Company owners often ask the same question: “How long does SEO take to work?” This may seem a hard question to address, but fortunately, it can be answered. 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. Below, we would consider the basics, the approximate time for SEO to work, and ingredients of a successful campaign.
What Does SEO Take to Work
To succeed in SEO, it is essential to master all the basics and to understand what types of traffic individuals receive from search. When talking about Google, there are three main types of traffic.
1. Pay per click (PPC) – this type of traffic results from search engine marketing campaigns. In other words, companies pay search engines by ordering ads. Usually, these ads appear on the top of the search marked as ‘promotional’.
2. Organic – these are traditional search results from Google and other search engines. Each one of them uses a specific algorithm to determine these rankings. Traditional SEO primarily works with this type of traffic.
3. Map listings – from 2005, Google Maps have been helping users find local businesses on the platform. So, if a local establishment is marked on Google Maps and has a high ranking, it will appear higher in search results too.
There are more types of traffic, including image, knowledge card, news, question, review, shopping, and some others.
The organic traffic is something that we will talk about further in this post.
How Can You Set Realistic SEO Goals
The baseline of SEO goals and objectives is to grow your revenue by driving organic traffic to your site. However, to get meaningful results, it is 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 increase the number of leads for B2B and B2C services.
• 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 prioritize your goals, create the value for your users and deliver it effectively.
How Long Does It Take for SEO to Show Results
So, you can’t expect to see the results overnight. On the one hand, SEO provides you with new content and improved organization quite fast, especially if there is a possibility to invest plenty of time and money in the project. On the other hand, it may take a while for your website to get on the first page of search results on the major search engines.
It depends on many variables, such as site design, domain age, baseline traffic, competition in a particular niche, target audience, and so on. From our experience, website owners can notice results after 4 months. The aforementioned refers to the sites in non-competitive niches, respective resources with long history, and to some other cases. Otherwise, it usually takes about 8-12 months (for new websites and competitive niches) to make SEO work in full.
We agree that it 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 back. Fortunately, there is a possibility to speed the process up and, therefore, get the visible results faster, but before diving deep into how-tos, let us explain how to set achievable goals.
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 3 ‘what’ questions. If they manage to get correct answers, it takes faster for SEO to work.
What your company provides and where?
Your business and location can make a difference. To start with, list your enterprise with Google. This is a free tool able to improve your company’s online presence. This is truly helpful if you serve a narrow niche so that the potential clients search for your services specifically. However, if the competition in your field is fierce, businesses that spend money on promotion may consistently outperform you.
What keywords do you target?
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 your customers.
Remember that the requests should be correctly divided into commercial or transactional and informational. Commercial requests should be placed on the product pages, categories of services. Informational – on the blog. This is because Google understands the users’ intentions. If they want to read about a particular topic, they will receive pages with the articles related to their requests. If they want to purchase or book something, they will get other appropriate pages. Therefore, it is important to target the correct queries to the appropriate pages.
It is also vital to analyze whether requests are location dependent or location independent. The former are about finding information in the region where the user is or plans to visit. The latter are requests that result the same without binding to a location.
What kind of content do you offer?
You need to meet both the requirements of search engines and expectations of your target audience. Creating qualitative content and making regular changes to the site requires plenty 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 has introduced the RankBrain algorithm earlier this year, content will be analyzed in detail to ensure that users receive more relevant results to their long, complex search keywords. The machine is taught to recognize non-direct, interpretive inquiries. 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 a Successful SEO Controlled by You
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-the-page factors are under the direct control of a business owner and his or her 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 described by the search engines.
• The site works well for mobile platforms.
• URLs contain meaningful 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 topics.
• Meta descriptions are carefully composed.
• Headlines and subheads use 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 work slower and the whole process may take longer than expected to show results.
What Are the Off-the-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 influences the effectiveness of SEO. It is possible to identify factors that can either fasten or slow down your SEO.
Group #1: Trustworthy
• Links, likes, and shares make your site a trusted authority.
• Visitors spend plenty of time reading and browsing through your pages.
• Your site uses identity so that it is easy to verify it.
• The website is ad-light, e.g. the ads do not annoy the visitors.
• Your site does not host pirated, abusing, or offensive content.
Group #2: Qualitative Links
• The provided links work appropriately and lead to reliable, respected resources.
• They 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 considers whether your clients or their friends favored the site on social media.
SEO is a lasting process which consists of a series of activities. To begin with, set realistic goals, research keywords, consider the influencing factors, and create a working plan. Keep in mind that all the plan stages should be fully completed to SEO to show results, so do not focus on timeframe; instead, pay attention to details and consider your particular situation.
Remember that SEO is not the right choice for projects that aim for a fast increase of sales. 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 low cost per visitor.