How fast does SEO implementation really take to work?

How fast does SEO implementation really take to work?[ 4 min read ]

How fast does SEO work? Clients often expect instant results from SEO implementation work but in reality, it can take anything up to 12 months to see the true results from SEO work. Although that’s not to say that there won’t be some immediate signs of improvement.

Search Engine Optimisation should be considered as more of a long term investment in a similar way to marketing. For example, you wouldn’t expect to hand one leaflet out to a potential customer and expect that to result in 100 sales in 12 months time. It would generally take more than one round of leaflets, over a longer period of time, and you may choose to target certain campaigns to certain target audiences to realise the full potential ROI of the exercise.

So why do some SEO Experts promise immediate results?

These experts are probably using paid ads to get more instant results. Whilst a valid SEO route (if done properly), it can be costly and may not have longevity. You may want to choose this route if you have a big budget, and a time-sensitive campaign like an upcoming event for example.
If you don’t have a large budget, it might be the better choice to spread the cost over several months and play the waiting game.
Other consultants choose to use ‘black hat’ SEO techniques which may also seem like they’re working quickly but can actually be detrimental to website ranking in the long term. For example, some websites are still recovering from dodgy back-linking after Google took measures to stop this technique with their ‘Penguin’ algorithm, released in 2012.

first page of google

But, I want to be on the first page of Google

A lot of people get hung up about being on the first page – and hey, it’s a great place to be so I don’t blame them. However, the true measurement of any work has to be the analytics and any subsequent sales. If you’re having 2000 visitors but only 2 sales then what’s the point in being on the first page? It’s better to have 1000 visitors and 900 sales and this can be done by improving your content over time by constantly reviewing the content and analytics with the end goals in mind.

In for the long-haul with consistency of SEO

For those looking to invest in SEO, at this point they might be concerned about when they’ll be seeing any return on investment for their hard-earned bucks.
Results of consistent SEO work should start showing at about 3-4 months – but keep going with improvements and adding content and the results will be even better by 12 months in.
When the website is improved, and new content added, it will take a while for Google to recrawl the site and index it properly but in the interim, content can be boosted by the use of social media and digital PR (if applicable) to drive organic traffic to the website.

How much does search engine optimisation cost?

The cost of SEO varies and can be as little as under £50 to as much as £5000 – it really does depend on what activities you’re paying for and over what time period. However, even though you may not understand the technical jargon, it’s always worth asking for a breakdown of what you’re paying for.
Some SEO consultants also provide monthly reports but again, it may not be clear what you’re looking at, and results may not be obvious anyway from month to month.
I’d advise having regular meetings with your consultant instead to ensure that you’re both working towards the same goal.

Does DIY SEO work?

Absolutely it can! The reason most people employ someone is that it’s an awful lot to learn on top of your normal everyday work. If you do want to go down this route, I would start by making a plan, with a clear target in mind. Set aside specific time weekly to carry out activities you know how to do and be prepared to research areas you’re not sure about. If you can afford it, get an expert to periodically check your work to make sure you’re going down the right path and no accidently causing damage to your ranking.

Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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