All businesses want better online rankings, and the best way to achieve this is through SEO. After all, you’re in business to make money, and Google will help you get this. Better and higher SEO rankings equate to more online sales, inquiries and leads.
It’s the reality in 2023. If you are high up on page 1 you are going to smash it!
But, most businesses want results, and they want them now. Quick SEO results are achievable but only for specific keywords. Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO, there are no quick solutions. This article will help you understand the right SEO goals for getting the results you want.
The following will answer the question we get asked all the time: are quick SEO results possible within these timeframes:
- Three Months
- Six Months
- One Year
Before we look at timings, let’s look at some of the factors determining your SEO rankings. But before we do this, you have to know what you can realistically expect from your SEO campaigns.
Why does SEO take so long?
I don’t work at Google, so I can’t tell you why SEO takes so long. Google has many ranking factors that they never tell us about, so all we can do is follow our proven formula. Which works, BUT it does take time.
Mobile-friendly website – is your website compatible with all handheld mobile devices?
Site-speed- how quickly does your website page load? The quicker, the better. If it’s too slow, users will bounce off the site and shop elsewhere. Google doesn’t want this and will only display websites in the top positions that deliver the best user experience.
Competition – a no-brainer. The more competitive space and the more well known big brands you’re trying to compete against, the more challenging and longer it will be to rank your site.
Let’s look at the example of an online store trying to sell Apple Computers. If they focus on the Sydney market, they will face some hefty competition with all the Apple stores around Sydney and resellers. But, let’s take this to a national level, and the task would be enormous.
There are many well-established businesses online that have been doing their SEO for years. They probably started this when Apple launched their first Sydney store. So removing them from their top page 1 position is a colossal task. I’m not saying it’s impossible but what I am saying is that it takes a lot of time, a huge effort and tons of your marketing budget to get even close to them.
When we look at marketing budgets, you will have to realise that these big brands and names have enormous marketing budgets that they can throw at their products. Deep pockets are the main reason you see the top brands dominating Google search results for primary and money keywords.
SEO Sydney Experts Tip: we suggest finding the right balance between your potential SEO spend and the competition. If it’s too competitive, throw more of your SEO budget at less competitive keywords where you will see a quicker return. Going after the big guys won’t always work, no matter how much you invest.
Related article: How long does SEO take & why do I have to wait so long?
Long gone are the days of writing spammy keyword-stuffed pages to try and rank. Google’s snuffed these dodgy practices out and now will only rank pages that deliver quality content.
Google implemented its Panda algorithm update to solve this problem. Businesses used to write useless dribble, and these pages used to rank. It got so big that it was out of control. Spammy SEO agencies promised ( and generally delivered on this ) quick rankings just by writing content that was purely keyword focused. Times have changed! If they’d do it now, there would be no way they could rank your site.
Today, your content needs to be informative & solve the consumers questions.
SEO Sydney Experts Tip: only write for your audience with content that answers their questions or contains useful information. Anything else will harm your rankings.
Also, try to publish content regularly. If you have something interesting to say or a new product to sell, tell the world about it. Only post copy when necessary, and don’t think that if you write a blog or news article a week, this will help your rankings. Be natural in your approach to this.
Ask yourself this question: “am I writing this because my audience or customer base should be reading this, or is it just for Google?’
Our rule of thumb here is to keep a regular publishing cycle as it encourages the search engines to come to your site – hence faster indexing. Also, it keeps people coming back. And, Google will notice this.
Inbound links & link building are HUGE and send massive ranking signals to Google that your site is trustworthy. A link back to your website from a credible source is super valuable.
SEO Sydney Experts Tip: don’t ever try to buy spammy links to manipulate page rank. Natural link building is the only way your website will ever earn the trust of Google. An example would be a business in the travel sector. The best way to get links is to write awesome content that people will post on their sites with a credit link to your site.
Another way is to do your PR and contact popular publications in this niche and see if they’ll write about your business if you have something interesting to say.
A BIG issue comes from some SEO agencies that promise fast rankings through unnatural link building. Spammy link building is rampant and still goes on today in 2021 – even after Google has given us so many warnings. SEO Agencies tout their ability to rank websites speedily and even have the nerve to throw in a guarantee or 90-day time frame. What a joke!!!
If you over spam, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll end up with a Google penalty or manual action. Your website may be indexed form the search results, and you’ll have to spend the big bucks to try and reverse this. The moral here is that nothing comes quickly with Google, and you have to earn it the hard way.
SEO time frames for your business
That covers why rankings take time, so now let’s see what’s achievable at the 3, 6, and 12-month marks.
