How Long Does SEO Take To Work?

An SEO report showing statistics to demonstrate how long does seo take to work

Whether you are doing search engine optimisation for your own website(s) or are working on multiple client websites – SEO is essentially a free marketing tool that will provide you with a stream of leads and/or revenue for either lead generation or eCommerce websites. Who doesn’t love to generate free leads and revenue for free? 

The only downside to this is that SEO can take a fairly long time to pay off. Working in digital marketing, and having ourselves ranked at the top of Google’s search engine for “seo liverpool” we are frequently asked – “how long does SEO take to work?” So let’s answer it…

A screenshot of a Google search showing Quirky Digital being ranked at the top of Google for seo liverpool

How Long Does SEO Take To Work?

To put it simply, how long does SEO take to work ultimately depends on a multitude of different factors. However, one thing that is an absolute certainty is that if you are a brand new domain – do not expect anything for at least 6 months. 

Regarding how long does SEO take to work in a general sense, the factors that means it depends can be plentiful. For instance, perhaps you are in a really competitive industry or how aggressive you are being towards your SEO. 

Perhaps you are in a fairly low competitive space but you are just not spending enough time on optimising your main money pages. The required tasks for SEO are never ending. There will always be the fundamentals you need to ensure are properly ticked off before you even start looking outside of the SEO spectrum – AdWords for example. There is no point setting up an Ad campaign when the SEO foundational work still hasn’t been properly addressed. Otherwise you are sending traffic to a page that won’t provide either the right messaging, the right CTA or the best overall story it can tell. 

The frequent answer you will find in digital marketing towards how long does SEO take to work is 6-12 months. This however, will ultimately depend on what you are ranking for. Should you decide to tackle a selection of niche keywords then you will have a far quicker turnaround in ranking towards the top half of Google’s pages than you would if you choose keywords with large search volumes and a high keyword difficulty score. 

A person working on their laptop, coding for a website to show how long does seo take to work

Targeting local SEO can be a great starting point, especially if your domain is brand new and you are looking to build your brand. Doing this will allow you to attempt to start ranking in a slightly less competitive space. Ultimately gathering enough success to start attempting to rank for national keywords

SEO can be compared to telling a compelling narrative. It’s about finding the right demographic that captures their attention and once they have visited your website – converted into sales. You may think the work stops there but that is only where the journey starts – you then have to maintain your new found brand awareness and the best way to do this is through brand loyalty. This loyalty is also crucial for search engines. 

It’s also important to understand the impact of the work itself and how these SEO tasks can change your ranking positions. For example, you might find that you have made a few small amendments to the website such as addressing duplicate meta descriptions, or implemented fresh keywords to one of your main service pages. As a result you see you have seen your website increase by over 20 positions for a particular search term. Other tasks (page speed increases for example) may take a while before you find your rankings start to increase. 

If you are having any second doubts about a change that you have made for your website, always stick to your guns. That is unless you are seeing a detrimental effect to your rankings straight away – then revert back.

What does success look like in SEO?

Success when it comes to how long does SEO take to work ultimately depends on what your overall goals are. If your KPI’s are to see a consistently increasing stream of traffic whilst keeping a respectable new/returning traffic percentage then this is absolutely achievable with SEO. With this KPI, you will then start to see the steady increase in traffic converted into leads for your business. 

For an eCommerce website that has the same goal but wants to also see a steady increase towards sales – then this may take a bit longer. To start your SEO goals, it’s all about putting together realistic targets, rather than shooting for the moon. If you are a delivery service – you cannot expect to be ranking above the likes of Amazon for example.

A pile of money, showcasing the revenue that can be achieved with a successful SEO campaign

What are the main factors to show the success of your SEO?

SEMRush has a fantastic article regarding how long does SEO take to work, and in this article – they showcase the main factors to be: 

  • Your Website’s History
  • The Competition
  • Your Resources 

The article also showcases the three pillars of SEO known as Silos and how long each impact the time to convert into results, these are: 

  • Technical SEO
  • Content
  • Backlinks

These are the three fundamentals of SEO, should you consistently be analysing and making additions to these three things – you will eventually start to see your rankings increase.

A representation showing coins growing as the success of your SEO campaign grows, leading to more revenue.

How do you convert traffic into customers?

If you are new to SEO and are obtaining traffic, but they are not converting then the best solution is to review your conversion rate optimisation. Conversion rate optimisation (or CRO for short) is when you see an increased percentage of traffic who has performed an action on your website. This can be for both lead generation and eCommerce websites respectively. 

A brilliant tool to start with is Google Optimize. This allows you to run what are called split tests on a particular website. Meaning that you can measure the differences between changing the colour of a particular CTA button from red to green. 

Another tool that we recommend is to use the software – HotJar. HotJar provides brilliant levels of insight as it provides you with a heatmap of traffics engagement with the website. Allowing you to see what they are drawn to. Ultimately allowing you to make changes to the website that will fit the story that you want to tell. 

The last suggestion that we recommend is to have unique product descriptions to all of your products. This can help your website convert as you have product descriptions that are tailor made for each specific product on your website – which will boost their rankings. 

If you’re a lead generation website with no products, another great way to see your SEO grow is to create consistently fresh content on your website. Always make sure that you have a contact form at the bottom of the page, this will allow you to provide great information as well as a way for your traffic to get in touch with you to get more information. This is the best way to convert leads for lead generation websites.

A copywriter conducting providing a content writing service for an SEO project.

A Summary of How Long Does SEO Take To Work:

For how long does SEO take to work, if you are a brand new domain, we would say don’t expect to see any tangible results until at least 6 months into your SEO campaign. This rings true for most campaigns, once a campaign launches it is best to stick to your guns (unless any major errors occur then revert them) and assess your progress 6-12 months after you’ve started your campaign.

It’s best to review the goals that work best for your campaign then build your KPIs around those goals. It’s also important to be realistic with your campaign expectations and if possible – focus on local SEO first, especially if you are a brand new domain. Obtaining these rankings will only see your national SEO success far sooner if executed correctly.

See Our Other Blogs

If you are looking for more information, why not see our previous posts. We last spoke about “why should I avoid duplicate meta descriptions”. For more, why not get in touch with us today for a free and quick quote to get your SEO off the ground.

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