TL;DR: SEO results take more time than you think.

Almost every SEO client we have asks us,

How long does SEO take for my website to be #1 in Google?”

And it’s a valid question! Sometimes it seems like websites come out of nowhere and are ranking at #1 on multiple keywords and are raking in the organic traffic. Our clients want to know how soon they can reap the benefits of SEO results too.

Unfortunately, the answer is a little complicated and will be different for every client.

There are just so many variables to consider:

  • Your competition
  • Relevant keywords and topics
  • The relevance of your content to those keywords
  • The age of your domain and website
  • How quickly you implement recommended changes from your SEO specialist
  • Your budget
  • Your current website design

The list could literally go on and on. 

It just takes more time than you think for SEO to start working.

How Long Does SEO Take?
This gif calendar ends at April, but you’ll likely have to wait longer than that. ???? Gif credit

I know that isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.

It takes time for your SEO specialist or agency to research your company and industry. It’ll take time to perform the necessary analyses and audits.

And then it’ll take even more time to produce high-quality content that your audience and Google wants to see.

That’s only the beginning.

Google will take its sweet time recognizing your website and assigning it to the right authority. It’ll take time for Google to see that you’ve been making changes and then compare the quality of those changes to other websites in the same market.

It’s important for any business owner to know all of this before signing on with a digital marketing agency or hiring an SEO specialist.

Every agency has a ton of stories about clients who quit them after only a few months because they weren’t seeing the results they expected (even after being told that SEO takes time). 

Okay, okay, but about how long does SEO take?

You’re never going to get a satisfactory answer from this question because the question assumes that there’s an end to your SEO efforts. 

If you want to keep growing your business and your domain authority, you have to keep up the good work.

SEO is an investment – like your 401k.

Could you get rich faster if you went to Vegas and bet on black at the roulette wheel? Maybe.

Could you try a “black hat SEO” method that will improve your rankings in just a few months? I guess.

But if you try a get-rankings-quick method, you could end up losing all of the progress you made once Google’s algorithm catches up with you.

Instead, if you stay consistent with your SEO strategy, your efforts will compound over time and then you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your hard work. 

Waiting for SEO Results
You, after reading this post that basically just says “be patient” Gif Credit


Still looking for a hard number to answer “how long does SEO take?”

I’d say give yourself and the SEO team at least a year before you start asking where the results are.

The results you might see after six months of implementing a smart SEO strategy is nothing compared to the results you’ll see after a year. After two years. And so on.

Time, commitment, and consistency will get you where you want to be. Stick with the SEO plan, even if you aren’t seeing noticeable results after several months.

SEO is a long-term marketing tactic. It isn’t going to generate sales quickly, but if you’re in it for the long haul, implementing a smart SEO strategy has one of the best ROIs for any business.

If you have any more questions about SEO, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide.

Digital Strike can help you form an SEO strategy that will generate leads and conversions for your business. Contact us today for a free SEO consultation.

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