How Long Does SEO Take?

How long does SEO take to work? Many companies invest in SEO or search engine optimization as a part of their digital marketing strategy. Companies want to boost the volume of people who visit their website while effectively achieving a loyal client base. Doing this by yourself is difficult to manage and can be time consuming. SEO can sometimes take quite a while to see results. Digital marketing is meant to reach consumers via the internet. This can include social media, email, your website, etc. Your online effort is crucial especially as we transition into a more technology driven society. When choosing to invest in SEO, people anticipate results right away, however, most of the time this is not the case. This article is going to give the full rundown on what SEO is, how long it takes SEO to generate results, and whether or not SEO is effective in your marketing strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is all about a company’s ability to increase their quantity and quality of traffic to their website via organic search engine results. Organic search results are search results that show up in search engines that are not paid for but are achieved through a good marketing strategy. You want a large quantity of visitors on your website, but you want to ensure the visitors are worth your while. Customers that are valuable are those who purchase products and continue coming back to your website.

analytics in office

Why is SEO Important?

Organic search results make up a huge component of a company’s website performance. When potential customers search for a product, they are more inclined to visit the first website that shows up that has the best Google ranking. Organic search results drive a company’s overall success and the likelihood someone clicks into their website. Next, SEO helps increase a company’s credibility. Visitors gravitate towards websites with clean designs and a consistent message which SEO helps to achieve. You want to establish your brand and highlight what differentiates it from competitors. You also want to obtain authority through trust. Customers also do their research when looking for a new product. You can use effective SEO tactics to showcase your products and reveal current deals you have going on. Overall, search engine optimization is an absolute essential.

How Long Does SEO Take to Work?

SEO takes about 4-6 months to start working. Businesses want instantaneous results, but quality search engine optimization takes a little longer to work and deliver quality results. The amount of traffic you experience should continue to steadily increase over time, so you should have greater traffic after 12 months compared to 6 months. You want to make sure you prioritize sustainability over speed because it certainly will pay off in the long run. In other words, you want to implement an effective strategy that is attractive to consumers and will maintain their interest over time. There are a whole host of factors that affect how long it takes your SEO to work effectively and they can all be accomplished easily.

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Website “Age”

The older your website is (as long as it is still relevant) the more quickly your search engine optimization strategy is going to work. Older websites typically have more backlinks. This makes the website appear more credible to search engines, meaning it will have a higher ranking, resulting in more traffic. Older domains also have more content build up and more clicks based on name recognition. This also increases the websites’ Google ranking making it more visible to the general public.


Another factor that affects how long it takes SEO to work is the number or errors and penalties your website possesses. 404 errors and 301 redirects can hinder your websites’ ability to carry out search engine optimization. Try fixing these issues before implementing your SEO strategy to avoid delays and issues all around. After you fix your page, it does take a short time for Google to find these changes and recrawl your page so be aware of this.

Design and Structure

Another factor that affects your traffic and Google ranking is your site’s design, CMS system, and URL structure. You have to implement these properly, otherwise it will bring down your ranking. You want to ensure your mobile site supports searches appropriately because a lot of searches come from mobile devices. A good mobile experience means you will achieve a good page ranking and overall Google ranking. You also want to make sure you can support large files and fix any issues involving that.

designing website

Analyze your Competitors

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to compare yourself to your competitors. Go on your competitors’ websites and see what keywords they are using that are making them show up higher in search results. Analyze what kind of design and structure their website assumes. Is it easy to navigate? Is it interactive with their customers? Whatever it might be, take notes and try different strategies out to see what works best for your company. You can also see what kind of deals and specials your competitors offer that make customers more attracted to their website and more likely to purchase their products. Competitors can offer a lot of insights and even spark new ideas that you never would have thought of otherwise.

How Long Does SEO Take to See Results?

The amount of time it takes to see SEO results does vary business to business. Again, the general rule of thumb is 4-6 months, but it depends on some of the factors we talked about. SEO is a process, and it is integral that you stay patient because search engine optimization has a lot of great pay offs. Determining the effectiveness of your search engine optimization strategy can be discovered through engagement metrics.

Conversion Rate

Your visitor behavior is what engagement metrics are all about. These measure what visitors do after they get to your website. Conversion rate is a widely known and reliable engagement metric. Conversion rate is the rate at which an action is causing a goal to be met. So, it could be the number of people who visit the website compared to the number of people who make a purchase. Conversion rates can be applied to many different parts of your site like videos, hyperlinks, and more. The better your conversion, the more your search engine optimization strategy is working. Conversion also helps determine your ROI or return on investment.

finance seo

Time Spent

The next metric you can measure is the amount of time people spend on your page while visiting. If a customer is spending an average of eight seconds on a page that has 2,000 words on it, then it is likely ineffective and not working for your website for some reason. If this happens, go back and determine what the problem might be and why it does not satisfy your target audience. Some pages might have a short exposure time, but this is perfectly normal. Make sure you are analyzing the time in response to the word count and the page type.

Bounce Rate

Another metric that determines how long it will take for you to experience search engine optimization results is bounce rate. When it says “bounced” it means the person visited the page and left without visiting any other page on your website. This is a good indicator that the page is not attractive or compelling enough to make the customer want to explore more. Maybe it is your content or the design of the page, but either way it provides good insights on your customers’ preferences. For some websites, having a higher bounce rate is a good thing. You might be thinking, how does that make sense? For a website like a restaurant, visitors may have gone to their website to simply get direction to the restaurant that they are headed to for the night. For this reason, a high bounce rate is not always a bad thing, it depends on your business and the industry it is in.

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Does SEO Work?

Does SEO work? The answer is absolutely. Search engine optimization is extremely beneficial and can help improve your website. SEO is not an exact science and you must utilize the best practices to get the most out of your SEO strategy. Some people have misconceptions about SEO and believe that it is too expensive or time consuming; however, this could not be further from the truth. Search engine optimization helps take your business from good to great. Google does favor websites with particular characteristics, and you want to make sure you are meeting these desired preferences. For example, if Google favors websites that include the word “shop” you would want to integrate the word into your website multiple times to help increase your Google ranking. If you use SEO incorrectly, it will not work, which is why it is important to consult professionals who know how to effectively implement an SEO strategy. To get help today with all of your SEO questions and needs, contact SEO Design Chicago to get expert help with SEO!


  • Can having a high bounce rate be good?
  • How can you fix your website to make SEO work faster?
  • What is the value of researching competitors?
  • Why should you value search engine optimization?
  • Does your website design really matter?

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