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When you consider investing in SEO, one of the first things you want to know is how long it will take for your SEO investment to start paying off. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question.
SEO is a long-term strategy that can take months or even years to produce the right results. But if you’re patient and willing to put in the hard work, SEO can be an extremely effective way to improve your website traffic and increase revenue.
Keep in mind that Search Engine Optimization is a constantly evolving field, so strategies that worked a few years ago may not work today.
In this blog post, we will discuss how SEO works and how long it usually takes to see results.
When can you expect the first effects of SEO?
Page positioning is a complex and ever-changing field, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The time it takes to get results depends on a number of factors, including the age of the website, competition in the industry and the quality of SEO efforts.
Most companies will see results within a few months of investing in SEO. And if you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can usually expect significant results within a year. For that, you need commitment from both parties (agency and client alike).
Experts on SEO about how much positioning takes
Based on a survey from Morning Score of more than 75 SEO experts, the average time it takes for a site’s SEO to take effect is between 3 and 12 months. For old domains/sites, usually progress should appear after 6 months. However, this number fluctuates, and the full effects of SEO should be visible after a period of 12-24 months in most cases.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term investment. It takes time and effort to see results. According to the same study, it takes an average of 6-12 months for a new website to start registering traffic from search engines. Some SEO results, however, can be seen in as little as 4-6 months, but they are usually not very significant.
It is important to remember that SEO is not a one-time service. It is an ongoing process. In order to maintain and improve your Google search ranking, you need to constantly work on it. And this is where the client part comes in. Customer responsiveness is very important. Success requires commitment from both parties (e.g. in the field of content creation or technical optimization of the website).
The good news is that once good visibility is achieved, maintaining it requires slightly less effort than building it from scratch.
If you are patient and persistent, your efforts will eventually pay off. Just don’t expect overnight results! SEO does not work like a paid Google Ads campaign.
Factors influencing time to get SEO results
There are several major factors that affect how long it will take from the start of SEO efforts to visible results. These include, but are not limited to:
– The age and authority of your website;
– Competition in your industry;
– The quality of your SEO efforts;
– Are you starting from scratch or do you already have some visibility (age/authority) in the search engines.
Web site authority
Site authority can’t be measured exactly, but there are several tools that can estimate it, like Moz Domain Authority or Ahrefs Domain Rating or Majestic Trust Flow.
These parameters are not the same as authority according to Google. You can have a low DR and rank well, but these tools provide some way of estimating the level of authority.
They are not the same as authority.
New sites take longer to rank high because they lack the authority and trust that comes with age. It takes time to build these things.
New sites take time to build up.
If you are starting from scratch, it is important to focus on building a strong foundation, strategy and securing a budget for your site. These activities include creating quality content, optimizing the site for SEO, and gaining links from other sites.
These are the steps you need to take.
Competition in your industry
The more competitive your industry is, the more time and effort it will take to produce results with SEO. That’s because there are already many sites fighting for the top spot in Google search results.
To rank above the competition, you need to make sure your site is better than theirs in terms of content (better and more valuable), design, user experience and authority. This takes time.
Think smart about your SEO strategy
Start with detailed keyword research, analyze intent and level of competition. Don’t play high if your budget is not secured. Think about whether you can run a business without significant results from SEO for the next 6-12 months.
Because you can also focus on less competitive keywords (including long tail) from the beginning. Such an SEO strategy will give you some traffic and help you build domain authority for further success with more difficult keywords.
There are a number of ways to do this.
Quality and expertise of content is key here. The same goes for content plan and topic coverage.
The same goes for content plan and topic coverage.
Link building strategy
Link building is the process of gaining links from other websites to your own. This helps improve your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The quality and quantity of links pointing to your site are, next to content, the two most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
There are several linking strategies:
– buying links as if SEO never existed;
– analysis of competition and link sites;
– buying or renting a link to a specific URL and observing its impact on results;
– analyzing parameters such as DA, DR, TR, organic traffic, category, etc. (according to Linkhouse, the most popular are TrustFlow, Domain Rating, traffic, visibility according to the Senuto tool, and the number of so-called Referring Domains – domains leading to the service);
– analyzing the linking of a specific URL;
– analyzing the linking of a specific URL.
– buying links in existing articles that are already ranked;
According to a survey from Morning Score on February 11, 2022, the most experts (more than 50%) said that the activity that requires the most time for SEO is link building.
There are 3 main ways of gaining links and several supporting methods.
The first way to earn links is to reach out to other website owners (known as outreach) and ask them to publish your article on their site for some monetary compensation.
The second way is to buy links from sites that offer link building services or through marketplaces such as Whitepress or Linkhouse. A third way is to build your own PBNs (from Private Blog Network) and manage links from them.
The third way is to build your own PBNs (from Private Blog Network) and manage links from them.
Supporting methods include, but are not limited to:
– Adding entries to directories;
– Participating in discussion forums related or not to your industry;
– Creating infographics or other types of content that other site owners would like to link to;
– Commenting on other blogs;
Costs of link building
The quality of your SEO efforts will also affect how long it will take for you to see results from SEO.
According to a study from Ahrefs, the average cost of link acquisition in 2018 was $361.44, or $77.80 for a so-called guest article (excluding the cost of preparing the content itself for the article or its SEO optimization). Source: https://ahrefs.com/blog/buy-backlinks/
According to Linkhouse data, the average cost of publication for Q1 2020 was $225. In a recent podcast by Damian Salkowski, Michal Chlewinski, owner of Linkhouse mentions that in 2021 it was around 260 PLN, while in 2022 it was already over 300 PLN. These are net amounts and do not include the development of the articles themselves.
In Poland, in an SEO strategy where we aim high, we need at least PLN 3,000 per month for link acquisition alone. For a competitive niche, we sometimes need PLN 15,000 per month. On the other hand, sometimes link building can be skipped. For example, in projects where links are acquired naturally (or in cooperation with the public relations department).
The scenario where SEO can work fast is when you’ve existed for a long time, have a lot of authority and reputation, but don’t have a proper content strategy in place.
Most topics are not covered or are covered superficially. In this case, all you need to do is conduct detailed keyword research, create content plans that include coverage of sub-topics, train copywriters to create articles that are well-crafted for SEO, and then optimize and link to them.
There are a number of ways in which you can make a difference.
Another scenario where SEO can make a lot of difference in a matter of days is when a site has some serious problems with content reading or robot outreach (including performance), or doesn’t use internal linking (or does so ineffectively).
How long do you have to wait for SEO results?”
Many companies give up on SEO before they start seeing results, which is a shame. If you’re patient and willing to put in the work, SEO can be an extremely effective way to improve website traffic and increase revenue. However, plan on a minimum of 6-12 months to see results from your SEO efforts.
So don’t give up too soon – the rewards of SEO can be worth the effort!
Hello! My name is Piotr Starzynski and it's a pleasure to meet you in the SEO industry. I have been officially working in SEO since 2006, while I have been working in analytics for several years. I have about 400 analytics implementations for client websites, hundreds of SEO projects and dozens of analytics projects for mobile applications. At Up&More, I am responsible for the Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics team. If you feel like working with me, I invite you to contact me!