How long does SEO Take to Work

SEO timescales, this is probably one of the most common questions I get asked all the time: how long will it take to rank x keyword? This gives away so much from someone who has no idea about SEO or has very limited knowledge of SEO and what to expect.

I will always give a client realistic timescales for the work I carry out because it is simply not a couple of weeks and that is it done. There really is no point in taking on a client and telling them it will only take a month to rank then after a month you get that same client asking why the keywords are not on page one and so forth. Think about it, it can take Google several weeks to actually re-cache the website and pick up the onsite SEO changes that have been implemented. When it comes to links the timescales vary so much depending on the type of content on the site, how soon it is indexed etc etc.

SEO Timescales
How long does SEO take to rank

The scenario of ranking a website within 30 days is somewhat unlikely, but none the less, it can be done for lower competition keywords that either won’t get search for at all or have the odd one or two per month. There are several tools, paid for and free that can show you how often keywords are searched for in each country so why you would select a lower competition, low search volume keyword I am not sure. So make sure that you use one or a few of these free tools to determine what keywords you want to go after and then that way you will know that the traffic will be of greater volume and targeted because the keywords relate directly to the products or services you offer.

Most keywords out there that get a decent level of traffic aren’t going to be the easiest to rank, usually. There are several factors to take into account, firstly, the onsite SEO that you want Google to pick up on that you have changed, the competition whereby many of them probably have been carrying out SEO for a longer period of time, so this should be explained to each client so that they don’t think they will rank in a short space of time.

It is safe to say that there is not going to be a straightforward answer that will please every client as there is so much variation between niches and the level of competition in each nice, however, that being said SEO progress should be seen in about a three to four month period and possibly longer if the competition is strong. If you are a local business targeting local customer in a niche that hasn’t got much competition, then it is likely that you will see results much sooner, but in general I would suggest that you give your SEO three to four months to gauge whether or not progress has been made.

Unfortunately there are still clients in 2016 that I have worked with who expect to be ranking for 100 odd keywords on page one within the month, and because they are not there they have asked me to stop with the services. These are the type of clients you do not want to get involved with. Education about SEO plays a big part of any client SEO campaign and thus keeping the client up to date with a realistic expectation is vital.

From my past experiences, the clients who give their SEO a reasonable amount of time to get over the initial start of the campaign are usually the ones who are successful online. However, the problem that many clients have is often down to SEOs who they have used in the past that never produce the results and the client feels like they have effectively wasted their investment. For client who have been ‘burned’ in the past, I would urge you to do your research about the next SEO that you work with and look into their track record.