How Long Does SEO Take to Start Working?

By  //  February 20, 2020

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Search engine optimization or SEO, is the collective practice of generating quality website traffic by increasing a website’s visibility on a particular search engine.

Search engine optimization or SEO, is the collective practice of generating quality website traffic by increasing a website’s visibility on a particular search engine.

SEO helps to increase the visibility of a website or web page to search engine users, thereby increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic.

However, to be successful with SEO, you should understand SEO best practices and how to implement them. Also, you will need to know how long SEO takes to start working. Knowing this will ensure you remain motivated and make it easy for you to measure results.

How Long Does SEO Take?

When it comes to SEO, most people want quick results. However, it is important to understand that SEO is not a quick fix method, meaning that it takes time and a lot of energy to realize any sustainable results.

While there is no straight answer as to how long SEO takes, notable results from SEO will start becoming visible after about six months.

The largest gains will be realized in the six to 12-month time frame. When investing in SEO, you should prioritize sustainability over speed so that you use the right tactics and make the most of the process.

If you are to see results from SEO within six months, you should plan your SEO efforts well. For instance, the first month is the research and discovery phase.

Take the time to do a website audit, create a keyword strategy and plan. The second month is for technical SEO work, including modification of your website, building content, and working on the link profile.

Most people focus on content creation in the third month, with blogs, whitepapers, FAQs, articles, and expanded product information being a priority.

If done correctly, there will be some improvement in rankings this month. The fourth month is for continued content creation and technical optimization of the website, while in the fifth month, you can think of incorporating social media management. By the sixth month, sustained efforts should be resulting in tangible results from SEO.

SEO has changed significantly over the years. Instead of asking how long SEO takes, you should focus more on leads and sales as opposed to just rankings. 

Why so Long?

There is a lot that goes into making sure that you see results from SEO. To get more leads and sales, you will have to stick to your strategy and invest both time and effort for a sustained period. Here are a few reasons why SEO takes so long.

Constantly Changing Technology

A few years ago, SEO would deliver the desired results provided you knew the keywords that could deliver the most traffic and optimized your site for those terms.

All you needed to do was to pick about five to 10 keywords and build as many links as you could. While this was simple and mechanical, it was not sustainable. Today, you have to put in work continuously to ensure that SEO works.

You could also use the help of companies such as Ghost Marketing to help you make your life easier by handling the link building aspects.


Today, competition is intense, and other companies are putting in just as much work as you. As much as the blog you put up could draw traffic, your competitors are putting up blogs as well. If you want to realize results, you will have to beat them in both quantity and quality. However, it will still take time before you see the SEO results.

It Takes Time to Create and Establish Good Quality

One of the factors that ensure your website ranks highly among search engine results is quality and relevant content. However, SEO takes such a long time because it also takes time to create and implement true quality.

It will also take some time before search engines acknowledge the quality and see you as an authority on the topic.

Variables at Play on Your Website

There are some changes you will need to make during your SEO campaign. Some of the variables that affect how soon you will see results include the keywords and topics relevant to you, the relevance of your content to the keywords, and the age of your website. Also, the current website design, your geographic location, your competition, and your social activity are key variables.

Your Budget

Your SEO budget will have a huge impact on the speed of your SEO results. While a bigger budget will not guarantee faster organic rankings, it will help you have various tasks completed faster.

You will also enjoy good quality when it comes to research, creating content, and the campaign in general.

Is There Anything I Can do to Speed it up?

It is clear that it takes a bit of time for SEO to generate leads and sales. The good news is that there are steps you can take to speed up the process.

Conduct an SEO Website Audit

An SEO website audit looks at the website structure, information architecture, and existing content. The aim is to identify strengths and weaknesses, so you can know the areas to focus on and those to play on as you work on optimizing your site.

Improve Site Navigation

Improving your site navigation will deliver great user experience, an effort that search engines will acknowledge. At the same time, it will make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, ensuring that they perceive your brand positively. This is likely to increase both leads and sales.  

Fix Duplicate Content

Search engines will always reward sites that have unique content. By fixing issues relating to duplicate content, you will not only give your SEO efforts a boost but also enhance user experience. In the end, visitors are likely to spend more time on your site.

Optimize the Site for Mobile

Today, mobile site optimization is no longer optional for businesses. With a good number of people using mobile devices to access the internet, optimizing your site for mobile will make it easy for more people to visit your website.

Optimize Your Site Load Speed

Improved site speed will help you rank higher among search engine results and also provide a better user experience. In the end, customers will stay longer or visit your website again in the future.

Other steps that you can take include creating high-quality content that adds value, inserting and improving your metadata, earning quality inbound links, and making your content readable.

There is no doubt that SEO is essential in any digital marketing campaign. At BizIQ, leaders in small business SEO services, we help you create the right strategy to ensure SEO delivers the results you desire.

Talk to us today to learn more about our marketing solutions.