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How Long Does SEO Take?

How Long Does SEO Take?

Every day the internet shows us something new about how to do SEO, so it’s very hard to determine the lifespan of an SEO project. One of the main reasons for this uncertainty comes from all the changing variables required to optimise a web site.

Good SEO practices dictate that you need to take your time to look at your competitor’s websites. Under those circumstances, it’s very difficult to give an answer to how much time it takes for an SEO project to be completed.

The amount of time depends directly on the SEO expertise your crew has and how much time they need in order to do an in-depth analysis of many variables on your website and your competitor’s.

Despite all of this, there are three key factors that can have an impact on the amount of time spent on an SEO project: Content, Competition and Inbound Links.

The Content

Of course, the content you publish on your website will have an impact on how fast you’ll see any kind of SEO results. However, it’s important to understand that here, quality in content, is crucial.

It’s no longer about how many words you can write. You can write a 300-word piece of content or a massive 4,000-word giant, what really matters is that the piece of text you’re publishing is relevant. Again, there’s no right or wrong here, just try to make sure that your content delivers answers to its users.

There’s a recurring SEO myth about how new content should come out slowly. Apparently, if you’re constantly publishing stuff it may seem suspicious to Google’s eyes and that can end up affecting your rankings. FYI: Google already said that’s not true.

There shouldn’t be anything that prevents you from publishing as much content as you want. If you have good quality content just give it a go and publish, you’re not infringing any SEO laws. In fact, if you get your content out there as soon as possible the SEO will be quicker and you’ll have a faster response. 

Publishing good quality content constantly will give your SEO project a good start, so if it ever has an “end” it will arrive sooner than if you wait around to publish new content slowly.

Another important aspect to consider in regards to content creation is about newer pages. There’s a special correlation between ranking and webpage age. Webpages that have not been around for that long are more likely to not rank as high as webpages with more recognition or “age”. 

A good method to overcome this is simply by publishing content on a constant basis. When Google’s crawlers see a website - regardless of its age - is constantly adding new content to the page, they will crawl it more frequently and that’s a major boost to your SEO project.

An ongoing source of new content being published constantly will also entice readers to keep returning to the website, this enhances User Experience (UX) which is a major ranking factor for Google. 

Now, this is another reason as to why it’s best to produce long pieces of content: A user that is engaged with your long content will stay on the page for a long time. It will reduce your bounce rate, which is another important metric for Google.

The Competitors

It’s very difficult to find a business with no competitors. Almost every person or business who sells a service or product must face competition at many levels. For instance, a small merchant in a small city will face a lot less competition than a local insurance company. At the same time, the insurance company probably has less competition than a national real estate company. 

The point is that the nature of your business and market competitiveness/demand in the field is crucial to determine how long an SEO project is going to take. The more competition, the longer and more difficult it will be for web pages to rank higher. In addition to this, as you get closer to those first ranks in web search results, it will be harder to deal with your competitors.

Plus, if your business is in a highly competitive market you must deal with the fact that a lot of demand increases competition, which means that companies will have to offer better deals in order to stay profitable. To accomplish this, companies must take larger shares of the market. 

Companies who are financially stronger can afford to do this and can afford to hire expensive SEO specialists. All of this can reduce or increase the amount of time in which you expect to finish an SEO project.

The Inbound Links

Inbound Links are one of the most lasting ranking factors Google has, and of course, it still has a great impact on SEO. Now, if you want to know how long it’s going to take for you to see SEO results from link building, you’ll have to look at other factors.

The number of inbound links in your page matters a lot. Technically, an SEO project will be successful faster if the website has many inbound links, but the topic is more complex and goes beyond just having tons of inbound links.

Just like with content, quality goes well above quantity. So if your website has a million inbound links from low-quality websites that aren’t trustworthy or reliable, it won’t help the website’s SEO at all. It will hurt it most definitely and it will slow down your SEO efforts. 

The key aspect here is to have inbound links from websites that are considered authorities in your field or industry. Websites that can provide quality links to your website and boost your SEO so it can achieve positive results a lot quicker.

A couple of aspects worth mentioning here are the speed in which you get inbound links and also the speed in which you’ve been getting inbound links since the website was created. A sudden increase in inbound links can be considered as a fraudulent way to get links and thus manipulate web search results rankings.

Bottom line, getting quality-site inbound links will definitely get you higher on ranks which constitutes a successful SEO campaign, but if you try to overkill it or if there’s an unnatural increase on your inbound links, it may backfire and add more time to the length of your SEO project. 

Just try to play according to the rules and inbound links, content, and competitivity will develop naturally in your favour. Try to go with one of the many unorthodox tactics - also known as black hat tactics- and it may not end well.

Is SEO Only About Making an Educated Guess?

SEO can be fairly compared to the work of a weatherman. This person may have all the knowledge, tools and preparation in the world but in the end, it may happen that results are not delivered fast and if they do, they may not be as good as expected. 

But it could also happen that they do work and totally boosts a company’s profitability and its online presence, which is how we do it here at Dysc. That’s why it's so important for website owners to know that SEO is not about speed in results, is about learning the rules of the game and knowing what your customers want in order to come up with brilliant SEO strategies.

You may not see immediate results, that’s why another important SEO aspect is guidance to handle the client’s expectations. Some SEO providers fail to address this matter properly and they end up saying what the customer wants to hear, not being realistic. As a result, we have business owners who are expecting to rank first in local/international web search results within months, even weeks.

As a business owner, you know that nothing meaningful and productive can be accomplished in a short time. Ask yourself how long it was for you to build and establish your company and you’ll begin to understand how SEO works

How long does SEO take? Hard to tell, but be prepared for several months and up to a year before you can even begin to see results. Of course, you may get faster results if you decide to go into black-hat techniques, but you need to think about the short/long term consequences of choosing this.

Google’s is very strict about penalisations to websites that incur in these practices so try to be careful and think about your company’s online reputation and how much you care for it.

Final Word

There’s no way in which an SEO team can accurately predict the amount of time that it will take for your website to reach the number one ranking spot. There are some tools and tactics that allows people to make a respectable educated guess’ that are based on certain variables, but only with time and hard work you can get your website to the place you want it to be.