After hiring an SEO company, many clients want to know how long SEO takes to start seeing results. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. There are several factors that affect how long it takes for SEO to work. SEO companies can of course give you a time range of when they would expect your specific project to take. The problem with this is that often the time range can vary by a lot. Most companies will tell clients it takes 4-6 months to start seeing results. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is when you will start to see the results, and the final results could take longer. This is why it is helpful to understand what variables affect how long SEO results take.
How Much Competition is There?
One of the factors that affect how long SEO takes depends on is how much competition your product has. If you are promoting a product that has more competition, then it will take longer to get your SEO results to really show up.
So, what products have the most competition? It depends. Are there a lot of options for your product or service in your area? Even if there is a lot of competition for your product or service in the market overall, if you do not have a lot of competition in your area, you might get your results quicker.
For example, if you are one of the only painting companies in your area, you will receive results quicker than a bakery with lots of competition in the area. Does your product fulfill a niche? This could also help you get your SEO results back quicker. Next time you ask yourself, why does SEO take so long, consider how much competition there is for your product or service.
Age of Your Website
The age of your website can also affect how long SEO takes. Studies have found that websites with older domains actually can make your SEO results come back sooner. Websites with older domains have more backlinks, which makes it easier to increase the website’s ranking in the algorithm. Backlinks are just links that are on a website that takes the user to a page on a different website.
Unfortunately, these links have to be made gradually overtime to get your SEO results quicker. You should not add a bunch of backlinks to a website with a newer domain in the hopes of getting your SEO results quicker. Additionally, websites with older domains will get SEO results quicker because they have more content than websites with newer domains. If you are a newer website, don’t worry, the best thing you can do is just to gradually improve your website with meaningful content.
Including Keywords on Your Website
When you are wondering why does SEO take so long, consider the amount of keywords your website has. If you have been implementing keywords into your website often, you are more likely to get your SEO results quicker. Keywords are words that help search engines recommend your website with other similar sites. They are also the words that users often search for in association with larger topics.
For example, some keywords for a website that sells baseball equipment might be bat, glove, and pitcher. Every industry has keywords that work best, and it is an easy way to improve your website’s ranking in the Google algorithm. Making sure that you have been using strong keywords is also really important. If you have not been implementing keywords, that is okay! It just means you might have to wait a bit longer to get your SEO results back. This is part of the reason there is no one easy answer to how long it takes for SEO to work.
The Number of Errors your Website Has
Does your website have any 404 errors, 301 redirects, or broken links? If your site has any of these, it may take longer to get your SEO results back. Errors within your website can be a major factor contributing to why SEO takes so long. This is largely because the algorithm is less likely to promote websites with errors in the rankings.
So what are 404 errors, 301 redirects, and broken links? A 404 error occurs when your website links to a website that either is unable to be accessed or no longer exists. Broken links occur when you link to a page that made a change so the link no longer works. An example of this is when a website changes the title of a page. A 301 redirect occurs when a link to the page no longer works and redirects to the correct link instead. This is why it is important to check that all of your links still work regularly.
On-Page Versus Off-Page SEO
If you are getting impatient, try checking your on-page optimization results. On-page SEO occurs when individual pages are optimized and not the entire website. Off-page SEO occurs when there are factors outside of your website that are taken to increase your ranking.
On-page SEO is typically quicker because this is often where SEO firms start when trying to increase your website’s ranking in the algorithm. Off-page SEO takes longer than on-page SEO because it takes longer to build links to other websites. Viewing on-page results is your best bet to get results before the official SEO results come in. Although this does not directly answer how long it takes for SEO to work, it can provide some early results. After all, the results for on-page SEO can give you some insight into how successful the SEO will be in general.
Changes to Search Engines
Unfortunately, sometimes how long SEO takes is out of your control. When a search engine like Google or Yahoo makes changes to its algorithm, it usually means that your SEO results will take longer. If a search engine changes its algorithm significantly, it will take more time for the SEO firm to figure out what works well with the new algorithm.
For example, maybe the new algorithm promotes websites that have more content and it focuses less on keywords. The SEO firm will have to change its strategy to better promote your website. Luckily, the algorithm typically only changes slightly. As frustrating as it may be to know that a change in the algorithm can make your SEO results take longer, it is a necessary evil. If an SEO firm were to not take the time to adjust to the new algorithm, it could negatively affect your website’s ranking.
The Content on Your Website
The content you post on your website can have a big impact on how long SEO takes. If you feature articles on your website, how long are they? If they are on the shorter side, 300 words or less, it will probably take longer to get your SEO results back. That being said, you should not force your content to be longer if it makes your content worse. It is much more important to focus on the quality of your content than the length.
Additionally, how often you post content can affect how long it takes. Having a consistent schedule for releasing content will help get your SEO results back quicker. Having a consistent schedule affects how long SEO takes because it will encourage users to keep coming back for more content. The more users come back for more content, the better your website will do in the rankings.
Your Website’s History With Google
Since Google has over 70% of the search engine market share, it is very important to monitor your website’s ranking on Google. Google gives every page a ranking called the TrustRank or trust score. The trust score is meant to prevent spam websites from ranking high in the algorithm. As long as your website is not promoting spam or linking to spam websites, you should have a decent trust score with Google. If you are concerned that your website may have a lower trust score, check the links you have on your websites. If any of your links lead to questionable websites take them out and replace them. Google’s trust score affects how long does SEO take because a lower score will make it take longer for your SEO results to get back. Fortunately, if you have been checking your website for spam, this should not affect you. Even if you have not been checking for spam, this can be an easy fix.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how long SEO takes. Although there is no one clear answer, knowing what factors influence when you will get your SEO results back can help you understand why it takes as long as it does. So just remember to stay patient. Your SEO results will come in, it just takes some time. It is better to take the time necessary to do it right, after all.
FAQs about How Long Does SEO Take?:
- Why does SEO take so long?
- What errors affect SEO?
- How long does SEO take to see results?
- What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
- What is Google’s TrustRank?