How long will SEO take to rank my business? This is the age-old question we hear all the time from our clients here at ReachLocal. It pains me to have to tell you that there really isn’t a simple, ‘one-best-way’ answer to this question.
What we first need to clarify is that this is (unfortunately) a misguided question (sorry). The question that we really should be looking to answer is ‘how can SEO increase my website traffic and the number of leads it generates?’.
Ultimately, optimising your website doesn’t really mean much if it’s not generating business for you, right?
Okay, what does SEO success actually mean?
As put by one of our keen SEO program leads, SEO success is made up of three tiers:
The controversial standing of SEO specialists is “‘forget ranks, forget positions, forget ‘how long?’ and ‘what time?’ and start qualifying what actually matters: being seen, being engaged with and making sales”.
How do I increase my visibility, traffic and conversions?
There are several factors that come in to play when getting started with an SEO strategy. Every website is different; therefore, every strategy should be tailored to match what you, as a business owner, want to achieve.
You can find out more about some of these factors in ‘How Can I Improve My Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?‘.
So why invest in SEO?
More than 90% of search queries result in a click on an organic link, with a very small amount going towards paid ads at the top of the page.
Investing in an array of digital marketing tools is kind of like buying a car.
You can have a beautiful car-body and frame, but you know as well as I do that it’s what’s under the hood that ultimately matters most.
In the same way, what good is a fantastic website with incredible images and engaging content if you don’t have an ‘engine’ (your SEO) to help customers see it?
No really, how long will it take?
Search engine optimisation is a long-term solution, so ultimately the truth of the matter is that it depends.
That’s annoying. On what?
This depends on a plethora of things. However, there are a few elements that stand out when it comes to affecting timeline.
#1 Domain Authority (The ‘Trust Factor’)
A ‘Domain Authority’ or ‘Domain Rating’ is a metric used to determine how trustworthy a website is, overall. This rating is a score that is given out of 100, calculated based on several components that ultimately aim to measure your website’s capacity to rank on a search engine.
The level of engagement on your website is a very important factor that search engines consider when it comes to your SEO. This includes things like the time that a user spends on your site/specific pages, bounce rate, number of pages viewed etc. In simple terms, the better your engagement levels, the more you’ll be rewarded by the search engine.
Your website and other online presences are likely to have more historical data, the older they are. Historical data refers to things like the number of indexed pages and the reputation the site has developed because of the kind of traffic and engagement it has had over time. This kind of data helps a search engine trust you and understand you better.
It’s not enough for your website to just be old, it also must have maintained a good reputation in the eyes of the search engine, in order to rank.
Remember – your ranking will also depend on what your competition is doing. Who are they targeting and how can you differentiate what you are doing in comparison?
It is important to try and understand what your competitors are doing and what kind of results you want for your business so that you can tailor your strategies.
For the sake of a ‘straight answer’, SEO should take around 6 months to yield noticeable results, but this should be taken with a grain of salt if you want to get down to the nitty gritty of what successful SEO strategy looks like.
Want to find out more on how to build an SEO strategy for your business? Get in touch with one of our SEO Specialists today!