How Long Does It Take to See SEO Results?

If your business is investing money in a new digital marketing strategy, you want see results to justify that investment. But how long should it take to start seeing a return on your marketing spend?

The answer is “it depends.” Whether you’re trying to improve a site’s SEO or if you’re running a Google Ads campaign, these things can take time to start working. 

For SEO, it depends on the health of the site before improvements are made, competition in search for your niche, and the size of the campaign. Of course clients want to see their rankings improve quickly, but that might not be possible.

For Regional Businesses It May Be Easier

The good news is that for regional businesses, like small businesses on the Mornington Peninsula, it may be easier to compete in organic search, especially if you have a regional approach to your business. Rather than competing with a large amount of organisations in the city, you’re competing with fewer businesses to get to the top of Google. Those businesses are similarly small to you with similar resources. Slight improvements in a site can easily push it to number one.

The drawback is that larger businesses or chains with a location on the Mornington Peninsula may be able to outcompete with search engines simply due to size and prominence of the brand.

Take, for example, an accountant in Rosebud who wants to improve its SEO for people looking for an accountant in Rosebud and surrounds. Looking at the search pages at time of writing there’s a mix between websites with lists of local accountants, larger chains servicing the Mornington Peninsula, and smaller operators as well. This shows that while it may be easy to get on the first page of Google, it may be difficult to compete with something like H&R Block. But the accountant may be able to get on the first page easily and quickly by outcompeting smaller competitors. Maybe not number one, but possibly top 5.

We’re Seeing This With Our Own Site

At the time of writing this article, this site is brand new, only a couple weeks old. We’re mostly taking a content marketing approach to our SEO as we build up the site a bit more. Content can be a powerful tool in helping search engines understand what a site is about. Through landing pages and blog content, we’re filling our site full of keywords and other signals that tell search engines we’re an online marketing agency based on the Mornington Peninsula. And it’s working so far.

A brand new site takes time to be indexed and gain credibility with search engines, but in the short time we’ve been live we’re already in the teens and twenties for important search terms. And we’re climbing…

Google Search Console rankings for this site

Watch Out for Cowboys

We still haven’t given a direct answer on how long it takes to see SEO results, and we maintain that it depends. And we’re prepared to admit that.

As a business person involved in your company’s marketing, you’ve likely seen ads that make promises for certain results over a certain amount of time. Frankly this is wishful thinking without first seeing the health of a site and knowing its niche. And that’s why we don’t make promises. We give advice based on what we know, and ultimately that’s more honest.

That’s why we say watch out for cowboys. We’ve had clients in the past who have had a bad experience with small agencies like ours and that’s because they over-promise and under-deliver.

If you want an honest appraisal of your site’s SEO and a frank evaluation of what we might be able to achieve in a reasonable timeframe, send us an email and we’ll let you know what we think.