So, you have an SEO strategy in place, but how long will it take for you to see any results? And are there any tools you can use to monitor those changes?
So, you’ve written that first check to your new SEO provider. Now you find yourself checking your watch and thinking to yourself, “Okay, where are my results?” Well, here’s the thing about the freight train that is Search Engine Optimization: it picks up steam, then continues to go faster, and faster. But that initial startup period takes a little bit of time.
How Long Does SEO Take to Gain Momentum?
This is a nuanced question, and the answer might be a little bit frustrating. It depends. You see, some content is going to be such a hit, or it’s going to fill a pre-existing vacuum so effectively that it’s going to get picked up on almost immediately. That type of content will start to generate action in what seems like an instant. Other pieces of content, however, are going to be on more of a slow simmer, gradually building up momentum until they reach their full potential.
The timeline for assessment that we recommend is 3-6 months. If we’re not seeing some action generated by our strategy within 3-6 months, we know that we need to make adjustments. And by “adjustments” we don’t mean writing about the same thing again, hoping for better results. We’re talking about a multi-tiered approach including (but not limited to) changing our targeting, adapting our practices, and making sure that the technical SEO we perform is on point. That initial 3-6 month period, followed by assessment and informed adaptation, are crucial components of any SEO strategy. If you’re not seeing results within that time frame, it’s time to start asking questions. And the first question should be…
How Do I Know if the SEO is Working?
Here are a couple of tools (of the countless tools available) that could help you to answer that question; and here’s the great news: both are FREE.
Yes, I know Google Analytics (or “GA”) can be daunting with its copious amount of intimidating graphs, but you should be familiar with it. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that “not all arrows go up and to the right” or that “they’re not green”. Using Google Analytics will give you a good general idea of how things are going, and you don’t even have to get far into the weeds.
You should be able to pick things out, based solely on the dates. For example, “In August, I usually get (x) amount of traffic. With my new SEO provider, I’m getting (x) amount of traffic in the same month, year over year.” Is it more? Is it less? Is it the same? Well, these are indicators, right? Traffic is a fantastic way of judging…well…whether or not something is generating traffic. Imagine that.
Google Search Console
Search Console is another great platform that you should be familiar with. Again, you can see how much traffic has come to your site, but you can also get a better idea of which queries your site is showing up for. If your SEO provider says, “Hey. We’ve written content around particular keywords, type them into Search Console and you can see whether or not you’re actually showing up for them. You can also see who else is. You’ll get an idea of how many impressions you get, what your clickthrough rate is. You can then look at the URL in your Google Analytics and assess engagement. But what if you’re looking for a paid tool?
Disclaimer: most dealers will find that Google Analytics and Google Search Console give them everything they need without having to consider any paid tools. But if you’re interested in exploring how deep the rabbit hole of SEO goes, you can find valuable tools offered by Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz (just to name a few). You could also ask your provider if they have any tools that they’re willing (or able) to share access to.
SEO gains momentum over time, but can take time to build up speed. To determine the efficacy of any SEO strategy, you can use free tools such as Google Analytics or Search Console, the countless paid tools out there, or tools made available by your third party provider. Evaluate strategies after 3-6 months, and make adjustments as needed to improve your results.
Q1: How long does SEO take to gain momentum?
A1: The timeline for assessment that is recommended is 3-6 months. However, the answer is nuanced, as it depends on the content. Some content generates action almost immediately, while others take more time to build momentum.
Q2: How do I know if SEO is working?
A2: You can use free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to determine the efficacy of your SEO strategy. These tools can give you an idea of traffic generated, which queries your site is showing up for, impressions, clickthrough rate, and engagement.
Q3: What should I do if I’m not seeing results within 3-6 months?
A3: If you’re not seeing results within that time frame, it’s time to start asking questions. The first step is to evaluate the strategy and make adjustments. This multi-tiered approach includes changing targeting, adapting practices, and ensuring that technical SEO is on point.
Q4: Are there any paid SEO tools available?
A4: Yes, there are several valuable tools offered by Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, and others. However, most dealers find that Google Analytics and Google Search Console give them everything they need.
Q5: How important is the initial 3-6 month period in any SEO strategy?
A5: The initial 3-6 month period, followed by assessment and informed adaptation, are crucial components of any SEO strategy. This period allows for building momentum, determining efficacy, and making necessary adjustments to improve results.