Ecommerce owners often ask this very question: “How long does SEO take to work?”
To clear things up, we had asked our Promodo SEO specialists to answer this and other common questions about search engine optimisation, and wrote their answers in this article.
To reassure you, let us put a spoiler here: a time-consuming SEO process is usually the sign that your budget is spent the way it should be.
How To Set Realistic SEO Goals?
The baseline of SEO goals and objectives is to grow your revenue by driving organic traffic to your website. However, to get meaningful results, it’s necessary to be more specific than that. Usually, website owners aim for one or more of the following objectives:
- To grow the number of sales for online stores.
- To get more repeat visitors.
- To reduce advertising expenses.
- To establish the expertise for service providers.
- To share information about your product.
- To understand your target audiences.
So, before you start your SEO campaign, make sure to prioritise your goals, create the value for your users and deliver it effectively.
How Long Does It Take for SEO to Show Results?
You can’t expect to see results overnight. On the one hand, SEO provides you with new content and an improved structure promptly, especially if there is a possibility to invest plenty of time and money in the project. On the other hand, this may take a while for your website to get on the first page of the search results on the major search engines.
Is it true that the results of an SEO campaign can be seen in 4-6 months?
Pure truth! Especially if a mid-level or senior SEO specialist who has already worked with websites in your niche has taken your project on. Also, to achieve tangible results in 4-6 months, a client should have sufficient resources for the website development, content creation as well as link building required.
However, these are almost ideal conditions; in fact, this is not always the case. From experience, the development process may slow down the website optimisation process. For instance, when a client doesn’t have an in-house web developer for the project or their CMS functionality is poor. In this case, the SEO goals may be achieved within 9-12 months.
Does the time of SEO promotion depend on the niche in which your website operates (marketplace, toys, auto parts?)
There is no single answer, because each website is at a certain level of development in its niche and you can only talk about the timing after analysing that specific niche. However, we can say for sure that despite the large traffic, marketplaces are difficult to promote since such websites compete with almost everyone: household appliances, auto parts, electronics, toys and many other product ranges.
Arguably, electronics and home appliance stores are difficult and a long process to optimise for search engines. Traditionally, these niches are occupied by large players with strong brands and huge advertising budgets. This automatically excludes a quick hit at the TOP for a new player.
Some digital marketing agencies offer customers to promote the website within 2 months. Is this possible?
This is impossible. You will need at least one month to conduct an audit and prepare the first technical requirements for webmasters. Before the filter Pinguin appeared, two months term was realistic. At that date, SEO specialists were able to acquire 1,000 links per week, no matter what the quality was, and reach the TOP positions of search results at the end of the second month. Now, Google’s algorithms, as well as competitors’ prowess, have improved. This means while SEO experts are optimising a website, the competitors are not sitting idle. If everything is done correctly, your website can show growth of its positions in 2 months, but this still will be too early to talk about achieving global goals.
How does an SEO budget affect your promotion speed? (Does it mean that if you paid three times as much, then you can get to the top three times faster?)
Yes and no. This all depends on the type of work that is planned for your budget. If we talk about creating new pages and content on the website, then yes, the larger the budget, the better the result can be.
Also, if a website has over 1 million monthly active users, an additional budget may mean additional specialists on your project. If we are talking about outreach marketing, then this scheme will not always work. Suppose that your competitors build 30 links per month for our target category. You cannot build 90 links monthly to exceed them since your website runs the risk of being under the filter.
How does the number of technical errors and the “age” of the website affect the timing of SEO promotion?
On-site optimisation is the basis of the website. The fewer errors, the better the promotion within the search results. It is impossible to univocally answer the question of how many errors are permissible and how many are not since they may differ in the level of importance.
The size of your website affects this indicator as well. For a website which has one million pages, 10,000 pages without title tags won’t be a problem. In turn, for websites with 20,000 pages, this can cause stagnation.
No doubt, the age of a website affects the timing of an SEO campaign. However, the age of your domain, in itself, doesn’t mean anything. Only the time you invest in your website and maintain it matters. A young website needs to gain credibility, quality links and much more to reach the TOP.
Have you ever had a website that hit the TOP-3 ahead of the expected time or that did not meet the deadlines? What were the reasons for this?
Yes, we have.
Sometimes problems in ranking are related to internal optimisation. To rank high, the site must have a simple, correct structure. Important in terms of page promotion should receive a sufficient amount of internal weight and the correct anchor. When the Google bot is not limited with its scanning, there are no duplicates on the site, landing pages are optimised and receive a sufficient number of internal links, this can become a powerful impetus in the growth of traffic to the site. One of our cases: we predicted month-to-month growth of + 14%, but received + 68%
We agree that this is a broad time range, which makes people doubt if SEO is worthwhile. In the following paragraphs, we will explain how all your efforts will pay off. Fortunately, there is a possibility to speed this process up and, therefore, get the visible results faster, but before diving deep into how-to, let us explain how to set achievable goals.
