How Long Does It Take for SEO to Start Working?

Months or Years? Some agencies might take a wild guess and suggest anywhere between 3-6 months, but the real answer is…it depends

Months or Years?


Some agencies might take a wild guess and suggest anywhere between 3-6 months, but the real answer is…it depends. What is agreed on by most professional SEOs is that “SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and consistent effort to see results”- Chris Panteli.


It’s unrealistic to expect instant, short-term results. Investing in a long-term SEO strategy will improve rankings, user engagement rates, and conversions.


A tip for choosing a great SEO agency is to look for one that wants to take the time to get to know your business and its goals. Be wary of anyone offering you quick and instant SEO results, a great SEO agency will communicate clearly and honestly, which means delivering the good news as well as the bad.


Why do people want SEO?


67% of all clicks go to the first five organic results. The demand for SEO has continued to grow year on year as businesses and website owners continue to fight for the top spots. The reason why SEO is so popular is that unlike paid search SEO is completely free and builds long-term trust and credibility. PPC and SEO work well together to improve visibility but once the user has landed on your website, it’s on-page and technical SEO that will ensure a great user experience.


Some on-page and technical SEO improvements include:


  • Site speed
  • Content quality
  • Keyword optimisation
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Site security
  • Site architecture


How do you measure SEO success?


Whilst calculating your ROI isn’t as uncomplicated as paid search, you can and should set clear KPI’s.


Some of the most common SEO key performance indicators are:


  • Organic traffic
  • Engagement time
  • Domain authority
  • Keyword improvements
  • Backlinks
  • Site health


Each website and business will have its own SEO needs and goals and a full site audit will need to be undertaken to plan and prepare a tailored SEO strategy. Therefore, agencies promising you instant results and guaranteed top spots are not to be trusted.


Brand new sites vs older sites


Whilst domain age isn’t one of Google’s official ranking factors there’s no doubt that it plays an important part in SEO. Brand new websites will unfortunately take longer to see SEO results as compared to an older website that has already established some authority. Brand new websites have been known to take anywhere from 12+ months to start bringing in organic traffic from search engines. Many SEOs believe in the existence of a “google sandbox” which is a filter built to prevent new websites from ranking well to avoid any cheating of the algorithm. Googles John Mueller states that whilst he doesn’t agree with the existence of a “sandbox” there are ‘algorithms in place that have to get to know a website and it can be tricky ranking a brand-new site in the beginning’.


If you’re a start up with a brand-new website don’t let this put you off competing for those top spots! Start-ups and small businesses can often find the concept of starting from ground zero and competing with larger businesses intimidating. Great PR, social advertising, blogs, and local listings can have you building traffic to your website no matter how competitive your industry is. A great SEO agency will have some sneaky tricks up their sleeves to get you out of the “sandbox” even quicker, such as with the implementation of 301 redirects and optimised on page content.  


Start-Up Buddy


Here at Search Buddy, we offer a start-up buddy service specifically tailored to developing long-term partnerships with start-up businesses and SMEs. We offer flexible pricing for all our services- including SEO. This ensures that you have complete control and can increase and decrease your monthly budget accordingly. We have a real passion for seeing our start-up clients succeed. If you would like to enquire about any of our services, you can fill out a contact form or call us today.


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