SEO is notoriously a long term game. But even the most patient of us can become frustrated by the mystery surrounding the demands that search engines place on websites. In that spirit, I will go through some of the answers to common SEO questions and hopefully answers the question; ‘How Long Does SEO Take To See Results?’
What Factors Determine How Long It Takes To See SEO Results?
Whether a page can make Google’s top 10 results consistently depends on many factors. The first distinction that is made is whether your SEO is for an existing domain or whether the SEO is for a new website that you’re hoping to get into Google’s top rankings.
Whatever the case, there are a number of key points that are consistent across both and may affect how successful your SEO is:
There can’t be any crawlability and indexability issues; the sitemaps and robots.txt have to work properly. A good technical basis with good page load times and a stable server is crucial to getting good rankings.
Just as important are internal links — the relevant pages of a domain should be easy for the crawler to reach, ideally directly from the homepage (or within 3-clicks). It’s also important to add the top keywords you want the landing page to rank for into the meta tags (title and description) on all the indexed pages. When it comes to the page topic, having clear and precise title tags and meta descriptions — ideally ones that encourage click-throughs — is also important.
For a website to get a good SEO ranking, quality content is crucial. The internet is swamped with websites. With a good USP and excellent content, it should be easier to get good Google rankings.
This is why, before you start with SEO, you should ask yourself why the website you are optimizing for SEO deserves a Top 10 ranking: What sets your site apart from the competition, what topics does your site focus on, and how can content be made unique and as user friendly as possible? Google has a tendency to prioritize domains with a specific focus over general product websites. Producing quality content also helps you to gather relevant backlinks as people share your content.
Only those who are well-positioned as experts in their field stand a good chance of getting to the very top of the rankings. Google refers to this quality standard as E-A-T or Expertise–Authority–Trust.
This applies, in particular, to websites that provide sensitive information on finances or health but can essentially apply to any industry and domain. A website can build trust by having a clear topic focus, paying attention to content quality and relevance, and providing author transparency; other important factors are a confidence-inspiring web design with HTTPS, a site legal notice or a quality seal from a recognized organization or Trusted Shops guarantee. Inextricably connected with E-A-T is brand building, be it through mentions, backlinks, or direct traffic.
A much-debated question is how important backlinks are for SEO success. The more competition there is in a particular topic area, the more important it is to build high-quality backlinks. A good starting point for backlinks is blogs and forums related to your topic focus.
Within the first year, any new website will struggle to make page one of the search results. Older sites definitely have an advantage. According to studies, most domains that rank in the Top 10 are at least three years old, while 95 per cent of new websites do not manage to make the Top 10 search results in the first year. The older a domain is, the more trust it can earn in the eyes of the Google algorithm.
The more competitive the topic is, the higher the search volume; and the more general the keyword you choose, the longer it will take for an SEO strategy to be successful. This is why it makes sense to focus on subject-specific content silos in a specific niche where there is not so much competition. Doing so will help build authority and improve rankings in a specific area — and concentrate on topics where there is more competition later. Often the rule of thumb is; ‘The more competition, the more turnover can be generated.’
How Long Does Google Need To Index New Sites And List Them In The Google Search Results?
It can take anything from a few hours to several weeks for Google to index a new website successfully. On average, however, most good content will be picked up and indexed within a week.
This is what matters: Ensure that the most essential URLs of your website can also be reached from the homepage. At the same time, make sure the crawler isn’t bogged down with unnecessary URLs, such as dynamic URLs or tags with too much information that is difficult to index. In other words, ensure your site has good internal links and is easy to reach, an important fact that will make it easier for the crawler — and hence the Google index — to identify your site. In addition, hard, keyword-rich anchor texts should be used when building internal links.
Another important step is to ensure your sitemaps are set up properly. The Google Search Console is a great tool that can be used to tackle individual URL indexing directly.
How Long Will It Take To See The SEO Results And Benefits? Here’s What Google Says…
It can take some time to see the results of SEO. According to Google, it can take up to 12 months. “In most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see the potential benefit,” explains Google’s Maile Ohye in the clip below:
It can, of course, take less time. In fact, sometimes you might only have to wait a few weeks to see the first results. SEO success depends on many different factors, as outlined above. You can expect to see faster results, however, if your SEO is centred on a topic where there is not so much competition or if you enlist the help of an SEO agency that has the power and expertise you need.
What is important to know is that SEO often means that Google will analyze the new domain or new URLs on the basis of different core patterns:
- The new site starts at a lower position before slowly moving up the rankings.
- The new site gets a slight ranking bonus from Google and hits the Top 20 relatively fast before slipping down the rankings again. Google tests concentrate on the initial phase, in particular, analyzing the user signals based on different search engine positions.
- This means that greater volatility in search engine positioning can be expected in the initial phase, after which the rankings will start to stabilize.
Ultimately, SEO is and will continue to be something of an endurance sport that requires a lot of stamina. And that is not just down to the Google Updates, which can sometimes really throw a curveball at the search results. To get stable rankings and steady growth for your site, SEO has to be an ongoing process. This means updating and adapting your content, constantly building backlinks and your brand, and continually developing the thematic focus of your page.
Do you need help with your website SEO to ensure sustainable, long-term success for your business? With the right products, services, and data, we can provide the right solutions.