One of the most common questions I get asked by business owners is “how long does it take to get results with SEO?” This question is more important than it seems at first glance, for a number of reasons. In this article I am going to answer this question and set realistic expectations for ranking your business with SEO.
The Short Answer
In general, good SEO takes 6 months to 1 year to see results. This is one of the biggest obstacles for new and aspiring SEOs. If you can stick with it and consistently produce high quality content, you can easily generate traffic, leads, and sales with search engine marketing.
There, I said it. But there’s a lot that went into this answer, so I want to dive into the why.
The Long Answer
Many people have an incorrect assumption about what SEO really is. 99% of your efforts should be focused on creating content. (Just like the blog post you are reading right now.) The more content you have, the more visitors you bring into your website.
Content builds authority, and Google (along with other search engines) like to rank websites they deem as “authoritative” first. You need to showcase your expertise in your niche or industry. This is why content marketing is important.
The more blog posts or articles you publish on a topic, the more trust you’ve built with Google. This also works in tandem with how people perceive your business. After all, you must be the expert if you’ve written articles on the subject!
This is why content is awesome. It builds authority and trust with prospects, and helps convert them into paying customers. And the really exciting part is that this happens 24/7, 365 days a year on complete autopilot.
Why It Takes A While
I want to present you with an analogy. Let’s say I’m applying for an excellent, well sought after job with amazing benefits. Can I just walk into a random company and start working out of nowhere…? No, absolutely not. I’d probably get security called on me and dragged out.
Traditionally, I’d have to go to several interviews and most likely have great references as well.
This is how you have to approach SEO. You have to build up your website’s ranking power over time before Google will open the flood gates and begin sending people to your website. This is why publishing content consistently is key.
Prove To Google You Deserve It
The more you demonstrate your expertise, the more authority your website will build. Specifically building out E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) is one of the best time investments you can make while doing SEO.
While publishing content is a part of the equation, as a side note you want to make sure your name is referenced on page. Any mentions of your name that point back to your website also helps you build authority. You can do this through including an author bio box on your blog posts, and by guest posting on other blogs under your own name.
About The Time Frame I Mentioned
Okay, let’s take about time. Honestly, I’ve seen businesses rank in a month, and others rank in literal years. It entirely depends on a million different factors, but 6 months to 1 year is generally a reasonable estimate to make. But be aware it may happen slower (or faster) then this.
If you’re publishing content on a regular basis and write really good, genuinely helpful articles 3-5 times a week you definitely have a much higher percent chance of ranking sooner than this. Do the work properly, and the results will follow.
Factors That Can Affect The Timeframe
As I mentioned earlier, there are an absolute TON of factors that play into this. However, I can list several here. These are things that can increase (or decrease) how long it takes to rank.
1. Having A Sitemap Submitted
Submitting a sitemap ensures that Google is at least aware of all of the pages and posts on your website. This can be done through the Google Search Console. A sitemap is a web page that acts like a map of your website. There are many free plugins for WordPress that will automatically create and update one for you. Yoast SEO is the most popular one that most people know of.
I go into detail on how to easily do this step by step in Local SEO Shuriken.
2. Guest Posting
Guest posting is publishing content, but on someone else’s website or blog instead. You can take advantage of the fact that other sites are more established with Google and get some SEO juice flowing to your website this way. An added benefit here is that this can drive real visitors to your website as well, and gets the word out about your brand.
Lots of websites allow and even look for guest posters. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, because the website owner gets free content and you get a mention of your website along with a backlink. It’s important to note you still need to be posting high quality content and any sites guest posted on should be relevant to your niche.
3. Reviews (Local Business)
If you run a local business, reviews are one of the largest ranking scores to take into account. The more people that leave feedback on your Google My Business listing, the more Google will bump your listing to the top of the maps pack. Start asking customers to leave a review as soon as possible.
4. Adding Video To The Mix
If you’re already spending the time to create content, a great way to get more for the effort you are putting in is to record a video to go along with each blog post. Some people prefer video or audio compared to reading text, and there are many advantages to this.
YouTube is its own search engine and showing up in 2 places instead of 1 is always a good idea. Video SEO is also epic because there’s a 99% chance your competition isn’t even pursuing it – which means you have an unfair advantage. If you run a local business, this is especially true.
5. Optimize Your Website
Sometimes, you can have a lot of content published but core issues with your website can slow things down. Having crucial elements in place like a SSL certificate, fast loading times, compressed images, a table of contents, etc. are all easy changes that can make a huge difference.
Check out my recent post on 5 free WordPress plugins that help boost your SEO for more information.
That’s A Wrap, Folks
That’s how long it takes to rank in the search results, and some factors that affect it. Have any questions about this…? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment down below.
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