SEO Performance at Three Months
At the 3-month mark, you are really at the beginning of your SEO efforts. If you have an existing website that’s a few years old, you should see some significant improvements – perhaps keywords on page 3 are now edging to page 1. But, for new sites, I’m afraid this is just the beginning.
Your branded name should be ranking well for new sites, as would other less competitive long-tail keywords. You might even be in the top 10 for a few of these keywords. Don’t pop the champagne yet, as you won’t be up there for the most competitive keywords. You are in for the long haul.
Again, this all depends on your business niche and how competitive it is. Established websites with some authority have more chance of ranking new web pages at the three-month mark than brand new sites.
The first three months are where many of the ‘on page’ work are carried out, ensuring your site is Google compliant. Once this is complete, you can then focus on your link building efforts. You will also be studying your competition to see what they have done, links and content they have created.
At the three month mark, you can expect the following:
- All your on-page SEO work completed – site speed, main page content, site structure, user experience, titles and more.
- Ranking above websites that have not started their SEO.
- Possible top 10 rankings for low-traffic (easy to rank) keywords.
- Your brand name ranking well.
SEO Performance at Six Months
At six months, you are well and truly into your SEO campaign. You will have started your backlink campaign, cleaned up all your web content and on-page issues, content marketing regularly, posted on social media and fine-tuned your website for higher conversion rates.
You will also be pleasantly surprised at your rankings. You would have leapfrogged over old websites or sites that are not doing any SEO. All this assumes ( and this is a HUGE assumption ) that you are using an SEO agency that knows what they are doing. If they don’t, your rankings would be going nowhere, and they would be BS you and giving you reasons why you need to keep paying them. A real con ( watch out for this!!)
SEO Sydney Experts Tip: the six-month mark is where most people start to become edgy and impatient. They still can’t see themselves ranking in the top 10, and they are still paying good money for their SEO. Sure, they have low volume long-tail keywords ranking, but these are not bringing in much business. HANG ON! Now is not the time not to rush things.
Your biggest challenge is the thought that SEO isn’t working for you. You may feel like giving up on your strategy because it hasn’t produced the results you’re looking for yet.
Hang in there!
You are nearer than you think to get those dreamy new business clients.
You will start to see an increase in medium traffic volume keywords. Now is when the fun begins! Giving up now will mean all that hard work will go down the drain – a real pity.
SEO Performance at 12 Months
Just because your SEO is at the 12-month mark doesn’t mean this, hey presto, rankings will suddenly pop and hit position # 1. I wish it would work this way. You’ll probably see a good chunk of your keywords on page 1, with your main core keywords edging closer to page 1. This is all contingent on the competition and what they have been doing over the past 12 months.
But, you would have been building a solid SEO foundation with a great backlink profile and a quality content marketing strategy.
There is absolutely no reason why you should not see some decent calls and inquiries with all this excellent SEO strategy firmly in place.
In fact, over 90% of new pages don’t get to the top page of search engines within 12 months.
Note: I speak to many businesses that have had an SEO stratgey in palce for 12 months and are still not seeing credible results which is the by-product of a bad SEO strategy. More often than not they made the wrong choice at the beginnging of their SEO campaing and decided to partner with an agency based purely on costs which is why they are not seeing page 1 rankings or even anything resembling decent organic traffic. So, please be aware of who you decide to partner with for your SEO when you are doing your reserach. because at the 12 month mark you should be seeing decent results for your main and long-tail keywords.
According to ahrefs (a reputable website), the average number of days it takes to rank a web page for competitive words is roughly 950 days. That’s about 2.5 years. That’s right. You’re reading this correctly. It’s no mistake, and its about right for popular niches. Obviously, for less competitive areas, you’ll get there quicker if you lay the right foundations.
This is what I tell all my clients. You have to be prepared to invest in your SEO for the long term.
A short term approach just won’t cut it. Chopping and changing SEO agencies because they can’t perform miracles in the first 12 months is also not a good idea. If they can demonstrate a reliable and consistent approach to your SEO, then stick with them.
Remember, this is only the beginning. The SEO work you do in your first 12 months generates some revenue and a modest ROI. You have to think of this as an investment in the long term success of your business. It’s preparing your website for long-term success.
Now you’re armed with all this information, it’s time to kick start your SEO.
Why not contact the SEO experts who will help you generate revenue, sales leads and smash the competition? We know exactly what works and what doesn’t with Google.
What I can personally guarantee you is that I will be looking after your account. You will get all the knowledge and online digital experience that I have learned over the past 23 years.