I have just come out of a meeting with a potential client who asked my the inevitable question. This was 5 minutes into the meeting. And it went along the lines of this” ‘ if I’m paying you $X per month how long will it take before I start see results and why does it take that long?”
A perfectly reasonable question to ask but not so easy to answer for the average business owner who has little or no knowledge of SEO. There are so many Google ranking factors to consider when it comes to SEO that explaining it to them in a 45 minute meeting will just confuse them. Essentially, all they want to hear is a that it will rank quickly and it will stay there forever. Ideal in the perfect world but with Google this just doesn’t happen.
So following is some helpful answers to what is essentially a very complicated question.
Most businesses should start to see their website improve in the SERP’s ( Search Engine Results Pages ) within one to three months of us commencing a SEO campaign. What they will see is an improvement across the board for all their main keywords. This again, will also depend on a few factors such as:
Age of the website
Older more established websites that have some form of trust and authority with Google will respond quicker to an SEO campaign then newer fresh websites that have just been launched.
Websites that are continually refreshing their web pages with new updated content will likely get reindexed and rank over older copy that is loosing it’s relevance.
Titles & descriptions
Your title and description is what Google indexes about the subject of your web page and is what people see in the search results. Every page must have uniques titles and descriptions and reflect the nature of the page. Having eye catching titles with a well worded description will help Google know what the page is all about (so will users) and help it in the rankings.
Two, three, four even six months may seem forever for most small businesses who rely on sales to keep their staff employed and pay the bills. So why does it take so long to see any type of decent SEO results and why isn’t it instant? Getting to page one of Google is not a quick fix. If you want that then your best to try Adwords and see instant results where your up there in the first four positions. The only down side of this is that it’s super expensive and you get loads of people clicking on your ad who may not end up buying from you. Most businesses in the paid ads results are either your competition or start up businesses looking to make a quick buck without bothering about SEO. That’s Ok, but they better be prepared to spend a small fortune with Google if their niche is competitive.
In terms of why SEO takes so long is the whole tortoise and the hare story. Fast rankings are often seen as spammy by Google and are often implemented by SEO companies who need to see quick results because that’s what they have promised their clients to secure the business. These temporary good rankings won’t last and the only ones that are consistently on the top of the SERP’s are those that take the slow, methodical and Google compliant approach.
In regards to time frames these will vary from website to website and the industry niche. The estimates above should give you a good baseline indicator but if you are prepared to invest in your SEO and have the patience then rankings will definitely follow.
SEO has a snow ball effect: your rankings improve exponentially over time. While the results may be slow to start with they will all rise with the tide over time. This includes, all your posts, news articles, main content pages and blogs. So while the first few months may prove to be a nervous wait, this will all be worth it once you start to see your rankings climb.
After spending a whole bunch of time building your website or perhaps wasting the last 6 months on an SEO company that we under performing, the last thing you want to be doing is wait another 6 months for some business. No one can predict Google’s algorithm rankings and we’ll never have an exact start date for your rankings to be on page 1, there are however other marketing activities you can do in the interim.
Advertise your website on Google, Facebook or another pay-per-click platform. Ideally you want to not have to pay for leads, paid clicks can prove to be extremely successful. Learn more about Google AdWords here.
You can also look at newsletter marketing such as EDM’s – even ads in local papers or magazines.
Announce your new website to your social media network on Facebook or LinkedIn
Do you need help with your SEO? Get in touch! Call me directly Steven Waldberg at (02) 9360 8514.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about SEO, take a closer look here.