How Long Does It Take to See Results From SEO

Paul Granger
6 min read
Feb 20, 2018
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Scrabble seo results photo

A common question that businesses ask in relation to SEO is ‘how long will it take to work?’ It is natural that when you are investing in a marketing service that you want to ensure that it is as successful as possible. Otherwise, it is not a worthwhile investment to make.

However, the issue with this question is that unfortunately, sometimes the answer is more complicated than the question itself.

What most businesses expect from SEO is a prime spot on the first page of Google. The problem is that there is not always a set answer, it is not as if you are guaranteed to see results within a set period of time, SEO can take time to work its magic.

That being said, this does not mean that there isn’t an answer to this question because there is, it is just a complicated one, that is all.

What is SEO and how does it work?

Let’s talk about what SEO actually is and how it works before we get into the nitty-gritty of it. SEO is actually much simpler than you would think that is used as a form of marketing which improves search engine visibility for websites and blogs.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, rank websites by taking into account the relevance in relation to a user’s search.

This means that content that is SEO optimized and contains the ‘right’ keywords will rank higher in search engines and be more visible on them.

Keywords volumen and advertising cost

SEO is an organic form of advertising and one that helps to improve the quality and quantity of traffic visiting a website.

This is because SEO ensures that your website is only shown to users who will actually benefit from its content and find it relevant.

Wondering what causes Google and other search engines to rank pages based on their keywords and linking - AKA SEO? Each search engine has a ‘crawler’ that is sent to search the internet for any relevant content to the search phrase types into the search bar. Crawlers look for information and bring any relevant data back to your search engine.

Engine crawlers definition

This information is then put into an algorithm that automatically matches anything relevant to the searched query and shows up a list of website links, each of which is ranked in order of relevance.

Search engine algorithms are made up of a lot of information. They look at a website’s domain level, keyword agnostic features, social metrics, usage and traffic, and page level.

SEO can take various forms; it starts with keyword and key phrases to the use of meta tags and descriptions on the CMS of websites. SEO is a complex form of marketing and one that can take a time to properly understand.

How long after using SEO do you see results?

When it comes to how quickly you will see results after using SEO, there are a lot of variables to take into account. The baseline traffic of the site, website design, domain age, location, competition, and target market are all variable factors that will impact how effective a website is at ranking in search engines and how long SEO takes to work.

However, as a rule of thumb, most websites can expect to see results in four to six months. Of course, SEO results grow over time, so the traction that you are having at six months will be way less than what you will get at 12 months.

Seo joke meme

One SEO case study from Andrew Dennis showed how one website was able to go from zero visitors to 100,000 visitors in 12 months.

The key to success in this case study was the methods put in place and the areas focused on, such as creating the right brand and domain names, for instance.

Wondering why it takes so long for your SEO to start working? Well, this is a question with an answer that varies depending on the domain of the person asking. You see, the SEO results that you are looking for will impact the types of SEO used on your site. For instance, a small, local business with 100 pages running on its website is vastly different to an international business with millions of pages running.

Think of SEO like the investment of a savings account. The longer you put money away for, the better results you will have over time. SEO is the same; the longer SEO is being used for, the better results you will get.

What determines how successful SEO is?

When it comes to how successful SEO is, there are various factors to take into account. However, SEO success is down to mastering the basics.

There are four major determines to a website’s SEO success, these are:

1. Keywords and search phrases

Keywords are what drives relevant traffic to your website. This is a vital part of SEO, as Google expects website’s to be driving quality, relevant traffic to their sites, not any old traffic.

The great thing about this is when SEO is successful, it allows you to find quality clients for your business or blog, and effective keywords and search phrases are vital for this.

2. Your domain name

At the lowest level, SEO revolves around your domain name. Does your website’s domain have keywords in it? This is important because having a domain with relevant keywords in it can boost your SEO efforts.

That being said, a domain name including keywords can still rank horribly, but it is a method that works for the most part.

For example, say your business sells beauty products and cosmetics. Somewhere in your brand and domain name, you would want to add either ‘beauty’ or ‘cosmetics’. That is why most beauty and cosmetics brands contain one of these terms, from MAC Cosmetics to Beauty UK, most successful brands contain a relevant keyword in their brand and domain names.

3. Your business and location

The first thing that every business needs to do is ‘claim’ their business on Google. This is free to do and is a great SEO tool. The fact is that by adding a location for your business to Google, you make your business, regardless of how niche it is, easier to find.

Business Google location

For example, say you are a Hair & Beauty Salon in Manchester, by setting a location for your business, whenever anyone in that areas searches ‘Salons in Manchester, your business’s website should come up.

4. Your content

For your website to be successful regarding SEO, your content needs to be exceptional. It needs to be well written and relevant so that users will enjoy it and Google can effectively rank it.

If a website is not receiving enough traffic when using SEO, usually poorly written content is the answer.

There you have it, a guide to the ins and outs of what it takes to see results from SEO.

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