Proper SEO Timeframe Expectations

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This article was provided by Boostability.

Posted at 00:00h in Partner, SEO by Mike Marsh

Many SEO firms will tell you that it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That’s generally accurate, but bear in mind this is when you start seeing results, and SEO results grow over time. Whatever results you’re getting at 6 months should be considerably less than what you’re getting at 12 months. Success by any standard rarely comes within the first 3 months, even with a healthy SEO budget. But then you might ask…

How Long Does Successful SEO Take?

We’ve heard this question many, many times from basically every one of our clients. It’s a very common question in the SEO world because businesses want to know when they will see an ROI from their SEO. At some point, you may see your results taper off, and then it may be a matter of maintaining results rather than growing them.

And the answer is… it depends.

Depends on what?

It depends on a lot of different factors. For example: how long your website has been around, how much SEO has been done on it previously, what shape the website is in, how much content is on it, its link profile, and many other SEO factors.

Figuring out how long your SEO will take comes down to first evaluating the data behind a few key variables. Those variable are:

  • Content
  • Inbound links
  • Competition

After you have done research on these variables for your business you will begin the actual work and evaluate how quickly you would begin to see results. Because there are so many layers of each of these variables you would have to extrapolate quite a bit to get an idea how long it might take to rank at a particular position.

SEO Content Best Practices

Quality content can mean a lot of different things to a wide variety of individuals but it is basically how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences.

Ideally, your content should do these things while also taking into consideration the keywords that you want rank for.

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land has stated, “The trick is not speaking in terms of what the searcher is going to type into the search box, but speak in terms of what the searcher wants to read.” Always keep in mind that you’re writing for users first and that search engines(with the most recent BERT update) are getting much better at understanding natural language.

Inbound SEO Linking Best Practices

Data has shown that getting external links is the single most important objective for attaining higher rankings. But that begs the question, “What should I focus on when building links?” We recommend following a model that focuses on these 3 factors:

  • Quality – Popularity(traffic) and relevance for your site.
  • Volume – Steady growth with no un-natural spikes.
  • Velocity – The speed at which you earn links – should have relatively stable growth.

If your SEO link building has these three factors included then you can be sure that your SEO firm is building quality links for you and that your rankings will see results.

Understanding SEO Competition

Unless you’re in an incredibly specific niche, it’s more than likely that you’ll be facing massive competition in the SERPs.

Think about a local dentist’s office. There’s probably hundreds per city, each with a website trying to rank. The problem is, only ten of those sites will rank on the first page of Google. Because the competition is so fierce, it will likely take longer to see SEO results.

If both you and your competitors are spending the same amount on an SEO campaign then you will both likely be ranking for similar terms and essentially “out bidding” each other. Make sure that your competitive research is done with proper expectations and goals from the outset.

What is The Goal of SEO?

Is the goal to do better than the competition? Then you will, most likely, need to spend more time and money on those terms than they do. If a keyword is a high-volume/high-competition keyword it can take years to finally beat out someone who has spent years to build their reputation up to rank for those terms.

We often see clients who sign up for a few months and then call it quits citing, “We just weren’t getting the results we needed to justify the cost.”

If you can’t budget for 6 to 12 months of SEO, you might be better off putting that budget somewhere else. Getting higher rankings is an output that is desirable, but they’re worthless unless they generate leads or sales.

We here at Boostability are here to provide the SMBs of the world a clear, concise way to rank for terms that bring in the most revenue. Speak with some of our top-tier specialists today to hear how you can partner with us and start winning.


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