How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?

How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?

Many people associate various SEO activities with rapid improvements which make it possible to make money hand over fist. And indeed, the effectiveness of SEO can be really spectacular. However, in the vast majority of cases, even the slightest increases result from hard and time-consuming work that usually takes up to several months. Of course, it isn’t always the rule. So how long does it take to see SEO result? And what influences it? Keep reading to find out!

Table of contents:

Three, Six, Nine Months… How Long Does it Take to See SEO Results?

If you are wondering how long does SEO take to start working, the answer is simple – you can expect satisfactory results when both the condition and content of your website are improved comprehensively. This process can take from a few months to a few years, but if it’s continued consistently it can give spectacular results.

Keep in mind that the first three months of the SEO process may be crucial for its overall effectiveness. This is the time when SEO professionals familiarize themselves with the website and develop a strategy that best suits its needs.

This is also a stage when they choose keywords that the page should be optimized for to help you reach your business goals. Most often, the website optimization process also begins within the first three months. For professionals, it’s time to acquire the first external links leading to a given site.

Remember that during the first three months of the process, you shouldn’t expect a sharp increase in the number of new visits to the website. However, during this time, the visibility of particular subpages and individual phrases may improve – and these are the factors that will certainly contribute to the success of your site.

First SEO results are usually visible after 3-6 months from the start of the process. This is when you’ll experience an increase in traffic, which means that more people visit your website.

On the other hand, the conversion rate usually starts to improve after 6-12 months from the start of the cooperation with the SEO agency. Bear in mind that the process may take much longer if your website condition is poor. Below you can find a chart that we use at Delante when explaining how long does it take to see SEO results.

SEO - how long does it take to see results?

Delante’s Case Studies

Let’s look at some of Delante’s clients’ case studies. This will illustrate that the answer to the question of how long does SEO take to start working can vary depending on the individual elements. No two websites are the same, so the amount of work and time to get satisfactory results will be different.

Thanks to a carefully planned strategy, Maleomi, one of Delante’s clients, has achieved spectacular results. This kitchen and home accessory store initially faced a number of challenges – from an incorrectly optimized homepage to general keyword phrases at the very end of the search results.

In Maleomi’s case study, our specialists focused on a long tail SEO strategy, which aims at attracting a specific group of customers. The strategy was consistently implemented for 9 months and during this time the organic traffic increased by 101%!

how long does seo take to start working example
Increase in organic traffic on the maleomi.pl website during our cooperation

It’s worth mentioning that Maleomi was a website that had already operated for several years.

The case study of Klinika Zakrzewscy presents a completely different situation when a new website starts from scratch. The relocation to a new domain was challenging, especially with the goal of increasing organic traffic throughout the process. A consistently implemented strategy made the whole process successful – both the traffic and visibility of the new domain improved significantly.

how long does seo take example
Pageviews and clicks of the Klinika Zakrzewscy website from the relocation to the new domain up till December 2018

Keep in mind that a long waiting time doesn’t have to be the rule. Sometimes websites react positively to all activities of SEO professionals. As an example we can discuss Daniken‘s case study – this company improved its page traffic by 160% in just three months. Here, technically incorrect URLs structure, a poorly optimized home page, and lack of metadata were the key problems. However, thanks to the appropriate SEO strategy, we quickly overcame the challenges.

how long does seo take to show results example
Increase in the organic traffic to the Daniken website during three months of cooperation

Check out how we helped other clients: https://delante.co/clients/

What Does Google Say About How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?

Google states that websites usually need from four months to a year to observe the first SEO results. It’s possible to distinguish three main phases of the process:

  • Phase 1 – at this point it’s crucial to analyze the elements that can already be found on the website and refine them to ensure that they meet Google’s requirements. Modifying important page elements is the cornerstone of SEO and if it’s not done correctly, subsequent activities probably won’t bring expected results.
  • Phase 2 – it’s frequently called the build-up stage as it involves the creation of additional subpages and content that increase your chances of reaching more potential customers and being ranked for more quality keywords. At this point, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is present everywhere it should be present. It’s time to acquire quality backlinks from directories and improve your brand recognition.
  • Phase 3 – this part is about boosting your domain parameters and increasing your exposure to convince Google that your website should be ranked higher. At this point, SEO specialists frequently benefit from content marketing, develop your company blog, encourage you to create guest blogs, try to find effective ways to engage users, and expand your website content to make it even more professional.

What Influences the Duration of the SEO Process? 8 Factors You Should Consider

SEO results don’t appear overnight. Usually, you need some time to notice first increases in the rankings, or in the number of keywords, and website visits.

