How Long Does SEO Really Take?

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Search engine optimization, more commonly called SEO, is a hot topic in the digital marketing world. However, what many people really want to know is – how long does SEO really take?

For businesses that are trying to balance their marketing budget and ensure they have enough revenue to cover expenses, this is an important metric to have. Unfortunately, there is no simple, black and white answer to these common questions.

SEO results will vary based on several factors, including things like the technical aspects of a website, product offerings, competition, industry, and more. SEO efforts are not immediate. In some situations, they can take several months – or more – to be seen.

Keep reading to learn more about the parts and components of a successful SEO strategy, which will give you a better idea of how long this strategy takes.

Keyword Research and Mapping

An important first step in SEO is determining what keywords to use. Keyword research shows what phrases and terms a potential customer will use to find the services or goods you offer. With this research, it is possible to determine what keywords should be used to optimize your website.

Once keywords have been found, then keyword mapping is done. This helps target the pages on your website to attract the most qualified traffic. Keyword maps identify the right keyword targets for your pages based on competitive analysis and search volume. It also includes recommendations for other pages, metadata review, and structure changes. After the keyword map is done and the recommendations are put in place, it can take four to six months to see any increases in organic traffic.

Technical Audit

Once the keyword research and mapping steps are complete, a technical site audit should be done. This will help ensure the search engines will crawl and index the website.

There are more than 230 factors in the algorithms used by Google, with dozens of these being onsite factors. Some of these factors include page content, title tags, site speed, redirects, image optimization, linking structure, and page headings. While optimizing for these onside factors will not make the site rank go up, it will help ensure that nothing keeps the site from ranking well.

This is a process that may take two to three months.

Content Marketing

You can generate inbound links, improve the site’s authority and visibility, and more with content marketing. While the technical audit and keyword mapping will improve results, content marketing will take the SEO strategy to another level and help you improve your rank across all the targeted keywords that have been selected. Content marketing is an ongoing process, and there is no time limit for when this is complete.

As you can see, SEO is not a fast process. If you want to achieve results, it takes time and ongoing effort. Be sure to keep the tips and information here in mind, which will help ensure the desired results are achieved. If needed, hire a professional service provider to help you with these SEO tactics.


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