Time and Results of SEO

One question that frequently gets asked is the amount of time it takes for an SEO campaign to drive measurable results. It certainly deserves attention as business owners want to be sure that their investment delivers a return. Otherwise, why bother at all?

But the answer isn’t that clearcut.

SEO is a multifaceted field and there are numerous aspects at play that determine rankings. Complicating the issue even further is the fact that search engines constantly update their algorithms. And no two sites are the same as one may be brand new while another may have suffered a ranking penalty.

So the answer ultimately depends.

Here we provide additional insight and also include a basic timeline of what to expect with your own marketing campaigns.

Looking Beyond Search Rankings

Higher rankings ultimately mean more traffic.

But this metric alone doesn’t tell the whole picture. Getting the top position for a certain keyword phrase is no guarantee that it will attract traffic or sales. Which is why results” should really equate to outcomes instead of simply rankings.

For example:

  • Are visitors actually staying on the pages?
  • Is the site optimised for mobile dees?

Rankings still matter as they are an easy metric to measure. But focusing only on where your site ranks for a keyword detracts from the bigger picture: conversions and revenue.

Basic SEO Timeline

Every site is different which is why a single approach simply won’t work. The following is a basic timeline for an SEO campaign and when you can expect to see results.

Month 1: The first order of business is to conduct a comprehensive site audit to reveal any potential problems that could be affecting rankings. Keyword strategy and planning are also an important part during this stage to establish a strong foundation.

Month 2: Most sites are poorly optimised. The next stage involves ensuring the site adheres to all technical guidelines Link building and content optimisation are also typically done during this time.

Month 3: This stage continues from the previous ones with a focus on content creation (articles, product pages, etc.). Once a technical overhaul is complete, you may start seeing improvements in rankings and even an increase in sales or leads.

Month 4: Content creation and technical optimisation continues. Other activities include building links (which may start earlier) and maintaining a quality link profile. At this point, you can expect to see a marked increase in rankings and traffic.

Month 5: Implementing social media allows you to amplify your efforts and should ideally be done as soon as possible. You would still continue with content creation and should be seeing more traffic from SEO as a result.

Month 6: The site will continue to benefit from content creation and social media efforts. Both are highly effective for attracting quality links and driving targeted traffic.

Results typically take anywhere from 4 to 6 months although this greatly depends. Some sites may start to see immediate results with a technical overhaul while others may take longer especially if recovering from a ranking penalty.

SEO Requires a Long Term Approach

Most companies underestimate the time it takes for a campaign to start seeing results.

The fact is that SEO is incredibly complex with numerous variables involved. One mistake that companies make is stopping too soon because immediate results were expected. SEO should be seen as a long term marketing strategy rather than a quick fix.

Search engine algorithms are also constantly being updated which tends to cause rankings and traffic to fluctuate dramatically. This is why taking a long term approach with any marketing strategy is so critical. It allows you to evaluate your strategy and plan accordingly.


SEO focuses on improving online visibility in the search results through site optimisation and other activities such as link building.

The length of time it takes to start seeing results greatly varies. Some sites may see immediate improvements in traffic with a technical overhaul while other sites may take up to 6 months or even longer to start seeing an impact.

A few months is often not long enough as implementation and new site changes take time especially technical overhauls. The most important aspect to remember is that SEO requires a long term approach to drive measurable results.

Looking to get started with an SEO strategy for your business?

Contact us today to schedule a marketing consultation with our team. We conduct a detailed audit of your site to plan and implement a strategy that works for your business. Our professionals are here to answer any of your questions.


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