However, some industries and companies need to be more patient than others which often evokes negative emotions in website owners. Nevertheless, it should be noted that such reactions are usually rather exaggerated and after a while, humble SEO beginnings turn out to be extremely effective. But what affects the duration of the process and how long does it take to see the first SEO effects?

1. Industry in Which Company Operates

The industry in which a given company operates is one of the most important factors of how long does SEO take to start working that every SEO professional has to take into account. It’s the force that determines not only the potential of your competition on the market but also the time your website needs to significantly improve its positions in the search results.

When you offer specialized and rare products rather than something easily accessible or popular, it’s much easier to be ranked higher in the search results, even for relatively generic keywords.

On the other hand, if you operate in a more competitive sector, you should rather focus on long tail SEO and more descriptive phrases that consist of three, four, or even more words. This way, you’ll probably reach fewer potential customers, but the people you reach may decide to finalize the transaction faster.

After all, if someone searches for a product with specific parameters, the chances are that this person is ready to make a purchase.

We asked an SEO specialist Lily Ugbaja what’s her experience in this matter.

A lot depends on niche and strategy. If it’s a competitive niche, it could take anywhere from six months to two years to see reasonable returns. For smaller niches, I’ve seen results as early as three months using the topic cluster strategy. Also, if you do pain-point SEO instead of just focusing on SEO traffic, you’ll get returns faster. Smaller amounts of traffic will convert.

 

Lily Ugbaja
SEO Specialist & Content Writer

The target audience and market are also extremely important SEO-wise. As a website owner, you should decide if you plan to operate locally, nationally, or internationally – the greater the range and scope of activities, the more complicated the SEO process and the more time you’ll need to see the first results.

2. SEO Company and its Game Plan

Skills and experience are precious in every field, including SEO. A well-versed SEO professional will undoubtedly be able to choose activities in such a way that they’ll gradually contribute to the effectiveness of the process.

Therefore, the adopted SEO strategy is another factor of how long does it take to see SEO results – if you decide to focus on improving your website’s positions in the search results, you can’t expect the benefits you would achieve if you invested in broad match SEO keywords.

To make sure that SEO brings results relatively quickly, you should define your business goals and discuss them with the agency you cooperate with. Experienced specialists are able to adjust the strategy to the set objectives.

If you don’t work with an SEO agency yet, this is the perfect time to start! Let us know what you want to achieve and we will help you get things done!

3. History of the Website

Your domain and website history has a huge impact on your positions in the search results. Every website has the so-called PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority). These two numbers indicate how valuable your page is in Google’s eyes. Consequently, a site that now aspires to be a popular online store, might have been regarded as spam by Google robots in the past.

Bans, penalties, or various filters imposed on your website in the past may have a negative impact on the SEO process and performed activities, even if the site has been completely modified since then. Re-gaining trust of the search engine can take a very long time! This is why it’s so important to thoroughly check domain history before buying it or moving your website to it.

Interestingly, the situation is very similar when talking about newly created pages. Before displaying them high in the search results, Google needs to make sure that they’re worthy of interest and provide users with valuable and unique information. Due to the above factors, it’s necessary to approach every SEO process individually and analyze various factors that may have an impact on the rankings.

ClickUp’s SEO Specialist Manson Yu shared his experience with us and gave some valuable tips for new websites.

The time it takes for SEO efforts to manifest results can vary wildly. For example, if your website is new or you have not pursued an SEO-driven content strategy, it may take a while to build up the topical authority you need to be trusted by the search engines. This could take 6-12 months or even longer for competitive niches. This is also assuming your site is technically sufficient and isn’t hindered by structural or CMS issues. For more authoritative and renowned websites, you can see results within 1-3 months, which is considered fast in the SEO world.

Additionally, “results” can mean many different things throughout an SEO campaign. I would recommend the KPIs with which you measure results to change depending on the stage of your website. A new website embarking in its first SEO campaign should look for results around impression increases, clicks from long tail keywords, and whether new content is being indexed to gauge growth. This is because search engine crawlers generally take longer to discover new sites and crawl new content. A more seasoned website with a lot of preexisting content can expect Google to respond quicker, as there is more history to the site and more content to work with. At this point, you can set more aggressive goals around traffic, rank results, and conversion data.

Very often I see people get impatient and abandon an SEO project early because they are only looking at the highest value metrics, such as leads or software sign ups, and have ignored the other metrics which indicate clear growth.

 

Mason Yu
Senior SEO Specialist at ClickUp

If you bought penalized domain or you’re starting from scratch, it has a negative influence on how long does SEO take to show results.

