better promote your products or services, and how successful your SEO strategy is by now.

What goes after that?

And this is the most important part. This is what separates serious business from those who are left behind. At this point, it’s crucial to continue to improve your SEO. Many companies are making the bad move by stopping with SEO once it shows the first results. In essence, it’s a wrong assumption that this will save them money.

Remember, four to six months is ideal and the earliest period to see real improvements. For many websites, the real and actual improvements start after a year. It takes more time for SEO to show the true size of its impact on a website. And it requires constant research and development to accomplish everything. Paying for SEO only to stop it at its baby steps would be the wrong move. It’s a long time investment which gives you a long-time strategy for improving the business.

Sportsman competing in a triathlon.
Competing with others on the market is like a triathlon race.

While ideally, for many websites it can take about six months to see results from SEO, the majority needs more. This is nothing compared to results you can get if you properly optimize it for year and more. On the other side, many successful companies realize the true results that can come with SEO, and they always invest in improvement. They know that SEO is a marketing strategy that gives the best return of investment in the long term.

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