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SEO Results Wait Time

How long does SEO take to work?

Would you like to know how long does SEO take to work? This blog will explain the expected timelines....

So you are a business or agency owner with a solid product or service website and want to seek organic traffic or conversions from SEO endeavors. You could also be interested in learning more about how long SEO efforts take to bear fruit!

Multiple questions might be spinning in your mind, seeking honest answers.

  • How soon can I get on top of Google with SEO?
  • Is SEO really worth it?
  • What is the best timeframe for seeking results from SEO?
  • What are the factors that influence the timeline for SEO results?

With over 12+ years of experience and expertise, having helped 7000+ global clients achieve their SEO/organic goals, we have learned a trick or two about optimizing your SEO efforts and when you can start expecting results. If you are investing in something, you must have a visible time frame in mind by the end of which you can expect to see the desired results!

In today’s blog, we will be offering an honest perspective on the following topics;

  • How long does it take for SEO to start working?
  • Why does SEO take so long to work?
  • What factors influence the timeline for SEO?
  • How do you know if SEO is working?
  • Some frequently asked questions

By the end of this blog, you will be able to understand the time frames involved and the factors that affect the time required to achieve your firm’s SEO goals. 

Without any further ado, let’s bring on the answers, folks! 


How long does it take for SEO to start working?

If we were to quote the search engine giant Google’s opinion on this question, “It will take time for you to see results: typically from four months to a year from the time you begin making changes until you start to see the benefits.”

Phew! Yes, that’s quite a long time! 

At this point, it is important to note that SEO is not a quick fix for instant improvement in SERP rankings. 

On the contrary, it is a long-time endeavor that demands consistent time and effort to see a visible improvement in rankings and traffic to your website. 

Why does SEO take so long to work?

The main difference between organic SEO efforts and paid advertising is that you cannot buy your way to the top of Google’s organic results for your target keywords! 

It can take a long time, close to four months or even a year, as mentioned above, for some businesses to rank decently well on search engine page results for specific keywords because search engines (e.g., Google) consider many factors. 

Now, what are these factors? Let’s list them down.

  1. Relevance: Is your page answering user queries or addressing their pain points?
  2. User experience: How seamless is the experience offered by your website pages compared to your competitors?
  3. Quality: How helpful, insightful, honest, and engaging is the content on your pages compared to that of your rivals?
  4. Originality: Is the content on your website original or curated? Is it well-researched, with original reports, analysis, and data? 
  5. Expertise: How experienced is your content creator in the topics they write about? Are they equipped with the requisite knowledge, or do they have experience with the concepts they discuss?
  6. Technical SEO elements of your site: Parameters such as the SEO-friendliness of the site structure, XML sitemap, presence of structured data, relevant internal and external links, indexability, and crawlability of your web pages also influence the timelines of your SEO efforts’ fruition.

While it takes immense effort, time, and resources to deliver on all the above parameters, Google also takes time to find, crawl, and index your web pages. 

  • Finding: Google discovers new web pages through various methods such as following links from existing pages, submissions through the Google Search Console, or through sitemaps submitted by website owners.
  • Crawling: Once a web page is found, Google’s automated software, known as crawlers or spiders, visits the page to analyze its content, including text, images, links, and metadata. This process is called crawling, where the crawler follows links on the page to other pages, effectively navigating through the interconnected web.
  • Indexing: After crawling, Google indexes the content of the web page, storing information about it in its massive database or index. This lets Google quickly retrieve and display relevant web pages in response to user search queries.

While you consistently update your website with the best SEO practices and user-friendly, relevant content, Google begins assessing those entries to determine the pain point and search intent they intend to address. Now this is something that’s beyond your control and takes time to happen.

As you build reputable content over time, you also need to factor in Google’s ever-changing algorithms, which are extremely complex and secretive. 

Let’s now get down to enlisting factors that affect how long SEO endeavors take to deliver visible results.

What factors influence the timeline for SEO?

While multiple factors influence the timeline for SEO efforts to bear visible results, let’s dive deep into some of them.

1. Your SEO goals

The exact goals that you have set for your SEO endeavors will affect the tentative timelines. 

While theoretically, it might be possible to optimize a web page for enhanced rankings and then expect to see it crawl up the SERPs the next day. However, achieving sustainable results across your website takes months of concerted and consistent effort.

You could set goals on the following metrics:

  • Improving ranking for specific keywords
  • Enhancing the influx of organic traffic
  • Improving organic conversions (e.g., purchases)

If you intend to rank for keywords with high search volume and low competition, you should technically start seeing results within a few months.

However, if your milestone for judging SEO success is improved conversion rates, it might take close to six months to witness measurable results. 

2. Your website’s age and authority

Owing to their age, older websites tend to have a rich repertoire of relevant content, pages, backlinks, and authority in their respective domain. Google has also had the time to crawl and index those pages. 

While relatively new websites (close to or younger than a year) can also rank well, they need more SEO efforts and resources to hit the ground running. 