How does the country where the website is being promoted affects the timing of work?
Links, their quantity and quality, are one of the key ranking factors. In some European countries such as Ukraine or Russia, you can cooperate with link exchanges companies which accelerate the link building process. However, in the US or UK, outreach marketing is the only way to improve your website’s link equity and no doubt, this slows down the promotion process.
Which websites can omit optimisation and why, in your opinion, many businesses don’t consider SEO as an essential marketing tool?
If a business has a goal to make money online, then this is impossible to get excellent results without website optimisation. There will always be those who invest in online development and can surpass you in the search results if you don’t take care of your SEO.
How Is It Possible to Speed SEO Up
You can influence SEO effectiveness by working with the factors that affect its performance. Typically, experts try to fully answer the following three ‘what’ questions. If they manage to get correct answers, it becomes faster for your SEO to work.
What keywords to target by
Probably, the first thing that you come up with thinking about SEO is keywords. They help you drive the desired traffic to your website. Constructing a semantic core for your website requires time, but if you target the wrong keywords, you will target the wrong audience that will hardly convert into customers.
Remember that the queries should be correctly divided into commercial or transactional and informational. Commercial search queries should be placed on the product, categories or service pages. Your blog can cover informational queries.
You should also analyse if your search queries depend on a particular location or not.
What kind of content to offer
You need to meet both the requirements of search engines and expectations of your target audience. Creating high-quality content and making regular changes to the website requires a lot of effort. This is the reason why many people give up on their SEO campaigns. Moreover, they consider ROI being too low to continue financing the project.
Since Google introduced the RankBrain algorithm, content will be analysed in detail to ensure that users receive more relevant results to their long, complex search keywords. The A.I. is taught to recognise non-direct, interpretive queries. However, content marketers should learn how to make their pieces valuable for this artificial intelligence. Some of the helpful suggestions are provided below:
- Write for a specific persona and ensure that you target your messages correctly.
- Create content in natural language and check if it sounds “human”.
- Implement co-occurrence by creating long-form content.
- Incorporate authoritative references.
What Are the Ingredients of Successful SEO
To create a perfect mix, an SEO specialist should pick the right ingredients. They work together, but some of them carry more weight than the others. One of the facts to keep in mind is that a group of so-called on-page factors are under the direct control of a business owner and their team. They include the following three groups of elements.
Group #1: Qualitative Content
- Carefully researched keywords used by your potential clients to find your website.
- Well-written pages that provide client-oriented information.
- Fresh and updated content, including “hot” topics.
- Impressive graphics, engaging videos, and other vertical content.
- Answers to the questions that concern your target audience.
Group #2: Thoughtful Architecture
- Pages are easily read by the search engines.
- The website works well on mobile devices.
- URLs contain proper keywords.
- Search engines see the same pages that humans do.
- Duplicate content issues are managed well.
Group #3: Well-Composed Content
- HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to the page topic.
- Meta descriptions are carefully composed.
- Headlines and subheads contain relevant keywords.
- Design does not hide the words.
- Listings make the data more structured.
The truth is that without mastering the aforementioned elements, you make your SEO efforts perform slower and the whole process may take longer than expected to show results.
What Are the Off-Page Factors that Influence SEO
Your visitors can also influence SEO since every person can be a publisher today. For instance, users comment and ‘like’ your publications, contribute as guest bloggers, and more. The aforementioned significantly influence the effectiveness of your SEO. This is possible to identify factors that can either accelerate or slow down your SEO.
Group #1: Trustworthy
- Links, likes, and shares make your website a trusted authority.
- Visitors spend plenty of time reading and browsing through your pages.
- Browsers have verified your website identity, and a padlock appears in the address bar to the left of the web address
- The website is ad-light, e.g. the ads do not annoy your visitors.
- Your website does not host pirated, abusing, or offensive content.
Group #2: Qualitative Links
- The provided links work appropriately and lead to reliable, respected resources.
- The links point to information that your visitors are expecting to get.
- Many links from websites with high domain authority point to your resource.
Group #3: Being Personified
- The website tracks where the visitors come from and displays location-relevant information.
- The system takes into account the history of previous visits.
- The website determines whether your clients or their friends liked the website on social media.
SEO is a long process consisting of a series of activities. To begin with, set realistic goals, research keywords, consider the influencing factors, and create a working plan. We would recommend not to focus on a timeframe; instead, pay attention to details and analyse your particular conditions.
Remember that SEO is not the right choice for websites that seek to increase sales quickly. If you have a time restraint, it makes sense to launch a pay per click campaign or develop an affiliate program. This will help you gain traffic and increase the number of leads faster.
However, if you plan the project development strategically, SEO is an effective channel to drive organic traffic with a low cost per visitor.