How Long Does SEO Take?

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Posted on by Wikimotive
Categories: Local SEO, SEO, SEO Tips, Tactical Tuesdays

Welcome back to Tactical Tuesdays with Wiki.

This week, we’re talking about timelines for SEO – we’re gonna answer the most common question about SEO “how long does SEO take?”

More than any other question, SEO agencies are always asked “why does SEO take so much time?” and “how long will it take to see results?”

I get it – it’s tough to invest money into something that doesn’t produce immediate results. When you do PPC, you throw money in and you see – immediately – traffic and leads as a result. With SEO, you throw money in and have to wait months to see an increase in traffic and leads.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long term investment, not something you do for short term wins. In most cases, you should assume that it will take anywhere from 6 to 8 months to see big differences in traffic and leads.

But why is that? Simply put – SEO is a king of the hill situation… you’ve got to push out the right signals so that Google sees you as more relevant – but you have to do it better than your competitors, and for a longer period of time. 

I talk about it in conference presentations all the time – with SEO, the things that you’re doing today are affecting your site’s visibility in searches a few months from now.

Google’s algorithm is super complicated – it considers hundreds of factors on and off each website to determine which sites are the most relevant for each query. You have to continue to optimize your site and signals to win – you can’t do a one-time optimization.

Making things more difficult, SEO isn’t an exact science. No one knows exactly what signals matter to Google’s algorithm or how much each signal is weighted. Sure, thanks to the hard work and research from SEO experts we’ve got a pretty good idea of what matters, but there’s no way to know exactly what to do in every case.

Plus, each vertical is different. What works for one type of business may not work for another. Google may use the local algorithm for some businesses while it uses the standard algorithm for others.

Plus, SEO doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your competitors are either actively optimizing their sites or doing things that naturally result in the right signals to Google.

If all of your competitors had the same generic content on their sites, and none were doing any link building, and everything related to their websites was completely static, I could come in and optimize your site and have you ranking number one for every important q uery almost overnight… 

But the real world doesn’t work like that. Your competitors are fighting to rank higher, as well. – and whenever someone moves up in the rankings, someone else has to move down. It’s a constant battle for supremacy.

That’s why I said you have to be better than your competitors for a longer period of time to win.

And that’s also why SEO never ends. If you do SEO to boost your relevancy, and then stop optimizing when you rank well, there’s nowhere to go but down. All of those signals that made you more relevant will stop, while your competitors will continue to put out new signals, and you’ll drop out of the top spots and lose visibility.

That’s also why you need quality SEO. You shouldn’t go for the cheapest option – optimizing takes time, and when you engage an agency, you’re paying for their time and expertise. You really won’t be able to get quality SEO for less than a few thousand dollars a month.

You don’t want cookie-cutter, out of the box SEO either. You know all your competitors are fighting for those top spots too, so getting a unique, fully customized SEO strategy built for your business will give you the best results.

Getting results takes time – and since organic visits are your biggest source of traffic and leads, you need to be sure you’re investing for your future. 

So now it’s time – put your hand on the screen right here…


We totally just high-fived cause you learned something awesome.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Tactical Tuesdays with Wiki, and don’t forget to come back next week for another awesome video.

See you next Tuesday!