Borrowing from a Chinese proverb:

The best time to invest in SEO services was yesterday. The second best time is today. 

There’s actually a great deal of truth to this.  The short answer as to how long SEO takes, is “it depends”, of course.

The reason the answer to “how long does SEO take?” isn’t straightforward is that it depends on various factors including the current state of your website, the history of your website, your competition, and the specific goals you’re wanting to achieve, and the amount your investing into SEO services. Generally, it takes several months for the effects of SEO to become visible. In general, the timeline for achieving the results we’re after with SEO can range anywhere from a few months to over a year.

How Long Does SEO Take to Rank My Keywords?

Consider these factors when asking how long SEO takes to kick in:

  1. Your website complexity: The complexity of your website can impact how long it takes for SEO changes to take effect. A simple site with a few pages may see results faster than a complex site with many pages and a large site structure.
  2. Competition: The level of competition in your industry can affect how long it takes to see results. Niches with high competition may take longer to see results than those with lower competition.
  3. Keyword difficulty: The difficulty of the keywords you’re targeting can also impact the time it takes to see results. Highly competitive keywords can take longer to rank for than less competitive ones.
  4. Quality of SEO efforts: The quality of your SEO efforts will also affect the time it takes to see results. Poorly executed SEO will take longer to show results (if at all) than well-executed SEO.
  5. Search engine algorithm updates: Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, which can impact the time it takes to see results. Algorithm updates can cause fluctuations in search rankings, even for sites that are well-optimized. Did you know that Google updates its algorithm between 500-600 times a year?
  6. Budget: The size of your SEO budget can also impact the speed at which you see results. SEO can require a significant investment of time and resources, so a larger budget may lead to faster results.
How long does SEO take to rank

A Better Question to Ask…

How Long Does SEO Take to Do it Right?

If you ask top SEO professionals the question “How long does SEO take”, you’ll likely receive a similar answer to “it depends”, followed by more questions for you. Providing SEO services is highly competitive, and those that provide the best SEO services learned early on the importance of asking great questions before setting realistic expectations. Why? Like fingerprints, no two companies, websites, history, methodology, products or services, strengths and weaknesses are exactly alike. Far from it.  True SEO professionals will ask you well thought out questions before crafting a custom SEO solution that is tailored to your specific needs. 

Generally, it takes several months for the effects of SEO to become visible.

SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent activity and ongoing optimization. It’s important to understand that the benefits of SEO are not immediate and that you’re not going to see significant changes overnight. However, with time, effort, and a well-executed SEO strategy, you can expect to see improvement in your website’s search engine rankings, increased traffic, and a fantastic return on your investment.

SEO has been and continues to be a cornerstone digital marketing strategy for companies in virtually every industry. With an investment (either time or money) in SEO services comes improved search engine rankings. With improved search engine rankings comes more visibility. More visibility means more potential buyers and leads. Low risk, high reward, what’s not to like?

Real World Example

I’ve personally seen the effects of how SEO can transform a business. One of my early clients was an owner of an industrial heating company on the verge of retirement due to a lack of business. That was six years ago, and retirement has been put on hold thanks to a new website, and an SEO strategy that has brought in enough new business to put off retirement. 

Results, 4 Months into an SEO Campign? It Happens!

In another case, I had a client (manufacturing company) call me up four months into their SEO campaign and said “Scott, my employees have a complaint about your service”. This definitely caught me off guard. “Wow. OK. What’s wrong?”, I asked. He replied, “My guys were complaining that we should’ve done this sooner!” He then went on to say “I can’t tell you the difference this has made for our business”. 

He followed with examples, but you get the idea. I vividly recall our initial conversation with this company. I asked them if their website was producing any lead activity for them. Their answer: “we’ve had one lead” (their website dated back to 1998). Things are much different for them today. 

What’s interesting, is this is a company in an industry that wouldn’t normally come to mind when thinking about SEO services. Not only that, he blew me off for over a year because all of their business came from “word of mouth”. I knew I could help. I wanted to help. He wasn’t interested. That one internet lead is what made him reconsider SEO as a marketing strategy. Needless to say, it has paid off.

Are My SEO Rankings Permanent?

Unfortunately, they’re not. Hanging onto search engine rankings can be as difficult, or in some cases more difficult than it was to achieve them. By ceasing all SEO strategies that earned you rankings, you’re likely to be overrun by other companies who are more active online. The timeframe for this varies on how competitive the keywords are that you’re ranking for. 

That said, one strategy we sometimes employ is to throttle back on SEO efforts for some of the keywords we’re having success with and throttle up on others. We are always learning with each SEO campaign, and one of our objectives is to maximize out clients’ budgets.

Are My Competitors Investing In SEO Services?

It wouldn’t be surprising. More companies are investing in SEO services than ever before. 

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on companies who had been on the sidelines. The epidemic was a driving force for many companies to find new ways to generate business. How do you generate new business on the internet? Generally speaking, you’ve got paid advertising (Google AdWords, retargeting, Facebook ads, etc.), email marketing, and then you’ve got search engine optimization. 

In other words, companies recognize that they’ve got to get busy out on the internet. That 3 year old blog post and 10-year old website isn’t going to get the job done. If your home page title is “Home”, you have poor content that isn’t optimized for SEO, you have 3 backlinks, and your on-page technical performance isn’t up to par, you’re going to have a hard time competing online

Is There a Way to Tell if My Competitor is Doing SEO?

To a trained eye, yes. I can tell in mere moments if a company is actively working on their SEO. Using paid SEO tools, free SEO tools and hand-on analysis, the fingerprints of quality SEO work are all over a website. 

How Do I Start With SEO?

Keyword Research

What are keywords? Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into a Google search or Bing search to find what they’re looking for. It’s important that your website contains those words that people are searching for when looking for products or services in your industry. Here’s an important factor to consider:

Proper keyword research is critical to the success of any SEO campaign. If you’re targeting keywords that are too competitive you may be sabotaging your SEO efforts by reaching too high. Targeting keywords that no one is searching for isn’t going to help either. We’re looking for the hidden gems with keyword research. These are keywords we can rank for, that buyers are actively searching. THIS will help speed up the amount of time it takes to see results from SEO and get your phone ringing!

Final Thoughts

The timeline for SEO success can vary greatly, but it’s best to expect a minimum of several months to see noticeable results. The key to success is to be patient, consistent, and to partner with a reliable SEO service provider. If you’d like to learn more about our SEO services, reach out to HyperX Design today!

Have a question about website pricing or our capabilities?

Prefer to drop us a message instead? No problem. Use the link below to get to our contact form. 

Scroll to Top