4. Competition on the Market and its Activities

No one is alone on the Internet and even top online stores have to come to terms with the fact that they’ve competition on the market which also may want to implement SEO activities. In fact, we live in a world where almost every industry is extremely competitive, and finding a niche in the market is harder than you may think.

This also has an impact on the duration of the SEO process and the time needed to observe the first results. SEO companies have to fight for positions not only with the search engine but also with clients’ potential rivals on the market that frequently benefit from SEO. Therefore, the more competitive your industry, the more time you’ll need to improve your rankings.

5. Design and Content of the Website

Customers, similarly to robots, are rather reluctant to visit websites with old-fashioned designs. Unfriendly design, unclear interface, long website loading time, unintuitive navigation, and empty pages are simple recipes to prolong your road to success.

That’s why it’s so important to modify and tweak your page design to ensure that it meets the expectations of both Google and users. Keep in mind that keywords, fast loading speed, and high-quality graphics aren’t enough to succeed.

You also need top-notch, unique, and valuable content that introduces your offer to users, helps them make decisions, determines what your website is really about, and makes it easier for Google robots to understand your business.

Creating quality content that engages users and encourages them to stay on the website for longer is a great way to improve the effectiveness of the SEO process and to position yourself as an expert in the field. Moreover, properly optimized texts increase the number of keywords you’re displayed for in the search results and help you reach more potential customers.

Read more about how to make great content in 2022 here: https://delante.co/how-to-make-content-in-2022/

6. Seasonality

There are various industries that are seasonal. It is a very important factor that influences how long does it take to see SEO results. If you offer toys for kids, the chances are that you observe increased traffic around Children’s Day. On the other hand, companies selling Christmas ornaments probably don’t attract too many customers in the summer.

It’s extremely important to check and acknowledge the seasonality of your business, as it has a huge impact on the effects of the SEO process.

Sometimes website owners don’t understand that even the finest SEO activities won’t help them attract thousands of people willing to buy Christmas baubles in July and they think that the agency they cooperate with is ineffective. Nothing further from the truth. Before resigning from cooperation or writing an impolite email to your SEO specialist, think about the nature of your business and its seasonality.

7. On-page SEO Activities

On-page SEO activities have a huge impact on the effects of the process.

Sometimes it’s enough to implement a few changes on the home page (e.g., modify the title and meta description) to notice the first SEO results.

In other cases, specialists may need more time to optimize elements like the header structure, content, menu, internal links, and so on. In a nutshell, on-site SEO activities are performed to tailor your website content to Google guidelines and users’ expectations. For this reason, it’s crucial to saturate the page with appropriate keywords, create an intuitive path a potential customer may follow, position yourself as an expert, and refine technical elements.

Here, everything depends on the initial condition of your website. When starting cooperation with an SEO agency, you usually receive a website audit that thoroughly scrutinizes your page, checks its parameters, and evaluates its usability. At this point, your dedicated SEO specialist should be able to tell you what needs to be modified as a priority, how long will it take to see SEO results, and when (approximately) you can expect first tangible benefits.

seo services support

Off-site SEO activities relate mainly to link building and to the process of obtaining valuable backlinks leading to your website. This phase continues throughout the entire cooperation with the agency, as it’s extremely important to acquire links gradually so that they look natural to Google robots.

Obtaining links from websites with better DA and PA parameters allows you to convince Google that your page is valued and treated as a source of knowledge by other pages.

This, in turn, has a positive impact on your page and domain authority, which helps to improve your positions in the search results. To achieve satisfactory SEO results faster, it’s also possible to invest in guest blogging – it’s a useful practice that allows you to obtain links from thematically related websites that frequently are also your market rivals.

This way, you can reach people who haven’t heard about your company before but are potentially interested in the products or services you offer (since they visit pages of your competitors). Who knows? Maybe an expert article will convince people to choose you over your rivals?

How Long Does SEO Take to Start Working – The Takeaway

As you can see from the above examples, there is no single rule determining how long does it take to see SEO result. However, it can be safely said that no matter what kind of a website we’re talking about, a consistently implemented SEO strategy can give astounding results.

Remember it’s worth hiring professionals – they’re able to choose a strategy that will pay off in the future and will be suitable for your website. Implementing changes on your own can do more harm than good, especially if you aren’t experienced in the field. If you have any questions, contact Delante’s team. We’ll be more than happy to help you.

This is an update of an article published in 2019.

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Author
Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.
Comments (1)
  1. You can’t control a website’s history nor the competition. But what you can (usually) control is the resources that are allocated toward an SEO project. It’s important to understand exactly how this plays a huge part in the length of time it takes to see results from a campaign. The more resources you’re able to allocate toward SEO, the faster you’ll usually see results.

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