According to Google’s John Mueller, it can take close to a year for Google to know where to rank new sites. 

While building site authority can be tough to outline, there are some ranking factors that can improve site authority, like:

  • High-quality content
  • A low-spam backlink profile
  • Strong metadata optimization

3. Resources you invest in SEO

The time and money you invest in your SEO endeavors will also affect the timelines for reaping results. 

The more resources you allocate to your site’s SEO endeavors, the quicker you will achieve the intended results. However, they must be utilized effectively and in the right direction as per the strategy. 

While better resources can enable you to invest in the best SEO tools and hire the right SEO professionals or agencies, it is important to focus on building quality content, backlinks, and other technical SEO tasks rather than quantity. 

This brings us to the next factor: creating a reliable and solid SEO strategy.

4. Your SEO strategy

Building and executing a well-thought-out strategy is key to achieving your organic search results goals. The main idea behind SEO is knowing which changes will have the greatest impact on rankings, traffic, and conversions.

Identifying the right tactics and keywords and prioritizing them according to evolving business needs can save you months of effort spent targeting the wrong SEO features, which can prevent you from achieving the goals on your vision board. 

5. Your rivals/competition

The more competitive the keywords you try to rank for, the longer it can take for your SEO efforts to materialize. 

For instance, in a highly competitive industry, making a few SEO tweaks can take longer to show results in SERPs than in a smaller, less competitive market. It might be easier for a digital marketing agency to rank on the keyword “professional SEO services” instead of “SEO services.” Compare the Keyword Difficulty score for both keywords in the attached screenshots to understand the competitiveness and ease/difficulty of ranking. 

Running an in-depth competitor analysis can help you gauge effective timelines and gain a more holistic understanding of the market. 

6. Your execution

The best, most well-thought-out SEO strategies will fail if their execution is not at par. The more consistently you execute the intended action points, the faster you will see the results. 

Once you have deciphered a realistic timeline and strategy for your firm’s SEO endeavors, you might want to know the exact indicators that show whether your efforts are working. 

How do you know if SEO is working?

Irrespective of the SEO outsourcing partner you choose, you need to know the indicators of whether your SEO efforts translate into real, measurable results. 

The KPIs you set initially can be measured using multiple metrics and tools such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SemRush, etc. 

Here’s how you can know that your SEO strategy is working.

1. Enhanced organic traffic

A clear sign of your SEO efforts paying off is a marked increase in the inflow of visitors to your website through search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

2. Enhanced rankings on relevant keywords

Ranking on the top three positions or the first page of search engines for keywords relevant to your business clearly indicates a winning and well-executed SEO strategy. 

3. High-quality backlinks

Organic backlinks earned from relevant, high DA (Domain Authority) websites are indicators of a well-executed SEO strategy.

4. Enhanced conversion rates

The whole idea behind conducting SEO practices is to draw more organic traffic to your website that ends up becoming repeat and paying customers. If your website traffic is increasing, but the conversion rates don’t witness an equivalent improvement, you might want to revisit technical issues or your website’s content.

Frequently Asked Questions

We at Mavlers are committed to giving honest answers to consumer queries that we frequently receive. Here are our expert insights on a couple of them!

1. How many leads can you generate for me?

Often, clients raise the above concern, wanting to know more about the number of leads or conversions our SEO efforts can bring them.

To answer this question, our SEO expert, Amardip Raijada, shared the following insights: “The objective of carrying out SEO efforts is to bring the right/relevant audience to your website through search engines like Google or Bing. There is no direct correlation between SEO efforts and conversions. Getting leads or conversions is an interplay of multiple factors in addition to SEO best practices, like the client finding the business a right fit for their needs, product/service pricing, reviews, content copy, etc. Leads, form submissions, and conversions are a by-product of SEO endeavors, not the main objective.”

2. How soon can you double my traffic?

The answer to this one is, again, “It depends!”

This is quite a subjective question with no one-size-fits-all prerogative. 

The timeframe will vary depending on factors like existing traffic and current rankings. We suggest getting on a free consultation call with us to get a better idea of the plausible timelines that we can give, depending on the analysis of your historical data and the amount of effort required from our side to enhance traffic organically.

The Road Ahead

As you search for the right offshore SEO agency partner for your website’s organic growth requirements, you might want to consider the tools and software they deploy when running and analyzing your SEO campaigns.

Here’s an insight into the tools and tech stack we use at Mavlers to run and analyze SEO campaigns.

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Amardip Raijada

With over a decade of dedicated involvement in the realm of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I stand as a seasoned professional immersed in the intricate workings of digital discovery since 2010. Regarded as a subject matter expert, my journey in SEO has been marked by an unyielding commitment to unraveling the complexities of search algorithms, particularly Google's ever-evolving landscape.

Naina Sandhir - Content Writer

A content writer at Mavlers, Naina pens quirky, inimitable, and damn relatable content after an in-depth and critical dissection of the topic in question. When not hiking across the Himalayas, she can be found buried in a book with spectacles dangling off her nose!

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