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Why does SEO take SO long…?

One of the biggest questions and one which we are most frequently asked is; “how long until SEO becomes effective?” Well, according to Google, it can take anything from four months to a year before you start to see real results.

When you hear that it could take even a minimum of four months, it might seem frustrating because you want your website to be successful right now but trust us, it is definitely worth having a little patience. 

But why does it take so long?

SEO competition

Unfortunately you’re not the only one in the know when it comes to SEO. Competition is one of the biggest factors to take into consideration when trying to achieve the top spot in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

As you climb higher and higher in the rankings, your goals will take longer and longer to achieve. This is not only because of the increased volume of competitors, but also because you will find yourself in the same arena as the big budget websites, all with teams and large finance pots dedicated to hitting the top spots. The closer to the top you get, the more fierce the competition. 

To do better than your competition research and assess what your competition are doing then do it better.

Consider your inbound links

Inbound links (also referred to as “backlinks”) are links from another site which appear on your own website. Inbound links take time in SEO. The number and quality of inbound links you have will affect the perceived quality and performance of your website. Establishing a strong backlink profile is something which needs to be grown over time if you want long-term results. 

More inbound links doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t achieve high performing SEO but they have to be of good quality, and relevant. The very worst case example? Creating a vast number of random links within a relatively short time frame, all of which originate from spammy, disreputable websites is a foolproof way of sending your keyword rankings into freefall.

Why content matters

High quality SEO content takes time to research, produce and publish. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to length of content, it just needs to be informative and useful to the reader. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can churn out reams of content, stick in a few keywords and sit back while you fly up the rankings. Google is smarter than we are and we need to think more intelligently about how to get picked up and noticed.

Our best advice? If you have some great new content which is ready to go, get it out there. The sooner it’s publicly visible, the quicker the likelihood is of having a positive impact on your keyword rankings. We would also encourage you to publish content on a regular basis rather than in random, irregular bursts. Google is much more likely to pick up on the websites where fresh, valuable information content is uploaded regularly.

Your resources and budget

Naturally, the bigger your website and SEO budget, the bigger your capacity to be able to improve, grow and more quickly achieve your goals. Having a more generous budget allows you the freedom to employ the required number of appropriately skilled people to work on your SEO campaign, undertake industry research, interrogate your website analytics and dedicating time to producing great website copy. 

If you’re operating within a smaller budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t achieve the same level of results from your website but it will take longer. A bigger budget doesn’t always mean you can more quickly climb the search engine rankings, it just means more speedy results in completing a larger volume of SEO tasks.

In summary? Focus your goals at a more realistic level; by increasing traffic and conversions, rather than maintaining a tunnel vision on the number one ranking and wasting time agonising over specific keywords.

And finally…..there is no end point!

So many people begin their SEO campaign thinking that there is an inevitable deadline and as soon as they see results, they can check the SEO milestone off their lists. SEO strategy is never-ending and ever-evolving all the time your website stays live. SEO is not a quick fix or something you do once, do it right and then infinitely reap the results. SEO has to be developed, nurtured and maintained as a priority. Patience is your best friend and a little bit of dedicated expertise can go a long way too!

So how long does SEO take? It takes as long as your drive and determination to showcase your website does. 

Still can’t wait that long? Maybe it’s time to read up about PPC.

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