SEO can be a significant financial investment for many businesses, so many clients ask us how long it takes to gain results with an SEO strategy.
It’s important to remember that SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it addition to your website. It’s a long-term strategy.
For those willing to put in the time, SEO can have one of the best returns on investment out of any online marketing strategy.
Read on to learn more about the typical progression of results and what you can use to gain traction over time.
No Company Can Guarantee SEO Results
Any company that says they can get you to page one in a month is not being honest. They might even be using unethical techniques. Those short-term gains will likely get you penalized or banned by Google in the long run.
Not offering any guarantees will make some people uncomfortable. Especially when SEO can be a significant financial investment. But that’s how SEO works – with any reputable SEO company.
There is one assumption we can always make about Google to guide our decisions about SEO: Google wants to help its users. There are some factors Google always uses to decide who gets priority in search results.
Let’s look at a few of the most common ones.
Older Websites Have More Authority
Google ranks websites in part based on how long they’ve been on the web. A website that’s been around for ten years has more authority than a website that’s only been around for a month or two. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll take longer to see results.
You don’t have to wait for years for your site to build authority, though. There are things you can do to speed up the process.
Backlinks Show That People Trust You
Google likes to help its visitors. The best way to do that is to give them content that is robust, relevant, and trusted by other clients.
One mark of trust is the number of backlinks that point to your website. Backlinks are other websites that link to your website. Google assumes sites with a lot of backlinks to be more useful and authoritative.
Backlinks can also come from:
- Online directories
- Bing business listings
- Online review websites
- Google Business listings
Helpful content and backlinks over time will help you stand out from the competition. Especially in a competitive environment.
Competition Affects Results
SEO results also depend on how competitive your environment is. If you’re in an area with high competition, it will take a longer to start seeing results. Clients have more options available to them. Not to mention, more businesses are competing for the same keywords.
It’s not impossible to succeed in this kind of environment. If you work on the strategies we talked about earlier, you’ll already be steps ahead of many other businesses.
Don’t Quit Too Quickly
As a general rule, you can expect to start seeing results between 4 – 6 months after you start your SEO program. After that, the SEO results will grow with time.
Return on investment for SEO is like a retirement account – it accrues interest over time and snowballs with regular deposits.
Some businesses spend money on SEO and don’t’ see results for the first month or two. This can make you wonder if you’re wasting your money.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before you start moving up in the search rankings. In the mean time, you can:
- Develop helpful content
- Build links to other websites
- Promote content on social media
- Research the keywords and strategies of the competition
- Give Google time to capture all your links and content across the web
SEO experts suggest having a budget for 6 – 12 months of SEO before moving forward with SEO.
If you’re not able to do this, there’s no need to worry. We do have a lot of options available for any business in any situation.
Don’t do a few months of SEO and then quit because you didn’t get quick results. You’re better off not spending that money at all.
If you’re willing to make the investment and be patient, SEO has one of the best returns on investment out there.
Stick with your SEO plan and follow these recommendations. You’ll have a website that will stand out from the crowd and grow your business.
Are you using SEO as part of your online marketing strategy? If you have questions, call us today. Our customer support team would be more than glad to help.